November 14, 2014

About that scientist's sexy-lady shirt.

You know this story. The Rosetta project scientist, Matt Taylor, on the day of the landing on the comet, wears a ridiculous shirt, gets criticized, and makes a tearful apology. I wasn't going to talk about it because I didn't know what to say. Then I read this from WaPo's Rachel Feltman:
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?
She wants him to say why the shirt wasn't okay. That's just dragging out the apology, making it into more of an abject ritual. She already knows the reason why it's not okay, but just wants to hear him recite the reason that he's already had his face rubbed in to the point where he's sniveling. What I want him to talk about is what we don't know: Why did he think it was okay... not just okay, but a good idea? I don't know what else Mr. Taylor has in his closet, but what was that like — knowing it was the day of the landing, when eyes would be on you — to look at your array of clothing and to have it dawn on your big brain that this is the best costume for the day. I'd like a verbal depiction of that mental process, perhaps in the style of Little Edie:



That's from one of my favorite movies, "Grey Gardens." Another favorite movie of mine is "The Fly," the 1986 one with Jeff Goldblum as Seth Brundle. Brundle's a brilliant scientist — a tad odd, but brilliant. And in one of the lesser scenes — lesser, but memorable — he has to explain his clothes to his girlfriend Ronnie (Geena Davis):
Ronnie: Do you ever change your clothes?
Seth Brundle: What?
Ronnie: Your clothes. You're always wearing the same clothes.
Seth Brundle: No, these are clean. I change my clothes every day.
Ronnie: [looking in his closet] Five sets of exactly the same clothes?
Seth Brundle: Learned it from Einstein. This way I don't have to expend my thought on what I have to wear next, I just grab the next set on the rack.
So, now, I'm picturing Matt Taylor's closet — his Einstein-informed closet — packed end to end with shirts garishly patterned with cartoonishly bosom-y women. Come on, Matt, stop your sobbing and say something interesting.

The best song for the day:



"Do you have a shirt that you really love, one that you feel so groovy in?"

221 comments:

1 – 200 of 221   Newer›   Newest»
Bob R said...

I want to hear him talk about the SPACESHIP ON THE COMET. Science is not hostile to women, but it it hostile to fools who will talk about a shirt when we landed a spaceship on a fucking comet.

Bob R said...

And anyone who looked at pictures of Kim Kardashian's ass longer than they look at pictures taken from the surface of a comet should resign from the human race. Fucking philistines.

Ann Althouse said...

I'd also like to know exactly what about the experience is making him cry. For example, it could be that he feels so misunderstood, that he'd wanted to be festive and celebratory and everyone made it into a big downer. Or maybe it crossed his mind that he'd wanted to say "I love women" and the women say back that his effort to say it had been heard as meaning "I hate women," and that's the sad story of his efforts to find love. But maybe it was just that he deviously knows that tears will soften the ladies up thus get him off the hook, and he's a big faker.

Mark said...

Science isn't hostile to women. It's hostile to anyone who thinks what someone wears trumps the value of the science they do.

Make fun of him? Sure. Vilify him? Crawl back into your hole.

cold pizza said...

He's an engineer, with all the social skills that normally entails. See Howard Wolowitz. Contrast and compare. -CP

Ann Althouse said...

Meade sent me a full length picture of Taylor and I see that he's wearing shorts. I'd missed that or I would have figured out another way to blog this. Everyone's talking about the shirt, but my problem is the shorts.

Seeing the full length picture, which shows that his legs are all tattooed as are his arms, I'm thinking that the idea of the shirt was that it continued the tattoo pattern.

Mark said...

Not a faker, sure he's the real deal.

A funny guy who likes to be flamboyant, who is basically kind, and operates in a subculture that doesn't tend to nail anybody to a cross for anything other than being aggressively unintelligent.

I doubt that he's upset for being perceived as sexist (I doubt he believes he's sexist, and for that matter I doubt that he is sexist). I'd bet he's mortified that people think he's been stupid.

Way to go, grrrrls.

Dave Schumann said...

Althouse:

(1) Does the fact that the shirt was made by a friend of his, for his birthday, and that the friend is a female matter at all to your reaction?

(2) You seem rather...bloodless about this. Are you really not experiencing any qualms about a society that comes down on this guy and makes him tearfully confess this "sin"?

richardsson said...

Well, look. There is a reason why our society used to have dress codes. It helped those men like this man from doing stupid things on important events. All I can say is this: I don't care how smart you think you are, if you are wearing a nose ring, ear disks, tattoos on your face, a necktie with Godzilla painted on it, and red lace up high top tennis shoes, you are not going to be MY attorney.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's hostile to anyone who thinks what someone wears trumps the value of the science they do."

Eh. Maybe. But this was a case of someone who chose to make a major statement through clothing.

If he'd worn dull, nondescript things, what you'd say would make more sense.

He called attention to his fashion choice. To turn around and say people who notice have bad values is ridiculous. He invited comment and he was doing some frivolous/playful things with his surface appearance.

rhhardin said...

That's why women won't fit in science.

They can do science just fine, but do it grimly.

Anything else is more interesting to them, which is why they drop out.

The guy is totally into it. As Paglia says, it's an escape from women.

My experience is that women in math and physics wind up running the women's workplace issues committee.

Guys just do their thing. Play for pay. It's really also a hobby.

Gahrie said...

Hey..at least she didn't demand that he commit ritual seppekku.......

Gahrie said...

I'd also like to know exactly what about the experience is making him cry.

How about he's a nice guy who wore the shirt because it was the next clean shirt in the closet.

How about he's probably a beta male that would never intentionally insult a woman, or womankind.

Dave Schumann said...

Althouse:

"To turn around and say people who notice have bad values is ridiculous"

I'm speechless. First, no one says people who NOTICE have bad values; the point is about a social media campaign to shame this guy into a public apology.

People who get very upset and complain vocally about it, yeah, they have bad values. They have no sense of proportion or propriety. Their values are inappropriately authoritarian and puritan.

rhhardin said...

A really busty secretary walks into the programmers' communal terminal room.

She's wearing suspenders and a skirt, and the suspenders can't take a straight path to skirt.

As a man, the programmers wonder : is that a great circle route? How would you compute it?

rhhardin said...

A woman mathematician turned me in for a lunch table discussion of kettle logic.

My boss and I argued it out later. The complaint has to be acted on.

Well, he said on leaving, don't talk to women.

Bob R said...

Althouse - Try to imagine the highest achievement you could hope for in your life - say, winning the most important case of the last couple of decades before the SCOTUS - and everyone wants to talk about your blouse.

Of course, this actually happens to women all the time. They do something great, and all people want to talk about is what they were wearing. Fortunately, now we know that "feminists" feel this is a completely appropriate topic of conversation.

Ann Althouse said...

"(1) Does the fact that the shirt was made by a friend of his, for his birthday, and that the friend is a female matter at all to your reaction?"

I didn't know that, so it had no effect on me before this comment. I will comment now that the fact that a woman made it and gifted it certainly doesn't add much if anything to the question whether it's too sexist to wear to work. And I would mark him down in judgment and intelligence for thinking other people should care about his birthday.

"(2) You seem rather...bloodless about this. Are you really not experiencing any qualms about a society that comes down on this guy and makes him tearfully confess this "sin"?"

Oh, bullshit. Why didn't he defend himself? He made a statement, via shirt. Other people talked about what they thought of it. There was debate. Man up or crumple up. Whatever. It's his choice. Nobody sued him. Nobody arrested him. Give me a break. What's bloodless about me. That sounds like a typical pushback that men give to woman: I'm not nurturing and empathetic.

Ann Althouse said...

But the truth is: I was empathetic as hell! I wanted to know all about his feelings.

I'm just not doing what you want me to do, criticize the women who criticized the shirt.

FullMoon said...

I would rather see him "paying tribute" with a picture of Rachel.

Mark said...

