Scientist, Educator & Speaker
I am a tenured Full Professor at a Tier 1 Research University. I have a solid reputation as an educator, scientist, and academic administrator. I have received honors and awards in all three areas. This has all added up to earning a certain level of respect from my students and colleagues.
I have also enjoyed living in a bit of a bubble of avoiding being called a diminutive term as part of my profession – until now.
Here’s what happened on March 6, 2018:
My most recent research article titled, “Impact of gender, organized athletics, and video gaming on driving skills in novice drivers,” was published in late January 2018 in a respectable journal – and has been getting some media attention.
A journalist (X) from a major news network saw a university press release about the article and emailed my media relations contact with a query:
“Interesting story on drivers ed by Wayne/Miller… would Wayne or Miller want to be interviewed for a quick quote or two?”
This query was forwarded to me and I wrote directly back to Journalist X:
“Did you want to send me your questions? Or do you have what you need for your article?”
Mind you, I signed off with my full name (followed by PhD) and title of Professor of Physiology.
Journalist X replied:
“Awaiting word from editor. Maybe just a snappy quote would help push him over the top …”
I sent him two “snappy quotes” for his editor:
Quote 1: “If you want your teen to be a better driver, make sure they get involved in sports.”
Quote 2: “If your teen claims that all that video gaming is going to help them be a better driver, don’t believe it.”
Journalist X to me:
“Attagirl! I’ll see if that moves him.”
Are you kidding me? Attagirl? In 2018? And he was coming to me as an authority. I was in no mood to give this unprofessional journalist a lecture on respecting women in science, women with skills and expertise, women period. I quickly decided on a one-word reply.
Me to Journalist X:
THE END. Let’s see what I hear back from him, if anything.
Do you have any experiences like this? Write me back and I’ll include it in a future blog (anonymized, if you want it that way). You can either post your story in the comments section of this blog or email me at WomenAdvancingTogether@gmail.com.
The blog of the Institute for Women's Policy Research
Mark Cooper and John Marx write about universities.
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