The social justice movement, March for Science, is planning a massive demonstration the following month in a bid to oppose President Trump’s policies on Science and the environment. The promoters of the demos have courted the progressive crowd, and now they are facing the consequence of using the word “female” recently.
In a late February Tweet, the organizers said: “Are you a female who thought about doing engineering but decided against it? Why? What can the science community do better? #ScienceMarch”
The apparently inoffensive tweet was meant to ask supporters (particularly young women) why they supported the March, asking for suggestion to tackle disparity within STEM fields. The organizers were taken to task for using the word “female” by the progressives who are easily outraged.
The Heat Street reports:
Michael Oman-Reagan, a Canadian anthropologist best known for demanding the “queering” of space travel and fierce critic of the Oxford Dictionary’s “sexist definitions,” asked in apparent reference to Star Trek’s “females” meme:
“Are you a Ferengi who thought about doing Twitter but decided against it? Why? What can the science community do better?” Alessondra Springmann, a self-described “anticolonial intersectional feminist” told them to “delete your account you colossal waste of carbon.”
Other accounts echoed the remarks, telling the March for Science to stop referring to women as females. Rachael Tatman, a Linguistics PhD candidate at the University of Washington stated: “I don’t love ‘female’ as a noun to refer to women. Makes you sound like a Ferengi.”
The criticism is fair enough—even Victorian etiquette manuals suggest against using “males” and “females” when you can easily say “men” and “women.”
In response, the organizers issued a profuse apology in a series of tweets, writing:
“Mistakes happen, and this probably won’t be the last one. But we’re in it for the long haul, and we’re listening.”
“Science is strong when we listen to each other, and make space for our many voices. We’re in this for the long haul.”
“We’re sorry for any harm we caused. We’re listening and we’re learning.”
“We are grateful to have had folks both inside AND outside the march providing useful feedback about why these tweets were wrong.”
“Thanks to everyone who pointed out some problematic tweets we made recently. Language matters, especially when it comes to inclusion.”
Being outraged by the harmless use of the term “female” rather than addressing the questions it asked showed where the progressive’s priorities lie. Instead of dealing with pertinent issues, some progressives seem interested in having academic arguments.