Holy God* Almighty. It’s getting worse.
Someone has undertaken a survey of some of the world’s greatest museums.
I say “someone” because I don’t actually want to know who it is.
So let’s just leave it as “researchers.” That’s the word I saw when I first read the story. Researchers.
What these people did, was survey the Natural History Museum, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, the Field Museum in Chicago, the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the French National Museum of Natural History.
They weren’t looking at facilities or funding or access or future plans.
No. They were counting the exhibits, not to see how many there were (turns it to be millions), but to see if there was gender balance.
I swear to God* they were checking to see how many male dinosaur bones the museums had, how many stuffed male bears, how many lions vs lionesses, how many boy alligators and how many girl alligators…
Turns out that, for example, male birds outnumber female birds by 60 per cent to 40 per cent in the museums covered by the survey.
And this sexism is bad for science. Or so they say.
Dammit, I couldn’t resist. I had to find out who was responsible.
The author of the report was Dr Natalie Cooper of the Natural History Museum. I’m not sure what male helped her, but I presume there was one and the report was a 50/50 effort between them.
I’ve been doing a few surveys myself recently.
I can’t use my local supermarket anymore because I counted 11 men working there the other day and only 10 women.
I can’t watch RTE News anymore because over the past week it has had six female newsreaders and only three male.
I’m going to boycott honey because I can’t find a hive run by a king bee.
And I can’t go into Toner’s pub anymore because all but one of the bar staff is male and…
…hold on a second!
Not go into Toner’s?
That’s a bridge too far.
And so is studying the sex of the stuffed animals in a museum.
*(And no, I’m not including goddesses no matter what you say.)