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Home » Things that suck » Tell Someone “No”, Get Called a “Whore” – #StandingwithDNLee #batsignal

Tell Someone “No”, Get Called a “Whore” – #StandingwithDNLee #batsignal

Welcome to my blog!

Hello there, awesome reader. My name is Dr. 27. I'm older than that now, but I'm staying faithful to the origins of the blog.

This blog started 2 months before completing my PhD in a pretty southern university back in 2009. It was a way to practice my writing and take a break from all things thesis. My PhD is in a branch of structural biology where I studied some rather impressive stuff.

After completing the degree, I packed my life of 6 years in 3 days and moved to Canada to do a postdoc in a completely different field. Two years later, and after attending a lot of seminars, workshops and doing some much-needed soul-searching, I ended up getting out and looking for an alternative path to academia and industry.

The blog chronicles my mishaps, ideas, musings and tips on entering, staying and finishing grad school. It also talks about some (or a lot) of personal stuff. For a while, the blog became a place to talk about the frustrations of not knowing what to do after PhD. I wanted to explore alternatives to the traditional paths of research (academia, industry and goverment) whilst going back to my field of training (if at all possible). Eventually a job materialized. Follow my quest as I navigate the waters of being a staff scientist at a core facility.

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This is in support of dear tweep @DNLee5

This entry is partly a repost of Dr. Isis’ batsignal, but also I wanted to add a few words of my own. Even if I only get 100 peeps to read my blog on a regular basis, at least those 100 will get to see what to do when you get a request for guest blogging that for one reason or another doesn’t really jive.

I’ve gotten a few invitations to guest blog here and there. One of my fave ones was with the peeps of Scientopia. It forced me to write more often than I’m used to and I got lots of really great comments (I still do!). I love my Scientopia folks. I’ve also appeared on a few other forums (here and here), some which pay and some that don’t. But since I’ve now changed places to a position that’s keeping me super busy and on my toes more often than not, I don’t blog as often … and I haven’t guest blogged for anyone in a bit.

I was approached by the folks of biology-online sometime ago. I thought it was pure spam, since I’d never heard of them. I didn’t reply on their first try. I’ve been approached once or twice more, again. I still haven’t replied. And definitely, after DNLee’s experience with them, I ain’t giving them the light of day.

Whether your write about pure research, or share your experiences in grad school like I did, and others do, you should never, EVER, feel pressured or bad for saying no to a gig. Since I switched jobs earlier in the year, I made a point of not taking more unpaid gigs (unless the organization or group is something that truly aligns with what I believe and how I feel) … regardless of how awesome they sound, or how many viewers they promise to expose to my (not so awesome) musings. People and companies will approach you. And you are under no obligation to say yes … regardless of how much pressure they put or how flattered you feel. You have to do what helps you feel good, and comfortable. And more than anything, you can’t let people try to insult you or call you names, just because you say no.

Without further ado, here’s a repost of @DNLee5’s experience with a site no one has ever heard of, which tried to intimidate her and did insult her for saying no.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

wachemshe hao hao kwangu mtapoa

I got this wrap cloth from Tanzania. It’s a khanga. It was the first khanga I purchased while I was in Africa for my nearly 3 month stay for field research last year. Everyone giggled when they saw me wear it and then gave a nod to suggest, “Well, okay”. I later learned that it translates to “Give trouble to others, but not me”. I laughed, thinking how appropriate it was. I was never a trouble-starter as a kid and I’m no fan of drama, but I always took this 21st century ghetto proverb most seriously:

Don’t start none. Won’t be none.

For those not familiar with inner city anthropology – it is simply a variation of the Golden Rule. Be nice and respectful to me and I will do the same. Everyone doesn’t live by the Golden Rule it seems. (Click to embiggen.)

The Blog editor of Biology-Online dot org asked me if I would like to blog for them. I asked the conditions. He explained. I said no. He then called me out of my name.

My initial reaction was not civil, I can assure you. I’m far from rah-rah, but the inner South Memphis in me was spoiling for a fight after this unprovoked insult. I felt like Hollywood Cole, pulling my A-line T-shirt off over my head, walking wide leg from corner to corner yelling, “Aww hell nawl!” In my gut I felt so passionately:”Ofek, don’t let me catch you on these streets, homie!”

This is my official response:

It wasn’t just that he called me a whore – he juxtaposed it against my professional being: Are you urban scientist or an urban whore? Completely dismissing me as a scientist, a science communicator (whom he sought for my particular expertise), and someone who could offer something meaningful to his brand.What? Now, I’m so immoral and wrong to inquire about compensation? Plus, it was obvious me that I was supposed to be honored by the request..

After all, Dr. Important Person does it for free so what’s my problem? Listen, I ain’t him and he ain’t me. Folks have reasons – finances, time, energy, aligned missions, whatever – for doing or not doing things. Seriously, all anger aside…this rationalization of working for free and you’ll get exposure is wrong-headed. This is work. I am a professional. Professionals get paid. End of story. Even if I decide to do it pro bono (because I support your mission or I know you, whatevs) – it is still worth something. I’m simply choosing to waive that fee. But the fact is I told ol’ boy No; and he got all up in his feelings. So, go sit on a soft internet cushion, Ofek, ’cause you are obviously all butt-hurt over my rejection. And take heed of the advice on my khanga.

You don’t want none of this

Thanks to everyone who helped me focus my righteous anger on these less-celebrated equines. I appreciate your support, words of encouragement, and offers to ride down on his *$$.

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5 Comments

  1. thanks for reposting. I really appreciate the support!

  2. Reblogged this on allDigitocracy and commented:
    Black female scientist and writer refuses to blog for free, editor allegedly calls her “an urban whore”

  3. Andrew says:

    We are posting the story. They need to apologize!

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