Sexism, Feminists, and The Scientist’s Shirt

Offensive shirt

The European Space Agency’s probe managed to land on a hurtling comet millions of miles away to collect scientific data, and  has begun sending images from the surface of the body, known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. However, Dr. Matt Taylor, one of the scientists responsible for the Rosetta probe mission found himself at the center of a feminist uprising after he appeared on television earlier this week….because of his choice of shirts.

Here’s a good view:

new-gunner-girls. shirt

Taylor, who appears to superficially fit the template of clueless scientific geniuses  presented in the hit comedy “Big Bang Theory,” appeared live wearing a garish Hawaiian-style shirt with a design made up of Heavy Metal comic book images of busty women in various states of undress, carrying guns and generally enacting the fantasies of 14-year-old boys. This somehow managed to overwhelm the astounding scientific achievement he has been part of, and angry feminists attacked:

“No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt,” tweeted Atlantic journalist Rose Eveleth. Astrophysicist Katie Mack said, “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 science.”

So furious was the reaction of some feminists and others on social media and elsewhere that Taylor felt constrained to apologize, which he did during another televised update regarding the mission, saying, as he choked back tears, “I made a big mistake and I offended many people and I am very sorry about this.”

Then came the backlash from the men.

“Could America have won World War II if the Army Air Force had to waste time dealing with a left throwing hissy fits over all of the provocatively dressed women being painted onto B-17s and B-29s as nose art?” wrote blogger Ed Driscoll. Prof. Glenn Reynolds was more direct:

“Just to be clear, Rose Eveleth of The Atlantic is a horrible person, who took what should have been one of the best days of a man’s life, a day of doing something no human beings had ever done before, and ruined it in order to feel important. She should be apologizing, not taking Twitter victory laps.”..

and this…

“Landing on a comet is a big deal. Complaining about men isn’t. Also, we’ve been told that it’s always sexist and inappropriate for men to comment on women’s choice of attire, so why should women be allowed to criticize what men wear? This is just another sad effort on the part of losers to inject themselves into matters that are actually relevant, but in which they are unqualified to take part.”

What’s going on here?

Let me try to sort all of this out.

1. The shirt is not appropriate for the workplace. It would constitute per se sexual harassment in a U.S. office if women were employed there, regardless of what the wearer’s intent was. That kind of portrayal of women creates a hostile work environment.

2. It is also an inappropriate shirt to wear on television (whether one “cares about women in science” or not), regardless of the reason and purpose of the broadcast. As several critics pointed out, apparently none of Taylor’s team were alert to this, or at least no one convinced him to wear something that was not offensive, or so likely to offend.

3. Does this mean that Taylor is himself sexist, or that his working environment is anti-woman? No.

4. Does it mean he and the culture in which he works has no sensitivity to this at all? Yes.

5. The shifting of attention from the scientific achievement to the cultural hostility to women in the sciences was unfortunate, and making Taylor the hapless symbol of the sexism of scientists was unfair to Taylor, who merely wore the wrong shirt at the wrong time. It is true that a tasteless—OK, idiotic–choice of public dress is of less import than the scientific advance he was part of. However, addressing and eliminating gender bias in the workplace and the sciences in particular is as important as landing a probe on a comet. It is too bad the two events clashed, but feminists cannot be blamed for that. Thus..

6. Feminists and other critics were 100% correct to raise objections to Taylor’s shirt, and the implicit message it sent.

7. Taylor, unfortunately, received all the criticism for what is a culture-wide phenomenon, and that is unfair. In this case, however, the injustice was necessary. Symbols generally choose themselves.

8. The attacks on Taylor’s critics are wrong-headed. The shirt is symbolic, and was properly flagged. The prominence of the event, the comet mission, made calling attention to Taylor’s shirt essential. It was an opportunity. I would suggest that most of the critics really don’t think gender bias in the sciences is all that important. They are mistaken.

9. It is too bad that Taylor’s experience in what should have been a lifetime moment of triumph and pride was marred. However, his lack of professional awareness—no sane plaintiff would appear in a courtroom is such a shirt; no student would wear it to class; no one but a clod would wear it on a date; no one would dare wear it to a job interview, or on an airplane, or to the opera, and this guy thinks it’s the perfect attire to appear on work-wide television wearing?—is astounding.

10. It is true that everything shouldn’t be politicized, and the landing of the Rosetta probe didn’t have to be. It was the shirt, however, not the shirt’s critics that politicized this event.

Score this a well-earned victory for gender bias awareness.

_________________

Pointer: Instapundit

Sources: Ed Driscoll, Examiner, Telegraph, CBC, Dame

 

 

 

137 thoughts on “Sexism, Feminists, and The Scientist’s Shirt

  1. From his viewpoint – it was just him kicking up his heels for once, no harm was meant by it.
    From his colleagues’ viewpoint – the guys saw nothing wrong with it, the gals – well, they get far worse EVERY DAY.

    That’s the problem,isn’t it? We get far worse every day, and shrug and say that’s just the way things are, and if you make a fuss, it undermines the team cohesion needed to do Rocket Science. We’re so close to he bleeding edge of technology that everyone has to do things exactly right. That’s necessary. But not sufficient, you have to be lucky too.

    You put in two, five, ten years of effort, devoting every waking moment to thinking about the mission – and quite a lot during your sleep too.

    You hope, you touch wood, you keep a rabbits foot on the monitor during the blastoff, hoping it won’t all end in a massive explosion.

    Then power up, orbital insertion, interplanetary injection… dozens of steps over years in missions like this one,finally culminating in a successful landing.

    Champagne! Celebration! Ten years work and it’s a success! Let your hair down for once!

    I give him a pass, because the day is special, like no other.

    What I consider more important is that the harpoon failed, the lander bounced, and has ended up in a depression. That’s shadowing the solar cells, so if we’re very, very lucky we’ll get 80% of the data from the first phase of the program, before it all freezes up. Maybe 10% of what we were aiming for.

    Now if you’ll pardon me, I’ll take advantage of one of the few pieces of female privilege that exists, and go and have a few tears. If I’d actually been on the mission team, rather than just a bystander on he cheer squad, I’d be inconsolable.

  2. He should not be the scapegoat, it was a group faux pas worthy of a footnote but not glee or a feeding frenzy. All it would have taken is one person to speak up before the camera went on and lend him another shirt. There are many clueless geeks, but they can be taught better than some guys.

    It landed and that was the message that was more important for the day. The unthinking bias will take many days.

    • Good perspective. But the shirt could hardly be ignored, correct? What if he wore a Pro-ISIS T-shirt? A Man-Boy Love message? Borderline child porn? “It’s not Ray’s fault that Janay can’t take a punch!” ? What message is important enough to justify taking away from the main event?

      • Agreed. But all the geeks who wear shirts like that thoughtlessly or accuse female scientists or gamers as being too sensitive to the environment made by the shirt or locker-room talk, need to be called and not just this jumbo example.

      • This was such a huge scientific achievement and feminists focus on a colorful and slightly juvenile shirt. It doesn’t reflect well on their movement.

  3. Screw castrating feminazis, screw political correctness, and forget about ever getting me to come to heel. I would have told them to get bent. I LOVE the high level of testosterone that courses through my veins, and I love being a fire-breathing, knuckle-dragging Cro-magnon beast! As long as I’m not being a complete lout, leave me alone. My awesome, stunning wife tells me of conversations with her friends at work, about a dozen females, who lament the loss of real men in favor of the coiffed, meticulous metrosexual hybrid that’s rapidly emerging. One of them said ” if we ever get invaded by real men, we’re screwed”. My kind of women! The neuterers can pound sand. Chesty Puller said it best when he said “Our Country won’t go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won’t be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race!” Here’s the thing; I do dishes, laundry, vacuuming, diapering, etc. We have an egalitarian system in our home. I hold open doors and pull back chairs for the ladies. I can even be vulnerable and deep with my wife. But,I can also fix or make just about anything; cars, elecctronic devices, plumbing, wiring, construction, build things with a lathe, mill, surface grinder & other tools, drive a tractor- trailer, keep you alive in the middle of a firefight, as well as fight like a demon with guns, hands, and edged weapons. I’m older, but still strong enough to deadlift a quarter-ton. I could keep her and the kids alive and very safe under the worst circumstances. My wife feels safe with me, and she loves that. She knows I will never make a major decision without her consent, but that I will take the responsibility, and shoulder the consequences of doing so, if absolutely necessary because she is unable to do so. This is the natural order of things. What the feminazis and PC police want to reduce men to is only possible due to the industrial revolution and the resultant technology. Now, I wouldn’t have worn a shirt like that, because it’s not my style, but if I had, you wouldn’t have seen me bleating with tear-filled eyes, begging forgiveness. I probably would have said something like “Oh, I didn’t even notice what I had put on, what with landing a probe on a comet and all. Forgive me, I won’t take up any more of your time with my babbling; I’m sure you have something equally important to attend to”. Men,hold onto your testicles. Don’t give these harpies the satisfaction.

    • Should have added that I respect my wife a great deal, see and tteat her as a partner and equal, just as I seek to respect people, regardless of gender or anything else, who respect me. My sense of humor in real life can be a bit crass and maybe controversial, but it’s never my primary intent to offend. As long as that’s the case, I’m not going to be tripping all over my pee-pee trying to apologise. No one should. PC will be the death of us.

      • But the shirt issue isn’t PC, and it will be impossible to beat back PC manipulation if we blur lines that shouldn’t be blurred. That shirt would have been inappropriate if it was worn by Gene Kranz being interviewed about the Apollo 13 rescue, or by the Mercury team after Shepard splashed down. Don’t pretend it wasn’t stupid, clueless, rude and disrespectful, and not just of women. IF Bush wore that shirt to Ground Zero, he would have been crucified, and correctly. Of course Taylor had to apologize, just as he would have to apologize if he appeared on screen live naked or dressed like Carmen Miranda.

