I am still traumatized by the utter lack of self-respect demonstrated by a female academic that I discussed in my previous post.
We cannot expect others to bear a greater responsibility for our comfort than we do ourselves. If I choose to sit there and giggle at anti-Semitic comments that insult me as a Jew, I have no right to complain in the privacy of my anonymous blog about the anti-Semitism of others. If I tolerate anti-women comments from my male colleagues, I am not entitled to criticize them for those comments behind their backs. If I put up with being treated like crap, it means that I have consented to such treatment.
We can talk ad nauseam about how male chauvinists, racists, xenophobes, homophobes and anti-Semites should know which of their comments are wrong and unacceptable. However, we cannot hold others to a higher standard of accountability than the one to which we hold ourselves. Unless you call bigots on their bigotry in no uncertain terms whenever they express it, you are just as much to blame for the existence of hatred, discrimination and inequality as they are.
As academics, we also have a responsibility to our female students. Female Science Professor must know very well how hostile academia is to female students in the sciences. The male colleague who insulted her is, without a doubt, very likely to act in a condescending, disparaging way towards his female students. Students are powerless in their relationship with a professor, while female scholars are not. A female academic who allows herself to be spit on by male colleagues betrays her female students who will receive a much worse treatment at the hands of a chauvinistic jerk they have for a professor.
In this situation, I despise the female academic who puts up meekly with a disrespectful treatment a lot more than I do her male colleagues. They, at least, defend their own interests consistently. She sells out herself and every other female academic at her institution because she is not woman enough to stand up to jerks.
Stopping the discrimination of women is not the task of men, people. It falls to us, the women, to stop being eternal and consenting victims of every kind of abuse. You, my female reader, have to shut up the jerks who denigrate and dismiss you to your face. Nobody else will do it for you.