Science, Space and Shirts

I feel like I’m probably not making any friends this week. Firstly, because I don’t think that waste-of-air PUA should be banned from the UK (see yesterday’s post), and secondly, because now I’m going to say that I think Dr Matt Taylor has been bullied about his shirt and he shouldn’t have apologised for wearing it. How playgroundish!

If you missed this particular troll-storm, Dr Matt Taylor is one of those responsible for the recent success with the Rosetta mission (yup, yup, I’ve been listening and understanding; I know what it’s all about! Something to do with landing something on a comet). In making his announcement and showing his delight to the world, this respected scientist made a fatal mistake.

He wore a shirt which women and feminists the world over could get cross about because the design involved scantily-clad women. Because that’s all any woman can think about and notice when a man talks science. His clothes. And the design, apparently, was “sexist”. They weren’t even naked! There are far worse designs on playing-cards, and yet I hear of no complaint…

As a gender, us women never get cross when we try to talk about serious stuff and all anyone wants to ask about or comment on is our clothes. Nope, not us.

But this man had the temerity to wear a wonderfully colourful shirt to talk about the Rosetta mission and its success, and all he heard was that people (women) didn’t like his shirt. Loudly. And they demanded an apology because they were offended by it.

He has been bullied into apologising for the clothes he wore. Well, girls, do you feel better now you’ve made a grown man grovel and cry because the shirt he (probably) unthinkingly pulled out of his wardrobe offended you? Frankly – Grow Up!

What he has to say about Rosetta is far more important than his shirt. He is a scientist, not a fashion-slave.

Of course you have the right to be offended; you can be anything you like. But that doesn’t mean you should bully the man. That’s what children do when they don’t like something: they bully and tease and make fun of whomever or whatever. And most of you should know considerably better.

What if it was a whole load of men being offended by something a female scientist was wearing? What then? Wouldn’t the cry instead be that it’s the woman’s right to wear whatever she damn well pleases?

Why does this not apply to men? Why can’t he wear a shirt covered in scantily-clad women if he so chooses?

So, Dr Taylor, if you read this: Wear that shirt with pride knowing you were part of the Rosetta mission’s success.

To the people responsible: Shame on you for your bullying, and there are far more important issues out there facing women than what a single scientist wears.

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