We shouldn’t need to ‘pledge’ to do this, but it seems decency is not all that common.
I have to add a comment, though. This looks easy, but it’s not. Here’s what will happen to you if you follow through on that commitment:
Hey, gang, I’ve been offline for a while — it’s a week for getting caught up with my grading (I’m still behind. I’m always behind). So I’ve been letting the commenters do the talking for a few days, and there are some good words in the thread about Geoff Marcy.
I work in UC Berkeley’s astronomy department. On Friday, during my lab’s lunch, the professor I work for announced this to us. I was not at all surprised by Geoff being the one found guilty. What’s even worse is that the Title IX office concluded their investigation three months ago and just sat on it without telling anyone. I wasn’t aware of the full extent of Geoff’s behavior (I knew of women that were creeped out by him), and lots of people are furious about how both the university and the astronomy department handled this. The whole situation is just fucked, and it’s really shameful that no substantial punishment is being handed out for this.
“The punishment Geoff is receiving here in the court of hysterical public opinion is far out of proportion to what he did and has taken responsibility for in his apology,” Dr. Kegley wrote.
There’s been no regard for the victims from the department or the university. The way this has been handled is a total shitshow.
I remember when I learned that the skeptic/atheist movement was full of harassing jerks — I was shocked. And then these people started getting exposed in every discipline, from literature and philosophy to physics, and it started to sink in that the entire world is a playground for assholes, which might have been a relief (whew, it’s not just my communities!) but is incredibly depressing instead.
Now add astronomy to the list. One of their most prominent representatives, Geoff Marcy, has been revealed to be a serial sexual harasser, someone who has wrecked women’s careers in astronomy. And it’s a familiar story: the women in that community all knew of his reputation, and it was an open secret.
“He’s had a long history of behaving inappropriately, especially with undergraduates,” said Kirkpatrick, who at the time was a graduate student at Berkeley studying astrophysics. “Women discouraged other women from working with him as a research advisor. It was just something that was talked about pretty frankly among the women in the department.”
Kirkpatrick, who has since left academia, continues to run the Women in Astronomy blog, through which she says three other women have approached her with accounts of their experiences with Marcy.
Bill Nye talks about the realities of reproduction, and the right wing completely loses its shit.
It is not Nye at his most eloquent, but…he’s actually right about everything important. Read this title for an example of the inanity of far right responses, titled WATCH: Bill Nye, Science Guy Makes An Idiot Of Himself On Reproduction. Nye is clearer and more correct than whoever wrote that, making it particularly amusing. It makes a lot of claims.
Watch Jason Chaffetz (Smarmy Slimeball, UT) introduce the hearings with Cecile Richards. See PZ Myers (Godless Atheist Biologist, MN) splutter with rage.
He went there. His whole argument is that we don’t spend enough on cancer (1500 deaths per day!), therefore…we should defund Planned Parenthood and make cuts in women’s reproductive health. He’s a lying liar trying to mislead everyone into being as stupid as he is.
I can go one better.
Oy, there he goes again. Matt Damon thinks gay actors should be in the closet.
He thinks attitudes are changing, and welcomes the introduction of same-sex marriage in California in 2008. “I think it must be really hard for actors to be out publicly,” he continues. “But in terms of actors, I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period. And sexuality is a huge part of that. Whether you’re straight or gay, people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality because that’s one of the mysteries that you should be able to play.”
This is in the same interview that contains this:
…Damon insists he’s entirely normal. He has a wife, Luciana, whom he met while filming in Miami in 2003 when she was working behind a bar, and the couple have four daughters ranging in age from four to 16 – Alexia, from Luciana’s previous relationship, Isabella, Gia and Stella. Damon is a self-confessed family man. He has a rule that they will never be apart for more than two weeks while he’s filming. His daily life is so average even the paparazzi have decamped from outside his home in Los Angeles because he never does anything that merits a photograph.
“You know, a guy who’s married happily with four kids is not quite a story,” Damon says with a sorry-but-what-can-you-do smile. “And so they’ll come back and they’ll take an occasional picture… but it’s kind of just updating the file.”
Ah, he’s married to a woman — perfectly normal. Normal, normal, normal. Let’s make that an open part of the interview, proudly mentioned.
But if you’re gay…nothing about that can be normal. Keep it quiet. It’ll make you a better actor if no one knows about your sex and family life.
I guess that public normality makes Damon a lesser actor.
Have you ever found yourself needing to refute a claim that someone is sexist? Here’s a useful compilation of familiar excuses.
He wrote it, but he didn’t mean it. (Poor dear.)
He wrote it, but he’s just repeating what he’s heard elsewhere. (Just give him time!)
He wrote it, but now this is just a reverse-sexist lynch mob. (So I’m on his side now.)
He wrote it, but he was a product of his time. (Everyone was like this back then. There was no feminism.)
He wrote it, but it’s not like he has any influence. (Just ignore him, he’ll go away.)
He wrote it, but he didn’t realise it was offensive. (So why are you taking offence?)
He wrote it, but he’s an anomaly. (#notallmen)
The older I get, the more I detest the “product of his time” excuse. Human beings are capable of learning over the course of their entire life, you know, and age is not a reason to be refractory to change. It’s you young whippersnappers who generally have enough slack in your physiology that you can do whatever you want, while we oldsters are constantly trying to adapt to expanding limitations.
The dismissal for lack of influence is also annoying. The great galumphing herd of ignorant racists might not be individually powerful, but when they find a leader with no shame, like Donald Trump, they can trample a lot of people.