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Author Topic: Matt Taylor's shirt  (Read 9292 times)

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Offline BeorningTopic starter

Matt Taylor's shirt
« on: November 19, 2014, 01:40:57 PM »
So... as the thread for the discussion of Matt Taylor's shirt is needed, I decided to come forward and create it.  :-)

To kick things off, I'd like to get something clarified: why exactly is Matt Taylor's shirt "sexist as hell", as one of the posters in my news thread said?

It's not that I do find this shirt attractive, because I don't. But... men do like images of sexy women. What's wrong with that?

Also, I would like to comment on something another poster said in the general feminism thread: that Matt Taylor is "passively a jerk". I want to say that I find this kind of assessment as way out of line. I mean, people: you don't know the guy at all. You really shouldn't judge him by the one shirt he chose to wear! For all we know, he might be a guy who treats his partner like a queen and is superfriendly and non-sexist toward his female co-workers... It's just a shirt! You shouldn't be making sweeping statement about him based on just one fact...
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 02:31:56 PM by Beorning »

Offline Caehlim

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 02:30:36 PM »
But... men do like images of sexy women.

We do? Perhaps it would be more accurate to say many men like images of sexy women.

Personally I don't think the shirt is sexist as hell. I think it has some problematic aspects in how it displays women (I will go into further length later but I don't have time this morning to write up the reasons before I have to leave). I also think he probably should have chosen a different shirt for his televised appearance as a representative of the ESA. However I do think that in some cases the response has been excessive and overly personal towards Matt Taylor.

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 02:33:54 PM »
We do? Perhaps it would be more accurate to say many men like images of sexy women.

Okay, you're right. I was overly general here. Sorry... What I meant was, of course, that heterosexual men like images of sexy women.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2014, 02:48:09 PM »
Okay, you're right. I was overly general here. Sorry... What I meant was, of course, that heterosexual men like images of sexy women.

No problems, just clearing that up.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2014, 03:08:08 PM »
What gives them the right to tell women who appreciate the female form that it is inappropriate?  I would think that excluding everyone but men from that equation is sexist as well.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 03:19:22 PM »
It's not that I do find this shirt attractive, because I don't. But... men do like images of sexy women. What's wrong with that?


OK.  Imagine I went to work tomorrow in my underwear.  Men like looking at sexy women (lets take as read that I'm sexy), whats wrong with that?  I can choose what I wear, what's wrong with that?  Etc. 

One of the things wrong with it is the inferences one could draw about my workplace.  You'd see me in my knickers and bra alongside my male colleagues in jeans and t-shirts.  Questions would be asked - do I really want to dress like that or do I feel I have to to keep my job?  What about other women coming in to my workplace, would they have to/be expected to dress like that?  Etc.  The fact that my dressing like that was not only tolerated but we saw nothing wrong with putting it on our publicity materials would raise some questions about the atmosphere of the place, in short.

Now add on to that the fact that women are grossly underrepresented in this line of work.  We have a fairly blatant proof that sexualised imagery is accepted, we have the fact that women are, for whatever reason, not working there and finally we have numerous women going back several generations saying that these two things are related and the culture that allows the former is what causes the latter.

He fucked up.  He apologised.  If it wasn't for people jumping to his defence, I'm not sure anyone would still be talking about it in specific, him-related,  terms.

Offline Valthazar

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2014, 04:13:19 PM »
Why would a woman feel she needs to dress like the cartoon image of a woman on his shirt to keep her job?  All she needs to do is do her job well, and I bet a scientist like Matt Taylor cares more about someone's output than what they look, talk or act like.

If a female boss of mine wore a shirt with a sexy shirtless man in underwear, it wouldn't even cross my mind that I need to act like that to keep my job.  I think strong women (or true feminists) feel the same.  This instance, like so many openly feminist women have claimed, hurts  the feminist cause more than anything.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2014, 04:19:33 PM »
I'm sorry, I don't understand, Val.  Did you definitely read what I'd written?  Because that doesn't seem to be relevant.  The key point is:

We have a fairly blatant proof that sexualised imagery is accepted, we have the fact that women are, for whatever reason, not working there and finally we have numerous women going back several generations saying that these two things are related and the culture that allows the former is what causes the latter.

