Philae Lander: One Small Step for Science, One Giant Sexist Shirt for Mankind?


So after landing the spacecraft Philae on a comet 300 million miles away, the real issue seems to be what one of people responsible, Matt Taylor (right), was wearing at the press conference announcing the achievement.

Among the negative comments: "No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt…" and "I don't care what scientists wear. But a shirt featuring women in lingerie isn't appropriate for a broadcast if you care about women in STEM."

In a deft take at USA Today, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit writes:

Matt Taylor, was wearing a shirt, made for him by a female "close pal," featuring comic-book depictions of semi-naked women. And suddenly, the triumph of the comet landing was drowned out by shouts of feminist outrage about…what people were wearing. It was one small shirt for a man, one giant leap backward for womankind….

What should have been the greatest day in a man's life—accomplishing something never before done in the history of humanity—was instead derailed by people with their own axes to grind. As Chloe Price observed: "Imagine the …storm if the scientist had been a woman and everyone focused solely on her clothes and not her achievements."

Read the whole thing.

A little more about that shirt, which is hardly offensive and was made by this British woman, Elly Prizeman, whose Twitter bio reads, "Into the rockabilly scene and enjoying life tons! I'm an alternative model, PA and work @eternalartessex removing tattoos with a laser."

She writes:

Dr. Matt Taylor is an amazing, kind, loving and sensitive person.

I never expected him to wear my gift to him for such a big event and was surprised and deeply moved that he did.

I made that shirt for his birthday last month as I make clothes just as a hobby and he asked if I would make him one.

He is a close and very loved friend so made sure I did this for his birthday present.

I appreciate that everyone is entitled to their opinion and having worked with people and events for a long time I have certainly learnt that you are never going to please everyone….

I am so proud of Matt and his achievements and the fact he is an interesting and very brave person to do what he did with the very sweet gesture he made towards my gift and to wear his individuality with pride.

It has certainly made history more exciting and bold.

More here.

Reynolds notes that just 23 percent of American women and 20 percent of us overall "identify as feminists, even though most are in favor of gender equality." A tendency to pivot toward humorless disgust in virtually any situation can't be helping the numbers.