        • To be fair, during a post-Revolutionary War press conference, a jubilant General George Washington wore a very similar casual shirt. It isn’t discussed much in the history books since even then they knew that was wrong.

          • Hi all,
            returning from my informal self de-fenestration and donnybrook practice sabbatical.

            I think there is an issue of speech here. If the position in ‘the marketplace of ideas’ is to be extemely liberal – permit any speech or expression that is truth directed – then the fault lies not in Dr. Taylor’s conduct or his shirt, but in his contract of employment (imagining for a moment that he worked for NASA not ESA). The ethic of professional conduct outside the workplace enlarges a precedent where to employ someone on public funds to correct or address a public attitude or prejudice is permissible. His contract of employment prohibits him as an employee from endorsing such a prejudice or wrong idea or fighting belief during work hours. Because ESA/NASA does not care to ook like the knd of employer which discriminates.

            He was not in an ESA space duing the interview – he was in a million little boxes with screens on the front all over the world – it was public speech. So it is the public not the workplace standard of harassment that applies. If the shirt should not be censored in general it should not morally be censored at any time other than when legal or other contractual constraints apply. His employer may have an issue with him for breach of contract. His female coleagues and co–professionals are entilled to feel very let down. But the public should not. And in fact, to protect public speech, the public should have an issue with ESA/NASA. And his other critics.

            This is a rewritten version of a ‘main opinion’ by a waitress and army veteran of my you-tube acquaintance (name witheld to protect the guilty)

            I should like to write a dissenting opinion if that is permitted and is welcome (my Calon Lan – Pure Heart – principle is still present but under control now).

              • Oh dear, sorry to have worried. I just had to withdraw recover change my arguments look for new data, in minor ethics practice – you-tubbe commennts -defending the indefensible, champion of the harlot and the homless, talking to some very odd coves who take theredpill, reading the Quran, talking to muslims about evoluton, writing bad poety for masculine, agreingg to disagree with gun lobbyists, date rape with jocks, Seeing pain, crying. Learning new vocabulary mangina, fedora, white knight, pussybeggar. Meeting the lonely and the lovely and some law. The maxims of equity, roots of rape law and moral degradation as an njury, And Mr. Justice Holmes and the ‘market of ideas’ very old to you – new to me.

                It’s been kind of a wandering knight phase. Make that a wondering nought. I can’t say I’ve learned much. There are 1 billion peple in trouble that need ‘wordsmen’ and I can’t help but a few. I owe you a write up – if I can write much longer. Health I’m afraid.

                Still no regrets,, if it hasn’t aways been happy it was nice to feel useful one last time. Better to listen to a mob than to talk to a brick wall (no offence but ths site and me: too much passion at my time of life – no-one’s fault and ‘we’ll always have Paris’ ) .

                I hope you do listen to this waitress/servicewoman – from what II gather she has highly visible tattoos and piercings of a ”diabolical’ kind Fiesty as heck and worries about her employabiity in competition with ‘tame’ contenders I think. That’s why the shirt thing worried her so much. She’s not a ‘case’ – far too independent for that — but she needs to be heard – which is hard for her.

                • Wait wait wait. Your opinion was a repeat of this Waitress Friend of yours?

                  Let me see, she made a personal decision that is essentially a permanent statement on the public forum. Now she’s worried that her personal statement may have consequences attached to it on the free market and she wants to be sure she’s protected from the consequences?

                  That hardly makes her opinion objectively sound doesn’t it?

                  Additionally, why is she so concerned…I doubt her role will thrust her on the world stage representing not only herself, but her employer… and so far her employer seems fine with her representing the employer within the community…

                  • Once, I could be bothered to argue wth you. Once, I respected you. Now I only pity you, but I can’t even be bothered to do that much. Suo Gan you pathetic unfeeling arrogant git. Suo Gan for 30,000 suicides. Suo Gan for a million dead mMslims. Suo Gan for homeless ex-servicemen. Suo Gan for the Veterans Hospitals.

                    Here’s a parting kiss – the logical fallacy within the use of the laws of logic.
                    ‘I intend to be logical. I eschew and denounce all forms of bias. I see no evidence of either in my text. Therefore I am logical, my case is morally superior to any emotional appeal. It will discomode my opponent. As a morally superior being I’m entitled to enjoy it – press ‘Post comment’. With venom, without mercy, with arrogance, with no hint of integrity. I went away looking for ‘free speech tyrants’ turns out I didn’t have to look far.

                    A fellow ‘logical supremacist’ of yours put it clearly ‘If you dare to defend this slut again I will rape you with my logic – I think you are beginning to enjoy it’ at least he was honest – what can you say?

                    What”s that you say texagg – ‘fuck me? No, no,no no, no – fuck *you*

                    See Jack? Too much passion.

                    • Why bother? You tried to fuck me with logic tricks and traps. I fucked you back wtith emotions. I can read yur logc and how you intended t use it. Why would I injure myself or my cause? You don’t have the sensitivity to understand emo-talk. So learn.

                    • Ok Tex, lets take a look at your ‘questions’
                      ‘Wait wait wait.’ Translation: let’s all stand back and laugh at Bruce..Declaration of war right there.. For someone supposedly emotionally illiterate you certainly can communicate when it suits you. If you say the gloves are off – fine they are off.. That 3 X4 letter openiing ves me every justification to use an e-bomb.

                      ‘Your opinion was a repeat of this Waitress Friend of yours?’ I said so, so why repeat it. This is not a question. It’s a jeer with a question mark at the end.

                      Let me see (translation : ‘just watch me (tee,hee bruce is so easy, what a clown,teehee)’,

                      she made a personal decision that is essentially a permanent statement on the public forum. (we have no knowledge,nor will you ever have, if you think for one second I would bring her here or name her – so she can get ‘wait, wait, wait’ ed and omfg that fits – she’s a waitress, oh how we all laughed. – do i need to say why this stinks?)

                      Now she’s worried that her personal statement may have consequences attached to it on the free market and she wants to be sure she’s protected from the consequences? (we have no knowledge but think of the spectrum of veterans needs, think about how one wating tables might fit in that spectrum – again this question stinks, a loaded, mocking question and so utterly arrogant)

                      That hardly makes her opinion objectively sound doesn’t it?
                      (When was the last objective opinion you heard from a witness – objectiveopinion should come after some form of hearing)

                      Additionally, why is she so concerned (you would have to talk to her – but use your imagination – wage loss – just a guess)…

                      I doubt her role will thrust her on the world stage representing not only herself, but her employer (and? – again this is not a question just a snark at her lowly psition ended with a ‘?’)
                      … and so far her employer seems fine with her representing the employer within the community…(I’ll treat this with morerespect than it deserves, it suits my case)

                      If the ‘shirt’ finding in the public eye is against Dr. Taylor she may be asked to leave, to preserve the employers reputation. For if dirty pictures are too bad for a British scientist, surely these monstrosities are too bad for our customers? This sacking might come in spite of it restricting her free expression of diabolism outside work. You might as well put a ‘no niggers, no queers, no catholics and no diabolists’ sign in the vacancy add.

                      You have an ugly soul – should that be a criterion that can be legitimately specified against in recruitment? Along with vital statistics, hair colour and affective disposition to giving the boss blow jobs?

                      That’s how I would have responded if these ‘questions’ merited it. But they were all loaded and texagg does not make that many mistakes. A loaded question is like a loaded gun. Anyone who points one at you is not your friend. That plus the ‘wait, wait, wait’ declaration made it certain that texagg was being unwarrantedly agressive. Enmity. Malevolence. These properties were present.

                      I do not walk into ambushes. If I see one I’ll take out the enemy anyway I please. Emotional bombing or emo-bombing included.

                      Gloves off means gloves off.

                    • Too many typos Jack? Yes, for that I do apologise. Passion and Parkinsonism are not friends of easy accuracy. And my posts do tend to be overlong.

                      It’s getting late here. I’ll sign off. The rest of the evening is yours. I hope you enjoy it.

                    • @texagg04
                      “Is this too self evident to require a response?”
                      To quote a great actor in a great part ‘This, is this’ Robert DeNiro, The Deerhunter.
                      And texagg – this or these? How many fingers am I holding up? A victory V or a ‘spin on it’?

                      @Jack Marshall.. Thanks, coach. Thank you very much indeed. With Love.

                    • Alright you flippin loon, lemme really translate it for you:

                      “Wait wait wait.”
                      Has nothing to do with standing back and laughing at you and everything to do with having waded through your nearly indecipherable prattle only to discover the disjointed snippets were possibly someone else’s opinion, but I still wasn’t sure because quite frankly amongst the random diatribe about the superiority of emotion based though and the rapid fire “suo gan” nonsense coming from left field I couldn’t make heads or tails of what you were saying.

                      “Your opinion was a repeat of this Waitress Friend of yours?”
                      Because I wasn’t sure, I asked this question to be sure. Ding Ding!!!

                      “Let me see, she made a personal decision that is essentially a permanent statement on the public forum. Now she’s worried that her personal statement may have consequences attached to it on the free market and she wants to be sure she’s protected from the consequences?”
                      In the context of the original post’s discussion, the objection you make, this bit of mine is perfectly reasonable to add. In the public realm we all make decisions…those decisions have consequences. That’s real life. We can’t be protected from consequences. Sorry.

                      Actually, I’m not going to explain any more, you’re one step away from joining the one other commenter on here I will not grace with discussion. I can’t abide by this tactic of once one has been called out on illogical nonsense the best defense is a diarrhea of words and then a pre-positioning of oneself as an eventual martyr.

                    • @texagg04
                      “Let me see, she made a personal decision that is essentially a permanent statement on the public forum. Now she’s worried that her personal statement may have consequences attached to it on the free market and she wants to be sure she’s protected from the consequences”

                      On reflection this point was the one that did actually make sense and was not entirely loaded.

