Rally the troops

David Futrelle points out the replacement of the fading GamerGate with the new and exciting Shirtstorm.

By all rights, the furor over rocket scientist Matt Taylor’s cheesecake shirt should have died down by now. After being chided earlier this week for marring the celebration over the landing of a space probe ON A GODDAMNED COMET by doing interviews in a tacky shirt covered with half-naked ladies, Taylor offered a brief but heartfelt apology. You would have thought we’d all be able to move on.

And you would also have thought that would be what Matt Taylor would like even more than everyone else – but never mind that, that’s not important when there’s a new opportunity to vomit on feminism.

Not so fast. Because these days apparently no controversy can ever be over as long as it serves someone’s interest to keep it going. And so a loose but very familiar coalition of reactionaries and antifeminists and angry techies have started flogging an amorphous cause they call#Shirtgate or, more popularly, #Shirtstorm, purporting to be outraged that Taylor was “humiliated” into apologizing.

So many of the angriest voices in this, er, conversation are #GamerGaters it looks a lot like a sequel. Call it GamerGate Part Two: The Straw Graspening.

There are tweets. Futrelle shares some.

Oh, it’s a veritable #GamerGate Old Home Week! GG mainstays Thunderf00t and Mundane Matt have rushed out videos about The Shirt.

Of course they have. Others are camped out in my Twitter mentions right now, talking to each other.

Dean Esmay turns up, and so does Christina Hoff Sommers. But not Dawkins, for some reason. He should be there.


Richard Dawkins retweeted
godless wonder @godlesswonder31 · 9 hours ago
@RichardDawkins Hmm, why does this seem so familiar? Buncha’ lunatics losing their minds over a cartoon image. Oh, right, now I remember.

Richard Dawkins retweeted
CL | Novril @novriltataki · 21 hours ago
@DistanceLeft @FartToContinue Feminists hate @RichardDawkins because he supports real equality and real science, not post-modernist tripe.

Science for the public, baby.


  1. themadtapper says

    @RichardDawkins Hmm, why does this seem so familiar? Buncha’ lunatics losing their minds over a cartoon image. Oh, right, now I remember.

    Because calling a shirt inappropriate and saying “you probably shouldn’t have worn that” is every bit comparable to riots and murder, amirite? I don’t recall anyone on the feminist side crying out that the person who made the shirt should be beheaded, or that he should be beheaded for wearing it.

    @DistanceLeft @FartToContinue Feminists hate @RichardDawkins because he supports real equality and real science, not post-modernist tripe.

    REAL EQUALITY! Not that fake equality that suggests it isn’t appropriate for someone speaking for a major STEM project to do so wearing a shirt that depicts women as mere sex objects. Not that fake equality that points out that the shirt is but one example of the pervasive culture of viewing and treating women as toys. REAL EQUALITY, the kind that exists only in the law books and frequently requires an unmeetable burden of proof on the part of the oppressed. REAL EQUALITY, the kind that already exists and no longer requires me to put out any effort to achieve. REAL EQUALITY, the kind that doesn’t require me to do any self-reflection or self improvement. REAL EQUALITY, the kind that conveniently benefits me far more than all those other people.

  2. Jackie says

    Now pointing out men’s sexist behaviors is like murder and terrorism?

    This from the man who called child molestation “mild”.

  3. Jackie says

    Somebody ask him: Which is worse, telling kids there is a hell, sexually assaulting them, or telling them that Matt Taylor’s shirt was sexist?

  4. says

    Note that thunderf00t earns nearly $2700 per video via Patreon. So of course he’s going to jump into the fray and make a new one, and he is surely hoping that he enrages enough people in order to generate enough material for one or two more. In the last two weeks alone, he’s made seven videos; he’s getting rich off it. You can be assured that whatever he has to say about it will be framed as to spread as much discord as possible.

  5. Jackie says

    According to anti-feminists, speaking out about sexism and misogyny is as bad as the following things:
    rioting in the streets
    mass hysteria
    death threats
    the Inquisition / witch hunts
    the Stasi

    Am I missing anything?

    I just want to be clear as to exactly how dangerous these people are painting the feminists they know are already getting actual death threats from their anti-feminist friends.

    If you think they don’t know that their words do not exist in a vacuum, I have some pie in the sky when you die and magic water to sell you.

  6. Matt G says

    You forgot Hitler. Why are these anti-feminists so freaking rabid? And why are so many female? Do they like being objectified, or have they been socialised to accept a patriarchal society in which deference to men is the default?

  7. says

    People’s motivations for doing something are complex. There are always rewards for some people who act against their own interests, which is sad. Phyllis Schafly made a lot of money and gained a lot of prestige by making noise about how “damaging to women” it would be to have equal rights under the law.

  8. Jackie says

    Thank, Matt. The list just goes on and on, doesn’t it?
    Just checked Twitter and saw this

    Eliah Ryan ‏@Eliah_R 2h2 hours ago
    @CluelessUnited @milky_candy @OpheliaBenson @thunderf00t they are still around trying to tar & feather anyone better than them as a rapist

    Calling out sexism is like tarring and feathering as well as making false accusations of rape because people are better than you.
    Add it to the list.

  9. Jackie says

    Crap. I also left out a “to be”.

    Sometimes I wonder if instead of typing, I should just improvise an interpretive dance and post it as a comment. I might be better at that.

  10. queequack says

    Note that thunderf00t earns nearly $2700 per video via Patreon.

    That guy has always been a hack opportunist. I used to watch his anti-creationist videos, and they were okay, but he has never produced anything particularly interesting or original. He got noticed by deliberately stirring shit with ridiculous youtube creationists, which is about when I got bored and stopped watching him.

  11. Randomfactor says

    Oh, well, every dollar sent to Thunderf00t is a dollar that can’t be spent on PUA seminars. So there’s that.

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