What irritates me to no end is I've known a lot of women scientists and engineers, and none of them would have given a rat's ass about what the guy was wearing. They might not date him but they certainly wouldn't have felt threatened or demeaned by any of his fashion choices.

The cigar would have been much more of an issue for most of the STEM women I've known, but in the generation after me cigars became cool with some young women, so hey.

rhhardin said...

I have no women on my shirts.

The daily wear is a white tee shirt. I have 21 of them, one washer load along with socks and briefs.

For dress occasions, I have two 1970s era Hawaiian shirts from J.C.Penny in Honolulu.

They're correct with Bermudas.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse - Try to imagine the highest achievement you could hope for in your life - say, winning the most important case of the last couple of decades before the SCOTUS - and everyone wants to talk about your blouse."

In your hypothetical, am I wearing a really crazy blouse?

rhhardin said...

Scientists don't cry. He's weird.

Mark said...

I can understand wanting to get inside Taylor's head, I just can't forgive the grrrls who pilloried him as being some kind of poster child for Why Suzie Can't Do Science.

That's bullshit, and should be called such. Don't criticize them if you don't want, but you should bear in mind its chicks like that who end up steering their little girls into comparative literature because Science is So Mean to Girls.

CStanley said...

I read the same account that Dave Schumann did - that the shirt was a gift from a female friend. She apparently made the shirt and I think said it was a gift for his birthday and to celebrate this upcoming event.

So my guess is that it never crossed his mind that the shirt was offensive, and wanted to show his friend that he appreciated the gift. Who knows, perhaps he's smitten by her and was hoping the gift was a sign and she'd finally agree to go out with him. And then maybe she still rejected him ad he was brought to tears because he's decided he will never understand women- and who could blame him in that scenario!

rhhardin said...

All you have to do to succeed in science is be interested in the science.

Women can't do that.

It's nothing about welcoming.

Bob said...

Old story. Man helps land spacecraft on comet for the first time in human history. Woman complains about what he is wearing.

Ann Althouse said...

"I can understand wanting to get inside Taylor's head, I just can't forgive the grrrls who pilloried him as being some kind of poster child for Why Suzie Can't Do Science. That's bullshit, and should be called such. Don't criticize them if you don't want, but you should bear in mind its chicks like that who end up steering their little girls into comparative literature because Science is So Mean to Girls."

I avoided blogging this story originally because I thought these women were doing the usual posturing. I wasn't interested. As I said in the post, it was Feltman's desire to here him explain why the shirt wasn't okay that made me think of something I wanted to say.

Like Taylor choosing a shirt, I don't like boring.

Ann Althouse said...

And he wasn't "pilloried."

He was criticized.

We're allowed to speak and express opinions. The opinions were conventional and tedious. Why participate in making them viral? You took the bait. I didn't.

Lucien said...

As the philosopher once said:

Tits!

Michael said...

I don't know. The women on that shirt look pretty empowered to me. Some of them could probably land some gizmo on a comet, too. Unlike the frail flowers at Jezebel.

Ann Althouse said...

"So my guess is that it never crossed his mind that the shirt was offensive, and wanted to show his friend that he appreciated the gift."

I'm picturing a scenario like that "Puffy Shirt" episode of Seinfeld. ("...That night at dinner, Kramer tells Elaine and Jerry that Leslie is a clothing designer and has designed a new puffy shirt "like the pirates used to wear." When he leaves to go to the bathroom, Elaine explains to Leslie that Jerry is making an appearance on The Today Show to promote a benefit for Goodwill that helps clothe the poor and homeless. Leslie then says something. Not hearing what she said, Jerry and Elaine just pretend and nod their heads in agreement..... Jerry makes his appearance on The Today Show, but Bryant Gumbel cannot help but laugh and talk about his puffy shirt. Jerry is pushed over the edge and denounces the shirt on the air, causing Leslie to shout "You bastard!" off camera. Jerry says "Now that I heard."")

Bob R said...

"In your hypothetical, am I wearing a really crazy blouse?"

Yeah, sure. But in your office getting interviewed, not in front of the court.

And I'm not saying no one should notice. Not saying you shouldn't be known as the great lawprof who wears crazy blouses. But someone who put the crazy blouse before the great lawprof would certainly be called sexist - by Rachel Feltman and Rose Eveleth first and foremost.

rhhardin said...

C is for comet.

So he got out the C-word shirt.

Bob R said...

rhhardin - Let's stick with C-word = Crazy.

Bob R said...

At least in front of your boss and the mathematician in the lunch room.

DanTheMan said...

He plead guilty.
Then gave a tearful confession to his crimes.
The next step in leftydom is the show trial.
After that, the reeducation camp, and then he will un-personed and airbrushed out of the history of the project.

You read it here first.

The Drill SGT said...

Why is it off limits to criticize anything that a woman wears. Nothing but sexism complaints and blame the victim, but a man can lose his job or a promotion over a shirt choice?
\

Ann Althouse said...

""In your hypothetical, am I wearing a really crazy blouse?" Yeah, sure. But in your office getting interviewed, not in front of the court."

Eh. I need more context. If I'm drawing attention to some wild, in-your-face shirt, I would expect attention to be paid to it. If it had something arguably offensive on it, like exaggerated depictions of a certain type of person, I would expect it to get talked about. People would question my judgment. If I said, "but it was a birthday present," I would expect to be regarded as a fool.

"And I'm not saying no one should notice. Not saying you shouldn't be known as the great lawprof who wears crazy blouses. But someone who put the crazy blouse before the great lawprof would certainly be called sexist - by Rachel Feltman and Rose Eveleth first and foremost."

No. I disagree. Nobody has to give a damn about some lawyer who has some legal accomplishment. If there's a writer whose thing is fashion or culture, I expect them to focus on what they are interested in.

And look at all the discussion of the gowns of the actresses arriving at awards ceremonies. No one insists that the discussion focus on their acting ability. There's no reason why someone must focus on the main thing or the most important thing. Sometimes one selects another angle, a different detail, a personal bugaboo (as I do with men in shorts).

Jeez, when did men become such whiners? It's weird, because you're acting like you think it's a defense of masculinity. It's a failure of masculinity.

rhhardin said...

Althouse's insisted-on interest insists on the importance of his choice.

This is why women are crazy.

The importance calculations are wrong.

"You're not going out like that, are you?" is as stereotyped as "That's not funny!"

Jupiter said...

I would guess he is crying because it is dawning on him that for the rest of his life, instead of getting chosen for good jobs because he was on the team that landed on the comet, he will be unable to get any job because anyone who hires him will be leaving themselves open to a lawsuit from the usual suspects.

Notice that these HellCows don't go after pimps, or the guys who own strip clubs, or Muslims, or anyone who actually degrades or exploits women. And they probably go to the latest James Bond movie, which is what this shirt seems to be trying to resemble. They are not actually concerned about any on the things they claim to be concerned about. They are looking for vulnerable people they can seriously damage.

rhhardin said...

The actresses-at-awards interest is how much boob you can see.

As for their acting ability, it's about boobs.

All women are actresses.

n.n said...

He likes sexy women. He's been quarantined for an extended time. He is overcompensating. This is why they study social habits of women and men for long-haul flights. It's a teachable moment. The heterophobic response is over the top.

Anonymous said...

Alehouse: "That's just dragging out the apology, making it into more of an abject ritual"

Yeah, that's rather common in what passes for "debate" these days. Long after an apology has been issued, the demands continue.

Lots of examples exist across the political spectrum.

Dave Schumann: "You seem rather...bloodless about this"

I'd say "Cruel Neutrality" comes closer to her approach to this. Everybody gets their bit of criticism.

rhhardin said...

And they probably go to the latest James Bond movie

James Bond has gone downhill fast since they started writing it for women.

It's all psychodrama now.

n.n said...

rhhardin:

Women have a role to play in the natural order. So do men, but normally in a less flamboyant manner. It's the women who possess the brilliant plumage in the human species.

Michael K said...

"There was debate. Man up or crumple up."

