Nobel Prize-winning British biochemist Sir Tim Hunt made an epic faux pas recently while addressing a room full of female scientists and science journalists at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul, South Korea.
In his speech he said that there should be gender-segregated labs because girls can be distracting. "Let me tell you about my trouble with girls," he blundered, "Three things happen when they are in the lab...You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry.”
The statement was met by a collective "Whaaaaa?" from the audience and pretty much everyone who isn't a chauvinist or lives by Victorian values.
And then came the backlash after his comments went viral when journalist and academic Connie St Louis tweeted what he said.
It resulted in the the 72-year-old resigning from his position at University College London (UCL). He later apologised for his remarks saying they were meant to be taken as a joke, but then stood by the bit about having trouble with girls.
Many women took to twitter to express annoyance at Hunt's statement, which is especially unwelcome in an industry often accused of entrenched sexism and an unequal balance of gender, most notably in top positions.
So a hashtag was born in protest. Vagenda magazine suggested women upload pictures of themselves at work using #DistractinglySexy. And upload they did.