But he can be a useful hack. In his recent column in which he sneered at feminists, he distilled down the entirety of his complaint to a single paragraph. This is the part where he described ALL THE TERRIBLE THINGS feminists had done to Matt Taylor. ALL OF THEM.
The Atlantic’s Rose Eveleth tweeted, "No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt." Astrophysicist Katie Mack commented: "I don’t care what scientists wear. But a shirt featuring women in lingerie isn’t appropriate for a broadcast if you care about women in STEM." And from there, the online feminist lynch mob took off until Taylor was forced to deliver a tearful apology on camera.
Oh My Gourd, the feminists lynched him? Dragged him out to a nearby tree and hanged him until he was dead?
No, actually, they didn’t. All that happened is that a woman said the shirt made people feel unwelcome in the scientific community, using that tool of satan, sarcasm, and another said the shirt was inappropriate. They tweeted short sentences expressing their opinion! To a pissy-pants fearful conservative like Reynolds, stating a criticism is exactly like lynching a man. It’s remarkable. The “Guys, don’t do that” phenomenon wasn’t a one-off event, was it? Men freaking out over women making mild rebukes is beginning to look a little more universal, sad to say.
Reynolds gets the moral of the story completely backwards, though.
It seems to me that if you care about women in STEM, maybe you shouldn’t want to communicate the notion that they’re so delicate that they can’t handle pictures of comic-book women. Will we stock our Mars spacecraft with fainting couches?
Wait. In Reynolds’ version of the story, he has the feminists standing strong and making the burly bearded engineer cry (I actually prefer a more charitable interpretation, that he felt genuine remorse at his thoughtless choice of attire). Since a Mars mission would require a cooperative team effort, I think the clear message is that we better not send any men at all, because they’ll buckle and fold and have temper tantrums if a teammate should criticize anything they do.
“Hey, Hank, you over-rotated that antenna. Could you back it off about 5°?”
“You bitch, Sharon. Don’t you judge me. You fucking feminists are all out to bust my balls.” <smashes antenna with a wrench> <breaks down in tears, sobbing>
“This is Mission Control. Glenn Reynolds wants to know why you are murdering Hank, Sharon.”
I have to conclude that if the first manned Mars mission is staffed with the very best, most stable people, it’s going to have to be an all-woman crew.