Asberger's don't do debate well.

I do wonder about an engineer who has tattoos but that's a fashion choice, I guess. Thank God none of my children have them.

I have a closet full of blue shirts, short sleeve for summer, long sleeve for winter and the other half of my closet is khaki pants.

I was an engineer before tattoos came along.

rhhardin said...

Who can watch the early humorous James Bond without remarking on what American car suspensions were like in the good old days.

rehajm said...

What does Lena Dunham think about this?

Lena? Lena?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Maybe as he went through his closet of shirt choices he was thinking that he was too sexy for his other shirts.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

I hope that bitch gets Ebola.

What a piece of shit.

n.n said...

Michael K:

Either you're a work-of-art or not. This guy is not and compensates with epidermal designs.

That said, I have noticed this trend besieging women and men that cover the spectrum from unattractive to attractive. Perhaps it's not just about compensation, but a symptom of pandemic confusion.

Unknown said...

"I landed a rocket on an asteroid and all I got was this lousy shirt comment"

rhhardin said...

Iowahawk reminds us to be critical as well of the bomber nose decorations of WWII, with scantily clad women, on display in the Smithsonian.

This is a hostile work environment.

averagejoe said...

No wonder why women are underrepresented in STEM fields. Why the poor things might be subjected to a man wearing a shirt depicting scantily-clad space gals. The horror! What's next, throwing acid in women's faces because they want to be scientists? Today's modern woman should not have to endure such rape-centric imagery; No wonder why they gravitate to vagina-specific programs like Women's Studies and JournOlistm. This despicable male should be sentenced to ten years of wearing a shirt that says: THIS IS WHAT A FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE!

Biff said...

A few thoughts, as they've come to me:

1) Given his young age balanced against his senior position, and some of the pre-controversy fawning coverage of his tattoos, he probably is accustomed to being lauded for his "cool, edgy, quirky" attitude. Until now, I guarantee that it has helped his career.

2) It is the European Space Agency. Feminist sexual politics in Europe does not map directly onto American sexual politics. It likely did not occur to Dr. Taylor or any of his colleagues that his shirt might be objectionable. (I worked a decade for an EU-based multinational. I became friends with a German woman doing management rotations through the global organization. We became friends, and when she rotated through the US HR group, she routinely expressed befuddlement and exasperation over US sexual harassment policies.)

3) I have 20+ years in international science, and I'm willing to bet that his politics are well to the left of the average American Democrat's politics, and I'm further willing to bet that it is very likely that he consciously believes he is more evolved on most topics, including women's issues, than most people. Being accused of anything sexist or anti-equality is probably shaking him to his core.

4) Having always been rewarded for his edginess and the assumed creativity that goes with it, it probably never entered his mind that more conservative clothes (simple colors, rather than cartoon figures of any content) might be a better fit for this kind of public event. Many lose sight of the fact that while more traditional standards of dress and decorum may sometimes feel stifling to the individual, they also help to protect the individual.

5) Based on the frequency that posts from "I Fucking Love Science" appear in Facebook feeds, why the fuck should anyone under 40 give a fuck about offending any fucking one? I gotta be me, you fucking prudes! If a shirt highlighting strong women who are cool with their bodies intimidates you, then fuck off!

...or something.

Beldar said...

I don't think "pornography" is a useful tag here. Whether this is or isn't offensive is in the eye of the beholder, but it's not pornography as that phrase is commonly used.

Unknown said...

So what if one (or more) of the tats was an old school sexy babe?

Grackle said...

It would have been infinitely better if he just didn't give a fuck what anyone thought about his shirt and said so. Here is what I am thinking "Who put men on the moon for the first time?" WHITE MEN!!!!! And here we are landing on the comet. You womenfolk want that moment? LAND ON A COMET ON YOUR OWN!!!!!!!!!!!

Gahrie said...

Jeez, when did men become such whiners?

When your side made any other reaction out of bounds behavior.

If I had been that scientist, my response would be.."If you don't like what I'm wearing then fuck off".

Wendy said...

For frame of reference my husband is an engineer. His thought process when he gets dressed, is it clean and do I like it. So my assumption would be that guy was exhausted this is the one of the highlights of his career and likely been working a lot and getting little sleep.

So he goes to his closet and the shirt catches his eye because he is bleary eyed and it makes him smile so he grabs it. He probably is not thinking about a statement with his clothes.

As for why he cried, I don't know maybe the exhaustion thing again, I cry very easily when exhausted.

I know very few people that actually try to make any type of concious statement with their clothing. I stand by he just didn't think about it because clothes are that big of a deal.

Freeman Hunt said...

We need him to be a good scientist. Nice clothes and social savvy are nice but not too important for what we need him to do.

This nonsense is what happens when people who aren't scientists get into science. They find the non-science social thing to focus on.

The shirt is stupid. Who cares? Get over it. So the guy is a bad dresser. Big deal. He's not supposed to be your boyfriend. He's supposed to land a probe on a freaking comet!

Freeman Hunt said...

He's crying because he's socially at sea and so wore a stupid shirt, and now people are trying to make him feel terrible for it.

Conform! Conform!

The conformity our culture expects is so oppressive and stifling.

Don't cry, Wild Shirt Guy. Tell them all to buzz off.

Mark said...

Jeez, when did men become such whiners? It's weird, because you're acting like you think it's a defense of masculinity. It's a failure of masculinity.

I will agree with that. Taylor shouldn't have let some "science nerd" who's appreciation of Science probably goes as deep as a teenage crush on Carl Sagan get under his skin.

But you know, it's people like Rachel Feltman and her enablers who who make embodying actual manliness a risky proposition.

(A side note: "Mean Girls" used to be about "in" girls tormenting girls who weren't "in" girls. Now it looks like the Mean Girls feel like they've doubled their prey population, and are acting suitably triumphant.)

Wendy said...

Grrr...so my previous comment was " I stand by he just didn't think about it because clothes are that big of a deal." I missed a very important word is should have been I stand by he just didn't think about it because clothes are not that big of a deal.

Todd Grimson said...

This directly connects to the recent and ongoing #Gamergate business -- in which the gamers have fought back. I think the attack on Taylor must be seen within this context. I'm not a gamer, and don't really know enough to comment. Anyone who's curious will find all kinds of material on Youtube.







David said...

Great scientists are transgressors. They have to question the accepted wisdom, push beyond what everyone else thinks or believes. At the same time, they have to be experts in the conventional wisdom. You can't create the replacement in science if you do not understand what you are trying to replace. You have to do that while questioning everything.

So he's a natural transgressor who, in this case, probably does not understand the beliefs he is transgressing very well. I would say he just doesn't give a damn, but the apology and tears contradict that unless he's a big big fake.

Plus it was given to him by a woman (who made the shirt especially for him). Maybe he feels attraction and affection for her, or maybe he was just trying to give her a little thanks. Whatever it was, it gave her those 15 minutes (and she used them to back him up.)

The rote criticism of him is actually pretty dull and uninteresting. What is more interesting is why it affected him so. I'll bet it's not because he hates women.

The Drill SGT said...

He's a fricken rocket scientist. Get over it. Social skills are not required.

Like MARINE

Muscles
Are
Required
Intelligence
Not
Essential

Wilbur said...

I grant the inappropriateness of the shirt, whether at a press conference or at a bar celebrating afterwards. He also lacks any sense of fashion, no great sin.

I can't get past the tattoos. Just incredibly ugly.

If they're so beautiful and meaningful, why not cover your face with them too?

Unknown said...

A guy with that many tats is intimidating. (My tolerance for pain is clearly lower than his.) The shirt is icing on the cake.

Birches said...

I agree with Wendy. I don't think he tried to make a fashion statement, I think he just picked a shirt.

And Biff is right,bare breasted women are used in ads everywhere in Europe. I'm guessing only the Americans found offense.

traditionalguy said...