Noone is suggesting that people feel they need to dress sexy to work there.  You...errr....you're aware that I a) don't have to go to work in my underwear and b) even if I did I don't work for the ESA right?  Because it seems like the second paragraph is the source of your confusion. 

Offline Valthazar

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2014, 04:28:34 PM »
I did read your post.  I think it is a generalization to suggest that women don't enjoy humorous sexy shirts like this.   A female coworker pull a fart prank on me when I had my job in college - and we both laughed about it.  It's only the women criticizing Matt Taylor that are seemingly taking issue with him.

I know just as many intelligent, fun loving women who would love a boss like him, who is at least willing to show a little personality by wearing a corny, novelty shirt instead of the usual boring shirt and tie.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2014, 04:30:06 PM »
Which is fine.  Those aren't the women we're talking about here.  They aren't being kept out of STEM fields by sexist behaviour.  Hurray.  We're talking about the women that are.  The people you're talking about?  Again, not relevant to the conversation.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2014, 04:34:30 PM »
I read about people in Asian countries being forced to wear a uniform type of pajama suit in their daily lives to discourage individuality.  We could go that way but women would have to comply as well.

I still get hung up on the philosophy that some people can dress anyway they want and the rest of us have to dress the way they tell us to.  I get made fun of, and I do mean ridiculed, because I wear business-type clothes for work.

Offline Gadifriald

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2014, 04:42:05 PM »
I get made fun of, and I do mean ridiculed, because I wear business-type clothes for work.
You also get admired! ;)

OT: I've heard about this "controversy" and think that it is ridiculous that the shirt (No matter how tasteless!) that was worn by a scientist in an interview is overshadowing a great moment in science!

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2014, 05:00:12 PM »
OK.  Imagine I went to work tomorrow in my underwear.  Men like looking at sexy women (lets take as read that I'm sexy), whats wrong with that?  I can choose what I wear, what's wrong with that?  Etc.

One of the things wrong with it is the inferences one could draw about my workplace.  You'd see me in my knickers and bra alongside my male colleagues in jeans and t-shirts.  Questions would be asked - do I really want to dress like that or do I feel I have to to keep my job?  What about other women coming in to my workplace, would they have to/be expected to dress like that?  Etc.  The fact that my dressing like that was not only tolerated but we saw nothing wrong with putting it on our publicity materials would raise some questions about the atmosphere of the place, in short.

With all due respect, I think you're overblowing things there. Sure, if all women in your workplace were somehow expected to wear only underwear, that'd mean something. But if one woman, one Kythia is allowed to dress like that? That doesn't mean anything. Yes, it could mean that the people in charge are sexist and like to stare at poorly-clad women. It could also mean that they just don't care what their employees wear...

Quote
Now add on to that the fact that women are grossly underrepresented in this line of work.  We have a fairly blatant proof that sexualised imagery is accepted, we have the fact that women are, for whatever reason, not working there and finally we have numerous women going back several generations saying that these two things are related and the culture that allows the former is what causes the latter.

Sorry, I can't agree with that. Yes, women don't often work in this field. And yes, I've heard that guys in such fields can be sexist toward women who attempt that kind of career. Most importantly, I definitely agree that there's this stereotype against women getting education in science or engineering. These are some real issues and they need to be fought against.

But the thing is, these issues? *They* are the reason why there weren't many women on the comet probe team. Not Matt Taylor's shirt. Seriously, do you honestly believe that any woman considered getting employment on that team, but resigned just because of that shirt?

Now, if she resigned because the whole team was unfriendly toward women in general... or, maybe, she didn't even consider getting there because she was brought up to believe that women shouldn't be scientists... now, that would be a problem. And that problem would merit criticism. And I'd support that.

But what I see now is a furious reaction toward one guy who, as far as we know, might be the nicest and non-sexist guy out there. His only known fault is that he wore a tacky shirt. It doesn't say anything about him, or about this particular workplace.

I mean, if there were any reports that something more was happening there... that, say, half of the scientists on that team had nude female photos on their desktops... or that they kept saying sexist jokes during lunch breaks... or that the project supervisor dismissed complaints about it with "Har har, shut up, stupid women"... then yes, Taylor's shirt would mean something. But, as far as I know, we don't know anything like that. If anything, this particular workplace might be a very pleasant place with no sexism going on. And, maybe, they allowed Taylor to wear this shirt, because they are just nice and allow self-expression...