                      A permanent decision to show tattoos and piercings would come under the same heading as the decision to get facial scars from memberhip of some tribes, the wearing of dreadlocks, or hijabs (if those are not considered to be expressions of religion) or even a badge that one was a ‘guinea pig’ – one of the origingal burns victims that had pedicule reconstructive plastic surgery.Some decisions will be taken flippantly as a matter of ‘fashionable’ adherence to a fashionable belief or engagement with a fashionable idea. Others will be probabilistic outcomes of participation in any facially risky enterprise. Including military service, firefighting, horse riding (remember Chris Reeve?), or cookery (fat fires). In the deep mines of old Wales the miners acquired a dark appearance to their skins from the coal splinters splitting back into their faces as they swung the pick (Rhondda Grey). Munitions workers were yellow. Matchmaking girls got ‘phossy jaw’. A large number of professions, occupations and pastimes all carry long term consequences in terms of a persons appearance.

                      All nominally voluntary choices, All in one way representing a belief or value system withing the market place of ideas. These affective dispositions included a valuation of bread or bravery or bloody minded individuality for the community before conventional beauty and its rewards for the individual.

                      If a person decided to turn left rather than right in 1935 in Nazi Germany and consequently bears a tattoo on their arm, should or shouldn’t they be allowed to wait table in the Extremely Exclusive Country Club for persons of distinction at the annual dinner and dance of the Adolf Hitler Appreciation Society? Or should they be disbarred because – ‘people might not like it’?

                      I draw these analogies and hypotheticals to magnify the issue of the shirt and what it means. And what harrassment laws may ethically mean if they come up against an issue of free speech.

                      So the question is – should employment contracts be allowed to specifiy ‘representing the company/ESA/Country Club in a good light, protecting their public reputation as a company with all sections of society’? Is that fair and proportional, or does it amount to caving in on freedom of expression because ‘people may not like it?’

                  • Well I am here myself to defend what I said. First of all, I am not a waitress; I am an U.S. Army soldier.

                    This is not a hard thing to comprehend, unless you’re the typical brainwashed human being in our society. Then I can understand your pain trying to understand something you only do when you see beyond the simplicity of this “issue”

                    Every workplace has rules of attire, uniforms and what you can/can’t wear. The thing is, Dr. Matt Taylor was NOT in his workplace, he was just being himself, in public. He can wear whatever he feels like; it is not a crime at all. Secondly, the hypocrisy of these “feminists” if a cartoon on a man’s shirt is dressed a bit sexy offends them, let’s start with removing from every store every picture of a model wearing a lingerie or less as to promote the product, because it is actually selling “sex.” The Doctor’s shirt wasn’t about that; it was simply created by another woman who understands the look of a comic-book type of model.

                    Now let’s say, if according to you this is still all about his job, let’s invent a situation here as I told Bruce personally.

                    The situation in example is the following;

                    This is exactly what happened with Doctor Matt Taylor, and these feminists and people seeing his personal action of wearing a shirt publicly and out of his workplace is like. Complete bullshit, ignorance and I do not tolerate that.

                    My own example:

                    At work: http://i62.tinypic.com/2vtuutd.jpg
                    And yes at my work right there, during my working hours we wear what we have to under the rules we accepted in contract.

                    Now in my personal life: http://i59.tinypic.com/1604m4x.jpg

                    Is how I personally dress, it does not interfere with the work I do, because during my working hours at my work place I follow the rules, but being in public, people still knowing I work for the US Army, should not be any of the matter because that is ME, in my personal life, I could attend activities done by US Army Unit members among with the Commander at a public place, nobody would say a thing, they don’t have to, do they?

                    Now the examples given are to be related to Doctor Matt Taylor, and guess what? Sadly a person’s action in public is not meant to please everyone all over the world, there’s always someone who wants to differ to simply ruin other’s life for no reason. He did not do anything wrong, he wasn’t at the NASA or working in his own workplace, he was simply giving a public speech wearing his personal and publicly legal attire.

                    Stop the madness already, I’m quite sick of the ignorance that’s ruining our world and our lives with no valid reason, really.

                    His knowledge and skills are the same from before he wore that shirt, why should that simple thing matter? The hypocrisy we use is not nice at all.

                    • “This is not a hard thing to comprehend, unless you’re the typical brainwashed human being in our society. Then I can understand your pain trying to understand something you only do when you see beyond the simplicity of this “issue””

                      This says nothing other than Lizabeth Rivera disagrees with texagg04, can’t explain why, so it must be because texagg04 is brainwashed…

                      “Every workplace has rules of attire, uniforms and what you can/can’t wear. The thing is, Dr. Matt Taylor was NOT in his workplace, he was just being himself, in public. He can wear whatever he feels like; it is not a crime at all.”

                      Unicorns, hobbits, students who “know the material but don’t do well on tests”, and people stop being who they are in different contexts…ALL IMAGINARY CREATURES. I could care less what the guy wears in private settings, what he wears in public may be insulting to others and in this case quite impolite, but what he wears/does when he is acting as a representative of his employer makes a huge difference. If you don’t know this as a soldier, you’re probably heading to an early Article 15 and eventual separation from the military with an other than honorable discharge.

                      “Secondly, the hypocrisy of these “feminists” if a cartoon on a man’s shirt is dressed a bit sexy offends them, let’s start with removing from every store every picture of a model wearing a lingerie or less as to promote the product, because it is actually selling “sex.” The Doctor’s shirt wasn’t about that; it was simply created by another woman who understands the look of a comic-book type of model.”

                      There is a branch of the ever-confusing network of feminist groups that do hate lingerie ads. I don’t see how calling this “hypocrisy” makes a difference. Not only that, I’m not certain a magazine advertisement is analogous to him wearing the shirt in this context.

                      “Now let’s say, if according to you this is still all about his job, let’s invent a situation here as I told Bruce personally.

                      The situation in example is the following;

                      This is exactly what happened with Doctor Matt Taylor, and these feminists and people seeing his personal action of wearing a shirt publicly and out of his workplace is like. Complete bullshit, ignorance and I do not tolerate that.

                      My own example:

                      At work: (link deleted)
                      And yes at my work right there, during my working hours we wear what we have to under the rules we accepted in contract.

                      Now in my personal life: (link deleted)

                      Is how I personally dress, it does not interfere with the work I do, because during my working hours at my work place I follow the rules, but being in public, people still knowing I work for the US Army, should not be any of the matter because that is ME, in my personal life, I could attend activities done by US Army Unit members among with the Commander at a public place, nobody would say a thing, they don’t have to, do they?”

                      Uh, do you really think a nose-ring is quite the equivalent of the shirt? Come now… let’s be logical. Oh, by the way, just as soon as you are asked told by your Sergeant that you are going to be speaking on behalf of the US Army on international television, guess whose nose ring won’t be present?

                      Her name starts with R and ends with …well you see where this is going.

                      If by chance you are casually stopped by a reporter and you are discovered to be military and make casual comments on the military while so attired…as long as you aren’t recorded defaming the military you’ll have nothing to worry about.

                      “Now the examples given are to be related to Doctor Matt Taylor, and guess what? Sadly a person’s action in public is not meant to please everyone all over the world, there’s always someone who wants to differ to simply ruin other’s life for no reason. He did not do anything wrong, he wasn’t at the NASA or working in his own workplace, he was simply giving a public speech wearing his personal and publicly legal attire.”

                      This isn’t a question of legality, people should quit mentioning it, it only embarrasses their arguments. Two issues, the 1st related to his Employer: to say again, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHERE HE WAS, as soon as he willingly took part in something that identified him as a member of NASA, he should have been dressed for the occasion…that is to say, professionally. The 2nd issue: the shirt he chose to wear, HE IS FREE TO WEAR, just like anyone is free to be a jerk to their neighbor every morning on the way to work, but that doesn’t make it ETHICAL, the content of his shirt in the context he wore it, IS UNETHICAL.

                      This is so simple it is painful. Legal Not Illegal doesn’t mean ethical.

                      Stop the madness already, I’m quite sick of the ignorance that’s ruining our world and our lives with no valid reason, really.

                      “His knowledge and skills are the same from before he wore that shirt, why should that simple thing matter? The hypocrisy we use is not nice at all.”

                      So smart people can get away unethical conduct and dumb people don’t?

                      Jack, I don’t wanna do a rationalization list on PVT Rivera’s comment, I lost count…

                      By the way, you’ll wanna be extremely careful what you do post on the internet. Just a word of advice. In fact, in my opinion, given your apparent inability to tell what is an ok image to post, I’d refrain entirely if I were you.

          • Yes, legal and illegal does matter when you are talking about someone’s job and try to bash them for things that are their personal matter. Don’t ever mix personal+business. That is something people still have issues understanding? seriously. It’s like when people bitched about elections because our two candidates were a woman and a black man whose name sounded too “terrorist-like”.

            So again, why would someone’s attire cause trouble on their job because they are in a public place with many people watching them, yet they are still doing their job well and they are still professional about their skills and knowledge. It’s pretty damn simple to know that someone’s appearance simply should not be a problem. You know why it is all an issue? Stereotypes, labeling, all of that (yes, it is from brainwashed people) is what keeps making society throw blames at each other because of looks, skin, hair color, ethnicity, etc. It’s just way ridiculous.

            Yes, it is upsetting when you see things like -> http://highanxietyblog.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/NoRapeImage.jpg

            And then you see them complaining a man’s shirt indirectly approving of the own message they were first trying to let out. You know why it’s different? because of gender, simple as that. If Dr. Taylor was a female, every single girl would be applauding that saying “That’s it, girl! you are my idol now, bla bla” If you are going to be against Dr.Matt Taylor at least admit the reality of the hypocrisy of those complaining.

            Can’t judge others for what you are doing worse yourself. At the end of the day nobody should really be worrying about their physical look at their workplace because that’s not what you go there for, you don’t go to be a role model, you don’t go to please every eyes, you go there to do your damn job. That is it.