Let's lynch him for being a. Normal man. That should teach the out of favor Patriarchs to watch their step. If discipline is not sure and quick, men could start to remember the old days...like the gasp, 1990s.

Alex said...

I'm going to play an air guitar solo right now.

Just because.

Roughcoat said...

And anyone who looked at pictures of Kim Kardashian's ass longer than they look at pictures taken from the surface of a comet should resign from the human race.

Kim Kardashian's ass is bigger than that comet.

MadisonMan said...

So he's wearing a shirt that's stupid.

I actually judge him by the work he does/has done (phenomenal) rather than any sartorial blunders. I do the same with women.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


IN 2008, Ann Althouse, after careful consideration, voted for Barack Obama to be POTUS and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

Tell we why we should give a fuck what she thinks of somebody's shirt.

Patrick said...

This is ridiculous beyond the comprehension of everyone who is notstepped in the eternal victimhood culture. We land on a comment and choose to discuss this? No wonder it wasn't the US that ran the show.

chickelit said...

Althouse wrote: I'm just not doing what you want me to do, criticize the women who criticized the shirt.

Who cares? Who is impressed with Althouse's opinion of scientists' social skills or her "sisterly" support of a feminist?

Get over it. Post over it and move on.

rhhardin said...

Buy your own sold out.

Freeman Hunt said...

Trigger warning: Big babies might be upset by this shirt.

Patrick said...

Bet the guy also says "hello" to white chicks on the street.

wholelottasplainin' said...

It would have been much more refreshing for the guy to have looked into the camera and said, "Mind your own fucking business, bitch!"

A couple hundred million guys would have loved it.

Joe said...

This is yet another manufactured controversy. Anyone who was actually offended wants to be offended. Taylor's proper response should have been "Fuck you, bitches. When you land a spacecraft on a comet, come back and criticize me."

Sam L. said...


sure, he coulda made a better choice.

Still, he should have asked, "What's your problem with an attractive woman with a gun? She's empowered!"

Roughcoat said...

He cried because someone he doesn't know said mean things about him?

What a pussy.

Christy said...

But did it offend Muslims?

MayBee said...

Why do people have to ruin his acheivement for him? Who needs to take his moment and make it about themselves? What a sad way to be.

Chef Mojo said...

man, screw this crap. The new face of feminism. Taylor was indoctrinated into his tearful defense. Men of my generation would have laughed and told them to piss off, because I JUST LANDED A FUCKING SPACESHIP ON A COMET. Bitch.

The pussification continues apace. I made sure I wore my Melody Inn (http://melodyindy.com) t shirt today in hopes of enraging a feminist. His shirt was nothing more than than a modernist take on WW2 nose art. Screw em if they don't get it.

Oh, and if you're into nose art, check this guy out. Gary Velasco at http://fightingcolors.com. This guy keeps it alive, both painting actual aircraft nose art on classic warbirds, as well as his "panels." Great guy, and a fantastic, if not PC, artist. Chicks on planes. What's not to like?

Bob R said...

Jeez, when did men become such whiners? It's weird, because you're acting like you think it's a defense of masculinity. It's a failure of masculinity.

If I am whining, I am whining about a very specific type of philistinism. I find the smug, vulgarian, prudery of the people who think that the shirt is an important issue in the face of a great human achievement ugly and distasteful. If someone wants to make a few comments about the ugly shirt, fine. If that's you beat, fine. Just don't pretend that what you're doing is something more than one blog post out of many on a slow Friday evening. Don't pretend that what you are doing has one jot of significance compared to what Matt Taylor did.

You didn't do that. You tried to make the whole thing fun and humorous. I'm not offended by you. I'm offended by the self important morons who turned this from a few snarky comments about an ugly shirt to a "controversy."

Since this is just supposed to be a fun thread on a Friday night, I'll add that most of my emotion on this issue is caused by the trivialization of an achievement that I think is incredibly beautiful and awesome. (I'll go into the trivialization of that word another day.) But I am also pissed off because I know so many guys like Taylor, and I identify with him a bit myself. He's working a very arduous inner focused job that people like Rachel Feltman are simply not equipped to understand. Rachel can understand the social taboos about certain kinds of shirts. Matt Taylor understands how to land a spacecraft on a comet. And people are paying more attention to Rachel than to Matt. Fuck them.

boinky said...

When I became a physician, women were only 6 percent of the profession. You want harassment? Been there, and believe me, a funny shirt is not harassment.
.
The guys with their ribald humor I could handle: I grew up with brothers and paid back their dirty jokes with a dirtier one. Even teachers who told me that medicine wasn't easy for a lady were not a problem, since they respected me for my hard work.

What was my biggest emotional stress in college as a premed student was being subjected to ridicule day after day by the "mean girls" who didn't want to study five hours a night and ridiculed me for doing so

How many PhD's does this lady journalist have, and in what subject? And how dare she change the story of one of the biggest scientific achievements this decade into a story about her hurt feelings?

Todd Grimson said...

Althouse wrote: I'm just not doing what you want me to do, criticize the women who criticized the shirt.

Althouse wants to be somewhat contrarian or original vs the majority of her readership. But she didn't really come up with anything very compelling when looking for some original way to examine what befell Taylor because of the shirt he had on.

I think one might need more access to the culture within which Taylor exists. His tears? Well, we don't know what kind of personal attacks he may have been subjected to, do we? That may be a factor he's unlikely to share.

Chef Mojo said...

I'm just not doing what you want me to do, criticize the women who criticized the shirt.

Of course not. That would require some actual brass to stand up against plain stupidity, something "feminists" are not known for.

Predictable, Althouse, but disappointing. The woman is at fault here. The man is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, so I'm willing to overlook his sodden idiocy.

Todd Grimson said...

Roughcoat said...
He cried because someone he doesn't know said mean things about him?

What a pussy.


You should post under your real name before saying that.

Terry said...

So women can control what clothing men wear, but men can't control what clothing women wear.
Nice racket you got going there, sister.

Joe said...

Meanfhile, "Topless feminists target 'political' Pope.

http://www.thelocal.it/20141114/topless-feminists-target-political-pope

So, couldn't this just have been part of the protest and Taylor is, in fact, a die-hard feminist?

Feminists are insane.

buwaya puti said...

Been in several long term high stress projects like this. These are all-absorbing especially for the actual creative types and the leadership. There really is little room to think of anything else. Call it necessary tunnel vision. Add the stress, years on end, because of the very high risk of failure. Years of ones life, and many others for which one is responsible, could go up in smoke on d-day. And this one could still fail.
The complainers are cruel shits.

Balfegor said...

Words really cannot express how unutterably loathsome I find that beast at The Atlantic. There ought to be a petition with The Atlantic's principal advertisers who have them withdraw their advertising until she either apologizes to the man, or is fired. This cretin at the Washington Post is just piling on, I suppose, but someone has to speak up for decency here. And if advertisers want to side with these kinds of people, well, that will be clarifying.

Original Mike said...

"Science is not a welcoming place for women, even today,..."

As someone who has mentored many PhD students, both women and men, in a department that has done the same, I do not accept this assertion.

MnMark said...

The bitching by that woman about how women don't feel "welcome" in science is an illustration of how this whole women-in-science thing is another instance of lowering the standards for an inferior group so that there can be a nominal appearance of "equality".

Has there ever been a (non-homosexual) man in the history of STEM who complained about not feeling "welcomed" in a STEM environment? Has there every been that big a pussy? I'm not aware of any. But women seem to need a male space to be made "safe" and "welcoming" for them, being the delicate, unmanly emotional snowflakes that they are, before they can do science.

If you women are actually equal to men, then man the fuck up and elbow your fucking way in by doing science as well as or better than the men. Start your own fucking company if feeling "welcomed" is so important. But if you want to play in the male space, then you have to bring male-level game, and not sit there fanning yourselves and feeling faint because you aren't being made to feel "welcome". Fuck you. You're behaving exactly like women, emotional and over-concerned with trivialities like feelings instead of competence.

