The internets are having fun destroying biochemist Tim Hunt's comments about the "trouble with girls" in laboratories. Using the hashtag #distractinglysexy, people are posting ironic pictures of famed female scientists, while working scientists are taking selfies so hot it's like they're saturated with thermal energy.
Hunt, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and British Knight, will have plenty of time to study up on chivalry. He resigned from his position as an honorary professor at University College London earlier this week after the firestorm of criticism around his widely-publicized remarks. Via the Times and Gawker:
"Let me tell you about my trouble with girls," Mr. Hunt told an audience on Monday at the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea. "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."
Hunt's tone-deaf comments touched a raw nerve in the scientific world, which has struggled with issues of sexism and gender bias. But the reaction from the social internet has been light-hearted, sarcastic, and awesome to watch unfold. Everyone is getting in on #distractinglysexy, including people of every gender, dinosaurs, and laboratory signs. It's a rare instance of the internet uniting around a touchy subject and having fun while also increasing awareness.
Let's take a look. Try not to fall in love, weep, or get too hot and bothered by these ladies doing science work.
— Amy Remeikis (@AmyRemeikis) June 11, 2015
— Michelle LaRue (@drmichellelarue) June 12, 2015
— Shit Academics Say (@AcademicsSay) June 12, 2015
— Jennifer Pournelle (@jpournelle) June 12, 2015
— Want2opr8 (@drtanthony) June 12, 2015
— Jonathan Marcot (@JonathanMarcot) June 12, 2015
— Arwyn Edwards (@arwynedwards) June 12, 2015
— Van Q. Truong (@vanqtruong) June 12, 2015
— Point Mutation (@Point_Mutation) June 11, 2015
— Geeky Girl Engineer (@gkygirlengineer) June 11, 2015
— Sarah Durant (@SarahMDurant) June 11, 2015
— Sammie Buzzard (@TreacherousBuzz) June 11, 2015
— Lisa P to the O (@xLiserx) June 11, 2015
— Bailey-Ann (@baileyanns) June 11, 2015
There have been more than 10,000 #distractinglysexy Tweets since the idea went viral, not to mention posts across Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. The beauty of this hashtag movement is its tongue-in-cheek yet highly effective skewering of Hunt's outdated stance. It's also a rare chance to see the incredible range of women working in badass scientific jobs — a representation that is often lacking in popular culture. I mean, did you see their racks?
— laura baxter (@scientist_me) June 10, 2015
Picture: Instagram liana_gloria