Author Topic: #Shirtstorm  (Read 7942 times)

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Offline Tolpuddle Martyr

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2014, 03:57:29 pm »

I didn't see any misogynistic slogans or anything on that shirt.

And besides, it was a gift from a female friend of his.  A gift she made herself.

Yeah, and the female gender has those magical sexism anulling powers, really it doesn't.

The main complaint of his critics, which were pretty mild, was that wearing a shirt using women literally as objects of decoration sent an unintended message to women wanting to enter, and those currently working in STEM fields because he was wearing it while making an announcement about a significant scientific discovery.

Don't get me wrong, the guy is clearly several different types of awesome-he landed a rocket on a freaking comet. I just think he received some justifiable rebukes because it wasn't the right place or time to be wearing that shirt!

Offline Ironchew

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2014, 04:37:31 pm »
Er, didn't this guy choose to apologize? I see no evidence that his job was at risk or he was at risk, just that people complained about a tacky shirt and he said sorry for it.

Isn't rushing to defend him sort of the essence of white knighting?

I'm *this close* to not giving a shit about it, except PZ and co. said the apology wasn't enough. I don't particularly mind how the whole thing was handled except the social justice contingent getting angry post-apology. Once they have anyone marked as the other, they will not accept anything he does to apologize.
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Offline davedan

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2014, 04:41:28 pm »
Isn't the suggestion by PZ Meyers that the people running the mission should apologise too, rather than just the guy with the shirt.

Having said that, he wore a shirt, he received some fairly mild criticism for the shirt, he chose to apologise, his friend who made the shirt has apparently sold lots of them. I no longer care and want to hear more about the landing on the comet.

Offline Ultimate Paragon

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2014, 05:02:32 pm »

I didn't see any misogynistic slogans or anything on that shirt.

And besides, it was a gift from a female friend of his.  A gift she made herself.

Yeah, and the female gender has those magical sexism anulling powers, really it doesn't.

The main complaint of his critics, which were pretty mild, was that wearing a shirt using women literally as objects of decoration sent an unintended message to women wanting to enter, and those currently working in STEM fields because he was wearing it while making an announcement about a significant scientific discovery.

Don't get me wrong, the guy is clearly several different types of awesome-he landed a rocket on a freaking comet. I just think he received some justifiable rebukes because it wasn't the right place or time to be wearing that shirt!

Was it really necessary to bully him to the point that he broke down crying?

And you really think it was about women in science?  No, they were just looking for an excuse to be offended.  In fact, they're actually hurting science by saying that something as banal and superficial as a few spots of skin on a shirt is more worthy of attention than a spacecraft landing on a comet for the first time in human history.

Offline ironbite

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2014, 05:33:33 pm »
He apologized for wearing the shirt.  That should be the end of the story.

Ironbite-not, "Oh let's go hound this guy forever!"

Offline Second Coming of Madman

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2014, 05:47:31 pm »
Er, didn't this guy choose to apologize? I see no evidence that his job was at risk or he was at risk, just that people complained about a tacky shirt and he said sorry for it.

Isn't rushing to defend him sort of the essence of white knighting?

I'm *this close* to not giving a shit about it, except PZ and co. said the apology wasn't enough. I don't particularly mind how the whole thing was handled except the social justice contingent getting angry post-apology. Once they have anyone marked as the other, they will not accept anything he does to apologize.

I'm with Ironchew.
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Offline Murdin

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2014, 06:28:53 pm »
Another moral panic that emerges from the Social Justice crowd and their reactionary counterparts, brought to you by sensationalistic journalism and blind partisanship.

One one hand, all this outrage about a freaking shirt reeks of puritanical indignation. I'm not really blaming Rose Eveleth for posting the tweet that started it all, or the polemic within "women in science" circles, but rather the opportunists who later jumped on the bandwagon. They are the ones who turned a snide comment into a humourless self-righteous crusade against inappropriateness.

On the other hand... every article I've read on the subject, from the Washington Post to Slate to Tumblr, depicts him as a symptom at worst, never as an enemy. Meanwhile, I'm not aware of any actual harassment happening to him behind the scenes. Due to the sheer scale of the backlash, this does qualify as a depraved lack of care for the life and reputation of an innocent man turned public scapegoat. But this is not bullying. You can't put mean-spirited criticism and actual threats on the same bag.

