— Prosanta Chakrabarty (@LSU_FISH) July 16, 2014
we see that Science magazine has really made a mistake with a cover picture.
The Science Careers subsection Editor Jim Austin wondered:
— Jim Austin (@SciCareerEditor) July 16, 2014
and then later wondered some more:
to which I observed that no, he had plenty of company:
Not really. There are boatloads of selfish privileged white dudes who don't give a shit about anybody else's concerns @SciCareerEditor
— Drug Monkey (@drugmonkeyblog) July 16, 2014
Look, I am sure there will be plenty of folks more expert and concise and, dare I say it, civil than I am who will weigh in. But here we are.
This cover is bullshit. It objectifies the female form, whether one considers the subjects to be female or not. It is designed explicitly to draw the infamous male gaze.
And it ain't subtle either. Even journalists and editors of the usual low-normal intelligence* they tend to exhibit can't fail to miss the implications.
Therefore I conclude it is intentional and consistent with the usual desire of the media to grab attention with the sexxah images.
As far as I am aware, Science magazine does not generate substantial parts of its income from the magazine racks in retail outlets. Right?
So what possible purpose is there for this nonsense?
And you know, when we are just hearing about some poor graduate student having to sue Vanderbuilt for $20M because of their piss-poor response to harassment from a professor there, well...this isn't a good week to pull this.
At a conference the professor "... required the female graduate students to attend a boat party where the male professors became intoxicated and were allowed to make romantic and sexual advances on the students."
Then there's this: The professor "would routinely call her ugly, fat and ... a stupid in front of other students."
The suit alleges he knew the graduate student was a recovering alcoholic and told her he wished she "would start drinking again because she would be more fun," and that "... she would be less stressed out if she had more sex."
So yes, Science Careers Editor Jim Austin, your rag's selection of cover image matters. I'm sorry if it bores you..perhaps what you meant is that you are being boorish? It surely doesn't escape you that if department reading lounges are going to have copies of journals lying around, Science is one of them. Libraries that bother to have display racks will certainly have Science as one of the prominently displayed items. Department mailboxes are filled with copies of Science.
People are going to see this dreck in a professional context and they shouldn't have to do so.
It is not okay.
*ok, I'm a little sorry for that crack. A little.