Also, I still would like to hear some reasoning why this specific shirt is sexist in itself.

I still get hung up on the philosophy that some people can dress anyway they want and the rest of us have to dress the way they tell us to.

Yeah, and that's one thing I don't like in feminism in general. I may be wrong, but my impression is that feminists push strongly for female perspective and female feelings to be respected and appreciated... while they don't want to admit that, by the same logic, men should have some right for their perspective and their feelings. For example, when it comes to relationships, they say that men should always respect their women's needs etc... but there's no talk about women being obligated in any way to respecting their men's needs, too.

In this particular case: that shirt doesn't show anything wrong aside from some sexy women. The ugly truth may well be that most straight men like looking at sexy women. So, maybe, the feminists could try respecting that? Instead of calling every guy who likes sexy images a pig?

Personal tangent: you know why I'm so restrained when trying to flirt with women? Because I was brought on Catholic dogma on one side and feminist dogma on the other side. Putting things bluntly, I'm afraid of flirting with women, because every time I think of that, I feel guilty of "treating her like a sex object" etc. I'm afraid of doing anything, because I keep remembering all those things feminists say about sexist men molesting women by looking at them etc.!
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 05:11:44 PM by Beorning »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2014, 05:07:47 PM »
With all due respect, I think you're overblowing things there. Sure, if all women in your workplace were somehow expected to wear only underwear, that'd mean something. But if one woman, one Kythia is allowed to dress like that? That doesn't mean anything. Yes, it could mean that the people in charge are sexist and like to stare at poorly-clad women. It could also mean that they just don't care what their employees wear...

Yes.  It certainly could.  But do you think we'd be wrong to hold that conversation?  To check?

Quote
Sorry, I can't agree with that. Yes, women don't often work in this field. And yes, I've heard that guys in such fields can be sexist toward women who attempt that kind of career. Most importantly, I definitely agree that there's this stereotype against women getting education in science or engineering. These are some real issues and they need to be fought against.

But the thing is, these issues? *They* are the reason why there weren't many women on the comet probe team. Not Matt Taylor's shirt. Seriously, do you honestly believe that any woman considered getting employment on that team, but resigned just because of that shirt?

Your problem is right here.  You say that sexism towards women is an issue, but say that that is the problem not the shirt.  The issue is that the shirt displays that sexism.  It'd be like saying that the problem is people keep dying in the office, not the stupid unimportant cyanide gas its flooded with.  Can you not see how it is symptomatic of an attitude?  Can you not believe people when they say that things this is why they are being put off STEM fields?  Do you think they're lying? 

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2014, 05:17:39 PM »
Yes.  It certainly could.  But do you think we'd be wrong to hold that conversation?  To check?

You're right, but from what I got from the controversy is that there was no "conversation". Just immediate condemnation.

Quote
Your problem is right here.  You say that sexism towards women is an issue, but say that that is the problem not the shirt.  The issue is that the shirt displays that sexism.  It'd be like saying that the problem is people keep dying in the office, not the stupid unimportant cyanide gas its flooded with.  Can you not see how it is symptomatic of an attitude?  Can you not believe people when they say that things this is why they are being put off STEM fields?  Do you think they're lying?

If people say that they are put off STEM fields because of prevailing sexist attitudes, then sure, I believe them. I'm just not sure if one shirt means that this particular person is sexist. And that particular STEM project has problems with sexism.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2014, 05:24:10 PM »
You're right, but from what I got from the controversy is that there was no "conversation". Just immediate condemnation.

What do you think is happening literally right now.  Is this not a conversation?  People are taking both sides of the position and exploring the issue, it looks like a conversation to me. 

Quote
If people say that they are put off STEM fields because of prevailing sexist attitudes, then sure, I believe them. I'm just not sure if one shirt means that this particular person is sexist. And that particular STEM project has problems with sexism.

I'm not saying Matt Taylor is sexist.  Never met the dude.  Might be, might not.  That's not what most people are saying, either.  They're saying that his shirt demonstrated he worked in a sexist environment and wasn't even aware of it.  Entirely different statement.

Quite honestly its irrelevant whether he is or not.  He pretty clearly wasn't trying to stop it - I use the past tense as I strongly suspect he'll be a bit more aware of these issues in future.

