There's a huge, American-sized gender gap in science. That sucks for a myriad of reasons, mostly because it can lead to male scientists ignoring the contributions of their female colleaques for no good reason. It can also lead to a Facebook outcry of, "Whuuut? You're a girl???" when a popular science blogger reveals her identity on Twitter.
That, according to the Guardian, is pretty much the social media reaction that greeted Elise Andrew on Wednesday when the proprietor of the popular Facebook page I Fucking Love Science (which boasts 4.2 million fans, no big deal), tweeted,
I got Twitter! I figured it's about time I started exploring other social media. If you're on there, can you Tweet me some science people worth following?
Andrew's Twitter avatar featured her picture, and the revelation that I Fucking Love Science had been run not by the much-memed Neil DeGrasse Tyson but by a girl elicited an avalanche of mostly stunned comments from science bros marveling about Andrew's appearance.
These comments ranged from the relatively innocuous —
I'm ashamed to say I assumed you were a man. But I'm neither shocked nor affected in the slightest that you aren't. Keep on fucking loving science
— to the extremely gross (and considerably less articulate) —
holy hell, youre a HOTTIE!
How flattering, bro. The Guardian has a more comprehensive list of commentary, things like Lou Forbes' stunning aesthetic assessment: "you mean you're a girl, AND you're beautiful? wow, i just liked science a lil bit more today ^^" And who could forget Can Durace's pithily ejaculated astonishment: "F.ck me! This is a babe ?!!"
Right about now would be a good time to indulge in a rant about how science lovers, who should be the most progressive of progressives, really need to wake the fuck up and realize that penises don't grant their wearers any kind of of special scientific insight. Andrew's, however, summed up the distressing response to her identity quite nicely:
EVERY COMMENT on that thread is about how shocking it is that I'm a woman! Is this really 2013?— Elise Andrew (@Elise_Andrew) March 20, 2013
Image via Darren Baker/ Shutterstock.