Readers React: #MeTooSTEM was around long before the Neil deGrasse Tyson allegations
To the editor: Jennifer Carson’s op-ed about alleged misconduct by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson rightly pinpointed how harassment by powerful men is driving women away from careers in science.
However, the headline for the print version of this article, “#MeToo Hits Science,” was off the mark. A robust, grass-roots #MeTooSTEM effort has been highly effective, having resulted in the departure of evolutionary geneticist Francisco J. Ayala from UC Irvine.
Two major forces in #MeTooSTEM, BethAnn McLaughlin and Sherry Marts, recently received the 2018 Disobedience Award from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MIT Media Lab. They shared this award with the creator of #MeToo, Tarana Burke.
Ignoring the advances of #MeTooSTEM that led to revelations about Tyson does a disservice to the scientific community.
Terry McGlynn, Pasadena
The writer is a professor of biology at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
To the editor: As a feminist and huge fan of Tyson, I was also dismayed by the recent allegations against him, but for reasons other than Carson’s
Two of the accusations are frankly ridiculous. Tyson has a rather large, wonderful, expansive personality. Add alcohol, and he presents a lady with an unexpected expression of affection, according to one accuser. In a world full of sorrows, this does not rank.
Then, some person has a tattoo of the solar system plastered over her upper body, and Tyson goes looking for Pluto? That’s not creepy — it’s hilarious.
Instead of falling apart when a man says something dumb, a woman should knock him down with a simple assertion of discomfort, or better yet exercise her wit and get even — then move on.
The rape allegation is obviously far more serious, but it is disputed. With no collaborating evidence, it is patently unfair to paint Tyson with the brush of sexual assault.
JJ Flowers, Laguna Beach
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