On March 2, 2004, Philae, a robotic European Space Agency (ESA) lander departed from Earth left for its target: comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko to allow humans to receive pictures of a comet’s surface for the first time ever. Philae is also sending data back to Earth to help scientists at the European Space Operations Center determine the composition of the comet’s surface. On November 15, 2014, over 10 years after its initial launch and travelling almost 400 million miles from its starting point, Philae successfully reached its destination. During the semi-successful landing of Philae – there were some complications that resulted in Philae being unable to receive enough sunlight to power itself…but that’s besides the point – the events occuring in the ESA control room were being live-streamed; this gave viewers a glimpse of Matt Taylor’s, a prominent scientist who was crucial to landing Philae onto comet 67P, attire. Feminists were outraged by Taylor’s shirt, which includes provocatively-clothed women wielding guns.
Many feminists ostracized Taylor for his provocative clothing, saying:
- “I don’t care if you landed a spacecraft on a comet, your shirt is sexist and ostracizing”. – Chris Plante and Arielle Duhaime-Ross
- women who dream to work at NASA or ESA are surrounded by people who believe that their jobs are nerdy and unattractive, and Taylor’s shirt embodied all the sexist obstacles women in science have to overcome in order to stay in the industry.
- The article, found here, went further to say that some women are called “bitches” at bars by their fellow science college students, and are therefore discouraged from continuing their major and switch their professions.
- “A shirt featuring women in lingerie isn’t appropriate for a broadcast if you care about women in STEM” – tweeted by astrophysicist Katie Mack
The feminists motto? One small step for man, three steps back for mankind.
My reaction? This.
Here are my arguments for this controversy and why I think Feminists are completely missing the point of the Philae landing:
- A man landed a spacecraft on a comet almost 400 million miles away from Earth. This feat has been equated to landing a fly on a speeding bullet. This accomplishment proves that humans are evolving at speeds that were unimaginable 50 years ago. But let’s all forget about that and focus on how Taylor is “degrading women” through his choice of raiment.
- The shirt Matt Taylor was wearing was designed by a woman. She was delighted he wore it.
- I think Glenn Harlan Reynold’s statement in USA Today sums everything up: “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.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a prominent feminist political figure has released the following statement (which I whole-heartedly agree with):
Would Feminists be happy if Matt Taylor had shown up to work wearing this?
The Friday after this incident, Matt Taylor apologized, where he actually burst into tears saying “I made a big mistake and I offended many people and I am very sorry about this.” No, Matt Taylor. I am sorry that your incredible achievements were overshadowed by the irrational abuse from Feminists.