Monday, April 02, 2007

Time for a bit of levity (and a poll, of sorts)

It's Monday. It's been a long, slow day. I think it's time to lighten things up a bit around here. So, dear readers, I pose a question to you:

What's the dumbest or most bizarre thing someone has said to you recently?

Here's mine, courtesy of my mother-in-law. Who is a really lovely person, but comes out with the most off-the-wall things from time to time.

Scene: Mr. Jane and I are talking with his parents. Somehow, the topic of Mr. Jane's childhood obsession with Legos comes up.

Mother-in-law: Mr. Jane should take up that hobby again!

Jane: (laughing) I have a feeling Mr. Jane won't have much time for hobbies, at least not for the next few years!

MIL: He will if it's a girl.

Jane: (totally not following) Huh?

MIL: Well, if it's a girl, then he won't have to play with her! Because girls play with dolls and such, not Legos and blocks.

(You will be happy to know that I resisted the urge to bring out the Clue Stick. Mr. Jane, bless his heart, jumped in with the appropriate comment at that point. What that was, exactly, I don't know, because I was too busy shaking my head and saying "no, no, no!")

OK, now it's your turn!


Rebecca said...

Along those same lines (differences between men and women), a colleague of mine recently said that the reason there weren't very many women in his particular subfield was because his field requires collaboration and women aren't any good at collaborating. When I countered that women are actually perceived as being better at working with others than men are, he said that women wouldn't make good project leaders because you have to be a tough taskmaster. Then he also said something about how it's boring work and women wouldn't want to do it anyways.

When I suggested that the reason women don't make it very far in his field had to do with men depriving them of opportunity, he decided that reiterating his points louder might convince me. For some strange reason, I remained unconvinced.

I can't f*&%ing believe that there are still people like that in this world!!! He's a dinosaur but he's in his early 30's.

FemaleCSGradStudent said...

Scene: At the elevator are two of my group members, #1 and #2. I approach the elevator carrying my jacket and my bike helmet.

#1: Oh, are you going home?
Me: No, I'm going for a little ride. I'll be back in an hour.
#1: Oh, that's nice. Biking is good exercise.
#2: Yea, if you are a woman.
Me: ...
Me: ... You mean, you don't bike...because of
#2: Yes. It does damage.
Me: So, Lance Armstrong?
#2: Yes, that's why he has so many cancer problem, from biking.

Saoirse said...

"You're not like other black girls. You want to be a mathematician and you don't have that accent. I mean, I can actually understand what you are saying."

'cause that's totally not racist...

Jane said...

Rebecca, I shouldn't be laughing, but the image of your colleague saying the same stupid things over and over in an increasingly louder tone...well, it's making me giggle. I'm picturing him wildy gesturing at the same time, and eventually shouting hysterically at the top of his lungs....(in all seriousness, what a frustrating conversation! and sounds like he was fishing for reasons there...yeesh.)

FCSGS, that's too funny! People have the strangest ideas sometimes....(I hope you enjoyed your ride!)

Saoirse, ugh! That's just awful! I should lend you my Clue Stick.

Hmmm, maybe I should slap the Scientiae tag on this comment thread...funny how all of the stories so far have a gender and/or race component to them...

Anonymous said...

Wait now, before whipping out the Clue Stick and assuming someone is wrong, Jane, how many little girls do you know or have know that play with Legos and blocks as opposed to dolls? In my experience, your mother-in-law is correct. Are you going to upset the Balance of Nature and force-if you have a daughter-your daughter to play with Legos and blocksk when she may gravitate-you know, the Nature thing-towards Barbie dolls?

(Relax, I was just kidding. Put that Clue Stick back in it's sheath.)

lost clown said...

Maybe not funny, but definitely a stupid thing:

A fellow physics TA walked up behind me while I was perusing some of my favourite blogs and the title of the post I was reading was something about rape. He then says to me "Stop rape; say yes." I'm sure they heard me yelling all the way in the office (which is on the other side of the floor.)

Auntie Em said...

Michael - I should imagine most of the women here played with Lego, Meccano, or at least took the back of their alarm clocks. Being a scientist isn't about sex, or even gender, it's about curiosity. Being a professional scientist on the other hand is also to do with opportunity.

Lost clown - I admire your feist in yelling and your restraint in only yelling!

Jane said...

Wow, lost clown, I admire your restraint in not strangling your colleague! Oh my god.

Auntie Em, I'm pretty sure Michael was kidding. (If not, he will definitely feel the full wrath of the Clue Stick! Mwah hah hah!) The funny thing about my MIL's comment is that I probably played with Legos (and Lincoln Logs---anyone else remember those?) more than anything else when I was a kid. But of course my MIL would never bother to learn that stuff about me---it's easier to just make stupid gender assumptions about what "all girls" like!

lost clown said...

It was really hard not to throttle him.