As for the scientist, anybody who has tattoos all over himself and wears clown clothing like that on such an occasion is a hippy retard who can probably be expected to complete the occasion with some tearful apologies to all of womanhood for his fucking shirt. A pretty shitty specimen of manhood, even if he is smart.

We are so fucked the next time we have to fight an enemy that doesn't have one hand tied behind its back with this dumbing-down of society for the sake of equality.

MnMark said...

I am picturing women like that Atlantic tweeter being drafted into the next world war, getting out on the battlefield, and then complaining that she is not feeling "welcomed" in that environment and just can't be expected to do war under those conditions.

Balfegor said...

Predictable, Althouse, but disappointing. The woman is at fault here. The man is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, so I'm willing to overlook his sodden idiocy.

It can be quite terrifying for the subaltern classes when your colonial masters take a particular interest in humiliating you. And I use those terms with purpose -- these people are zealot missionaries bent on stamping out local culture and diversity. The kind of people who always made trouble for the colonial authorities, because they were constantly picking fights with the natives and stirring up trouble and strife.

They ought to be ashamed.

Meade said...

Excuse me... but my rocket ships...
are up here.

Michael K said...

"Even teachers who told me that medicine wasn't easy for a lady were not a problem, since they respected me for my hard work."

Some of the problems young women had when I was a medical student were cultural. Girls were not supposed to like math but my high school girlfriend, in 1956, studied with me for the SAT and graduated from Purdue with an engineering degree.

She didn't do too badly. Not bad looking either.

The girls in medical school were a varied bunch. One was a nerd, one was about 30 and had a daughter who was 9. She got married again while we were students and she was also a member of my medical fraternity, the only female member. The third (yes there were only three) was sort of indeterminate, quite feminine.

There are more women, partly because the assumption that there was a shortage of doctors abated in the 70s, and classes got bigger. Mine was 66 and the same medical school now has classes of 230. The perceived shortage caused admission committees to turn down female applicants because they assumed that many would not practice full time.

That, in fact, has happened but many male physicians also work less than we did.

Eric said...

This sort of nonsense is why, for the first time in my life, I'd really like to work in an office with no women.

Balfegor said...

I'd also like to know exactly what about the experience is making him cry. For example, it could be that he feels so misunderstood, that he'd wanted to be festive and celebratory and everyone made it into a big downer. Or maybe it crossed his mind that he'd wanted to say "I love women" and the women say back that his effort to say it had been heard as meaning "I hate women," and that's the sad story of his efforts to find love. But maybe it was just that he deviously knows that tears will soften the ladies up thus get him off the hook, and he's a big faker.

I would hazard that it's because it's terrifying -- to discover all of a sudden that there's this huge world of people out there who hate his jokey nerdy culture and thirst for his destruction. And now want him to mouth the words. To look out at the world and see such baleful hatred glaring back is shocking.

I remember the first time I got a hatemail (I think it was completely random) -- it came as a shock, and made my blood run cold for moment, even though it was from no one I'd ever heard of and seemed to have nothing at all to do with me. How much worse it would be if I had been made the Emmanuel Goldstein of the day -- and of all days, a day which was supposed to be a great day! A glorious day! To be the victim of such hatred at that moment!

For someone who isn't a public figure, it must be terrifying.

Virgil Hilts said...

All the guy had to say, and it would all have gone away, are the 4 magic words: "I lost a bet."

Anonymous said...

I'm irritated with him, not because of the shirt (yes, it's tacky - so what? Scientists and engineers are not famous for their fashion sense) but because of his groveling apology.

I'm a woman and I don't give a damn if he wore a barrel to work. What he and his team accomplished was a tremendous achievement. It's like hitting a speeding bullet with another bullet. It was probably one of the most thrilling days of his life - and then the Sisters of Perpetual Outrage jumped on his case about something completely insignificant. I am really starting to hate these harpies.

He should have told them to fuck off. All of us, male and female, should start telling these sour-faced ninnies to fuck off, because every blubbering apology feeds their prissy self-righteousness.

He is, from all accounts, a brilliant man. If he had stood up for himself, does anybody really think he would have been shitcanned because of his shirt?

While that shirt makes me long for the 1960's NASA look of white dress shirts, skinny ties, and buzz cuts, if I worked with a guy who wore something like that, I'd laugh and ask him if he found it on the 10 cent table at a rummage sale - and then I'd forget about it. It wouldn't cause me to run shrieking from Science. Once again, feminist ire does a disservice to women as well as men, by reinforcing the idea that we are delicate, easily offended creatures.

Anonymous said...

Another craft succumbs to immolation for lack of an adequate heat shield

MayBee said...

Anymore, Americans aren't happy unless they have one life a day to destroy via the internet. It is the new coliseum.

We must be amused!

William said...

I thought the shirt was lurid and in bad taste in the way that a Hawain shirt at a funeral would be. However, I can't understand why a woman would feel it to be oppressive......Plus, the back story that his girl friend, a tattoo artist, designed and made the shirt for him makes him seem gallant and sympathetic. This is definitely a guy who thinks outside the box. I don't approve of crying in the face of feminist criticism, but perhaps it's just another example of his overall eccentricity. Perhaps GQ could send him a free subscription in honor of his achievement.

MayBee said...

Balfegor said "I would hazard that it's because it's terrifying -- to discover all of a sudden that there's this huge world of people out there who hate his jokey nerdy culture and thirst for his destruction. And now want him to mouth the words. To look out at the world and see such baleful hatred glaring back is shocking. "

Yes. This.
And imagine the emotional crash from the euphoria he must have been feeling from his actual accomplishment.

Revenant said...

I'm made a mental note to respond to any mentions of the shirt's "inappropriateness" with a heartfelt "go fuck yourself".

Ladies, I know that most of you aren't as uptight as the people who have decided to be outraged over this guy's shirt. But you need to speak up. Remaining silent just helps convince people that "women in the workplace" is synonymous with "endless chickenshit and drama".

MayBee said...

So people are irritated with him for not responding the in the way they wanted him to respond? For being criticized for dressing in a way people didn't want him to dress?

Dance, monkey, dance! One way or another, you must dance for me! Me me me!

Tank said...

Todd beat me to it. This is what gamer gate is all about.

The gamer answer : f--- off if you don't like it. Go build your own rocket.

Paco Wové said...

Matt Taylor was part of something historic, a human accomplishment never before achieved.

Rachel Feltman had accomplished nothing, will accomplish nothing, will vanish into dust and be forgotten while what Taylor helped to do will be remembered for centuries.

But she was able to lash out from her inconsequentiality and draw some blood. Take that, geeky science guy!

Anonymous said...

Well, I see your point, Maybee. Being attacked so viciously because of something so trivial compared to his marvelous achievement probably did send him into shock.

I still wish he had pushed back against his loathsome critics because apologies simply encourage them to go out and seek another scalp. I am so sick of the damned dumb Outrage Machine, the continual dragging of some poor bastard out into the public square so he can be put in the stocks and pelted with rotten vegetables until he repents. It's not going to stop until the victims stop apologizing and start saying "Go to hell."

And yes, I realize it's easier to type that on an blog than it is to do when you are the one being dragged to the stocks.

Laslo Spatula said...

CStanley at 5:40. She understands the Nerd.

MayBee said...

I know what you are saying, exiledonmainstreet, but it sure would be great if people focused their (our) attentions and en masse told the criticizers to go to hell, rather than make it up to the person randomly caught in the spotlight.

Laslo Spatula said...

The guy who finally cures cancer will be vilified by the shirt he wore at the announcement. No paisley.

MayBee said...

Has everyone read The Lottery?

I swear, we've created an internet version of it. And instead of depending on the appointed victim to stand up for himself/herself, how about if we all just condemn those who want to throw stones. That's what will stop this, maybe.

MikeDC said...

But the truth is: I was empathetic as hell! I wanted to know all about his feelings.

And therein lies the problem.

The more everyone minds their own fucking business when it comes to "feelings", the better off we'll be.