I wonder what Dr. Taylor think about the assholes who are now harassing, doxxing, or otherwise trying to ruin the lives of overzealous women and teenage girls in his name. For some reason, I don't think this is making him feel any better about the situation.


I'm *this close* to not giving a shit about it, except PZ and co. said the apology wasn't enough. I don't particularly mind how the whole thing was handled except the social justice contingent getting angry post-apology. Once they have anyone marked as the other, they will not accept anything he does to apologize.

The comments section is as terrible as can be expected from Pharyngula, but PZ himself isn't asking more from Taylor. He wants the ESA and society at large to take measures for female inclusion. Preachy, sure, but not really mean-spirited.


In any case, here are some funny links to lighten up the mood.

The irony at the end of this article is killing me. This is like Stalin and Hitler calling each other enemies of peace, freedom and the common good.

And now for something completely different... Oh, Daily Fail, you manage to make the HuffPo look professional. Please never change.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 06:41:19 pm by Murdin »

Offline Tolpuddle Martyr

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2014, 06:49:12 pm »
Who honestly gives a toss what PZ wants? I'd be surprised if he was satisfied with a public apology.

Also criticism=/=bullying. The guy was told his shirt wasn't appropriate. He said sorry. End of story.

Funny how the people getting outragrd at this aren't equally outraged at the tidal waves of intrusive public attention directed at every wardrobe malfunction made by female public figures ever!

Offline lord gibbon

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2014, 06:53:22 pm »
Whatever happened to PZ, anyway? I'm pretty sure he wasn't always a joke.
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Offline Murdin

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2014, 06:57:21 pm »
Who honestly gives a toss what PZ wants? I'd be surprised if he was satisfied with a public apology.

I'm almost as surprised as you are, but PZ is at least pretenting to be over him.

Also criticism=/=bullying. The guy was told his shirt wasn't appropriate. He said sorry. End of story.

... that was my point, really  :-\ Sorry if I wasn't clear enough about it.

Whatever happened to PZ, anyway? I'm pretty sure he wasn't always a joke.

Elevatorgate happened.

Offline mythbuster43

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2014, 07:25:24 pm »
Oh God, the Glenn Reynolds article. Christ, that man is the human personification of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, the perfect combination of ignorance and smugness.

This whole shirt controversy reminds me of the brouhaha some morons had over the Super Bowl Coca-Cola ads back in February. I honestly can't understand why the human race chooses to get so pissed off over such minor unimportant things.


Offline Sigmaleph

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2014, 08:12:12 pm »
And you really think it was about women in science?  No, they were just looking for an excuse to be offended.

A decent share of the people complaining about the shirt were, y'know, women in science.

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If you think this is just complaining from wannabes who can’t hold a candle to someone who just landed a probe on a comet, you’re wrong. Talk to my friend, the cosmologist Katie Mack. Or the planetary scientist Sarah Horst. Or geologist Mika McKinnon. Or planetary geologist Emily Lakdawalla. Or radio astronomer Nicole Gugliucci. Or professor and science communicator extraordinaire Pamela Gay. Or Carolyn Porco, who worked on the Voyager mission and is the leader of the Cassini imaging team, the space probe that’s been orbiting Saturn for over a decade now.

(source).

Were there people who were just jumping on the latest internet outrage? Sure. But you of all people I would expect to be wary of judging a group by its worst members.

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In fact, they're actually hurting science by saying that something as banal and superficial as a few spots of skin on a shirt is more worthy of attention than a spacecraft landing on a comet for the first time in human history.

Anyone who did in fact say so would be wrong. Never seen anyone say it, though.
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Offline Lt. Fred

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2014, 01:21:01 am »
What if he wore an anti-semitic shirt? Would it have been legitimate to be angry about that? Or is there some bubble in time that prevents discussion of that, also?

Apples and potatoes.  Dude's wearing a shirt with depictions of women he finds attractive, not a shirt with a massive swastika on it or one covered in A. Wyatt Mann comics.  There's a rather VAST distance between the two that makes the Grand Canyon look like a pig wallow.

