Friday 24 May 2024

Hey, That's My Name Being Sullied

    The other day I was reading an article from Wired Magazine on my iPad.  It was entitled “Women at the Bottom of the World”, about the abuse dumped on women scientists who travel to do work in Antarctica.  The piece started out telling the story of Jane Willenbring, a 22 year old women working on her Masters in Earth Science at Boston University.  

    She went on a 4 person expedition to Antarctica led by her famous professor of Geology.  The experience turned out to be a nightmare for Willenbring.  In Antarctica, her egotistical and vain professor turned out to be an abusive and cruel jerk.  One of the four people along on the expedition was not even a scientist, it was the brother of the professor, who he had brought along “for fun”.  The professor only provided 3 tents for the 4 people and expected Willenbring to share a tent with his brother.  When she asked why he couldn’t share a tent with his brother, he replied, “Because he likes you.”

    There was a lot more cruelty an abuse to come for Willenbring, but the thing that really shocked me was when I read the name of the professor.  It was David Marchant.  WHAT????

    I was incensed that this jerk had the same name as me.  Somehow that didn’t seem right that someone with my name had acted so callously and cruel toward others, especially women.

    Throughout the 70+ years of my life, my name seemed to be “my” name, a name I tried to always be associated with “good” and “kindness”.  I knew of course that there were other people in the world with the same name, but finding out that the name was also claimed by such a despicable person as this professor was upsetting.  I just hope that all of the other David Marchants out there are honorable people.

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