There's basically two processes, scientific method and free exchange, that have allowed humanity to rise above our progenitors killing each other and starving all the time.

Both of them are somewhat unique in that they explicitly require setting aside feeling and intention in favor of logic and results.

n.n said...

Whatever the opinion about his shirt, why was it necessary to publicly shame and exploit this guy? Was his transgression so great or habitual, that it could not be adequately addressed through a private exchange? Feltman comes across as opportunistic.

That said, we must be entering a new press cycle. What shouldn't we know or supposed to forget? Considering the pettiness of this story, it must be something really big. Color me cynical.

Original Mike said...

I can assure you that the comet that will one day "target" Earth doesn't give a fuck what this guy is wearing.

Laslo Spatula said...

When the woman who cures Ebola speaks at the conference she will be flaunting her cleavage. The joke is she might have great cleavage but it won't be a woman who cures Ebola. She might write the press release, so there is that.

Laslo Spatula said...

If the guy who cures cancer gives the announcement in full Nazi regalia does that mean the cure is somewhat less valid? I bet if the Nazis had won World War II cancer would be solved by now.

Original Mike said...

Does Rachel Feltman give a damn that the mission will apparently fail to get sample material? No, she doesn't.

Laslo Spatula said...

By now the Nazis would've figured out just about everything. No life-threatening diseases, no unfortunate skin conditions. If they just could've not had the bad Jew thing we would be in a modern paradise.

Laslo Spatula said...

To paraphrase Bon Jovi:

Your love is like Nazi medicine
Nazi medicine is what I need.

Anonymous said...

In space, no one can hear how loud your shirt is

Meade said...

"Does Rachel Feltman give a damn that the mission will apparently fail to get sample material?"

Not only does she not give a damn... it's HER FAULT the mission failed to get sample material! All because she created a hostile environment on the internet workplace and hurt Matt Taylor's feelings.

She objectified Matt when she tweeted what she tweeted, leading him to break down during his apology, and that caused the batteries in his lander to die.

This is why we can't have bullying women taking over the internet.

Anonymous said...

"Today, noted scientist Marie Curie announced that she had discovered polonium and radium. Unfortunately, Madame Curie was wearing a really hideous dress at the time, and fashionable Parisians quickly registered their disapproval.

'If it's such an important discovery, why would one wear such a ugly rag when making the announcement?' sniffed Coco Chanel. 'She looks like some washerwoman.'

The criticism was reminiscent of the ridicule aimed at physicist Albert Einstein and his "crazy hair" when he announced his Theory of Relativity."




etbass said...

Well, all this stuff keeps coming up from the feminists because fundamentally, women are just inferior to men in many of the important things of life and it will always be that way... Because They are different, and in other ways superior to men. Why can't that be just be accepted?

Carl Pham said...

Science is not a welcoming place for women, even today

Correct. Nature doesn't give a fuck about consensus, how kind and thoughtful you are, whether your personal theory should be right, morally speaking, given how deserving you are, how hard you've worked at it, et cetera. Nature doesn't care if your work would cure millions of sick children if it turned out to be right instead of wrong. Nature is the original cold-hearted soulless bitch. (In her defense, she is also absolutely 100% logically consistent and utterly reliable -- she never ever changes her mind or fails to deliver on her promises.)

Most people of either sex do not do well with her, and seek other things to do with their lives, very sensibly. But it is also true that the typical personality strengths of women are less suited to the Queen of Ice than those of men, so, yeah, true statement.

...and the only people who can truly make it more welcoming are the men who run the show.

Now that seems a little pathetic. The only way the men could do that would be to do a little affirmative action science, to basically set the little ladies up with toy projects and demonstration experiments, the kind you set up for schoolchildren where you know they'll work out nice if the kids just plug away dutifully following instructions.

That seems a little pathetic, actually. I mean, does the author really want that for women in science? Seems kind of mean. Is this one of those little ways women put each other down? Hon, you know you can't make it on your own. Find some big strong man to take care of you.

Meade said...

Carl Pham said...
"...and the only people who can truly make it more welcoming are the men who run the show."

@Carl Pham: Who are you quoting?

chickelit said...

William said...
Plus, the back story that his girl friend, a tattoo artist, designed and made the shirt for him makes him seem gallant and sympathetic.

If the first part is true I'm guessing that Matt Taylor is so getting laid and has all the support he needs.

Screw The Atlantic. I'm glad I talked my wife out resubscribing years ago.

garage mahal said...

The same people care about Gruber and t-shirts. They don't.

Original Mike said...

"Not only does she not give a damn... it's HER FAULT "

Ahhh... OK.

exhelodrvr1 said...

DOn't want to hurt the women's feelings, now, do we? 'Cuz we know they can't handle it!

el polacko said...

so the hipster girls who try their best to look like s&m pin-up, bettie page, are lining up to condemn a scientist for wearing a shirt depicting pin-ups ?? ...and our hostess here, who can hardly let a day go by without exressing her disgust at the sight of the male leg, is all too eager to pile on for his sartorial insult to womanhood despite the fact that the shirt was a gift from the scientist's girlfriend ? good lord ! i give up ! where do i go to sign up for the trip to colonize mars ? i'm outta here.

Carl Pham said...

@Meade

RTFA

Original Mike said...

Shit

Fritz said...

And meanwhile feminist icons are protesting the Pope bare chested, and simulating anal penetration with a cross. Are they being condemned by other feminists.

Nope, no double standard.

Paul said...

I want to hear Matt Taylor tell Rachel Feltman to sod off.

And tell her that was his lucky shirt and if she don't like it she can just to home.

He needs to tell the world he is tired of these PC police. He isn't hostile to women, heck he LIKES women, but he can't stand these whiners.

John Stodder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zach said...

"Amazing" has got to be the most insincere word in the English language:

Rachel Feltman ✔ @RachelFeltman
.@mggtTaylor’s apology seems heartfelt and genuine, and he’s still the amazing scientist he was before wearing the wrong shirt


Translation: I have never heard of you before and will never think of you after today. I ruined one of the best days of your life, so here's an insincere compliment.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Terry said...

So women can control what clothing men wear, but men can't control what clothing women wear.
Nice racket you got going there, sister.
****

ding ding ding ding!!!!!

chickelit said...

Original Mike linked...Shit

Rachel Feltman's batteries died tonight too.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Check those tats though, brah! Sweet tats on a science guy means cool dude, and cool dudes can get away with a lil' playful sexism. I'm not sure what went wrong here.

Sure he apologized and weepily debased himself, but has he kneeled on broken glass yet? If his apology wasn't for the right reasons, should we accept it?

The smart move, of course, would be for him to announce that all this negative attention has traumatized him and now he has PTSD; he could then make a stink about how any further mentions of his shirt are triggering. Hey, it works for some people...

Zach said...

Rachel Feltman runs the Post's Speaking of Science blog

When more important things don't intrude, that is.

As long as we're singling out one person who signifies all that is wrong with the world, when does Feltman's turn come up?

Here is a woman who has a basic interest and literacy in science who does not work in science. Feltman is the problem.

Taylor, whatever his choice in shirts, went to college, went to grad school, stayed in the field, worked on the comet project, and ultimately enjoyed success. But what does that count for if he wears the wrong shirt on his big day?

You can say I'm missing the point here. But I wonder if I'm not seeing the actual point, which is much cruder and blunter than the shirt. If you see science as a platform for talking about other things, you will not stay in science. You will end up running a blog where you talk about things that aren't science, and complaining about the absence of people who left for reasons similar to your own.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Prof A. points out a woman's choice to wear a tight top (emphasizing her breasts) for a picture with a former prez known as a bit of a ladies man = Prof A. is sexist for body shaming a woman and focusing on what she chose to wear. Slutwalks are held to educate backward-thinking people like her.

Rose Eveleth calls Dr. Taylor an asshole for "ruining the cool comet landing for" her (the landing HE ACTUALLY HELPED MAKE POSSIBLE) by his choice of clothing inappropriate for the situation = Eveleth is a good feminist.