              • But as I said, those are only used under convenience, worse things are seen in the public representing what is “okay” and we all agree with that hypocrisy. It’s why we keep dividing each other.

                • Forgive me I attempt to translate to Jackish from Lisabethese. Of all things I fear misunderstandings most.
                  I’m guessing (in brackets)-
                  “But as I said, those are only used under convenience (ie as a covenient club with which to hit Dr. Taylor), (I know that hitting must be part of the plot because) worse things are seen in the public (forum) representing what is “okay” (which atracts no actionat all). (Why is harassment of all 175miion women ok via media when abuse of 1 woman by a shirt in a workplace is not?’) (To this unjust and inconsistent standard we are all complicit) and we all agree with that hypocrisy (by silence and thereby consent to, it). It’s (ie that knowing criminal collaboration with infamy is) why (and how) we keep dividing each other.”

                  close enough – or wrong?

        • I didn’t. It wasn’t there…this is just what was published. That’s all there was. I don’t touch the comments except for fixing minor typos. Something was apparently lost when I approved the comment—I have no idea why. If you send what was omitted, I’ll add it in. I apologize for the snafu.

          • The given example was a supposed situation (that is not real)

            The example was: “If there’s a restaurant owner in Texas and you are to hire people, you wouldn’t hire Mexicans because customers will think you are related or dealing with illegal traffic of immigrants across the border”

            Again, image of someone having to be prejudiced because of what you expect from others to see from them, which is wrong.

            Now again for people who didn’t understand my own example and Dr.Matt Taylor’s, WE WERE BOTH in personal TIME, personal time is your own matter/business/trouble, he was on TV yes, but he was on his personal time, got called in to give a speech of something he is working on, therefore he didn’t break any law/rule related to his job, simply because TV viewers didn’t agree with it, or didn’t like it, doesn’t make it right for making such big deal over a stupid shirt he decided to wear that day just because. Now if he is at his workplace during working hours HE HAVES to follow rules, that does not apply there.

            • I still don’t see what you think you are driving at. (Anyone?) It doesn’t matter why an owner doesn’t hire based on ethnicity. It’s illegal. How that relates to not wearing an inappropriate at per se offensive shirt on a live TV telecast is a mystery unto me.

              • Jack, Lizabeth had to explain herself several times to me before I (kind of) understood.

                There are beliefs, ideas, identities, faiths and none of these should all other things being equal, require a person to pay a penalty to express them. That is the ‘Marketplace of Ideas’ should be a ‘free’ market as understood in Transaction Cost Economics – free to enter and free to leave. If ideas are not ‘freely’ exchanged in this way the ideas of certain isolated, unpopular and poor people will not be heard fairly. Their advocates can be silenced just by threatening the probabilities around the employment status of their clients.

                Lizabeth and some others, possibly including Dr. Taylor, he hasn’t explained, although his tattoos do speak volumes hold a set of beliefs. I think you mentioned ‘heavy metal bands’ – Ok, lets call these beliefs – heavy metalophisy HMP. HMP holds that all persons who are conventional in attire and manner are ‘hypocrites’. The translation of this culturally specific term is difficult, it might help to imagine it as ‘collaborators of ‘the man” or ‘slaves of ‘the man” or ‘the man’.

                The way to show that one is not a ‘hypocrite’ is to wear HMP regalia and facial markings, specifically because this is painful and potentially will earn disdain from society, thus proving ones commitment to the cause. And making it easy to spot an ally – as Lizabeth did with Dr Taylor,

                The conventional stipulation of ‘reputation’ maintenance in contract and in professional codes of ethics is thus an anti individualistic and ‘hypocritical’ block to progress – a bias in the ‘marketplace of ideas’, a subsidy for ‘don’t rock the boat’, a hand out for ‘being pleasant’, a bail out for ass kissers, status quo (not/absollutely the band) and all things deathly.

                And the sexual harassment laws can’t be used to silence ‘I disagree’ when it is mutely expressed without any intention to garner attention. Dr Taylor had no intention of lobbying on company time, he just wore what he wears. He shouldn’t be pestered, certainly not by feminists. ‘I disagree’ should always be proteced.

                • Got it. Thanks.
                  [Whew!]

                  The theory essentially discards respect, comity, consideration, decorum, civility, the Golden Rule,…many of the things, in fact, that make society possible rather than just a bunch of individuals all saying “fuck you!” to each other and the world in general.

                  • Yeah but instead of saying they don’t agree with that sort of attire he worse personally, they immediately attack him and call him things they shouldn’t have, instead of just saying it and him being told by his own boss to not do it again. Problem solved. The thing is there’s a group of supposed feminism that aren’t really feminists, they just take everything every male do and take it personal just because, that’s unreasonable, unfair.

                    If women feel offended feminine images are portrayed too sensual or sexual anywhere in the public, then all of it should be taken off, not just tell a man to stop wearing that type of shirt but they agree with stores having long/big posters or mostly nude women. That’s the hypocrisy I’m talking about. Those companies, and models as well are exploiting the feminine image, do they care? no, but since one man is wearing that similar image they are okay with and support, they immediately attack him. Do you think that’s actually okay?

                  • ‘HMP’ is an awkwward term I dislike ‘the theory’, it is also clumsy and uspecfic. So I’ll try another term which should cover everyhing from Jack Kerouac to Russell Brand – but should quite defintely exclude Sam Harris and ‘conversational intolerance’ and other online abuse. Maybe I’ll call it political protest obnoxiousness or ‘walking in through ‘out’ door. This practice includes gumming up the system. using rudeness, dscourtesy and heedlessness of others sense of offence when dealing with conventional social norms. Becuse it hurts the invidual protester far more than it hurts the system. An act if you will of spite. An altristic and self limiting protest. The level of general exclusion of those bearing unalterable marks of the creed being related to the depth of their hatred for the norm. Our young are sowly, gradually and mostly reversibly self-immolating as a means of protest. And the one guy who saw it and thought freely and genereously enough to support it – just got flamed himself.

                    Our modern day ‘refuseniks’ are not attempting to shut down debate or silence or exclude any one, unlike the intolerants and other abusers. Dr. Taylor’s shirt might read in words ‘If you say left then I say right- on principle, as a means of defying all oppressors,’ or ‘I can’t see exactly what’s wrong but something is, and it hurts me and others I care about. So if the system gives me pictures of fluffy kittens – I’ll make a recipe for kitten frickasee.” Which while it might scanadalise the kitten-cuddlers and concern the PTAs is hardly going to ruin the country.

                    And yet Sam Harris proposing a nuclear first strike plan on a muslim nation goes relatively un commented, while Dr. Taylor is subject to a ‘feminists+conventionalists’ protest storm. ‘How dare you be dirty man being while serving the capitalist god – and a male man at that!’

                    Finaally, I know you have already considered this but please do so again
                    From Abrams v. United States (No. 316)

                    Argued: October 21, 22, 1919

                    Decided: November 10, 1919
                    MR. JUSTICE HOLMES dissenting.
                    Paragraph 15 I think
                    ‘Persecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical. If you have no doubt of your premises or your power, and want a certain result with all your heart, you naturally express your wishes in law, and sweep away all opposition. To allow opposition by speech seems to indicate that you think the speech impotent, as when a man says that he has squared the circle, or that you do not care wholeheartedly for the result, or that you doubt either your power or your premises. But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas — that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. ‘

                    I was trained (NHS) as an inventer and a sometime real life trader in real life markets – for medical eqipment. To get custommer satisfaction one must look past the hypocrisy of desperately ill people and equally desperately opinionated carers and do what is necessary, not what is requested. Which means explaining some painful truths and being insistent and persuasive. In this case I mustexlain and insist that the ‘ power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market’ is nil. The truth requires not advocates but scientists. Before an idea can compete it requires a hosptial of care to develop it and a forum of tolerance and duty not a market place to test it. Ideas also require to be dscovered, or rather invented. And.as necessity is the mother of invention – so only the excluded will think of ‘obnoxious protest against hypocrisy’. And only those trained to put the person first will ever listen well enough to dicover these.

                    For these reasns freedom of speech, as envisaged by Mr. Justice Holmes, implies a duty to listen, for the purpose of preserving the republic by means of discovery (inveting the though of ) new truths. There fore the feelings of those who are most socially isolated must not be offended unneccessarily.

                    Your practice of free spech is poised between strong people saying stronglly -‘shut up because – logic’ and your weak saying ‘i disgree because – passion

                    Your choice.

                    That was my dissent.

                  • Is not supposed to be a “fuck you” to the world, it’s meant to be a “I understand you” to the world, we can’t be so selfish and attack others for not another reason but an own personal belief, that’s exactly why we are never content with others around us or how the world is, because we keep refusing to accept our differences, we limit to understand others because we live thinking they should act to our expectations, that’s quite selfish. I am not a selfish person, I am selfless, I never judge people for how they look, who they are and what they do, we all do things for a reason and sometimes with no reason, but a single act can’t describe you an entire life of the person. Our expectations are so stereotypical, I just don’t agree with it. Yes I know there are rules in the world and that is fine to keep order, but since when an artistic shirt or a humorous thing being worn or the tattoos and piercings we have/not have are illegal? because a person could always find any simple thing to be offensive.

                    I still remember those times when because of your skin color you could not be able to be in a certain job or immediately related to crimes. Still happens today because the people wants to judge over anyone’s look based on old stereotypes due to a single event.I see it the same way when others are rejected or fired from a job because of their looks or what they wear, yeah some things may be our decision but have you ever stop to think “Hey, perhaps that’s what he wants to express in the outside, how he feels comfortable” instead of “Oh my god, he wants to offend me, let me just go complain about what he decided to wear”. But you know, such an old species in Earth, so many years have passed by, so many things we have gone through, and yet, we don’t open our minds.

