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Post Archive
2017 (0)2011 (43)
October (8)

For the math nerd in you.
Saturday, October 29, 2011

Misguided.
Friday, October 28, 2011

On-line therapy
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moving towards generosity.
Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Longest Revision process ever?
Friday, October 14, 2011

Okay enough of the bitching and complaining. More importantly...
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Donor's Choose!
Saturday, October 8, 2011

Update on #madwriting
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
September (7)

What's the use of Dropbox?
Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's the buddhist in me.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Seriously?
Monday, September 19, 2011

Homeward Bound
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cell division
Friday, September 9, 2011

A giant leap backward
Thursday, September 8, 2011

Yup.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
August (6)

This is wicked.
Friday, August 26, 2011

What will happen to Canada's opposition?
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

AcademicWomensansBabies
Monday, August 22, 2011

How people in science see each other.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dork moments brought to you by Girlpostdoc
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Another one bites the dust.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
July (8)

Decisions, decisions...
Saturday, July 30, 2011

So what are you going to do with that?
Friday, July 29, 2011

Probabilities
Wednesday, July 27, 2011

more travelling...
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

travelling...
Friday, July 22, 2011

If you're a working-class American who still votes Republican ... you're stupid (Bill Maher)
Friday, July 15, 2011

Do academics have charisma?
Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy long weekend.
Friday, July 1, 2011
June (5)

Love this.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not our proudest moment. But damn makes for a good laugh.
Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mansplaining without the man.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Twitter sucks.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I loved this video
Friday, June 10, 2011
May (4)April (5)

Because IT'S FRIDAY!!!!
Friday, April 29, 2011

Because it's not quite Friday.
Thursday, April 28, 2011

Staggering, but frankly not surprising.
Friday, April 22, 2011

Hinterland of Canadian science.
Friday, April 15, 2011

New Digs
Friday, April 15, 2011
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JaniceF

I can't promise to be PG13. In fact I promise not to be PG13.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yesterday, at our weekly writing get-together, a fellow female postdoc, Phylofemme and I talked about one of the things that we thought women scientists were more prone to than men scientists - the need to explain yourself.  Or as I like to call it bean'splaining.

Bean'splaining is not the same as "mansplaining."  For those of you who don't know -  mansplaining is word for men who "delight in condescending, inaccurate explanations delivered with rock solid confidence of rightness and that slimy certainty that, of course he's right, because he is the man in the conversation." (Urban Dictionary).

This is the exact opposite.  A bean'splainer provides unnecessary and detailed personal information that justifies a particular behaviour or lack of action.  We felt that women were more prone to this than men - of course this was based on a depauperate sample size (N=5).

An extreme example of bean'splaining could be something like this, your former supervisor writes you an email regarding data for a manuscript and it takes you a week or so to write him/her back.  In the email that you eventually write, you say something like the following:

"Dear Dr. Dr.:

I'm sorry I haven't been able to get you that data, but last week was crazy.  On Monday, I had to wait for a plummer to come and deal with a backed up toilet (can you say shitstorm?), Tuesday the balcony on our apartment gave way and crashed onto the sidewalk below (no one was hurt), Wednesday my cat had an altercation with the neighbourhood skunk and I had to take her to the vet.  Sadly, on the way to the vet, I was hit when turning left at the signal and the car was totalled.  I'm okay but my cat is dead.  At this point, I won't be able to get you that data for at least another week.

Warmly,

TMI"

Bean'splaining can be as simple as - you are asked to give a seminar but as it happens you are busy that day.  And instead of simply responding unfortunately, I'm busy that day.  You explain why you are busy.  Obviously in some cases explanations are required but we both felt that we shouldn't for the most part have to explain ourselves. Shit happens and we're busy.

To up the ante, every time one us bean'splains, we owe the other a beer.

What do you folks think, is there gender bias in this type of behaviour?  Secondly, how do you view an individual who bean'splains?

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Blog Comments
Barefoot Doctoral

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This is something my partner constantly gets on my case about. He usually responds with something along the lines of "sorry, I got eaten by a grue. I'll get it to you tomorrow," while I usually spend a long time agonizing about how not to write the above example e-mail.

I've noticed a lot of male academics do this as well. But I tend to think of it as a feminine trait.

scientistmother

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I think FSP once commented that  when a dad academics is leaving early to attend their kids function they will say they can not attend a mtg and leave it at that, while the mom-academics will explain they have to attend a kids function.  I know I bean'splain alot before and am now consciously trying not to.


Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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I used to do this a lot too.  I quit somewhere in the middle of graduate school though once I realized that I shouldn't feel guilty for having a life outside of lab.


Dr. Girlfriend
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I have to make a deliberate effort not to do it. Now I acutally find it quite empowering not to explain myself.


JaniceF
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I figured it was a trait that highlighted a person's lack of confidence.   Perhaps the reason it may seem like a female trait is that men are much better at hiding their insecurities/ imposter feelings.   The good news is that I find I'm explaining myself less and less.   Although I used to do what you did Barefoot Doctoral, spending hours agonizing over an email, phone calls, interactions etc.  I don't have time for that anymore.  Now -  its take me as I am or just frac right off.

Alyson Kelvin

Guest Comment

This is an interesting discussion.  Someone pointed this out to me while I was doing me PhD.  Now I make it a point never to appologize, as that was the first sentence in your email and would have been in mine.  I don't know if this is gender related but in science my rule is to just get it done.


Alchemystress
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Same here I catch myself doing it all the time. This is what I am doing and why I am not working hard enough etc etc.. but better like today for example, I left at 3pm said goodbye and will email protocols to my undergrads tonight... enough said. But I tend to do it.. but I also had a boss that assumed everything that took you from work was deligtful fun and should be stopped... :) Nice Post!

 

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