Keep up, guys!

Zach said...

You know why women don't go into science?

Because they don't want to be nerds. They see nerds as low status. They don't want to be nerds, and they don't want to hang around nerds. They see a woman who does hang around nerds as being low status, and they make their feelings known. They drop out of science at precisely the age where things like status and popularity start to be important.

You know why this guy had to make a grovelling apology on his big day? Because he's a low status nerd, and can be attacked at will by anyone with higher status.

You want to know why there aren't any women in science? Look in a mirror.

Lem said...

The pornography tag may allude to that other exposed sexy-lady Kim Kardashian. In case you haven't heard because so much attention was focused on the comet.

Smilin' Jack said...

So he wore a Hawaiian shirt with pictures of pretty women instead of pretty flowers on it. I don't see the feminists' problem--I'm sure he'd never wear a shirt with pictures of them on it. Oh, wait....

Quaestor said...

Althouse wrote: He called attention to his fashion choice. To turn around and say people who notice have bad values is ridiculous. He invited comment and he was doing some frivolous/playful things with his surface appearance.

So what? Science is not about anything except science. Someone's personality, or philosophy, or beliefs is irrelevant to whether that person is a "good" scientist or not. I put good within quotes to indicate that good is a very limited concept in science. When one speaks about science the word has primarily an aesthetic meaning. Good science is beautiful -- good science possesses simplicity, harmony and completeness. In a seminar on the philosophy of science I attended we heard and discussed some papers that argued that beautiful science also contains a quality of truth -- call it veracity. I disagreed. There's lots of good science that isn't true, and none that is in an absolute sense. Science is about truth, but doesn't contain it. It's esoteric, I know, but I am going to leave it at that for now. Another thing that good science isn't is correct, as in politically correct, or socially correct, or philosophically correct, or dogmatically correct, or sensitive, or welcoming, or what have you. When science contains the quality of correctness, it ceases to be good science and becomes Lysenkoism.

A good scientist isn't beautiful. A good scientist is only one thing, honest -- honest to the highest degree that honesty can be. The more honest a scientist is the better. There are lots of people who are competent with the material, with the apparatus, but if they lack honesty their science is shit. The work of a good scientist is all about honesty. It isn't about how his work will be received by aggrieved women. If someone's honestly conducted research indicates that women have shit for brains, that person should honesty report it. Unfortunately man is a political animal, and scientists often must consequently conform to standards that requires them to be less than honest, to be not so good. This should tendency should be acknowledged, and effort should be made to reduce its effects. It should not be encouraged.

Scientist can a jerks and still be good scientists. In fact they frequently are. (Jerkiness is in the eye of the beholder, btw) They are also often frivolous/playful, particularly the mathematicians. In fact without frivolity and playfulness very little good science will get done. Putting multiple billions of euros worth of electronics and design on top of a tube filled with explosives is the height of frivolity. Frivolity and playfulness must be both tolerated and encouraged. Jerkiness is neutral. Jerkiness may not be advisable in that it may mitigate against the collegial atmosphere, seeing that scientists are people first, and are all too often inappropriately emotional. However the biggest jerks in science are those who are wont to point out jerkiness in others and complain about it, like this Rachael Feldman chick.

Yeah, I'm calling her a chick, and I know she considers it insulting. Feldman should hire someone to insult her every hour on the hour if that's what it takes for her to understand that science that is "welcoming to women" is not good science. I should bill her. She should toughen up, and she should encourage girls who want to be scientists to likewise toughen up. Good science is no respecter of persons, and when it is, it is ceases to be science and becomes Lysenkoism. Feldman may have credentials out the yahzoo, and she have published work, but this hullabaloo about a shirt means that she doesn't grasp the fundamentals.

Just Mike said...

seems like bullying...they even made him cry

Quaestor said...

I realize some may want to jump on me over my second sentence of my previous comment: Science is not about anything except science. I think I'll beat them to the punch and critique myself -- that sentence was rhetorical, and more than a bit weak.

I should have said science is not about anything except Nature.

Quaestor said...

Unfortunately man is a political animal, and scientists often must consequently conform to standards that requires them to be less than honest, to be not so good.

Horrible. Allow me to re-work that thought:

Unfortunately man is a political animal. Consequently scientists must often conform to standards that require them to be less than honest, to be not so good, e.g. keeping military secrets.

Freeman Hunt said...

I agree with Just Mike. It's bullying. Manipulative people taking advantage of the guy with the strange shirt, trying to dominate him and make him feel terrible.

And I agree with MayBee. "Yeah, he did something incredible, but look at ME."

Feldman's being a jerk.

furious_a said...

Sorry, Althouse. I have a visceral reaction to bullying, and I find your cool, clinical detachment in the face of it repulsive.

furious_a said...

And Balfegor, with feeling. Well played.

averagejoe said...

I'd wager dollars to dog nuts that the same feminazi bitches outraged by this guy's shirt just fucking LOVE Bill Clinton, and they have no problem with the behavior of pols like Anthony Weiner, Ted Kennedy, Chris Dodd, Harry Reid, and Bob Filner because DEMOCRATS!!! And they HATE HATE HATE Sarah Palin. Yeah, feminists- they are worse than morons.

averagejoe said...

C'mon Quaestor, get it together. Your proofreader have the night off or what?

Nathan Wright said...

Wait a second ... women cannot have careers in science *because of a t-shirt* ... and it's *men* who are the whiners?

rcommal said...

Here's my gut reaction: To hell with both Taylor and Feltman.

They are both of the sorts who attract gazillions of followers who mostly just cheer because those followers haven't been required to do anything other than cheer.

Anonymous said...

This woman has a 'science' gig at The Atlantic and THIS is what she choses to focus on...a near total mission fail.

It demonstrates to me that feminist ideology, and such secular ideologies in general, can corrupt the people who chose to self-identify within them and maybe ultimately the ability to do good science to some degree.

Twits, bullies and nincompoops are one thing, but professional twits, bullies and nincompoops are quite another.

Do know how long this f**king comet has been around and how much risk is involved?

Thank you, Philae team, and have fun working with the data!

Anonymous said...

Some people have calculated with great accuracy how long it's been around, and how much risk is involved, and then they went and landed a probe on its surface.

dustbunny said...

I agree with everyone who said this was mean girl bullying, they picked on the goofy nerd until he cried from humiliation, nice job.
Althouse read this so fucking wrong

Emmanuel said...

God is love! :heart: Catholic blogwalking :-) http://emmanuel959180.blogspot.in/

Ken B said...

My respect for Althouse and Meade just took a big hit. Decent people don't side with bullies.

sdharms said...

what this tells me is that there is no individual freedom anymore. If you get on the radar of the thought police you are toast. welcome to the new world. (nothing wrong with his shirt in my opinion, I wouldn't wear it, but nothing wrong if he likes it)

Ken B said...

"But this was a case of someone who chose to make a major statement through clothing. "

Bullshit. Look at him, in shorts and tattooed. That is we learn, we who bothered to learn it, that he always dresses very casually. So it's not choosing to make a major statement. It's pretty much business as usual. It's a minor statement -- of pleasure to wear a shirt made by a friend.

tim in vermont said...

The more I hear from women, the less I like the whole brand. Fortunately, I like the ones I know, for the most part, and they are not virulently infected.

tim in vermont said...

rhardin has it right. If women think that this is an important aspect of doing science, they probably lack the abstract reasoning skills required anyway.

John Nowak said...

The shirt was inappropriate for any professional environment I've ever worked in, let alone "You are about to be seen by a significant chunk of the world's population."

He's under an incredible amount of stress because he's got a lander with dying batteries, and then some idiots decide to pretend this is some huge deal. This might not be how he'd react normally.

If you're not going into STEM because of a shirt, good. You would never have succeeded.

tim in vermont said...


