The most shameful ontological status

Kiran Opal has a brilliant post on the most recent uproar and its meanings.

She quotes something Josh said that I hadn’t seen.

Official SpokesGay @SpokesGay

Crying is feminine and weak. Being feminine is the most shameful ontological status. Bitches made Matt Taylor weak and feminine in public.
3:46 PM – 16 Nov 2014

Shock of recognition. Yeah.

She provides a lot of resources:

Here are a few articles/resources talking about sexism in science/STEM fields.

(I don’t expect misogynistic dudebros to bother reading things that don’t agree with their views on women, but I hope others will):
Issues Affecting Women in STEM A repository of peer-reviewed research (a huge fucking repository at fucking Harvard for all the people who only believe things institutions like that tell them)

Academics Anonymous: sexism is driving women out of science

Many people on Twitter I need to follow.

The feminists’ point was that this was ONE manifestation of sexism in science. How wearing a shirt that had objectifying images of women was not something that was considered inappropriate at work during an interview that was broadcast around the world. A broadcast that young girls and women would watch and see that the science guy wears a shirt that has images of women reducing them to sexual objects. A broadcast that young boys and men would watch reinforcing the idea that even in science, looking at women as mere sex objects is a thing and totally cool.

One. Just one. Not the only. Not the worst. Not the hugest. Just, one – but a highly visible one, and painful because an obstacle in the rejoicing. (I felt a little of that when the Mars Rover landed safely. I was disappointed there weren’t more women in the room. I hoped there would be more in the future. I was glad to see the few who were there.)

Matt Taylor’s apology was accepted by just about everyone who had originally found the shirt inappropriate, in bad taste, or sexist.

The people who didn’t accept his apology are the anti-feminists out here on the internet for whom a man saying, “I’m sorry I did something that perpetuated sexism” to a bunch of women is EMASCULATING. Their fragile egos were hurt. Thus began the immense mindfuck of a backlash that you can see summarized in these articles/posts:

With ‪#‎GamerGate‬ floundering, the Internet Douchebag Squad whips up a ‪#‎Shirtstorm‬

Scientist apologizes for his sexist shirt, but the Internet still wants women to shut up and die

A list of resources at the end:

More from reliable, scientific sources about the sexism women face in science/STEM fields today:

Why Science Is Sexist

Women in science: ‘Whoa, what are you doing here?’

Science Is Institutionally Sexist. Here Are 4 Ways To Help Fix It

Women in science: Women’s work

Sexism In Science? UK Study Finds Women Scientists Get Fewer Grants, Less Funding Than Male Counterparts

6 Women Scientists Who Were Snubbed Due to Sexism

Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students

Astronomical Sexism: Rosetta #ShirtStorm and Everyday Sexism in STEM

Female Physicists Worldwide Fight Sexist Stereotypes

I wonder if Richard Dawkins would think Kiran is a pompous idiot.


  1. says

    I felt a little of that when the Mars Rover landed safely. I was disappointed there weren’t more women in the room. I hoped there would be more in the future. I was glad to see the few who were there.

    This reminded me of something, so I went and looked it up. Everyone open your hymnals to St. Carl of Ithaca, Pale Blue Dot (1994), p. 243, describing the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter:

    The impact of the millennium was beginning to look very much like a fizzle.

    Then there was a report from a ground-based optical telescope in La Palma in the Canary Islands, followed by announcements from a radiotelescope in Japan; from the European Southern Observatory in Chile; and from a University of Chicago instrument in the frigid wastelands of the South Pole. In Baltimore the young scientists crowding around the TV monitor—themselves monitored by the cameras on CNN—began to see something, and in exactly the right place on Jupiter. You could witness consternation turn into puzzlement, and then exultation. They cheered; they screamed; they jumped up and down. Smiles filled the room. They broke out the champagne. Here was a group of young American scientists—about a third of them, including the team leader, Heidi Hammel, women—and you could imagine youngsters all over the world thinking that it might be fun to be a scientist, that this might be a good daytime job, or even a means to spiritual fulfillment.

    Emphasis mine.

    This stuff matters. And people who the trolls probably claim to admire agree that it matters.


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