                    • We’ve given our witness testimony. I think we’ve been given the standard ethical line on your take on the whole shirt thing. That is ‘No interest’. Which means Jack and company have heard it all before from someone else or think they have.

                      This story was published on the 18th November. We commented mostly on 20th-23rd. If Jack was interested in considering it further he would have said so by now. I won’t willingly post here again.

                    • Who’s going to make you post unwillingly?
                      I have a lot of topics to post on and comment on, Bruce, and I think I’ve made my case on this one pretty thoroughly. It is unfair for you to make the no interest charge, very. Out of the last 1000 comments, I’ve made 196 of them, in addition to the posts themselves. I’ve read the posts. I think they go way over the top, like your comparing Sam Harris’s “nuke the Muslims” comment to a tasteless and inappropriate shirt. For one thing, he’s on a public policy satire show—he could also wear that shirt there, and anything he says is “appropriate.” The forum MATTERS. And Lizabeth’s

                      “Our expectations are so stereotypical, I just don’t agree with it. Yes I know there are rules in the world and that is fine to keep order, but since when an artistic shirt or a humorous thing being worn or the tattoos and piercings we have/not have are illegal? because a person could always find any simple thing to be offensive.”

                      is off the wall. Do I keep having to say that we are not talking about LAWS here? How careless does a comment have to be for me to fairly conclude that I have better things to do than point out the obvious? I’ve made over 21,000 replies here. On 99% of all blogs, the blogger makes a few replies a week. Does that mean they don’t care?

                      I love to have you comment, but a hissy-fit over not getting sufficient attention on a stale and obviously not crucial topic ill-becomes you.

                    • Jack, my profound apologies.

                      My comment was a response to Lizabeth saying exactly that I thought we had outstayed our welcome on this point And intended gently to convey a note of regret that she had posted again. An aspect of access to a blog that does Matter is not taking experts time unnecessarily. I brought you (told Lizabeth of the blog as a kind of brain trust) a voice from street level that I thought and think is unique. But unique has costs for both parties. She and her arguments are hard to follow and are couched in awkward terms. I regret taking too much of your time. You have indeed been more than generous.

                      I regret more the experience that Lizabeth must have of people with an education who lead you on – by which I mean me.

                      The point rose and fell as it should do, on its merits. That is all anyone could ask for. Thank you for hearing Lizabeth. I suppose it’s not really for me to say thank you. So please consider that I am doing a job to save Lizabeth some worry. (She would probably say ‘fuck you’ meaning ‘thank you’).

                      All the best to the blog and to you.

  4. I would have a warmer spot in my sometimes-feminist; sometimes-not heart if the ladies, rightly or wrongly, making this the main point of the situation, would have made an equal point of the fact that female scientists were part of the team that led to this awesome accomplishment. That to me says their first priority is male-bashing at any cost with female accomplishments coming in a distant second.

    • If he wore that shirt around female colleagues it was automatic sexual harassment anywhere in the US, and completely disrespectful to any woman, scientist or otherwise, in the room, regardless of what any law of policy said. Agreed? I sure hope so.

        • Sure, that would have been nice. I didn’t know if that was true, and since it is, that makes the shirt worse…and a worse reflection on the women who should nave made an issue of it and its like before this became an issue.

          But women saying “Look! Women were on the team too!” is group ID pollution. Does every group have to point out that they share, by race, gender, sexual preference and ethnicity, height, weight and party affiliation, the achievement, chopping it up into a million bits, rather than just taking it as a team achievement,and saying and who cares what the EEOC quotas are?

          I don’t see any obligation to allocate that, and I certainly don’t see it as a condition precedent to pointing out that the shirt in a professional setting is denigrating and hostile to women.

          • Jack, I was not asking if you agreed that it would have been “nice” for them to have thrown in a mention of women scientists. I was asking if you agreed that this incident suggests that the motivation of some–SOME, by no means all–feminist groups is not as much the aggrandizement of women as it is the denigration of men.

      • just a last thought, as i was really stuck on your point. But now I think I understand… he would be guilty of workplace harassment in the US. We’re not sure about the laws of Europe, so he may have been innocent. But stupid for wearing that shirt. Deserved to be called out. The sum of your points.

        When you state “I’m not responsible for critics who lose all proportion.” explains, I think, the disconnect so many are seeing. It’s just a shirt. And a vocal few narcissist souls stole the spotlight from him, fueled by an eager media machine that is always looking to stir the pot, and the story ended up being about the one shirt. Not about the great accomplishments FROM A TEAM of men and women.

        You’re not talking about the proper size and scope of the media storm. Only about if is right or wrong to wear that shirt in the work place. It is wrong. Agreed.

        Is the size and scope of the storm appropriate? hmmmm… I argue no.

        • What’s “appropriate”? You can blame the media for the size and scope, and that’s based on what it judges the public to care most about, and what’s most important to society. Was Ray Rice clocking his wife worth spoiling the mellow of NFL fans? A lot of fans don’t think so. So what? The comet mission was cool…I’m not all that sure that it impacts me or the future as much as getting the culture to treat women with respect.

          Yes, US harassment laws are ahead of most of the world…good (for the most part—it is making a cultural statement. This, in fact, is a terrific example of how law establishes conduct norms, for all the commenters on the pot thread who deny that law has any relationship to ethics and morality.) I think Taylor would have been tipped off that the shirt was wrong for TV in the US.

          • Just wow… you are kidding right? Science is not as important as getting culture right?
            “The comet mission was cool…I’m not all that sure that it impacts me or the future as much as getting the culture to treat women with respect.”
            So by that argument we should go back to the stone age, and all be peace loving people who worship the ancient deity called the Great Mother as we dig for roots?

            I’m all for equal rights. And in our society woman have made huge strides. they are now the majority in colleges, rising to top levels in business, and are generally viewed is being the chief decision maker in most households. Is there still work to be done, yes.

            At the same time men and boys are being diminished throughout popular culture – . It’s acceptable to view men is “idiots” in many TV shows and commercials, and to squash any “competitive” traits of boys in school. Draw a picture of combat, get thrown out of school.

            It’s now acceptable to watch the cast of Kinky-Boots march down Broadway in the Macy Day parade, on national TV. Only to have my small children ask “why are those guys wearing those funny boots in womans clothes?” Is that ok?

            I’m as open-minded as anyone you would meet. Been to drag parties, and my gay friends laugh as I get hit on. I’ve fired or demoted half of an executive board for not having enough woman (among other reasons). And within a year, over half of the new executive team were well deserving women who helped transform the business.

            About 20 percent of the population self identify as feminists (almost everyone favors of gender equality). So when a feminist takes the spotlight for her own selfish needs she is not helping equality, and in fact may be driving anyone who supports her views to question that view. Branding problem… humorless disgust can’t be helping the numbers. The overreaction to “a shirt” verses the lack of reaction to, oh, I don’t know, stoning of women in the Middle East? Too big? How about the lack of reaction to double standards? Fighting for the last Victorian taboo – freedom for women going topless is good, empowering, and next getting all worked up over a fun shirt with dressed women flying spaceships and shooting ray guns. Not helpful.

            And I happen to believe that advancing science is more important than trying to make a political statement. Equality AND advance science? I want cancer cured, I want us to be able to travel to other planets, and I want guys like Matt (the guy with the shirt) out there, in that shirt or topless if he wants, pushing the boundary of science. The reaction was not equal… and harmful to womens rights.

            • Yes, Bigol (Big ol’ WHAT?) , saying that I am quite certain that building an equal, respectful, productive and ethical culture is more important than measuring the temperature, speed and god know what else on a frozen chunk of ice is asserting that we should go back to the stone age. Just so you know, I stop reading comments that begin with outrageously stupid statements and blatant straw men like that. I hope the rest of the comment was better.

              • Just my nick name in the Marines. Big ‘Ol Sarge. I’m a big guy… Sorry, my straw-man was intended to make a point about choices we make… and the choices the feminist made over a shirt. You are correct it was rude to kick off with that. And please go ahead and a delete the whole argument. If you don’t care to read the rest, I’m fine with having it go down the memory hole.
                Semper Fi.

                • No, that’s not necessary, and now I’ll read the comment….hmmm…

                  Yeah, I don’t think its an over-reaction. The over-reaction was to the reaction. It was responsible to point out that the shirt doesn’t belong in that setting, and mentioning it doesn’t preclude paying proper attention to the rest. Ann Althouse wrote (after I did):

                  So what? We often pay less attention to what is more important. Why aren’t we spending all our time thinking and talking about the deepest religious and philosophical questions? Do you want to shut up the chatter that you think is too frivolous? It used to be the feminists who seemed to want to silence others. Apparently, now, they’re so powerful that men are the ones doing the silencing. Men used to tell women that they ought to enter the debate and argue forthrightly in words and not expect men to shut up. In the case of this shirt, women jumped in, spoke up, and got heard. Isn’t that what men had been advising women to do?

                  And earlier…“P.S. TO THE PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT: Don’t talk about it!”

                  And remember—my business is ethics, not comets. Of course I think the rudeness/civility issue is more interesting than the scientific one.

      • I’d like to see one court ruling on a shirt like that creating a hostile work environment. You may as well say that having a copy of vogue magazine in the work place creates a hostile work environment. They are comic art and none of the girls are nude. Tacky =/= harassment.

        • As is increasingly obvious, you don’t know what you are talking about. There’s no shirt case, because nobody has been so stupid as to cause one. It is per se sexual harassment. All that would be needed is for one woman to object, and either the shirt would be gone, or the company would end up paying damages. Yes, it’s that simple, except if the workplace is a comics publisher or Playboy. Research “hostile work environment sexual harassment.”

      • How is that harassment? You know, it’s very funny how it will change the meaning because of where you are and the surroundings. I know how the people’s mind work but it is sad to think they all fear a simple object that is man-made. But turn that around and imagine a female wore it in front of other females, it automatically becomes okay? is it because of gender? then I wonder why sexism have to be present in the situation when we shouldn’t see each other’s actions according to our gender, but see the action alone for what it is itself.