But the principle is the same. People would be mad about an anti-semitic shirt because it degrades Jews. People were mad about this shirt because it degrades women, in their opinion. You might think it is more acceptable to degrade women, but that's a matter of opinion.

PZ Myer's blog seems to make sense, to me. Remember, here are the three things that need to be done beyond apologising

It’s a good first step. But there’s more that needs to be done, since Matt Taylor is only a small part of the problem.

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There’s clearly a problem at ESA that allowed this to happen — somebody should have said, “Whoa, Matt — you’re not going in front of the cameras looking like that.” The administration needs to speak up, too, and confess their failure.

There needs to be more commitment to equality and diversity. It’s all well and good to say you’re sorry after you screw up, but it’s more important to have an active program of support for women and minorities in science…and by reputation, engineering-heavy enterprises are particularly in need of a culture shift.

And finally, there’s a problem that can’t be pinned on Taylor or his bosses: our internet assholes. The reaction was far worse than the shirt, with, for example, @roseveleth getting goddamned death threats for a sarcastic remark. We had our own share here of ponderous, tedious, clueless guys expressing their inability to understand how having soft porn pictures all over your mission leader’s clothing might possibly create a chilly work climate for the women on the team.

Which of those is outrageous or offensive? The third isn't even a thing anyone needs to do; he's basically just saying be nicer on the internet.

In short, he wants 1) an apology from the team as a whole to women who might have been offended by a degrading porn shirt, and 2) general benign feminist reform.

This is not crazy. This is not idiotic attention-seeking social justice silliness. This is sense.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 01:35:34 am by Lt. Fred »
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Offline Tolpuddle Martyr

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2014, 02:07:57 am »
Number one makes sense to me. If I appeared in front of my adult ESL students wearing that shirt you can bet your bottom dollar I'd be rapped over the knuckles and the school would issue a formal apology not just to the students but also the press and each individual community leader representing the different ethnic groups present.

Number two is just basic health and safety, safety includes a non threatening and non bullying environment. It doesn't fucking matter if you're not offended-the fact that it can be reasnobly be said to be intimidating and/or offensive to an entire class of workers is good grounds for not taking it to work.

Wear it at a metal, punk or biker bar-awesome! Work isn't the time or the place for that shirt.

Offline RavynousHunter

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Re: #Shirtstorm
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2014, 11:22:48 am »
@Fred: I never said it was okay to degrade women, I just don't believe an effing shirt contributes toward the degradation of an entire gender, unless it crosses a rather easily visible line.  Basically, a shirt with sexy women on it is no reason for outrage, maybe a comment of "that isn't entirely appropriate," but not the vast amounts of bitching we see from members of the Internet Whinging Machine.  If the shirt had pictures of women getting screwed or said "Women are sluts, fuck them on sight," or something equally vulgar, then it'd be cause for outrage.  As it is, some people have decided to jump on something that is a complete non-issue, outside one of personal taste and maybe tact.

@Tol: I fail to see how a shirt like that would be in any way intimidating to anyone except the most thin-skinned people on the planet, the same goes for it being offensive.  I'll cop to it being tacky and in poor taste, however.

Yes, STEM fields need to be more accessible to women, institutionalized sexism in those areas is markedly prevalent to an unsettling degree, but folks are jumping over one dude wearing a tacky shirt.  Where the hell is the outrage when little girls are told by society that they should be homemakers, seamstresses, or bakers, but not physicists, engineers, or programmers?  Where is all this outpouring of anger toward STEM field employers who pass over well-qualified female candidates in favour of a male candidate with inferior qualifications?  Once again, we see people attacking the symptoms, but not the actual disease, because actually dealing with the cancer rotting away the guts of social, scientific, and technological progress is hard, and its much easier to just be angry at a dude in a tacky shirt.

For those who actually are attacking the real problems, this rant does not apply to you.  You guys are cool, keep doing what you're doing.  For those folks who are out there just to hit soft targets, grow a pair and take on the actual issues.  We need people who can actually fight a war, not just participate in petty border skirmishes.
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