It is understood that if a comet is discovered on a collision course with Earth and the only way to save humanity (Earth will be fine) is to reference his work, we won't do it, on account of his status as a thought criminal and all; anymore than a surgeon would use the Pernkopf atlas.

dustbunny said...

If I wasn't so lazy I would copy that hideous shirt and market it in support of socially confused scientists everywhere. Somebody has probably already done it.

Xmas said...

He's a Rockabilly guy wearing a Rockabilly shirt given to him by his Rockabilly female friend. It appears the science reporter hates Rockabilly culture. She needs to check her privilege.

(But somewhat seriously, have you seen the woman that gifted him the shirt. I'd wear shirt every day too. Hachimachi!)

Lonetown said...

Gee, maybe he just thought the landing would be so wonderful he wanted to wear a colorful shirt?

It is completely and utterly irrelevant, he could have been naked.

Dpn't tune in if your too frail, or more likely have your head up your ass.

Skyler said...

We used to have freedom of speech in this country. That this shirt is being politicized is exactly why it should be protected.

What if he did desire to promote the idea that women should carry guns and cavort in attractive and revealing outfits? I know I do. In the old days many would have called him a boor and ignored him.

SGT Ted said...

Feminist women are assholes is my takeaway.

mezzrow said...

In a just world, the woman who started this ball rolling will have similar feedback for her apparel on her wedding day. Or maybe when she gives birth to her first child.

It's not the snarky comment alone, it's the timing. She ruined the best day of his life, basically. Also, the Atlantic tweet queen made the whole thing about her, not any of the people who made this miracle happen.

Tunnelvision and lack of basic human empathy is what I see here.

Also, twitter is the devil.

viator said...

So we are supposed to think that these women scared off by a silly shirt will be able to go toe to toe with men in a scientific dust-up? Isn't going to happen, the first time some man argued with them he would be accused of sexism and keelhauled.

It's odd that women want to be combat Marines and yet are scared of shirts.

JHapp said...

I would not be surprised to find out that the shirt and the apology where all planned in order to mock how the public views scientist as sexless geeks and to sit back and have some laughs watching the feminist react.

Eeyore Rifkin said...

Is it possible that the Professor was attracted to law because she liked the costumes? No, let's not trivialize the matter. It's the power to dictate fashion that attracts. What man wouldn't want to live under such a regime? What could he possibly be feeling?

The axe in my shed is cold. The city, ever expanding, requires a special permit to chop down trees of a certain height. The unstated objective of the regulation is to render plaid flannel shirts superfluous. Men must be made to understand that their clothing choices are first and foremost fashion choices. Every act is a statement, sartorial acts especially so. Do you want to say something bold? There's a special form you can fill out that will allow you to do that, pending approval.

You're under oath.

I did not have lumbersexual relations with that shirt. It was just a shirt. It was handy. I actually wore it a few times to chop wood. For the fire. A long time ago, when you could do that, you know, off the record.

And the shorts?

I'm sorry. What can I say? It was a mistake. I'm so sorry. Please don't let this become part of my permanent record. I'm not like that. Really. That's not me....

Fernandinande said...

tearful apology.

What a pussy. "Sorry, mommy! Boo hoo."

Science is not a welcoming place for women,

"Science" is not a place, and men are obviously better at it.

rhhardin said...

The axe in my shed is cold.

The back of the axe can be used to unhang a thermal delay relay in an electric furnace, tapping it on the seam supporting the relay board.

Otherwise the furnace doesn't turn off, and depending on which relay is hung up, may heat your house to expensive electric bill levels.

I suppose a dead-blow hammer would be better, if one is handy.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm made a mental note to respond to any mentions of the shirt's "inappropriateness" with a heartfelt "go fuck yourself". Ladies, I know that most of you aren't as uptight as the people who have decided to be outraged over this guy's shirt. But you need to speak up. Remaining silent just helps convince people that "women in the workplace" is synonymous with "endless chickenshit and drama"."

Well, maybe you are retired or very secure in your job, but this is terrible advice for young men. Following it will get you fired. You need to find a better way.

And your idea certainly is no model of masculinity or reason. It's petulant and childish.

Tank said...

Ken B said...

My respect for Althouse and Meade just took a big hit. Decent people don't side with bullies.


This is why its like gamergate. The gamers told the bullies to fuck off. This is exactly the kind of bullshit they tried on the gamers, and they were told to fuck off.

I wish this guy had not apologized. The correct response is ... you know.

Unknown said...

I loved the Smothers Brothers and their TV show. Never forget that it was censored and taken off the air by that champion of civil rights and great Democrat Lyndon Johnson.

Ann Althouse said...

"...and our hostess here, who can hardly let a day go by without exressing her disgust at the sight of the male leg,..."

You wrote this on a day when I called attention and admiration to Cary Grant's spectacular legs.

Fail.

Ann Althouse said...

Carl Pham said "@Meade RTFA"

CTPTYLASOH

SGT Ted said...

And your idea certainly is no model of masculinity or reason. It's petulant and childish.

It has come to the point that offending a woman's feelings is akin to an actual crime.

The female whining and social bullying and shaming of him over his shirt being "offensive to the wimmenz" is the epitome of petulance and childishness. Can we outlaw that as well?

That's why Rachel should have been told to "fuck off".

Ann Althouse said...

"My respect for Althouse and Meade just took a big hit. Decent people don't side with bullies."

Decent people don't vehement pose as The Decent People.

gcarroll said...

He's a scientist. He is a successful scientist. I think he thought the bullying days of his youth were behind him. He just learned they're not. He cried.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is it possible that the Professor was attracted to law because she liked the costumes? No, let's not trivialize the matter. It's the power to dictate fashion that attracts. What man wouldn't want to live under such a regime? What could he possibly be feeling?"

I distinctly remember that when I first went to law school, my thought about fashion was: dress artistically. I was leaving art for law and felt bad about that. I only sought individual expression and loved the verbal aspects of the enterprise. I got into the law professor game as soon as I could, and I always pursued it with the feeling that it was an art. I was always working on artistic side projects, and this blog is by far the most successful one. I liked the teaching precisely because it wasn't about controlling other people but enabling them to find their own way. And as for how to dress as a law professor, I've always looked for my own way. There was no dress code to comply with. It's possible to wear jeans and a t-shirt and teach in law school.

Steve said...

95% of the population doesn't do jack shit to advance society and one of them has decided that the print on a guys shirt matters more than landing on a comment a half a billion kilometers away.

In this instance we have a social justice warrior deciding that her feelings are more important than an astounding scientific advancement. I know nothing about her but my guess is that she was raised in a well to do home and educated at some expensive (but probably not demanding) university. The hardest thing she has ever dealt with is not getting enough of daddy's attention.

I've known many female scientists and engineers and they are the type of woman that was ostracized by these social justice warriors in high school. They were "bookish" or didn't wear the right shoes and didn't fit into the mean girl cliques. They grew up tough and then survived engineering school, and you should know that most of engineering school is survival because it is hard. Female scientist and engineers don't give a crap about the print on some guys shirt.

If you want to figure out what the main barrier is to women entering STEM careers I'd suggest you look at the influence of "mean girls" in high school. These pampered ladies protest too much.

Rusty said...

Do you care what the guy who fixes your car wears? Do you even know?
He's a fucking engineer. If he showed in a dress everybody would be shitting themselves on how edgy he was.
jesus.
He just helped send a washing machine 385 MILLION miles from home. He got a washing machine sized spacecraft to thread a needle to land on a comet.Without really knowing where the fucking spacecraft was in real time. And get this. where the comet was in real time.
These guys did some Heisenberg physics that was awe inspiring. But, ooooh. Look at his shirt!
When the time comes and we have to land a spacecraft on an asteroid or a comet to nudge it out of its collision course with earth your going to be thanking the guy with the racy shirt.

tim in vermont said...

You know what he is thinking now? "Now I'll never get laid!

Rusty said...

The sad thing is, Tim, the lady engineers re saying the same thing.

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