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2014, 05:34:18 PM »
Try standing there being told by a female wearing a skirt that barely covers her crotch and a tank that bares her belly and is way too small with no bra underneath that you are pandering to men with your - and I quote - "oh so proper business suit because it's sexy and that's the only reason you wear it."  This same paragon of intelligence had the nerve to suggest I slept with my boss to get my current job.

Her defense for what she said was that she is a feminist.

Offline Valthazar

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2014, 05:37:51 PM »
Kythia, I know you consider this a genuine issue, but what do you think are the long term consequences to the feminist movement, given that several prominent feminists are openly criticizing media coverage of this Matt Taylor issue?

For example, Ana Kasparian even made a video about how this tarnishes the gains feminism has made, and makes feminism more distant to the average woman.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2014, 05:38:49 PM »
I'm sorry, I just have to butt it... well, I don't but...

Since when are women kept out of STEM research fields? As far as I can tell, people that go into those fields are the ones that have a passion for it. Is there any proof other than the overwhelming number of men over women? Because that doesn't prove sexism, it proves that women prefer to find other fields to specialize in, but that's just what I've been able to see, so I could be wrong. And just because he was wearing that shirt doesn't mean he works in a sexist environment. It means he works in an environment where people care more about your skill than your dress code.

And we rose up in his defense not because he is a fellow dude, but because he was bullied and villified over something that is so small and so... childish it's sad.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2014, 05:45:58 PM »
@Valthazar

Kythia, I know you consider this a genuine issue, but what do you think are the long term consequences to the feminist movement, given that several prominent feminists are openly criticizing media coverage of this Matt Taylor issue?

For example, Ana Kasparian even made a video about how this tarnishes the gains feminism has made, and makes feminism more distant to the average woman.

I dislike the term "the feminist movement" to be perfectly honest.  There's no membership card, nor is there an entry exam.  There are vast numbers of people who would self-identify as feminist that I hold very little common ground with, vast numbers who wouldn't that I do.  I've never heard of Kasparian before so I can't really say where on the spectrum she falls.

So, first while it may be a dodge I disagree with the terms of the question.

However, if we accept for the duration of this post that there is such a thing and that its possible and useful to discuss it, I think "YEY!"   If there is a genuine debate around this then that is fucking awesome.  It means things have improved to the extent where people can, in good faith, hold different views - that is to say, the situation isn't so bad that it is immediately fucking obvious what should happen.  But, as I say,  don;t think that because I don't believe in a "feminist movement" in the sense you're using it.

@Demonbane:
I can't tell if you're serious or not.  Assuming you are: start here  Follow links from there. 

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2014, 05:48:00 PM »
Try standing there being told by a female wearing a skirt that barely covers her crotch and a tank that bares her belly and is way too small with no bra underneath that you are pandering to men with your - and I quote - "oh so proper business suit because it's sexy and that's the only reason you wear it."  This same paragon of intelligence had the nerve to suggest I slept with my boss to get my current job.

Her defense for what she said was that she is a feminist.

*angered giggle* Yep, I've met or seen people running exactly that kind of tactic - implying that to be a real feminist you have to blatantly act the underdressed underdog, and if you don't, then you've bought into the male power order. *sigh* Or you have to have the right kind of references in namedropping, music and so on. Admittedly haven't had that aimed at me a lot over clothing, but definitely for ways of speaking, for being "too educated", for not taking it when people simply use their own ego as an argument. And I've certainly seen some feminists using that kind of maneuver to shut down other, competing feminists.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2014, 05:55:33 PM »
@Demonbane:
I can't tell if you're serious or not.  Assuming you are: start here  Follow links from there.
I was being serious, just poorly informed. Working on that now, thanks for the link.

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2014, 05:55:50 PM »
It's sexist as hell because it treats women as sexual objects for public consumption.

Yes. by wearing the shirt he's passively a jerk. Passive. Not Active. I'm not saying he's a shithead who goes off on people and treats everyone around him like shit. I'm saying he's made a choice that obviously makes a hell of a lot of people really uncomfortable and doesn't think anything of it because to him it isn't a big deal.

That is what I mean when I say "Passively" a jerk by wearing the shirt.

Again, I point people to Scholar.Google.com and the Microaggressions search. http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Microaggressions+in+Science+Fields&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C3

I even narrowed it down to Scientific Fields. Go. Read. Enjoy!

Offline Silk

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2014, 06:07:13 PM »
It's sexist as hell because it treats women as sexual objects for public consumption.

