On November 12, 2014, the Philae lander set down on comet 67P, 10 years after being launched from Earth. It was a monumental achievement, something never done before. Yet, in the midst of all this amazing progress and scientific discovery, one small insignificant detail has overshadowed everything else in almost every conceivable outlet. A shirt.
Project Scientist Matt Taylor gave an interview on the mission, wearing a rather garish shirt, featuring pinup models, women wearing not altogether that much clothing. Taylor immediately came under fire for his choice of dress from feminists across the Internet, vitriol heaped upon him for his shirt objectifying women. All for a shirt. Feminists complained roundly about how women are not welcome in science and lambasted the scientist for his insensitivity.
Taylor, in tears, apologized for the shirt, saying “I have made a big mistake […] I have offended people and I am sorry about this.” Yet even this wasn’t enough, and the Internet is buzzing with rage at this scientist.
How have things gotten to this point, where a scientist, in what is arguably the best day of his life, is getting bullied to the point of actually crying, over a measly shirt? Go to tshirthell.com on any given day, and some of the worst of the worst shirts are available to purchase. Nobody’s making any concerted noise about that, yet it’s been around for years and years.
However, one man wears a shirt with no outward message of misogyny, taking no direct actions against women, and more hate is directed at him than Todd Akin, the representative who said pregnancy rarely occurred in cases of what he called “legitimate rape,” an absolute absurd concept. One of the most ignorant statements ever uttered and it’s seemingly equivalent with a guy wearing a silly shirt.
Not even satire can match the jaw-dropping idiocy of the real world. What sort of priorities do these feminists have, to expend so much energy criticizing one’s fashion choice, when legitimate, serious crimes are occurring to women globally? In some places in the world where daughters are considered a burden and sons are seen as beneficial, where are the hordes of feminists fighting to save lives? Busy slamming a British scientist.
I see, seemingly on a daily basis, a parade of images on social media and across the Internet, of women protesting the so-called rape culture of America. Women dressing in all manner of clothing, holding signs proclaiming they are “Still not asking for it”, and saying that the respect they should be given ought to be independent of what they’re wearing. One remarkable image shows a woman in a shirt saying “I bathe in the tears of men,” to the cheers of her fellow empowered woman. Let’s not forget the women protesting against double standards.
Thankfully everything isn’t all doom and gloom for social justice and society, and there are still little glimmers of hope for humanity. Women, some who identify as feminist are disgusted by the actions of their peers. A tipping point, it seems, has been crossed, and criticism against the bullies almost outweighs criticism against Taylor. Support for Taylor is in no short supply from those more reasonable.
When humans do something great, it is a step forward for all of humanity. The one scarce resource in life is time, there’s a limited amount of it and there’s no way to get more. Not only does this hold true for our individual lives, but the life of our species on a whole, and what we do with the time that we have is what our legacy will be. Without reaching to the stars, great potential is lost. When a milestone is passed, it should be a time of celebration, not a time to feel negative emotions and decide someone else is to blame.
To quote the comedian Stephen Fry, “It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so […] what.”