Tonight, I went to a presentation about a newish medication for women. I arrived excited and left annoyed. Here's everything the presenter did to offend and alienate an audience of his peers:
  1. 1) Make borderline sophomoric jokes during the lecture.
    Listen, dude, I appreciate a funny speaker. But if you're not a woman with personal experiences to share and/or you don't show a whole lot of empathy for women's health issues, then your "jokes" aren't going to go over well with this crowd. You're not chatting with hospital bros on the golf course.
  2. 2) Say, "Well, I'm just a dumb OB/GYN..." when interpreting scientific data.
    My immediate reaction was: "Fuck you. I'm an OB/GYN and I DO NOT THINK I'M DUMB." I get trying to be self-deprecating, but you don't need to "dumb this down" for me or anyone else in this room. And by the way, the radiologist, ophthalmologist, and allergist sitting next to me were not amused by that statement either.
  3. 3) Say, "I can't tell you how many men have told me I've saved their sex life" when you're giving a talk about a medication to treat vaginal atrophy in *women*.
    Did I hear that right? I mean, you're an OB/GYN, FFS! Your patients are WOMEN. You're supposed to be committed to WOMEN'S health. What about what your FEMALE patients say about their sex life?? You disappoint me, sir.
  4. My thoughts:
    This guy is a rare, unfortunate exception to the many empathetic and respectful male OB/GYNs I know. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn't intend to be offensive, but isn't that part of the problem? His mindset that women's health is less prestigious made him put down his own intelligence. It made him suggest a woman's quality of sexual health is only a product of her male partner's satisfaction. Whether he's aware of it or not, this a dangerously unhelpful attitude.