Yes. by wearing the shirt he's passively a jerk. Passive. Not Active. I'm not saying he's a shithead who goes off on people and treats everyone around him like shit. I'm saying he's made a choice that obviously makes a hell of a lot of people really uncomfortable and doesn't think anything of it because to him it isn't a big deal.

That is what I mean when I say "Passively" a jerk by wearing the shirt.

Again, I point people to Scholar.Google.com and the Microaggressions search. http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Microaggressions+in+Science+Fields&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C3

I even narrowed it down to Scientific Fields. Go. Read. Enjoy!

So by this logic, I can call everyone who has some form of clothing that I personally disagree with a passive jerk/bitch and attribute all kinda of things based on a item of clothing? Seriously as a society I thought we was outgrowing that crap. Not all Burka wearers are "Passively islamic radicals that want to impose Sharia law" after all. Neither are all female streamers wearing low cut tops just milking the thirstiness of teenage boys to make easy donation money
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 06:09:19 PM by Silk »

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2014, 06:29:07 PM »
No. Not all people who wear burqas are radical islamists. If that was ever an item of serious consideration I'd suggest religious education or at least study.

But pretty much all people who wear burqas are members of Islamic faiths or people living in a society where such things are mandated or at least heavily encouraged. It's not comparative. This guy doesn't live in a society where all men MUST wear shirts with half naked women on them or are heavily encouraged to do so or must do so to follow the tenets of their religion.

Oranges to Cabbages. They're not even remotely similar.

"Shirt I Disagree With" No. It's sexualization of women for public consumption. That's sexist. I don't agree or disagree with something the shirt is saying, I'm stating that it's sexist. If the guy were walking around with a shirt upon which it was a bunch of black dudes floating around on a backdrop of fried chicken and watermelon we'd all say it was racist. And FUCK I hate to make inter-oppressive comparisons and I apologize to everyone I've just offended by bringing up that ridiculous stereotype based on southern cuisine and an African Melon.

That's a critique of his shirt's depiction of women. Not "Shirt I Disagree With". The rest of the discussion is how that shirt's existence is a single and discrete example of a much larger trend in society, and especially in STEM fields, which treats women as lesser. And THAT is the social context in which he's being a passive jerk. He's not overtly trying to harm other people, but he is causing damage without realizing it.

If you don't like my way of explaining these topics please click the link I provided above and read up on the studies and materials I provided to support these statements.

Offline Valthazar

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2014, 07:18:16 PM »
Here's the interview with the woman who made the shirt for Matt Taylor:

YouTube Video


Here's a blog post she made regarding this controversy:

Blog Post
http://ellyprizemanupdate.blogspot.com.au/

Hello Internet Land!

I felt I needed to write some words for all the questions, comments and feedback being received about the shirt I made for him that has caused such a stir.

I would like to thank each and every person who has supported Matt in his amazing achievement and who has asked after and complimented my hobby as well as my Husband's artwork on Dr. Taylor.

Unfortunately there has been a lot of negativity in this which I do understand but is also very upsetting.

Dr. Matt Taylor is an amazing, kind, loving and sensitive person.
I never expected him to wear my gift to him for such a big event and was surprised and deeply moved that he did.
I made that shirt for his birthday last month as I make clothes just as a hobby and he asked if I would make him one.
He is a close and very loved friend so made sure I did this for his birthday present.

I appreciate that everyone is entitled to their opinion and having worked with people and events for a long time I have certainly learnt that you are never going to please everyone.
I defy any living person to tell me truthfully that they have never made an action that may have caused an unwanted reaction in their lives even with the best intentions in mind.

I am so proud of Matt and his achievements and the fact he is an interesting and very brave person to do what he did with the very sweet gesture he made towards my gift and to wear his individuality with pride.
It has certainly made history more exciting and bold.

I do read all your comments you have all made but there are so many I just can’t reply to you all personally.
The people that have attacked and said horrible things I am not going to engage with as the supportive and very lovely comments I have also received outweigh those tenfold!

I would like to take this opportunity to try and answer all the questions I have been getting.

There is no ‘meaning’ behind the shirt. I just bought material and sewed it together.

Nothing sinister at all was meant behind it at any point. It was just a bold and individual fashion item.

