What a surprise to learn that the talent of women for locating objects while shopping comes not from years of experience of domestic chores while our menfolk go hunting for the latest electronics, but from an innate ability to access “womanspace” in parallel universes (626; 2011). Perhaps this explains why our gender is so poorly represented in engineering and the physical sciences — we have been operating under an entirely different set of physical principles. Nature 477,
Joking aside, it is hard to laugh off implications that routine domestic duties involve mysterious rites known only to women, and that only men are reliable observers who can make scientific discoveries.
Rybicki's story reflects the pernicious prejudice that biology inherently limits women's success at the highest levels of government, business and science. In our view, it is distasteful to publish fiction that promulgates such sexist notions, even if it was written tongue-in-cheek. We should instead be encouraging the dissolution of the last bastions of 'manspace'.