  5. I kinda feel for the guy. Like most geniuses, I would be willing to bet he had no clue what he was wearing, and because if that, perhaps the apology was warranted. Personally, I find the gang tat’s on his arm more offensive on a scientist.

  6. Outstanding points. Great post. And having stumbled onto your blog I will keep on reading… that said, I do have one question. On your point 10: It is true that everything shouldn’t be politicized, and the landing of the Rosetta probe didn’t have to be. It was the shirt, however, not the shirt’s critics that politicized this event.

    Isn’t that much like arguing for firing someone because she wore clothes that were too distracting? It’s not their fault, it’s the outfit?

    His shirt, only viewed as inappropriate by some, was seemingly accepted by his boss, a woman, his team members, some who are woman, and was a personal gift to him, from a woman. Perhaps we should not cast stones without understanding the context? And this is why I fault Atlantic journalist Rose Eveleth for making this masterful event about something it isn’t. Making it about her – and her viewpoint. We don’t, so we’re told, blame the women who wear burkas, we don’t judge people by what they wear – right? Rose did. And tried and found him guilty in the court of public opinion.

    I wish she had simply send him a nice private note letting him know her concerns. And let everyone else celebrate the day.

    • I didn’t say it wasn’t his fault. Of course it’s his fault. But the issue of women in the sciences got the President Of Harvard sacked, for heaven’s sake—wearing a shirt that promotes women as toys and fantasy objects in a high profile display of scientific achievement pounds on a political landmine of long standing. HE didn’t intend it as a political statement, but that shirt, with that design, in that context, makes the issue political.

      • You are correct, by our US standards his shirt is offensive. But he is, lives and works, in Europe. And from my travels it would seem they have very different values. Again, aren’t we supposed to be respective of other cultures? The bias is with us, as in our reaction to a shirt. A that reaction is very overblown. Silly, overblown, and wrong. Stupid even?

        • “Again, aren’t we supposed to be respective of other cultures”

          As a matter of fact. No. We aren’t necessarily supposed to be respective of other cultures.

          We are to respect other cultures when their values systems are appropriately aligned…which we determine after objective ethical consideration. If their value systems are up to snuff, then by all means, respect that culture. If their value systems are not, and there are MANY cultures world-wide who fail this test, then no, I owe that culture not one iota of respect.

          • oh… i agree. and that was a, slightly, sarcastic take on what the media, pop culture, establishment types keep telling us! We’re not supposed to say “not acceptable right here, right now.” all in the name of inclusiveness, fairness, accepting of others. Until it’s not. We’re supposed to be accepting of women who slut walk, or think how empowering when a pop star shows ass and breaks the internet. But the hellfire of the world will crash down on you if you wear a comic book shirt. Selective outrage.

      • but what if it had been a shirt featuring stylised semi-naked guys in quasi fetish-style clothing ? nothing would have happened. You do realise this artform of stylised sexual crossover-fetish imagery has millions of female practitioners and followers globally, from your more known s&m/fetish artform style through japanese doll-style followers/practitioners etc etc. it’s an artform in fact.

  7. Someone posted this to Imgur: http://imgur.com/gallery/KfjGkEr

    I doubt there will be any measured response to this from almost anyone, just lots of screeching and bloviating and excuse-weaving from either side. And that’s a shame, because I’m pretty sure that response is bullshit. I just can’t figure out precisely why.

    I did laugh, though. Oh, boy, did I laugh. More like the way you laugh when a little kid calls his grandmother a homosexual slur he heard on an old Jerky Boys tape when they’re at line in Target. Like the laughing when you’re like, “Oh, no, you did NOT!”

    • Boy, how much stupid can be packed into one thread!

      1. So the theory is that the greater the scientific achievement, the MORE acceptable inappropriate, unprofessional and misogynistic garb is on live TV? Huh. That’s backwards. I gurantee that if Taylor was announcing the development of edible Silly Putty, nobody would have mentioned his shirt.
      2. Oh…SEMI-NAKED. That’s completely respectful to women in the workplace then. Hey, moron, why don’t you wear that to work and see what happens.
      3. So a clueless girl friend gave him the shirt–what does that prove? If a black man gave him a KKK robe, would that make it OK to wear it on TV?
      4. “They made him cry, so they must be the mean ones.” Wow. The Stupid is strong in this one…
      5. The comparison with sexual assault victims breaks the Stup-O-Meter. Taylor wasn’t the victim. Taylor was the offender. He WAS criticized because of what he was wearing. He DID ask to be criticized by wearing it.

      • To me the worst, most evil, rotten, corrupt, devious, lying, morally bankrupt, disastefull & untrustworthy people, who have committed acts so foul, including: ordering the horrific death of millions of innocent men women and children; putting people in death/concentraion camps; Sustaining aparthied and lack of civil rights, stealing trillions from ordinary people & wrecking the global economy; completely destroying all representational democracy which ordinary people gave their lives to establish, (and a miriad of lesser crimes and acts working down from there)… the people in short who commit those abhorrant crimes on an epic scale, they all wear suits & ties; “respectable dress”. It’s a fact, it is UN-arguable. Thus i am not stupid enough to in anyway associate a persons dress-code with ANYTHING to do with morality.

        • It has nothing to do with morality. It has to do with ethics.
          Great example of Rationalization #22, though:
          22. The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things.”

          If “Everybody does it” is the Golden Rationalization, this is the bottom of the barrel. Yet amazingly, this excuse is popular in high places: witness the “Abu Ghraib was bad, but our soldiers would never cut off Nick Berg’s head” argument that was common during the height of the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal. It is true that for most ethical misconduct, there are indeed “worse things.” Lying to your boss in order to goof off at the golf course isn’t as bad as stealing a ham, and stealing a ham is nothing compared selling military secrets to North Korea. So what? We judge human conduct against ideals of good behavior that we aspire to, not by the bad behavior of others. One’s objective is to be the best human being that we can be, not to just avoid being the worst rotter anyone has ever met.

          Behavior has to be assessed on its own terms, not according to some imaginary comparative scale. The fact that someone’s act is more or less ethical than yours has no effect on the ethical nature of your conduct. “There are worse things” is not an argument; it’s the desperate cry of someone who has run out of rationalizations.

        • You know, those guys who did all those horrible things nearly perfected jet technology…that’s a scientific advancement, so surely their misbehavior get’s a pass right?

      • And I’ll bet nobody on Tumblr will say anything remotely that reasonable. I think the fifth point is especially well made.

        Should I feel bad for laughing at the original post?

        • I’m not going to try to explain the obvious to you. A guy who wears clothes depicting cartoon semi-naked women is not showing professional respect to female colleagues. If you don’t get it, read a book, take a course.

  8. I think the problem might be that while wearing the shirt was clueless and offensive to some people it was, after all, just a small very human mistake. It shouldn’t become a vehicle for every legitimate and not so legitimate single issue rant fest.
    There is no room for simple human mistakes in judgement anymore. what could have been shrugged off as a side note to a much more important achievement became instead the focus of it.
    That’s just sad.
    I don’t consider the shirt in any way equal to wearing a Pro-ISIS T-shirt, a Man-Boy Love message, or Borderline child porn.
    Yes, it was colossally stupid and should be noted, it just shouldn’t have become the story.
    The consequences of living in a perpetually on-the-prod social atmosphere seem to be that there is no occasion that can’t be used to advance an agenda. We should all hate and fear this development, because the next innocent, or stupid mistake we make could blow up in our faces just as easily.

      • “When one is representing a major advance of world interest and significance on national TV, live”

        And this is where I’m lost entirely on modern culture…

        If I’m the dude who has to accomplish the task laid out of “representing a major advance of world interest and significance on national TV, live”, everything in that sentence says go to the nearest clothier and rent a damned professional suit.

  9. A cowardly and remarkably ignorant commenter sent me this on my e-mail. I told him to post it here, or go away, but he doesn’t have the guts or wit for that, so let me get him off my back by discarding this sad collection of bogus arguments:

    Obviously the shirt wasn’t inappropriate for Taylor’s place of work. They wear suits at IBM, and sandals at Facebook.

    Bad start. “Everybody does it.” A shirt of that sort is universally opposed in a professional workplace…including Facebook…but even if it wasn’t, that’s not a justification.

    Your statement about what’s appropriate for TV is even more ridiculous. He’s not a White House spokesman, and there’s no law against what you can wear when you’re interviewed on TV (as long as you’re wearing something, and aren’t named Kardashian or Madonna)

    This is about ethics, not law.A professional in a broadcast that is going out to the world should have garb that does not distract, offend, or cast the enterprise and participant in a bad light, as well as showing respect for viewers. His shirt insulted approximately half the viewers..

    If you think that shirt constitutes sexual harassment, by all means, hire a lawyer.

    I AM a lawyer. In virtually any workplace (Heavy Metal would be one exception) , such a shirt is a per se creator of a hostile work environment. The case law is clear.

    I think you’d lose your case.

    Ya think? Because I’m not the one being harassed, you doofus.

    Begin by telling me exactly who it is harassing?

    I’m not doing your homework for you. Look up hostile work environment. Pictures on desks and walls constitute harassment—a shirt is no different.

    Are the “harassed” women (and remember Rose Eveleth is simply assuming they exist) also harassed when they go to the beach and see actual women wearing bikinis?

    Ignorance like this deserves no response.

    Let’s be scientific: for starters, show us those women who you say were harassed by that shirt.

    I didn’t say any women WERE harassed. I said, in the context of the message sent by wearing the shirt, that it would constitute harassment in any workplace where there were female employees.

    • “His shirt insulted approximately hald the viewers..”

      I’m positive feminists weren’t approximately half the viewers. Also, anybody can and will claim offense over anything, so “inoffensiveness” is an absurd requirement.