I did make Matt’s shirt. You can see it from a few weeks back on his Twitter feed and our studio feed (@EternalArtEssex) as well as my Instagram.
There is a similar shirt available on the internet but as the material is readily available this is no huge surprise.
I customized Matt’s shirt so it does have slight differences to the one already on line as it was a very personal thing.

I am not going to apologize for having a hobby. In actual fact I am a nobody who just crafted a shirt for a friend.
I never expected it to get to this magnitude and am humbled and overwhelmed.

I am genuinely surprised that so many of you want the shirts.

I am no professional seamstress by any means. My clothes are made with love and time put into it.

Yes I can make other clothes and pin up (male and female!) printed material is readily available.

Yes I can make ladies shirts.

If I was to recreate the same print and other similar prints from the fabric designer I use for these shirts I need to be very clear that they are far from perfect.

The other issue unfortunately for me is sadly the cost. That fabric designer’s material is very expensive in the UK. I was shocked to see the shirt available online for only $60!
My fabric has cost me £45 for each shirt and then 5-6 hours of my time to put it all together!
Because of this that also means I that if I was to embark on this that unless I can get my costs downs with fabric that I will have to charge around £150 for 1 shirt which I feel is excessive! From the magnitude of this I would have to stop working in the daytimes to meet the demand and I need to make a living like everyone else in the world.

The other down side is that as I am only just me I cannot mass produce these at the moment as part of why I started making clothes is that I want to do each one myself and put the passion into every one that I put into all my clothes.
This means that if all of you seriously want me to make versions then there will be a considerable waiting list!

Also due to the negative responses it also makes me a tad reluctant as someone will start accusing me of ‘cashing in’ or whatever.

My Husband has said I should embark on this and what is making me feel I want to is that so many of you amazing people have asked for them simply to support Matt which I think is flipping awesome!

To support Matt to show how many people are behind him I am going to try.
I have set up an email account called redfoxcreations@hotmail.com for any of you who want to enquire more.

I really am just a nobody who is lucky enough to have an awesome friend who was just being sweet.

Offline Cycle

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2014, 07:23:15 PM »
If I was Mr. Taylor's boss, I'd fire him.  He attended a publicity event as the representative of a group.  He therefore owed that group a duty to project a proper image.  That is why I paid him to be there.  He does this actively, by what he says and how he says it, and he does this passively, by what he wears and what facial expressions he displays.  That bowling shirt was not professional.  It projected the wrong image.  He failed to do his job.  A publicity event is not Club Med.  A publicity event is not Comic-Con.  A publicity event is not your buddies' patio on a Sunday afternoon.  You want freedom of expression?  You want to display your individuality?  You want to be lively and funny?  Do it on your own time.  Not when you have a specific job to do, for people other than just you.  Fired.  Done.  Next.



Offline Sho

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2014, 09:46:09 PM »
Personally, I find this whole thing so...depressing, honestly. I understand the general point that him wearing a T-shirt depicting scantily clad women could be, to some, considered exclusive.

I also think that, of all the things going on on the world, for this to be focused on puts a final nail in the coffin for me in regards to modern feminism.

We landed a spacecraft on a comet hurtling through space. THAT is the most important thing here; I think that choosing a T-shirt to focus on (one that was made by a friend of his, one that depicts comic-style women and frankly, I think is fun) is absurd. I also think that to bring this up (as opposed to other more relevant issues like date rape, the reasons WHY women don't enter science, etc.) makes women look weak and whiny. If this had started a legitimate conversation about why so few women choose STEM careers, then it would have been interesting. If his shirt had been used as a brief example, that would have been okay.

The fact that this man - a very accomplished man - was lampooned to the fact that he had to make a tearful apology...that makes me sick.

I do, however, agree with Cycle in that he should have worn more professional clothing. That, I believe, is a legitimate point. His clothing was far too casual. I simply believe that this makes all feminists look bad; it makes the movement seem like a gathering of whiny, overly-sensitive women. If this is what is considered feminism, then I no longer want to work with feminists or be associated with them. These sorts of controversies only seem to reaffirm the stereotypes that women are emotional and overly sensitive (I personally disagree with ALL these stereotypes, but this sort of controversy doesn't help women), and they make women unwelcome in male-dominated fields because NO ONE wants to work with a woman who would freak out over a shirt when the greater point is the fact that we landed a comet.

