Somehow, beyond all reason and understanding, another person has been caught pretending to be a woman of color. At least this time around, the story has an extra fucked-up layer. Anonymous internet sleuths uncovered Professor Craig Chapman, who teaches chemistry at the University of New Hampshire, posing as a woman of color on Twitter under the name The Science Femme. According to The New Hampshire, Chapman was brought down by his own hubris when he tweeted about his brother’s brewery from both his fake account and his real account. The Science Femme and Chapman’s personal account have both been deleted, but unluckily for him, screenshots exist.
The Science Femme appears been an outlet for Chapman to talk about different science academia topics, as well as a way to ensure that he could deflect any questions by loudly tweeting: “I’m a WOC!” Science Femme also dabbled in misogyny and transphobia to keep the audience on their toes.
Besides the slip up with the brewery, Chapman made his alter ego too much like himself to successfully pull the wool over everyone’s eye. In one instance, Chapman even posted the exact same photo from both accounts with nearly the same caption.
Seems pretty sloppy for a man with a Ph.D.
Chapman is currently under investigation by UNH, but really, he should be removed from his teaching position for an overall lack of creativity. While previous race posers sewed intrigue and left room for doubt–after all, Jessica Krug got two books out of her supposed Blackness—Chapman didn’t even have the foresight to give his Twitter persona any ethnic background; she referred to herself only as “WOC.” At one point, Science Femme claimed to be an “immigrant woman of color who grew up in poverty,” so that’s something.
I understand that the key to lying is to not add too much detail, but there is a thin line between too much and not enough. The question, once again, is why does a white man with a Ph.D. feel compelled to pose as a woman of color on the internet? The common answer to this posturing is usually that the person sought to gain some sort of intangible benefit that white people believe people of color possess. In this case, it seemed like Chapman wanted to be a troll online and thought the identity would successfully cover his tracks and allow him a bit of trolling freedom. Everyone knows that women can say whatever they want on the internet without being harassed.
Under the Science Femme identity, Chapman tweeted anti-trans and racist messaging at one point, even referring to a post from Amazon about Black Lives Matter as kowtowing to “terrorism.”
This year has been difficult enough; how many more of these are we going to have to live through? Professors of the world, please understand it’s okay to admit that you are white. With great whiteness comes great responsibility.