It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man at a conference, away from his house, will do something stupid.
I like to hope, albeit in vain, that those men are the undergrads, grads, or junior postdocs who are using the excuse of being away from 'home' of trying to tap into a "primal" urge they have had to leave by the wayside because they have grown the fuck up.
They are single, alone, away from home and horny and are doing nothing more than their societal and genetic programming tells them.
Of course that's bullshit.
Men are men and that's not excuse. It is, however, a biological fact. We're horny little bastards. However...hey, that big lump of meat in your skull gives you the potential to not act like the pre-programmed walking dick you wish you were, but to tuck away your vacation ego and act like you would at home.
Dear reader, the point is, I speak from experience: I have been that d00d at the conference, and for every time I had random sexual encounters with a stranger, ther are countless times I treated a woman...a fellow scientist as an object.
Not interested, then fuck off, whose next. I've got 76hrs to go...And at the time, I thought I was a nice guy, but it was just OK...it's the conferences!
Then you grow up. If you're lucky. Fuck...if They are lucky.
Now as a grumpy old boss type thing, i am more busy trying to do my job at a conference. And of course I am older and wiser and shit like that.
(I fear the wine is REALLY is kicking in now).
So. To the point of this.
It is troubling to be at a conference, as I am, and watch the gender/sex/horny-at-a-conference issue arise during our time here. I walked a student back to her hotel room tonight and I resented the looks I got from other attendees. Because we're in the boonies and we don't know all the guests...so I will of course walk her back while she grabs her cigs/purse/wallet/ID etc.
I also stood outside her room while she looked for her sweater. And bless her innocence she asked me why I was stood outside her room.
I shouldn't have had to stand outside and make "excuses" (oh, I'm smoking a cigarette etc.), and then later, talk to her with her mentor about why I stood outside. But then again I shouldn't have had to explain about that although statistics say that 3/5 women say they have been sexually assaulted, from talking to my friends that that number is actually much closer to 10/10.
But the door swings both ways. And I shouldn't have had to have left that gorgeous boy at the poker table, despite his urgent mutterings about his mentor.
I shall return to this thesis when it isn't so late, and I am more cogent. There is a lot to discuss, but I challenge you, dear Reader, to relate your thoughts.
As a man is it "hell yeah, conference season!" As a woman is "Oh shit, conference season...". Where does gender labeling begin and end, and does the lack of normal boudries make a difference, or did *we* make that up too?
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