Making a statement

Sexism? What sexism? I don’t see any sexism.

(I wonder how many posts I’ve begun that way. I have a feeling it’s several. Also some with misogyny replacing sexism.)

Behold Matt Taylor, the lead project scientist of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta project:

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Gee, I wonder why there aren’t more women in STEM fields.


  1. capricaisburning says

    Before I ever got into feminism, I always found that sort of stuff personally insulting to me as a man. I think that ‘sexism’ is a good term here for a few reasons. His choice of attire is rooted in assumptions about both sexes and about relations between the sexes, and it is focused on the subject of sex in a context where any sexual content is out of place.

    There are, of course, the usual objectifying messages about women that are coded into these images (and, I hate to say it, into actual clothing of the sort depicted on the shirt). He’s creating a whole context of heterosexuality – the stereotyped women plastered all over his stereotypically-groomed male body. It’s a statement that ‘this is what I want to see, and this is what other men want to see.’

    It’s misogynistic, misandrist in that it stereotypes other men by expecting them to like it, and homophobic as well. Makes me wanna wear a shirt with naked men on it – except I’ve always felt violated by the thought of wearing any image or written message.

  2. A Masked Avenger says

    If you watch the video, he stumbles over himself a bit saying something like, “This project… I keep saying she’s sexy, and she is sexy, but she’s not easy…”

  3. chigau (違う) says

    It was newsy when he got a ‘Rosetta’ tattoo on his thigh.
    I wonder about his other tattoos.

  4. says

    “Gee, I wonder why there aren’t more women in STEM fields.”


    Shirts like this and dirty sexist jokes made at conferences are part of the casual misogyny and micro-aggressions women have to put up with on a daily basis. Would he wear that shirt if it was “take your daughter to work” day? We suspect not, and if it’s not appropriate for kids, it’s not appropriate for work or this kind of television either.

  5. chigau (違う) says

    Since he chose that imagery for a shirt, I wonder about the imagery in his other tattoos.

  6. themann1086 says

    Ugh. At first glance I thought it was a Hawaiian shirt or something and just thought “heh that’s cool… hey, wait… oh, dammit…….”

  7. allosteric says

    Fuck you Matt Taylor. I’m a scientist/professor, working every day to train a diverse next generation of scientists, trying to make sure young women feel welcome and reach their full potential. You just shit all over my hard work. What an asshole.

  8. says

    How much you wanna bet he’s gonna respond by completely ignoring the specific criticism of the sexist nature of the shirt and just make it about people criticizing him for simply having tattoos and not wearing “normal” business attire.

    I’m all for showing that people with tattoos and piercings and colorful shirts can contribute greatly to society. This shirt shits all over that tho.

  9. sonofrojblake says

    Can I just leave this here?

    Professor Monica Grady’s reaction. It’s lovely.

    (Side note: could someone not banned from pharyngula post this link there? PZ made a post titled “The memorable image of the day of the Philae landing will always be… THIS:” and a photo of the shirt guy. Well, bullshit to that, PZ. MY memory is going to be that heartbreaking pic of the lander, on its way after separation from the orbiter, slightly fuzzy against utter blackness. And my memory of the reaction is going to be Monica Grady.)

  10. Ichthyic says

    Well, bullshit to that, PZ.

    great way to miss the point.

    no, nobody is going to do your idiotic dirty work for you. Maybe someday, you’ll get a fucking clue instead.

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