The PBS Bobblehead Controversy: Victim-Feminist Science Ladies And The Men They've Co-opted Have Their Panties In A Wad Again
I saw the back end of some Twitter conversations and went to investigate. (I missed this because I was too busy actually writing science -- working on explaining costly signaling so it could be easily understood by ordinary people vis a vis answering a question for my science-based syndicated column.)
The problem is this bobblehead Thanksgiving video -- "It's Okay To Be Smart" -- from PBS Digital and Joe Hanson. (Details on the furor over it below.)
Here's the controversy from Andrew Lapin on Current.org:
A PBS Digital Studios program is dealing with blowback from online viewers and the PBS ombudsman for using bobblehead dolls to caricature sexual harassment of scientist Marie Curie.
In the Nov. 11 episode of the irreverent science program "It's Okay To Be Smart," host and creator Joe Hanson welcomes bobblehead figures of famous scientists to Thanksgiving dinner and begins discussing how their scientific achievements reverberate in modern society.
In a running gag that escalates throughout the video, an Albert Einstein doll behaves inappropriately toward a Marie Curie doll. The Einstein doll begins by standing so close to Madame Curie that she complains of him breathing on her. By the end of the episode, Einstein has striped naked, knocked Curie over and assaulted her.
Neither the host nor any of other male characters depicted by bobbleheads, including Charles Darwin, Issac Newton and Nikola Tesla, comment on Einstein's behavior, and Curie is portrayed as helpless.
The video, which has been viewed more than 57,000 times since its posting, drew swift criticism, as online commentators accused Hanson of making light of sexual assault and perpetuating negative depictions of women scientists. Hanson responded in an apologetic Nov. 17 blog post, saying he had intended the Einstein doll "to call attention to the sexual harassment that many women still today experience, often from wannabe Einsteins."
The comment I left on YouTube:
This was humor through scientists being humanized and behaving badly -- as people do. Tesla makes outrageous boasts, for example. One way people behave badly is by hitting on other people who aren't interested. Men do it to women and women do it to men. This video is funny. I deplore those who try to squash any bit of speech that isn't politically correct. The answer to speech you do not like is more speech, not trying to shut down the career of the person who makes speech you have a problem with.
Related -- my response to the Bora Zivkovic witch hunt: "About The Bora Controversy: If There's Anything That Makes Women Unequal To Men, It's The Need To Be Treated Like Fragile Pieces Of China"
The upshot, as I see it: If you feel diminished as a woman and as a scientist because of a video like this, well, I don't think you're much of a person or a scientist.
Men hit on women. Sometimes they do it in a way that is oafish.
Why do men hit on women and not so much the other way around? See basic evolutionary biology. Women are the ones who have babies that need to grow up and be fed and cared for. They are the choosier sex because of it and generally are the pursued rather than the pursuers.
The video is reflecting life. Deal with it ladies -- and all you silly men who feel guilty for being born with a penis and are now compelled to do penance by falling in with the victim-feminists and calling for women to be treated specially instead of equally.
UPDATE: All that's left of the video -- now-censored into "private" status on YouTube: