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November 18, 2014

SHIRTGATE ROUNDUP: Jonah Goldberg: The feminist freakout over the scientist’s ‘girly’ shirt. “In short, feminists want a monopoly on when everyone must be outraged or offended. A few weeks ago, feminist idiots rolled out a video of little girls dressed as princesses, cursing like foul-mouthed comedian Andrew Dice Clay. Unlike Taylor, they set out to offend. But that was in support of feminism, so it was OK. (I’d like to see the parents of those kids tearfully apologizing for exploiting their kids as cheap propaganda props.)”

Related: The Era Of Male Guilt.

This is not about women being able to have careers, or stopping guys who beat their wives, or some other topic where you might expect equal rights for women to naturally arise as a direct issue. Now it’s about every minute little part of every area of your life. . . .

Which is to say that this is a power play. It reminds me of what Shelby Steele has written about the phenomenon of “white guilt”: the presumption that all white people are complicit in the crimes of slavery and segregation and are therefore guilty until they prove themselves innocent. And they can prove their innocence by embracing whatever political agenda the guardians of racial grievance choose to decree.

So call this new system “male guilt.” Every man is presumed sexist until proven otherwise, and his only hope is appease the self-appointed arbiters of offensiveness.

This will all acquire a laser-like focus very quickly, because accusation of sexism will soon have an urgent, concrete purpose: destroying all opposition to Hillary Clinton’s presumed presidential campaign. As Stephen Miller observes: “If you want to know what #ReadyForHillary will look like for 4 years… This is it.”

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that approach will make the Democrats’ gender-gap problems worse.

Also: London’s mayor launches stellar defense of scientist’s heavenly bodies shirt. What I love about the interviewer in that photo is that she’s looking at his eyes, not his chest, unlike, say Rose Eveleth. Quoth Johnson:

Those politically-correct Earthlings who ensured Taylor was “bombarded across the Internet with a hurtling dustcloud of hate” should be ashamed of themselves, Johnson wrote. After all, Taylor may study heavenly bodies, but he is not a priest.

London Mayor Boris Johnson came to Taylor’s defense after Internet sniping reduced the scientist to tears. (Reuters)

“He is a space scientist with a fine collection of tattoos, and if you are an extrovert space scientist, that is the kind of shirt that you are allowed to wear,” Johnson wrote.

The nimble-minded mayor went on to point out that the treatment of Taylor represented a double-standard when juxtaposed to that afforded Kim Kardashian; the shirt showed no exposed nipples or buttocks; and more nudity can be seen at the National Gallery than hanging in Taylor’s closet.

“What are we all – a bunch of Islamist maniacs who think any representation of the human form is an offence against God?” Johnson thundered. “This is the 21st century, for goodness’ sake.”

Yeah, it’s not turning out quite as I’d hoped. But, then, plenty of women are unhappy, too: “The femisogynists talk constantly about how women are so interested in science, technology, and engineering, but when there is a major, groundbreaking story involving those exact subjects, the only thing they can do is whine about how a shirt hurt their feelings.”

UPDATE: From the comments:

More attention should be paid to how this entire episode played out with boys. This should have been an opportunity to interest the next generation of young men in becoming scientists and space researchers. Especially the very smart, socially awkward boys who are most suited to the field.

You know, the kind of boys who are the constant target of bullies in school.

What these boys saw was that space science is no place to escape from bullies and that space scientists are not respected by women. They watched a man at the top of the space science profession humiliated and not protected by his employers and peers.

The young men — the next generation of space scientists — might not overtly think about it, but in the back of their mind how can they not feel that this is not the profession for them. They don’t want to end up like him.

That’s the message these “feminists” are sending.

Spot on.