< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://caltechgirlsworld.mu.nu/" /> Not Exactly Rocket Science: I'm really angry

Thursday, January 06, 2005

I'm really angry

Have any of you ever tried to have a professional discussion with someone you are trying to respect as a colleague and had it turn personal? Have you ever been patronized by someone you were honestly trying to learn from? Did anyone ever refer to you as "dear" or a "gal"? (ok that 2nd one is a tad out of context...he referred to me as "caltechgal", which I DID NOT LIKE) in a conversation you were trying to keep professional and respectful?

All I know is that if someone is more interested in hearing themself talk and putting someone down than in making a rational answer, they likely have little important to say in the first place.

ARRRGH. This is something I have never experienced before. I know many many women (and a few men) who have had several of these experiences, but I have never had one. Every exchange I've ever had where I was questioning someone's theories or work has been rational and respectful. Even when my thoughts disagree with theirs, no one has ever treated me this way before, and I'm not sure how to respond except to fire a somewhat respectful barrage over my six on the way out the door.

What do you think? I know the best thing I could do was what I did: get out of the discussion so I didn't blow a rod all over this guy and get nasty.

Anyone else have a story to share?

Update: It really blows my rod when 1) I tell the person in question I don't wish to discuss it further and he continues to use me as an example.
and 2) He continues to disparage me while doing so and in order to disparage others.

This discussion is occurring in the B-sphere, and if you're wise with regards to recent things I've posted, you'll see what I mean.

(this is the part where I lose my temper)You know what????, just because I'm a grad student and you're a tenured professor, that doesn't mean my opinions are worthless, and frankly, if I choose to anthropomorphize in an argument it is simply for the clarification of my point to those who are less well educated about the matters we are discussing, you know, like an ANALOGY and is no reason to insult my intelligence. Aren't you the one who offered to say different things in a non-blog setting? Oh and by the way you arrogant snot, just because I admit that I over simplified something doesn't mean that the rest of my arguments are less valid, especially when you are SOOOOOO convinced by the grace of whatever god you worship (hubris????) that you are right even though you clearly don't even care what I'm trying to say.

The insults have for the most part been redacted.


At Thursday, January 06, 2005 3:21:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

One word: Crossfire. There is a real backlash to this kind of "debating". People are not idiots: when an issue is being debated we want the issues debated, not personal attacks, not out-shouting, not answering questions with evasiveness or more questions. Apparently, Crossfire is getting cut back to rare appearances on other shows, and I (and many others i suspect) say good riddance.

At Thursday, January 06, 2005 5:05:00 PM, Blogger FarFromFound said...

it's all too common in our society, the lack of ability to have a dialogue, to realize another's view ... it is the polarizing crossfire style of talk ... or even worse, just a total lack or education or desire of other's views.

either way, it's a constant let down, esp. if you are young and talent at whatever you do, God forbid a female.

hang in there.


At Thursday, January 06, 2005 10:32:00 PM, Blogger Boudicca said...

I've been there... only once or twice and it was later in my career. I venture to say you are more than likely handling it much better than I did. Hands down.

At Thursday, January 06, 2005 11:13:00 PM, Blogger Honnistaibe said...

And I say..Bring some of those chocolate chip cookies with you next time. We can't be sarcastic, or loud, or all knowing with our mouths and bellies full..

At Thursday, January 06, 2005 11:22:00 PM, Blogger shrinkette said...

Caltechgirl, I thought you did a great job with your recent posts, and the professor's attitude was inexcusable. You definitely handled it with more class than I ever could.

At Friday, January 07, 2005 7:33:00 AM, Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Caltechgirl, my jaw was dropping as I was reading that man's comments. I had to email my brother, "Look at the way this guy is carrying on!" My short take on it is, El Professor is a complete horse's ass.

And now I see he's also stepped into another thread over there. To which my reaction was, Oh no, I wish he would just go away...Then again— if you're in need of a chuckle right now— jerks like this aren't entirely confined to the blogosphere.

At Friday, January 07, 2005 9:57:00 AM, Blogger the Pirate said...

Its not exactly related, but I had this math prof. that would insult everyone, mostly when passing back exams with comments to stduents like:
"You, what the hell were you doing here."
"You must be stupid"
"That was the most idiotic way I've seen a problem done"

At Friday, January 07, 2005 7:58:00 PM, Blogger DaneBramage said...

Hey Caltech girl!

I caught your blog on a link from Acidman's site.

Some men cannot stand to consider the possibility that a woman may actually be smarter than they are. It is because they have a small penis and the intellectual realm is a substitute phallus. When that phallus is threatened by a WOMAN FOR GOD'S SAKE. STOP THE BUS!! The primitive brain engages and fight or flight takes over. Hence the berating and name calling. I have learned that You win every discussion when the opponent resorts to name calling. He must be a cry-baby democrat ex-hippie that never went to Woodstock or got laid in College. I know plenty of women who are smarter than me (Uzi-Q my wife for one) and I go to them when I need their expertese and vice-versa. Smart women turn a REAL man on. I cannot stand stupid people. I don't have the time. Head high!!! You rock!!

PS SC STOMPED OU. Jesus I haven't seen a whoppin' like that in a loooong while. They deserve the NC. Uzi is an Auburn fan but she agrees on this one. SC could beat several NFL teams right now. They ARE THE SHIT!

At Friday, January 07, 2005 8:15:00 PM, Blogger Silvermine said...

Goodness! I finally got back to that thread.

It seems to me that he suffers from a huge ego problem, as well as liking people to be mad at him. In fact, he probably only holds his hypothesis because he likes to feel like he's being persecuted so he can act righteous at people.

He answered you completely inappropriately, and I certianly wouldn't consider talking with him anymore. What a jerk.

I find it a bit odd that Dean starts asking for real names to tone down on the jerks when the only one I could see in the past few days was the jerk using his real name!

Sure, if I were a professor, I might get a bit ticked off if people outside my field were discussing my work on some public web site. But hey, I'd get over it. I wouldn't spend my time attacking them, yet not even bother to have a discussion. His answers tend to be nothing more than "go read my paper".

At Saturday, January 08, 2005 8:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Condescension is the last refuge of a loser in an argument. Don't let that kind of behavior upset you.



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