She is considered a top expert on the subject of coronavirus: Virologist Sandra Ciesek. In alternation with Christian Drosten, Ciesek has been giving her assessment of the current situation of the pandemic in the Corona Podacst of the “NDR” since September.
Now the head of the virological institute at the Frankfurt University Hospital has been appointed for the current issue of Mirrors interviewed. But just the questions at the beginning of the conversation cause public outrage. Because: Ciesek is not asked about her expertise as a virologist at all; instead, it is first about her role as a woman.
“Spiegel” interview: “Do you realize that you are the quota woman?”
So the first question of the two “Spiegel” authors is: “Do you realize that you are the quota woman?” Ciesek reacts confidently in the interview: “Hmm, difficult question. I do believe that the NDR would like to have a wife. But viewed soberly, I hold exactly the same position as Mr. Drosten. I run a virological institute at a large university. I don’t have to hide. “
The provocative introduction was followed by a remark, at which the reader can again get the feeling that Ciesek is being belittled.
“Christian Drosten has developed into a pop star over the last few months, who has now also been awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, 1st class. You, on the other hand, are ‘the new one at Drosten’s side,’ ”the virologist heard.
Even after this sometimes angled entry, the tone does not become friendlier. “Your first podcast episodes sounded a little like community college. Do you want to make it more exciting in the future? ”Is the third question.
Ciesek: “I was also irritated by the provocative questions and their meaning”
After violent reactions on social media, the interviewee herself expressed her surprise on “Twitter” at the course of the conversation: “I’m a bit overwhelmed by the waves the interview is making. I was also irritated by the provocative questions and their meaning. Intimidation? Headlines? In any case, leads to the fact that women continue to withdraw from such things. Was that the mission? ”
The “Zeit” journalist Alice Bota became clearer: “‘The quota woman’, ‘The new one on Drosten’s side’ is the director of the Institute for Medical Virology at the University Hospital in Frankfurt. By the way, women asked questions.”
Meanwhile, sociologist Jutta Allmendinger was talking about the “underground” questions: “These are underground questions of the mirror. The proven stereotypes against women do not stop at an outstanding scientist. They will only subside when we see more women in management positions. Persevere ! ”
The rather conservative journalist Birgitt Kelle adopted a similar tone. She spoke of a “cheek” on the part of the “mirror”: “Strictly speaking, it’s a cheek how the mirror tries to degrade you to a quota woman, as if you didn’t have the job because of your skills. Classic example of how women look make sacrifices to other women in order to exploit it. “
Overall, many users show little understanding for the provocative questions:
“Ms. Prof. Ciesek, I think the Spiegel’s questions are impossible. Your colleagues in the press department should” protect “you from such questions. Stay true to yourself and continue to contribute your expertise! You are one of the most competent voices in the Pandemic”
“Dear mirror nice that you@CiesekSandrainterview, it definitely needs serious virologists & real expertise in the media. But the question about “quota woman” to a professor at a large German university? Really now?!”