      “Pictures on desks and walls constitute harassment—a shirt is no different.”

      Objectively speaking, that shirt cannot be more offensive or intimidating than a lingerie advertisement, so there you go again, absurdity.

      This desperation to rationalize a stupid shirt into a symbol of “systemic sexism in STEM” that has no sign of existing, cannot be more than a front for paternalistic urges over women.

      Nothing says condescending objectification more than lecturing people what offends them.

      • Who said anything about “systemic sexism in STEM”? It was a tasteless and inappropriate shirt, that’s all, and worth calling him on.I’m not responsible for critics who lose all proportion.

        • Signature significance, Jack.
          Yes, there is systemic sexism in STEM, and this is a signature of it.

          BUT.. it’s just a shirt. On a day of celebration. In a European context. Worn by a guy who, like me, is unimpressed by the silly rituals of rubbing blue mud on our faces and putting feathers in our hair, or whatever the cultural customs are this week, or this century.

          He has body ink that matches his 120db loudness hawaiian shirt, one of the few adornments that tickles his particular fancy. I’m more into a basic black trouser suit or skirt myself, but I do wear long dangly Dalek earrings and sometimes a religious pendant – the sign of he Invisible Pink Unicorn. Unobtrusive.

          Like me, he requires someone to gently tell him when he’s over the line, because he’s got more important things on his mind than remembering where he parked the car, or if his socks match, or if today is a public holiday, or whether he ate today.

          I know him only be reputation, but he’s nowhere near as … unusual… as some.

          • Silly copout. There can be stipulated consensus among subjective conclusions, as well as correct, civilized conclusions and dumb, clueless, vulgar conclusions. I guess appearing unbathed in dirty Y-shirt and a G-string is subjectively uncivil public dress too. Sophistry.

  10. I’m stuck on the logical contradiction between items #1 and #3 in your list.

    If that shirt would constitute per se sexual harassment in any workplace in the US where women were present, then the answer to “is he a sexist or is his working environment anti-woman” has to be yes.

    Yet if #3 holds true (which I think it does), and we can’t really say whether simply wearing that shirt makes him or his workplace sexist and hostile to women, what do we really have to get upset about?

      • Well, that’s the problem. The bar for harassment seems to be set entirely by someone else’s subjective feelings, on the basis of which you can be accused of doing something objectively wrong. The problem is that there are harsh legal and social consequences for something that can’t be objectively measured or clearly defined. It’s the kind of squishy concept that can be pushed outward infinitely, to the point where everyone is subjected to the tyranny of everyone else’s ultimately unknowable assumptions and fears. Thus the international shitstorm over one guy’s poor choice of clothing.

        • That’s the law, and that part of the law is inherently unfair. It IS completely subjective, and if men would use commonsense, good manners, common sense, and ethics, a bad law wouldn’t be necessary. But you should read the crap I do about what clueless pigs subject women to in the workplace, and it DOES undermine them, or worse. What if the pictures on Taylor’s shirt are festooned on the walls? What if the boss e-mails them to female employees with cute little notes, like “she reminds me of you, especially her LEGS!” When do you say, “Enough, assholes! Be professional. Women aren’t toys, they’re colleagues.” And if saying isn’t enough, is it better to have women marginalized in the workplace, or a clueless nerd embarrassed?

          • “…is it better to have women marginalized in the workplace, or a clueless nerd embarrassed?” I think that’s a false choice in this situation.

            I refuse to accept that there’s any such thing as a necessary (therefore excusable) injustice. It’s not the clueless nerds of the world who are polluting our culture and marginalizing women. He stepped cluelessly into the middle of an ongoing cultural battle, but as far as we can tell (knowing absolutely nothing about him or his workplace or his nation’s own culture), that was just moral luck. Bad luck. It was inevitable that many people would call out his poor choice, but the inevitability of it doesn’t make the mountains of crap that have been shoveled onto him either deserved or defensible.

            Another point of contention: #10, “It was the shirt, not the shirt’s critics, that politicized the event.”

            That shirt didn’t *do* anything. Even the most potent symbol is inert until we do something with it. We may not be able to choose our most visceral reactions, but we choose our subsequent actions. The shirt didn’t politicize anything. People did, by the way they chose to act. The way society chooses to react to certain symbols says a lot, and I don’t think this controversy says anything good about us.

            • It wasn’t injustice. He was an uncivil boor on an international stage. The humiliation was proportional to the offense. He behaved as if the entire portion of the workforce that were represented on his shirt deserved no sensitivity or respect. Was that his intent? No, and who cares? If had worn a shirt showing black slaves picking cotton in a nice design, would we be arguing over the appropriateness of his shirt? Some kinds of art are inappropriate in public, this was one of them, he broke a clear standard that any 12 year old should know. He sent the message that his female colleagues were just blow-up dolls to him. Did he intend to? No. It’s the conduct that matters, not the intent.

              The shirt IS, it doesn’t have to “do.” Like burning cross or a swastika. Of course, they communicate–which is doing, and was the problem.

              • Burning crosses and swastikas are so potent because they have targets — because of what people did with them. No one would ever believe there was no ill intent behind a group that used one or that wearing one wouldn’t be an ominous act. Obviously the images on that shirt are symbolic to a lot of people, but they still have cultural currency that’s not limited to their offensive potential.

                No, it wasn’t proportional to the offense. No one deserves to be publicly mob-stomped because of a…well, a “shirt-o.” You know, like the egregious Gruber’s infamous “speak-o,” but actually an honest mistake.

                • But Ing, there is no such thing as “mistakes” in a public forum. You can’t fart, you can’t say “fuck”, you can’t drop trow, and you can’t wear pictures of gun-toting bimbos, and if you don’t know that, something’s the matter with you. People who aren’t paying attention kill pedestrians, and people who don’t learn what the cultural lines are tick people off. There are consequences.

                  • If there are no mistakes, then what are there instead? Crimes? This wasn’t a crime, but a lot of people are acting like it was. Of course there are consequences for mistakes. Sometimes the consequences are appropriate, and sometimes they’re ridiculously disproportionate.

                    • Who? Nobody’s saying he should be locked up or killed, are they? Come on: there are lots of terrible thinks, much worse than this, that don’t amount to “crimes.” But he would get a warning in most professional workplaces, and a gaffe like that in a high visibility event could result in firing for cause.

                      When Jim Campanis, old, clueless and not ready for a prime time TV live interview, pinch-hit for a Dodger executive and answered Ted Koppel’s question about why there were no black managers by opining that “they lack the necessities,” he was ruined, but it opened a new dialogue on race and sports.He committed no crime either. He just made a terrible mistake. It was unfair for him to become the face of institutional racism. But his remarks had to be addressed.

  11. Point 1. I doubt one could ever make a legitimate sexual harassment claim over the shirt. I’d like to see specific court rulings on the matter.

    2. By who’s standards is it inappropriate?

    3. Obviously

    4. No sensitivity to double standards and professional whiners!!! Bravo!!!!

    5. He was wearing a birthday gift hand made by his Strong independent FEMALE friend. A WOMAN MADE IT FOR HIM. If people complain about women dressing to “sexy” it’s oppression. When men wear cartoon depictations of comic action women dresses “sexy” it’s sexist. No this is a double standard.

    6. Feminists need to address serious issues within their dogma, and knee jerk responses it alienates their movement from average people that would be their allies. Choose battles. There is plenty of prejudice and harassment perpatrated by the fringe feminists. If anything this is a major blow to the credebility of the feminist movement.

    7. He’s certainly more hipster looking than the average scientist. If anything he’d appeal more to troubled youth. I doubt you can argue this is a bad thing.

    8. The shirt is symbolic of what? A close friendship. You’re out of your depth and biased.

    9. The only places a person probably wouldn’t wear the shirt is in court job interview or formal meeting. You’re subjective opinion is merely that.

    10. No you’re wrong the third wave Internet feminist social justice warriors are to blame. Most average people would think Matt is juvenile or embodies a youthful spirit. The shirt is merely a piece of fabric with comic art images of comic girls with guns printed on it.

    • No, it,s a legal opinion, a sexual harassment specialist’s opinion, and an ethics opinion, common damn sense, and pretty well-known by anyone who has been paying attention. You are clueless, at least on this topic. REad this, and back off. If you want to ignorant, find, but don’t ridicule accurate facts on a topic you just think you understand, but don’t. Here: this is the most I’m going to do for you. You’re W-R-O-N-G OBJECTIVELY.

  12. Just because women in the tech industries don’t always say something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t taint the workplace. In retail or restaurant industries, he would have been sent home the first time he wore somethign like that. It’s business as normal in multiple sciences. Fighting for simple respect loses you jobs and opportunities within a job and sometimes you cannot afford it. It gets old and tiring after X years, and sometimes you leave. And that is why a 50-50 freshman enrollment became 90-10 by graduation in my science major.

  13. If I could I’d love to give all the sanctimonious feminists crying about this guy’s shirt the society they desire. The problem is, until humans colonize another planet, I’d have to live in that society as well. Sadly, incidents like this sure don’t encourage me that we’ll ever get off this planet. Be sure what you’re advocating is what you really want. Don’t complain about the unintended consequences later on, or when the mob finally notices your minor transgressions.

    • 1. You owe me your name. Send it to jamproethics@verizon.net

      2. Yeah, the nation was really a living hell when men dressed respectfully, in jackets and ties, in public, those not in ties tipped their hats to women, and realized that appearing in public as slobs and wearing soft porn was bad manners, rude, and denigrating to women. Boy. Nobody wants to go back to THAT again. No, let’s call elected female officials “twats” on TV, and have scientists show their disregard for women in live feeds about their accomplishments. Now THAT’s a society that we can be proud of.

      • Straw man Jack…. That isn’t what feminists want. What feminists want is maximum female choice with as little responsibility as possible. Society as a whole is more vulgar than they were 50 years ago, I’ll grant you. And it’s an issue. But it isn’t a feminist issue, rudeness isn’t gendered.

