Here's why that Business Insider article is a putrid festering load of bullcrap nobody needs or wants:
As I've previously blogged, Ruth Oldenziel (in Making Technology Masculine) told us how and why women who love technology require an explanation, but men who love technology are just being masculine. She's the first! She's unusual! She's an exception! But she still makes cupcakes! Or looks hawt!
And as I blogged so many years ago the link will take forever to load from an ancient blogging platform, there's a difference when dudes go beefcake on a pinup calendar versus women scientists doing cheesy cheescake pinups to "encourage" young girls in science, however the hell that mechanism is supposed to work:
What's the difference between the Flame Calendar and the IT Screen Goddess calendar?
- Beefy lad with long hose = Very, very macho man = Very competent firefighter
- Nekkid lady with rose petals = Male erection = Yeah baby, I'll give IT to you all night long
And that asymmetry, my children, is patriarchy in action. And that's why posing for fancy whore calendars is not and will never be a positive step for women in science and engineering, at least until the revolution comes.
And that, in a nutshell, is it: Business Insider Sexy Scientists adds cache to any dude scientists on the list (wow, he's an awesome scientist! and also hawt!) while stripping away the women's integrity and worth, reducing them to sex objects (okay, let's look at these babes and see if they're really all that and would I want to hit that.) It doesn't matter if you make your Sexxay Hawt Scientists list a rainbow of diversity, and gender balanced. Sexifying scientists does not and cannot function equally for men and women.
Any enterprise that aims to cash in on tropes of female sexxay hawtness as a way of "promoting" science is doomed from the start. Men can be anything and also be sexxay as one of many attributes. Women are supposed to be sexxay objects, first and foremost as their entire being. Even when they are doing something else. Like science. Singling out a subset of women to be labeled Extra Hawt & Sciency Too! is hideously damaging, insulting, and - say it with me - puke-worthy.
How many times, for how many years, will I have to write this post? I know. Forever.