I always assume, when strangers ask me extremely basic questions about objectification and entitlement and power differentials, that they're just bozo trolls looking to get a rise out of me for sport and waste the grumpy feminist's time. I mean, it's 2013. Everyone knows by now why we don't have a White History Month, right? Everyone knows why you can't really be sexist against Donald Trump, or heterophobic against the Duggars, right? Everyone knows why it's more problematic to objectify women in STEM fields than it is to do the same thing to men, right? Racism, sexism, homophobia—those terms might seem objective, if you're privileged enough to believe you live in a vacuum, but they were created specifically to address imbalances. Using them outside of that context, to reinforce a dominant group's power, renders them meaningless. This is obvious. Right? Right?? Well, maybe not.
When this whole "Sexiest Scientists Alive" debacle went down last week, the masses began clamoring for answers: "Oh, so female scientists aren't allowed to be sexy?" "Oh, so I'm not allowed to find women attractive?" "Oh, so women are allowed to objectify men, but not the other way around?" Well, fine. In the name of mutual understanding and trust, I will take you at your word that these are legitimate questions, and I apologize for assuming that you were a complete ding-dong trying to purposely derail a conversation that covered this shit decades ago. I made an assumption, and in doing so I made an ass out of ump and tion. My bad. So let's try to get to the bottom of it, together. And because I know everyone likes sexy lists, here are the Nine Hottest Reasons Why It's Not Hot to Make "Hot" Lists.