        • How does that, if true, relate to the shirt in any way whatsoever? Are you saying that because some women look, dress, or act like the women on the shirt, every woman should have that image thrown in her face when she wants to be taken seriously as a professional and not regarded as walking fetish objects and sex toys?

          Upon reflection, I don’t think the shirt flap has anything to do with feminism at all. I think the outrage over the criticism of the shirt’s wearer is an anti-feminist backlash, but so what: the problem with the shirt is that it is unprofessional, inappropriate,denigrates women, is disrespectful of their reasonable sensibilities, and encourages workplace discrimination and harassment based on gender.

          • It was a bit off topic, but Crunchy Granola talked about the world that feminists want, and how it would be a society he wouldn’t want to live in. Your response was “Yeah, the nation was really a living hell when men dressed respectfully, in jackets and ties, in public, those not in ties tipped their hats to women, and realized that appearing in public as slobs and wearing soft porn was bad manners, rude, and denigrating to women. Boy. Nobody wants to go back to THAT again. ”

            I disagree that your hypothetical polite nation has anything to do with feminism, or its wants, and that the original comment had very little if anything to do with the shirt.

            And while the shirt flap itself might have been a real issue, and I agree it was, the disproportionate amount of criticism is what I’m struggling with. We had a fellow who we are all agreeing was wrong, but probably didn’t know it, and would take the criticism in stride, instead of a respectful conversation, we had this massive public dogpile. You talked about polite and rude. His shirt: Rude. Their reaction: Also rude.

            • Was I rude? That’s the level of critique I think was appropriate. I also think the Glenn Reynolds-level hissy fit, calling thethe criticism “bullying” of poor Taylor is absurd.

              Sure the traditional “gentlemanly” conduct was a victim of feminism. It initialized women, made their status as the “weaker” and “subordinate” sex cultural. Why do women get to sit while med stand? Why to men pay the food tab? Why were men holing the door open—can’t they open it themselves? men were called sexist when they tried to be gallant or nice. I was there.

              • `Was I rude?`

                No, and I`m sorry if I came off that way. There are balanced voices around, but they are few and far between. On both sides. I`m not going to give the anti-criticism people a complete pass, but I think it was a Newton`s Law of Motion kind of response. We saw this massive, disproportionate outcry, and an equal and opposite response.

                I mean…. Are we really saying this conversation is about a shirt? If the guy had gone on TV wearing the shirt, but no one raised a public fuss, and he apologized after receiving a couple hundred well worded Emails and phone calls, would we be talking about it now? No, of course not. We`re talking about it because people lost their minds over it, and then other people lost their minds over the first group losing their minds, and now we`re all surrounded by crazy.

                I`m not sure calling it bullying is inappropriate. I mean…. Someone does something that offends you. It`s fairly obvious that it was probably unintended. Is the appropriate measure to immediately go on twitter, Facebook, Salon. Slate, the Huffpo and 20 other kinds of social media, call him a misogynist pig, call for him to be fired, and blame him personally for women lagging behind in STEM fields? If this guy doesn`t come out of his room for a month I wouldn`t blame him. Whether it`s `bullying` or not, it`s a textbook example of mobbing.

  14. “Score this a well-earned victory for gender bias awareness.”

    I’ll resist. Feminism poisons everything. Pulling the guy aside, or writing him a letter, or making a phonecall, outlying how the shirt could be seen as offensive, and asking him to issue an apology is the measured, reasoned response, and I think that he would have done it! But no, the femisphere exploded with hyperbole and rhetoric, and now the situation is muddy, complicated and unproductive.

    “However, addressing and eliminating gender bias in the workplace and the sciences in particular is as important as landing a probe on a comet.”

    You know… Slate published an article similar but different your thought, that I think provides context for the detractors. “I don’t care if you landed a rocket on the moon, your shirt is offensive and ostracising.” And I think that’s just insane. I understand that workplace harassment is an issue, but I think we’re doing a disservice to say that one cancels out the other…. It’s like some kind of cockeyed ethical accounting. The fact of a matter is that we landed a probe on a low-g celestial body that was moving at 135,000 MPH. It’s kind of like hitting a bullet with another, smaller bullet. It’s profound. Perhaps not ethically, but believe me when I say that Slate doesn’t employ a lot of ethicists, and I doubt that they decide what to run on that metric.

    I noticed you dismissed the slut shaming comparisons earlier. Those comparisons are…. I don’t know. I think they’re ridiculous on their face. BUT. Let’s say a woman walked into work on casual Friday wearing a he-man bowling shirt, and then, because the shirt is obviously inappropriate, and creates a hostile work environment for showing a man in various stages of undress, and promoted unrealistic body types, was suspended. Do you for a minute think that if that suspension was made public the femisphere wouldn’t have called it shirt shaming or something? These feminist issues are always one directional, and very often ridiculous. It’s signature.

    Finally, there was a recent CBC survey done on racism and discrimination that truth be told, really didn’t surprise me much, but one thing I did take away from it, and thought it was neat, was that people who self identified as not white were less likely to think their ethnic groups were discriminated against than white people thought they were, and women were less likely to think they were discriminated against than men were, Call this liberal guilt, but if harassment and discrimination are in the eye of the individual, I found it interesting, if irrelevant.

    • Poorly written

      “and women were less likely to think they were discriminated against than men were”

      Should read:

      “and women were less likely to think they were discriminated against than men thought they were.”

    • Huh? Who said anything about one cancelling the other out? “I don’t care if you landed a rocket on the moon, your shirt is offensive and ostracizing.” = “I don’t care if you are President of the United States, you still don’t get to use staffers as your sex toys, or lie about it under oath.”

      • I think perhaps I find the achievement so much more awesome than other people. Landing this rocket was arguably harder than becoming the president of the United States. And it hits me that in this moment of stunning scientific achievement, we’re talking about a shirt. Clinton abusing Monica was news in and of itself, the shirt wasn’t.

  15. The man is a kilt-wearing, tattooed headbanger who’s a brilliant rocket scientist. He also helps birth cows, and his family loves him to death (http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/rosetta-comet-mission-scientist-matt-taylor–probe-landing-9858125.html). Oh, and the fact that some nitwit Tweeter thinks he’s the worst thing that’s happened to feminism since Rick Santorum bothers him so much that he bursts into tears on television speaks volumes.

    Take a quick break from all that ethics and politics talk, and try to wrap your head around that for a second.

    I actually wanted that shirt when I saw it, and not because of some idiotic political statement. It’s just a really cool shirt.

    • Well, that was the best collection of irrelevancies to conduct I’ve ever seen in one post. Let me get this straight: as long as you’re brilliant, a nerd, have tattoos, birth cows and have a loving family, you are immune from societal obligations to observe basic good manners and common sense when you know you are going to represent your profession and organization on world wide TV. Is that about it?

      • Is it what I’d wear to a TV interview? Nope. Have I seen others wear worse? Yep.

        Should the man be granted a little “Narrenfreiheit,” being that he and his colleagues had just accomplished something truly amazing? — absolutely.

        And no, there was no call for the vicious troll Tweets toward the women who took offense.

        Let’s get upset about real human evil, though: like Holocaust and Sandy Hook deniers, child soldier in Africa, that kind of stuff.

        • Wow! 4 sentences, three rationalizations and a specifically banned criticism! Impressive! See the Rationalization list and the Comment policies.

          Is it what I’d wear to a TV interview? Nope. Have I seen others wear worse? Yep.

          Rationalization #22; “There are worse things.”

          Should the man be granted a little “Narrenfreiheit,” being that he and his colleagues had just accomplished something truly amazing? — absolutely.
          11. (a) “I deserve this!” or “Just this once!”

          And no, there was no call for the vicious troll Tweets toward the women who took offense.

          #2. The “They’re Just as Bad” Excuse

          Let’s get upset about real human evil, though: like Holocaust and Sandy Hook deniers, child soldier in Africa, that kind of stuff.
          How about you write a blog about real evil, then, because this one is about ethics, which is a lot tougher to understand than evil, as your epic ethics fail in this comment demonstrates nicely. From the policies:

          I am trying to reform, but I am still prone to be testy at comments that fall into any of the following categories: 1) Those that say I should be writing about “more important things.” I do. But I don’t have to write every post about the earth-shattering, and trivial incidents can still teach important lessons.

          Got that? You have some ethics homework to do.

          • He questioned your ethics over your rationalizations. Not the jacket. And he was as 100% accurate on the rationalizations.

            NOTE from moderator: tex is responding to this comment:

            ” You are an angry little man, are you? You are only person who has ever questioned my ethics … over a shirt, to boot.” from a banned commenter.

          • NOTE: I just threw out the first idiot commenter of 2015. Jsenand, whose initial comment consisted of three rationalizations and my beloved “why don’t you write about more important things?”, which I specifically warn against in the Comment Policies, could only muster an insult and a silly defense in response, writing,

            “You are an angry little man, are you? You are only person who has ever questioned my ethics … over a shirt, to boot.”

            To which I reply…

            I’m not angry at all, except to the extent that I object to commenters not having the courtesy and wit to examine the criteria of the blog and who then resort to unethical rationalizations in a forum designed to debunk them. If someone had questioned your ethics–not your good intentions, but your ethical reasoning techniques–earlier, maybe you wouldn’t be so hopelessly inept at the topic, and so unable to recognize it. Always check the comment policies before commenting on ANY blog as matter of courtesy and common sense, and when someone properly hands you your head for spouting crap, have the decency to say “Thank you,” and not the fatuous, “You are an angry little man, are you?”

            Moreover, it is pretty lame to challenge the relevance of ethics to a topic when you made the choice to comment on it, in an ethics forum.

            Meanwhile, you are, of course, banned for insulting your host when you are 100% at fault. Bye-bye!

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