This is precisely the kind of attitude to rude offensive jerks that I will never understand:
The other day, I had to gather my social skills (such as they are), brush my hair, and put on my most stylish socks to attend a socioprofessional event that required me to be super-nice to everyone I met there. As I was claiming my name tag from a table near the entrance, I asked the table-attendant what the “1” on my name tag signified; the other name tags that I could see did not have any numbers. The answer to that particular question is not important to my story. But this is relevant: when I asked my question, a 70-something man standing nearby said “It means this”, and he made an obscene gesture.
I thought to myself, “This is a test.” And I was determined to pass that test. I decided to practice being super-nice to him. I figured: if I can be nice to him, then I can be nice to almost anyone.
Does anybody want to venture a guess what was the result of this experiment in trying to be nice and understanding to an idiot?
Right you are, it was not very inspiring, to put it mildly:
I asked him another question about himself and his interests (I will not give myself points for these because they were rather routine), and then he said, “All you professors only care about yourselves and other professors.”
To me, that’s even ruder than the obscene gesture, but I was not willing to give up. I was determined to continue to withstand the onslaught of aggressively jerkish behavior. So I said “That’s not true. Many of us care about our students.”
His reply: “So what? Same thing. You only care about students because you want them to be professors one day so that is just like only caring about professors.”
After which, the super-nice professor congratulated herself silently with a victory and left. Yes, that was a resounding win for the good guys. The jerk will surely remember that lesson for a long time to come and will spread his discovery to all of the losers in his circle: you can insult female scientists as much as you want and they will just smile and be kind and patient to you in response.
What a huge achievement for feminism! We have now demonstrated that no matter which heights a woman reaches professionally and intellectually, any random idiot can insult her and she will meekly stick around to provide further opportunities for the jerk to offend her. Yippee!