The recent TV coverage of the
probe's historical landing on Comet 67P Churyumov–Gerasimenko has been marred
by controversy. This has led to yet another tedious hashtag war. One of the
mission leaders is Dr Matt Taylor and during the live TV coverage of the
lander's final descent onto the comet's surface he wore a loudly colourful bowling
shirt which featured a collage of mildly erotic images of young women. This
very soon led to the trending of #shirtgate and #shirtstorm on Twitter. The claim was that
his shirt was "sexist" and inappropriate for such a serious occasion.
There were worries that it was offensive to women and might put women off from
careers in "STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
a field which is supposedly "dominated by men!" Regular
HPANWO-readers will know my views on feminism and there are some background
links at the foot of the article. The common solutions proposed to social
injustice against women, whether real or imaginary, is usually injustice
against men. This is a major concern of mine. You can't fight injustice by
trying to cancel it out with another injustice; all you get is a double-dose of
injustice. However that is what is always tabled in these circumstances, in one
form or another, which I think is deliberate psychological warfare. Dr Taylor
has apologized for the "offence" he caused; he has done so very humbly
and sincerely. As you can see, he even bursts into tears, see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2834451/Philae-comet-probe-scientist-embroiled-sexism-row-shirt-featuring-scantily-clad-women.html.
His manifest upset has given some of his would-be antagonists a moment of
pause. Even the feminist community has become split over this issue and Gia
Milinovich (wife of Prof. Brian Cox) Tweeted: "I wish just half the people angry about "that shirt"
actually did some practical work supporting women in science..." I
watched the live stream of the Philae mission as it
happened, and I knew there would be trouble as soon as I saw Dr Taylor's shirt.
But I warmed to him very much. He seems a down-to-Earth chap; and he's had a
tattoo made on his leg showing a picture of the Rosetta and Philae
spacecraft he's so carefully helped to design and build; the tattoo was done by
the husband of the woman who designed the shirt. I like the fact that he seems
oblivious to the Orwellian shackles that too many other people live their lives
under, and those petty, juvenile little tyrants who gave him such a hard time
are the unpaid politically correct, Fabian Society, Common Purpose Thought
Police of the real Big Brother. However there's a very big silver lining to
this cloud. Dr Taylor's infamous shirt was made for him by an artist friend
called Elly Prizeman, yes a female designer;
and she is about to become very rich indeed because her small graphics company
has been inundated with orders, see: http://www.essexchronicle.co.uk/Chelmsford-woman-Elly-Prizeman-hits-sexist/story-24562531-detail/story.html.
I want my own "sexist" comet shirt! I've made enquiries at her
studio, see: http://www.eternal-art.co.uk/.
See here for background: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/michael-buerk-on-im-celeb.html.