Well, it looks like even wise, feminist, forward-thinking Sweden isn't immune to embarrassing faux pas. Today, in the ultimate act of infographic mansplaining, the Nobel Prize in Stockholm congratulated itself (via its official Twitter feed) for awarding all those female Nobel Laureates. All 49 of them. Because nothing says "Happy National Women's Day" quite like reminding the Twittersphere that the Nobel Prize has been awarded to a man 787 more times than it's been awarded to a woman.
But the Nobel Prize Twitter didn't actually remind us of that, of course. It simply applauded that paltry number — and, yes, celebrated those 49 women for their (truly remarkable) accomplishments. Luckily, British astrophysicist and Star Trek science critic (speaking of truly remarkable accomplishments) Rachael Livermore was there to fill in the other side of the representation coin.
Ouch. I mean, how many Nobel Laureates in that sea of little yellow man-graphics had the help of a woman along the way? How many of them, oh, I don't know, ever took credit for a tiny bit of that woman's work? We may never know, but the first Nobel Prize was awarded in 1901, and we all know how great things were for working women back then.
The Nobel tweet did acknowledge the prize's less-than-stellar past in terms of gender equality, saying "Glad it looks better in the last decades!" Translation: There have been 19 female Nobel Laureates in the past 15 years; in the prize's first 60 years, there were 12. Yes, this is "better," but are these really numbers to shout about? Livermore sent a second tweet that called bullshit.
"At this rate of progress, the Nobel Prize will reach equality in the year 2628." This here English major is getting pathetically dizzy trying to fact-check that math, but Livermore is an astrophysicist, so I believe her, okay? And that stat is certainly a bummer.
I wish I could say the Nobel Prize sent some sort of redeeming tweet to acknowledge the gaffe, but alas, nothing. The organisation even sent a later tweet patting itself on the back for awarding "12 Nobel Medicine Women" in all 116 years. Twelve whole lady doctors?! Wow.