Posted by Curt on 15 November, 2014 at 3:54 pm. 1 comment.



Gosh! How wickedly funny it was of a group of internet pranksters to whip up confected outrage over Dr Matt Taylor’s harmless, if rather loud, shirt. That’s the Matt Taylor who just landed a spacecraft on a comet, by the way, in perhaps one of the most remarkable scientific achievements of the decade.

How brilliantly witty, then, for spoofers to take this achievement and make it all about whether or not the shirt he was wearing during an interview was “sexist” or not. Because this can only be a spoof, right? Some kind of trolling or stunt? No sane person, particularly not writers for those esteemed organs, The Verge and The Atlantic, can possibly have thought his choice of clothing was a problem.

No, the only explanation is that these bloggers and tweeters missed out on April Fool’s Day this year, and decided to stage a prank mid-November instead, to really sock it to the radical feminists who have been getting such a bad press recently—and perhaps to steal page-views from The Onion.

I mean, what better way to lampoon a movement that most women want nothing to do with, because it’s obstreperous, humourless, nitpicky, hectoring, tone-deaf, misandrist and populated by bores, than hounding a scientific hero because he dared to wear a shirt with a pair of boobs on it? A shirt, I might add, made for him by a female friend.

Christina Hoff Sommers, a feminist academic at the American Enterprise Institute, expresses the problem succinctly: “Feminist bloggers claimed that his shirt would make women feel unwelcome in [science, technology, engineering and maths]. What nonsense. No woman with a serious interest in astronomy would be deterred because she saw a tattooed guy in a risqué shirt.”

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