By this time last week, I was already getting hate mail and comments about the poll I created (using nominations that you submitted) to find the most attractive female physicist. I think that controversy also generated a lot of interest in the poll.
Yet, this week, there's barely a squeak when the same poll is done by male physicist. I don't hear people criticizing me for "objectifying" these people, and that this poll is wrong. Or maybe those have already been said in the women's poll and no one wants to repeat those here? As men, should we find it offensive that no one finds this poll offensive? :)
Whatever the case is, as a scientist, I find it fascinating and curious of the different nature of reaction. By all accounts, the men's poll is downright boring. Is it because as men, we really don't care if someone likes us not for our brains, but for our looks? Is it because we really don't have time to be bothered by something as trivial as this and that means nothing in the long run? Or is it because we really never had to struggle, like the women, to be seriously accepted for our accomplishments rather than our looks? I think that, more than anything, it is a case of self-reflectance on how we view and treat men and women who are in the same profession and having the same stature, but with varying numbers. One encounters significantly more men than women in physics.
Whatever the reason may be, I will say that I'm completely not surprised by the nature of the reaction. I anticipated being reamed for the women's poll (which was why I ran it first), and not creating a stir with the men's poll. But I did it anyway. :)
And speaking of the female physicist poll, by a huge margin, you voted for Amy Mainzer.