I work in high technology in the US's most technologically-advanced city. I am a woman. I can say, without a doubt, that the industry does indeed keep women out (both intentionally and unintentionally), but this shirt is utterly unrelated to that. I would say that this movement has hurt women's chances to enter the high-tech market more than it has helped it, frankly.

Offline Bloodied Porcelain

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2014, 10:12:23 PM »
I was trying to find a nice way to express my views on this, and I think Sho nicely tied up all my thoughts in a pretty little relatively polite package. The one thing I will add is...

Usually, when I hear women with feminist values and views vehemently deny that they are a feminist or want anything to do with feminism, it makes me angry because all I can see is one less woman who believes all the right things, walking away from a worthy fight because she's put off by all the BS the radicals spout.

And then... this happened. And now? Now I get it. I'm tempted to shed my own "proud feminist" stance because frankly, I see more "feminists" screaming from the rooftops about non-issues like a scientist's shirt or how a model and photographer chose to conduct a photo shoot than I see them addressing and rallying to important, valid issues. Feminists just seem like bullies more often than not these days and it's a turn off. And that's coming from a woman who has spent her entire career and plans to spend her foreseeable future pursuing a career in technology.

This kind of issue? The screaming over something as minor as shirt? It isn't helping women like me who have to deal with the real issues when they go to work in a male-dominated field. If anything, it's hurting us.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 10:24:16 PM by Bloodied Porcelain »

Offline Sho

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2014, 10:29:08 PM »
This kind of issue? The screaming over something as minor as shirt? It isn't helping women like me who have to deal with the real issues when they go to work in a male-dominated field. If anything, it's hurting us.

This. Thanks, BP. This is what I have the most issue with; the women who are criticizing this man the most loudly are also the ones that have little to no experience in this field and instead of getting girls involved in STEM subjects at a young age, they're complaining about a shirt. There's a certain point where the movement becomes so polarizing that it's no longer worth being a part of. I understand that not all feminists are represented by this opinion - but enough of them are that this sort of thing has become representative of the feminist movement for better or worse. I'm out. I'll help mentor girls and I'll work with my male colleagues to make the STEM fields more welcoming to women, but I refuse to be part of a movement that bullies a brilliant man to tears over his choice in T-shirt. It's silly and degrading to women, frankly, that we're seen as so petty that we care more about a shirt than the brilliant science that occurred just a few days ago.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2014, 10:36:13 PM »
A minor observation: I've seen a lot more (and louder, and angrier) criticism of criticism of the shirt than I have actual criticism of the shirt. In fact, the criticism of the shirt I've seen generally boils down to "He screwed up. He made a heartfelt apology. Okay, we're cool here."

The shirt is a symptom, not a cause. The problem with the shirt is that he works in an environment where, knowing that he was going to be on international TV as a representative of his team and agency, he walked into the office wearing that shirt - which is at the very least profoundly unprofessional and certainly uncomfortable for a large number of women. And not one person said "What the hell is that?".

That speaks volumes to me of the background attitudes in that environment, and is certainly illustrative of at least part of the reason women have trouble advancing in STEM fields.

Offline Valthazar

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2014, 10:50:16 PM »
As a related point, in the past (and even today), many companies have had rigid dress codes in an effort to convey a 'professional image' to their clientele.  Things like tattoos, body piercings, and gauges were seen as off-putting and lacking certain personal characteristics when it came to customer service encounters.  Recently, these policies have been reversing, and Starbucks was heralded by progressives as permitting their employees to now display tattoos and small nose piercings.  As their COO said, "we want to build a company where self-expression, empowerment and inclusion are nurtured."

This was a significant gain, yet at the same time, I am sure there are indeed some people today who are off-put by these displays. 

Matt Taylor is a man who clearly has a expressive personality.  Perhaps he himself is fortunate to work with an organization that respects his personality (just as CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg go on stage with just a t-shirt and not the typical formal attire).  Look at this video of the actual controversial presentation.

Fast forward to 1:20 and notice that the man has even tattooed himself with a Rosetta project tattoo.  This was his moment to celebrate after all the work of his team.

Rosetta Live: #2 The descent

Offline blue bunny sparkle

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2014, 10:53:59 PM »
Just wanted to put out there a book called Molecules of Emotion, by Candace Pert, PhD.

