It was funny, except that it’s not

One of my labmates is interviewing for post-docs.  He just got back from an interview out east and we were asking him where else he was interviewing.  He said he might be interviewing at this one place but the PI just had a baby, so they’re going to do a phone interview first (presumably because she’s on leave or something).  In the lab was me and two other women.  One of us said, in a joking tone of voice, “Babies are gross.”  Then someone else said, “Yeah, you wouldn’t want to work for a woman,” again as a joke.  This kind of joking went on for awhile and culminated in one of my labmates saying, “Don’t go, you’ll come back with no testicles,” at which point, we all busted a gut laughing.  Because, it’s a completely ridiculous notion that the mere fact of working for a woman causes a man’s testicles to disappear.

The not funny part is that there are obviously people out there who actually think that way.  I mean, isn’t that what they mean when they say men feel emasculated when faced with [insert feminist concept here]?  So, some part of me says, “Hey you shouldn’t joke about things like that because there are people out there suffering because of that kind of thinking.”  On the other hand, I’m sorry, but it was funny.  None of us actually meant any of those things and it was more like we were making fun of that kind of thinking.  I hope this doesn’t make me a bad person.

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