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Field Museum science show host airs her frustration about sexist comments

Graslie talks about negative comments posted her videos. Emily Graslie is chief curiosity correspondent Field Museum vlogs YouTube her BraScoop

Graslie talks about the negative comments posted on her videos. Emily Graslie is the chief curiosity correspondent at the Field Museum and vlogs on YouTube on her Brain Scoop channel.

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Updated: January 6, 2014 12:54PM



On a recent episode of her online show, “The Brain Scoop,” the Field Museum’s Chief Curiosity Correspondent Emily Graslie giggles when she learns how some male fruit bats try to impress the opposite sex.

“’Cause nothing gets me going like a bunch of honking males all soliciting the ladies,” she jokes.

The spunky, 20-something science show host wasn’t joking when she went online last week to blast the sexist “honking” coming from some of the males of her own species.

In a piece that’s made international headlines, Graslie rails against those viewers who care more about her looks than her science.

“Don’t get me wrong — the overwhelming majority of the comments I receive are positive and encouraging,” Graslie told viewers of a show that also attracts a large number of budding girl scientists. “But there [is] a lot of nastiness I have to deal with on a daily basis.”

Here’s one: “Emily, even though the clothes you’re wearing kind of disguise it, you look like you might be pretty hot under them. Perhaps you should consider racier clothing.”

Graslie, who has about 180,000 subscribers, told the Chicago Sun-Times that she made the video as a way to both air her frustrations and to respond to young women interested in science who have asked her how she deals with discrimination.

Graslie said she’s received hundreds of comments — mostly supportive — from everyday folks to CEOs.

“I’ve had men apologize to me on behalf of their entire gender,” she said of the video, which has been online about a week.

As expected, she’s also had her critics.

“You get people saying I’m fighting a losing battle, that I should turn off the comments and ignore them, that I’m whining,” Graslie said. “They don’t seem to have a very valid argument. A lot of them are coming from men, saying I’m too sensitive.”

Graslie doesn’t seem like the sensitive type. Her show, which often features her peeking into places where most Field visitors aren’t allowed to go, once had her skinning a dead wolf.

And viewers shouldn’t expect future episodes to feature Graslie in something racier.

“Why would I do that?” said Graslie, whose attire might be described as modestly quirky. “I don’t care about views as much as I care about being a positive role model for young women.”

Email: sesposito@suntimes.com

Twitter: @slesposito



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