Mikey blew his chance royally as once he was invited to start the conversation, his opening line was: "So what are you, like the receptionist?"
A planetary scientist who worked for NASA had to call out a man she matched with on a dating app after he, in peak sexist fashion, "joked" that she was probably "the receptionist." Dr. Lauren McKeown, a lecturer in planetary surfaces from Ireland who previously worked at the NASA space center in California, took to Twitter a few years ago to share the cringeworthy exchange. Pointing to the definitely-not-funny conversation, she wrote: "And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am single." She also revealed how she fired back at the failed flirtation attempt with a response that's sure to have left a lasting impression on him.
McKeown shared two screenshots of her conversation with a man identified only as Mikey on the dating app Hinge after he left a comment on her profile where she mentions the part about having worked for NASA. "That's cool, wait 'til I tell my parents," Mikey wrote, following which McKeown invited him to start a conversation with her, an option within the app that lets users tell other people that they are open to talking to them. However, Mikey blew his chance royally as once he was invited to start the conversation, his opening line was: "So what are you, like the receptionist?"
Seemingly harboring gross misconceptions about his own supposed charm, he added: "[Just kidding] you look reasonably smart." Although most women would have responded to sexist Mikey with a few choice words, Dr. McKeown was polite enough to refrain from it. Instead, she wrote: "Smart enough to know at least, that judging a woman's intelligence based on her appearance might not be the best way to initiate conversation. P.S. my mother is a primary school receptionist and is the wisest, most inspirational, and kindest person I know. So much so in fact, my Ph.D. thesis in planetary science is dedicated to her."
On Friday I passed my PhD viva! Thanks so much to all of #academictwitter (everyone else is in my 6 pages of acknowledgements) 😂 This little online community of support has been invaluable. Here’s the newly announced Dr Lauren with my incredible advisor @megafloods 👩🏻🔬👩🏼🔬 pic.twitter.com/afGeIujTgM— Dr Lauren Mc Keown (@mclaurenseries) February 20, 2019
As you can imagine, the Twitterverse had a whole lot to say about the cringey exchange. "I think Mikey has a case of 'fragile male ego which cannot handle a smart and awesome woman being superior to him,'" wrote @ThisisLLN. "It doesn't sound like Mikey has realized that women are also human beings," commented @ZacTrolley to which McKeown replied: "I think it's something we don't talk about much on here - that people still THINK it’s a compliment to imply your appearance doesn't align with 'how a scientist looks.' The most infuriating part is this guy probably thought he was implying I looked good by that statement."
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am single 🤦🏼♀️ pic.twitter.com/E3XHNLZXan— Dr Lauren Mc Keown (@mclaurenseries) August 14, 2019
"Simultaneously insulting everything I've worked for, scientists HE might not deem conventionally attractive, and hardworking people who might not be academic, but could trump me and him in other ways," she added. Meanwhile, there were also some who attempted to defend Mikey. "He was just trying to neg you. Clearly, he's not good at it," tweeted @fabgenovese. McKeown, a clear expert in shutting down such sexist behavior, responded with a solid burn. "Ah, so there's another term for putting someone down and thinking that will attract them.. the only one I could think of was Narcissism," she wrote.
No, it’s why you’re smart. The right one will come along. 💛— Lauren Cooney✨ (@lcooney) August 15, 2019
How's he the product of millions of years of evolution?— Hassan I. Osman, MBBS (MD) (@HIsmailOsman) August 15, 2019
Sorry you had to deal with that. Absolutely reprehensible behavior.
I could apologize for my gender but it's a human being problem.— 🏳️🌈 TLTD Adam 🏳️🌈 (@tltd_adam) August 15, 2019
Sorry you have to tolerate such ignorance.
Have a great day! pic.twitter.com/8lIfraQYFO
Some women also shared their own experiences with having worked at NASA and the sexist experiences they've had to go endure because of it. "Ugh. Once had a guy break up with me after I gave him a tour of where I was working on a Mars mission because he said he thought I was lying about working for NASA and he has to be the smarter one in the relationship. Wtf," revealed @PlanetaryKeri. "When I started working at a new NASA facility, someone assumed I needed directions and I was pointed in the direction of the gift shop..," tweeted @megsylhydrazine.
Yikes. Hinge has a zero tolerance policy for behavior like this. We're on it. And while we're at it, your next Hinge date is on us. DM us! We hope you find someone worth deleting Hinge for soon.— Hinge (@hinge) August 15, 2019