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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Don’t Menshn Tim Hunt

Biochemist Tim Hunt has been in the news, after his remarks to a conference held in the South Korean capital, Seoul. He told the gatheringLet me tell you about my trouble with girls … three things happen when they are in the lab … You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry”, and “said he was in favour of single-sex labs, adding that he didn’t want to ‘stand in the way of women’”.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014

This caused him to face severely adverse criticism, and Hunt later resigned his honorary position at University College, London. He told the BBC he “‘did mean’ the remarks but was ‘really sorry’”. That was 19 days ago. But in the meantime, the Sun and Daily Mail have tried to push the idea that Hunt either didn’t say what was attributed to him, or he was misunderstood, or he didn’t really give offence, or that his accuser was dishonest.
And, as the first paper to indulge in whataboutery over Hunt’s comments was the Murdoch Times, it should surprise no-one that (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch has gone off on one about the story - and is still at it, two and a half weeks later. “He said it in a very lighthearted manner with no outward hint of malice, condescension, or derision” she claims of Hunt’s remarks, omitting that this was someone’s opinion, delivered after the event.
There was more. Rather a lot more. David Colquhoun was subjected to so much Twitter aggression he called Ms Mensch out for harassment: “in particular you personally advocated #TimHunt not receive due process on Twitter” she demanded. “Can you explain if you ‘Established facts’ by speaking to Connie St Louis only or her colluders” she demanded, including Dorothy Bishop for good measure.
Then came the derisory “I’m writing a blog about you” threat: “Thanks. On record. Later today blogging up your involvement as suggested by your Twitter … I have of course screenshot your tweets so there will be no point in deleting … There will be two #TimHunt blogs - the  reporting is already thoroughly discredit[ed]”. And on she ranted.

To Colquhoun’s protest of harassment, there was only “on your own heads if you do not respond to the questions before I publish”. Ms Bishop’s gentle suggestion that Ms Mensch ask herself how she’d feel if Young Dave had made the remarks - like the Angela Eagle “calm down, dear” and Nadine Dorries “extremely frustrated” jibes - only met with “what things? Prof Hunt made no comments about women in science he joked against himself”.

So that’s more “opinion I like = facts”, then. And she wasn’t letting Ms Bishop off the hook: “answer the question did you personally demand his resignation before speaking to him or establishing the facts … did you personally speak to Connie St Louis whose account is a proven lie”. Ms St Louis might have something to say about that. But what Ms Mensch has to say about Tim Hunt will not move the story forward one millimetre.

She’s been banging on about this for the last fortnight. Incessantly and obsessively. Nobody who matters will care what she writes. So sad to be all alone in New York City.


rob said...

She's so tired of getting nowhere
Seein' her tweets going unanswered
I guess the troll is sad in New York City

Well there she is Rupe, banging on as always
Ain't it wonderful for us to see, can you help us and guarantee
That she'll always be kept there chained up in New York City

Anonymous said...

The best thing to be said about Mensch is that she's consistent in her gobshitery.

If memory serves, she's the one who said, "Only little people complain" when they're being robbed of their lives by "austerity."

Just think......there are people in this country who long ago actually VOTED for her. And there are loonies in parliament who actually make her look like a member of a Yank style PTA.

Every time I hear her open her mouth I look on my dog with greater affection.

Arnold said...

Unless labs are somehow different from other workplaces, he seems to believe that men and women should never work together. And what's the problem with workplace romances? I've had a couple.