Distaff Neo-Victorian Luddites Reach for Fainting Couches

"So how are things going for feminism?", Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com asks in his USA Today column, noting that it's "1 small shirt for a man, 1 giant leap backward for women:"

So how are things going for feminism? Well, last week they took one of the great achievements of human history -- landing a probe from Earth on a comet hundreds of millions of miles away -- and made it all about the clothes.

Yes, that's right. After years of effort, the European Space Agency's lander Philaelanded on a comet 300 million miles away. At first, people were excited. Then some women noticed that one of the space scientists, Matt Taylor, was wearing a shirt, made for him by a female "close pal," featuring comic-book depictions of semi-naked women. And suddenly, the triumph of the comet landing was drowned out by shouts of feminist outrage about . . . what people were wearing. It was one small shirt for a man, one giant leap backward for womankind.

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.

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?

Forget NASA -- given the salty language of the military, perhaps it's time to reevaluate women serving in the armed forces at all, let alone in combat positions.

Perhaps Rose Eveleth could write up an article on that topic for the Atlantic.

Related: Rod Dreher  on "Space, Science & Stalinism."

Exit Quote:

Damn straight.