His Shirt? That’s What You Paid Attention To?! (A Response to Chris Plante and Arielle Duhaime-Ross)

Unbelievable.  Un-fucking-believable.  You know, I’ve come to understand something about modern feminism.  It’s the new name for the Puritans.  These people are so prudish, so sexist, so utterly intolerant of anything that they don’t agree with, that they will go after ANYONE who they see as having done them wrong.  They’ll turn on their own, if they step out of line.  It doesn’t matter to them.  Context and reasons be damned.  If they don’t like it, you’re ass is grass.  And nowhere is this on display more than in an article that talks about a scientific milestone, that Chris Plante and Arielle Duhaime-Ross decided to “report” on.  You know, because they’re “journalists.”  In that vague, not really, sort of way.

For those who didn’t know, the European Space Agency landed a craft on a comet.  This is the first time that something like this has been done, and it was a scientific accomplishment, and those involved should be proud of what they have done.  However, two “journalists” decided that they didn’t agree.  See, they decided that they were going to focus their attention on something totally unrelated.  What, you ask?  Why, the man who was interviewed and his shirt!  I wanted this to be a parody.  I wanted this to be satire.  But it’s not.  This is a real thing.  Here’s the article, so you can see for yourself.  Let’s highlight some tidbits.

Yesterday the European Space Agency landed the Philae spacecraft on a comet, a powerful step forward for humanity and science alike. However, slightly before the big moment, coverage of the event reminded us how much progress remains to be accomplished back on Earth.

Alright, let’s hear it.

A number of the scientists involved on this incredible project were interviewed in the hours leading to contact by Nature Newsteam. One of those Rosetta scientists was Matt Taylor, who chose to dress, for this special occasion, in a bowling shirt covered in scantly clad caricatures of sexy women in provocative poses.

You know, something that Christina Sommers, AKA The Factual Feminist, covered is that, for a long time, people have gone after the sexual proclivities of women and the LGBT community.  That is wrong.  But now, we’ve got the reverse happening.  Now, modern feminism has decided to make sport of straight male sexual desires.  Why?  How are you all negatively being affected by this?  Yeah, maybe that shirt wasn’t the most appropriate, but I didn’t see a single naked boob or female part in that clip.  So what’s the problem?  If there is no nudity, how does the fact that he likes a shirt with sexy women wrong?  Please, explain this to me.

No one knows why Taylor chose to wear that shirt on television during a massive scientific mission. From what we can tell, a woman who goes by the name of Elly Prizeman on Twitter made the shirt for him, and is just as bewildered as he must be that anyone might be upset about her creation.

Wait!  Stop right there!  The shirt was a gift?  From a friend?  I looked into that person, and the shirt was a gift and that guy is her friend.  And it was a woman who gave it to him.  So, you’re about to go on about how this demeans women, when a woman gave this to him.  I just love how you fucking idiots claim to speak for women, when there is a woman right here who doesn’t agree with you!  How do you deal with that cognitive dissonance?!

This is the sort of casual misogyny that stops women from entering certain scientific fields. They see a guy like that on TV and they don’t feel welcome. They see a poster of greased up women in a colleague’s office and they know they aren’t respected. They hear comments about “bitches” while out at a bar with fellow science students, and they decide to change majors.

Wow.  You all are amazing.  You literally just made an assertion that ALL scientific fields are filled with misogynists who do nothing but ogle the women there.  You made this man out to be a “casual misogynist,” when the truth is that you don’t know the first thing about him!  Other than the fact that he wore a shirt that a female friend made for him.

I hate people who generalize.  These two “journalists” make it seem like all those scientists are a bunch of neckbeards, who go on about “bitches” and women like they’re objects all day.  Yes, because a well-educated scientists sounds like the EXACT kind of person they’re describing.  Not some redneck, blue-collar worker.  That sit right with you?  Do you see scientists being a bunch of women-hating dicks?  Or is this a caricature that they made?

And those are the women who actually make it that far. Those are the few who persevered even when they were discouraged from pursuing degrees in physics, chemistry, and math throughout high school. These are the women who forged on despite the fact that they were told by elementary school classmates and the media at large that girls who like science are nerdy and unattractive. This is the climate women who dream of working at NASA or the ESA come up against, every single day. This shirt is representative of all of that, whether Taylor meant it to be or not.

What?!  Are you kidding me?!  Where is it that women are told that they shouldn’t like science?  I have NEVER heard a woman who I know be told that.  I keep seeing these cool scientist female characters on TV shows, who know that they are bosses and aren’t afraid to show off.  Where is this society that women are being told not to be smart?  Do you all just watch MTV and take it at face value?  Or maybe you watch Penny on The Big Bang Theory and take that as a representation of what all women in science are like.

Though, given you clear lack of understanding about the scientific community, do to all that great “research” that you have links to…oh, wait, you don’t.  You don’t have a SINGLE piece of corroborating evidence that women feel unwanted in science.  If you’re going to make a bold claim, it would help if you could back it up.  Otherwise, it just looks like you’re caricaturing this field.  Again.

By the way – if you want people to get into NASA, here’s an idea – get the government to actually fund them.  It kills me that some of the great female astronauts would probably want to raise their pimp-hand and smack you idiots in the face.

Update: The amazingly talented Arielle Duhaime-Ross added some powerful thoughts to this piece that I wish I’d included when it was originally published.

Because if you don’t tell them how awesome they are, they might cry.

This article pisses me off.  They not only caricature this man, but his ENTIRE field, based on what evidence?  What links?  What studies?  What anything?  Oh, right, nothing.  They have no corroborating evidence to back up their claims that women feel unwanted in scientific employment.  They paint these scientists as having “casual misogyny.”  They are claiming that these people hate women.  That’s what misogyny means.  Hatred of women.

This is what modern Twitter and Tumblr feminism is.  It takes buzzwords that they know will ignite their audience and feeds it to them in just the ways that they want.  Just call someone a misogynist, and the narrative is set.  Then, it isn’t about proving your point anymore.  It’s on the person you’re attacking to defend themselves.  You call that journalism, Verge?  This is the caliber of “reporting” that you endorse?!  Lazy, yellow, ideologically-driven editorializing!  That’s what this is!  As a student who is about to graduate with a degree in journalism, I CANNOT stand that this is what this field has become!  It’s lazy, it’s easy, it ignores scrutiny by moderating comments, and it pisses me the fuck off!  Fuck this bias horseshit!

And to the ESA, well-done.  You’ve made a milestone in the history of science.  Excellent work.

Until next time, a quote,

“And I want everyone to remember why they need us!”  -Chancellor Adam Sutler, V or Vendetta

Peace out,

Maverick

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2 thoughts on “His Shirt? That’s What You Paid Attention To?! (A Response to Chris Plante and Arielle Duhaime-Ross)

  1. agreed in all ways.
    its totally prudish. there’s a little bit of shoulder or thigh showing.
    That isn’t misogyny. MAYBE if the woman was baking or saying math hurts my head or .. anything that shows some signal of incompetence, lack of worth / skill, or something negative at all.

  2. Agree totally. I was much put out by the fact that the guy apologized for wearing the shirt and insulting all these people. He should have stood his ground and said listen, this shirt was given to me by a femal friend as a gift, no nudity involved, go and be a crybaby somewhere else.

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