Feminist Issues, Gunner Girls Shirt, Matt Taylor, Political Correctness, Rosetta Mission, Shirtgate, Social Justice Warriors
“Gunner Girls” Hawaiian shirt, sold out!
Sane people marveled world-wide as Social Justice Warriors ignored the fascinating story of mankind successfully landing a spacecraft on a comet and instead focused angry attention on the content of Astrophysicist Matt Taylor‘s Hawaiian shirt.
The Telegraph grumbled:
Political correctness officially went mad on November 14, 2014. It happened when Dr Matt Taylor, the man who helped put a rocket on a comet, choked back tears as he apologised for wearing a risquÃ© shirt. And thus absurdity hijacked a moment in history. While some of us were following Rosetta’s landing on Philae with wonder, others were apparently rather more interested in what the scientists were wearing. Itâ€™s almost as though they suffer from some ocular defect that makes it impossible to correctly identify wood when looking at trees. Although, to be fair, trees can be offensively phallic.
Atlantic tech writer Rose Eveleth: “No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt.” Astrophysicist Katie Mack: “I don’t care what scientists wear. But a shirt featuring women in lingerie isn’t appropriate for a broadcast if you care about women in science.â€ New York blogger, James DiGioia: â€œTechnology advances while society remains decidedly retrograde.â€
To remind you, Mr DiGioia is writing about a shirt. Not forced marriages in rural Pakistan but a guy wearing a tacky shirt with some ladies on it firing guns. And while that shirt was brutally occupying Mr DiGioiaâ€™s television screen like Germany invading Poland, a rocket was quietly touching down on a comet and making our dream of conquering the stars a little closer to reality. Wood? Trees? â€œYou say potato, I say patriarchy.â€
But Taylor was, of course, reduced to tearful apologies.
But the Washington Post’s Rachel Feltman was not satisfied with Taylor’s tears. She thinks he should come back and apologize some more and repeat publicly the politically correct message he has learned.
Of course, I personally hope that one day (when he’s a little less busy) Taylor will say a bit more on the subject, and show that he understands why the shirt wasn’t okay. Science is not a welcoming place for women, even today, and the only people who can truly make it more welcoming are the men who run the show. If a stellar scientist walks into work — and then says hello to the whole world — wearing a sexist shirt, what kind of message are we sending to future scientists?
Myself, I think it is appalling that an adult employed professionally as a scientist finding himself responsible to appear in public to address an international audience in connection with a historic scientific achievement has grown to adult years without any sense of personal dignity or knowledge of conventional etiquette, and thinks it proper to appear on television with a Hawaiian shirt (pretending to be a coat or sweater) layered over a polo shirt. And to top all this off, he is so far removed from the older model of the British gentleman, his upper lip is so lacking in stiffness, that he cries publicly over being criticized by crackpots. Jesus wept.
I will add, on the positive side, though, that though I don’t own or wear Hawaiian shirts, and would not be caught dead wearing one of them to a dogfight, as Hawaiian shirts go, I thought his was relatively cool.