It’s given us the names of some surprisingly backward people

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.


  1. says

    When I get old, I hope I don’t turn into one of those ossified old geezers who can’t stomach the idea that things might be the least bit different from when they were ten.

  2. Al Dente says

    I’m 67 and I know how to be a human being better than Hunt and his “senior” supporters do.

  3. quixote says

    I don’t know. I have to admit to having a dollop of “Put yer goddamn phone away when yer on MY goddamn lawn.” The difference seems to be that I’m fairly clear that you don’t put people down about it.

  4. karmacat says

    My dad is 81 and understands feminism better now. He does get all crotchety when talking about how republicans are destroying the country but then who wouldn’t

  5. latsot says

    @1 I already got old and I’m disappointed I didn’t turn into someone like David Colquhoun..

    He doesn’t seem to get much press these days, which is another obvious failing of our community. A few years ago he was upsetting foolish people all the time. He was one of the reasons I got interested in critical thinking, back when I could bear to be associated with the skeptic movement.

  6. John Morales says

    Hm. I don’t think the OP is about ossification, but rather about perceived entitlement.

    As for that entitlement’s basis, I can but say: ‘O auctaritas!, O dignitas! Wherefore thy waning?’.

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