I mentioned this public Facebook post by David Colquhoun from yesterday.
When the Hunt affair first came to light, my first reaction (June 10, below), was to describe it as a “disaster for the advancement of women”.
I was wrong.
Women have come out of the affair very well. The light-hearted #distractinglsexycampaign was a good start. Now we are seeing a backlash, mainly from more-or-less old men who think that UCL was wrong to accept Hunt’s resignation. That has only prolonged the unpleasantness for Hunt, but at least it’s given us the names of some surprisingly backward people.
In the last few days I’ve had rather unpleasantly aggressive letters from a handful of people. telling me that I’m wrong to support UCL’s decision to accept Tim Hunt’s resignation. I can only speculate whether their motive is to defend academic freedom, as they claim, or whether their aggression stems from a well-hidden feeling that Hunt’s right.
Guess what? They are all from senior men.
I’ve had nothing but support from young people, men and women. I often urge them (in a different context) not to show respect to their elders, but not betters, when they get things wrong.
I’m starting to hate these senior men, who are so very concerned about their own well-being and so very indifferent to that of everyone else.