In it she tells the story of her discovery of the Opiate Receptor while still a graduate student at John Hopkins University. The discovery led to the Albert Lasker Award (a huge award, which often leads to a Nobel prize) But she did not receive the awards, and her work was not even cited in it. The award went to her boss and other male colleagues.

The book is interesting from a scientific perspective to see how she actually found the Opiate Receptor, but then it is also interesting to read in her own words, the battle she faced because of her sex and gender stereotyping.


http://candacepert.com/achievements/





Offline Steampunkette

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2014, 11:52:12 PM »
The issue isn't that he's expressive, Valthazar. The issue is what he expressed and the attitudes that surrounded that expression.

His being a part of the team that landed the module is a completely different discussion. And if you put together a "Hurray for the Landing!" thread you'd see me cheering in it and speculating about what we'll learn and especially what this breakthrough means for the future of our planet's interactions with extraterrestrial bodies.

But that ain't what's at contention, here. Neither is how expressive he is. No one is complaining that he's got tattoos or cuts his hair in a certain way or wears sweatpants to work with a nacho stain on his shirt.

It's about what he chose to express and how that expression plays into a larger panoply of gender based interaction. What he did with the lander or how nice a guy he is doesn't play into what's being discussed: His decision and the social implications thereof.

As for the upthread "I'm ashamed of feminists being upset over something so trivial" debate: Okay cool. That doesn't mean this is the only front where discussion is happening or work. And even if it doesn't personally affect you in a meaningful way based on your experiences doesn't mean it has no effect on anyone else. There's been DECADES of research into micro aggression that shows it DOES have a major affect on race, gender, and sexuality interactions. I've linked to searches of studies you can read if you're unconvinced in this thread and others.

And if you're not interested in learning about this kind of thing then I don't know what to say other than "Okay. That's your prerogative. Just know that other people understand things that you don't and are upset about it for good reason." and even that sounds smarmy and dismissive when I -really- don't mean for it to.

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2014, 12:19:03 AM »
Here's an example of the bigger context. This is how Barbie encourages young women to enter into the video game industry:

http://www.dailydot.com/geek/barbie-engineer-book-girls-game-developers/



Girls can come up with the ideas, but boys are the ones who do the actual work of making it into a game (I.E. Programming, Design, Testing, Animating, Art, and so much more)

Moments later Barbie accidentally puts a virus on the laptop and destroys all of Stephanie's files. Because comic ineptitude and losing all of your work (and destroying someone else's computer) are the kind of things girls who are game developers can look forward to! Whoops! She's a computer tech who never figured out how to install an antivirus!

This isn't that different, by the way, from how I am treated by employees in computer stores who quiz my understanding of computers or asked to talk to my husband (who didn't take computer technician courses in hardware and software maintenance, networking, and the like) to figure out what we wanted to buy. It's not that different from when I walk into a gaming shop and get geek-girl-grilled about comics or games. It's not that different from when I try to talk about computers and then get mansplained on trivial matters because guys assume I just don't understand.

Just like when I start discussing car components and repairs that my dad taught me when I was a child and get talked over and down to by guys who think I don't understand what I'm talking about until I prove it to them.

And as nice as it is to see the look on some guy's face when I show him I know what I'm talking about that doesn't mean I wanted to have that interaction in the first place and it really doesn't make up for it in any meaningful way.

Women and girls are surrounded and bombarded by a hundred individually tiny things in a day that tell them how they are meant to act, what they can't do, where they aren't actually welcome. The book is a slightly less overt example of it that plays on a child's ignorance of what actually goes into making a game to tell them they can only engage the industry in a specific way. The shirt is just another reminder for the people who are tuned into it that it's a boy's club.

Because where else would a dude expect to wear that shirt and not get dirty looks? People are happy to acknowledge it's inappropriate, but I notice a lot of dodging on -why- it's inappropriate.

Also: You teach kids how computers work with a cute dog that matches colored blocks..? I guess that's inline with the rest of the books contents: Teaching girls they can get into game design by showing them how terrible a female game designer role model is with computers. But at least the doggie is cuuuuuute!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 12:20:52 AM by Steampunkette »

Offline Caehlim

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2014, 01:03:06 AM »
But she did not receive the awards, and her work was not even cited in it. The award went to her boss and other male colleagues.

This happens a lot unfortunately. At the moment in Astronomy we're studying the work of Bell Burnell who discovered Pulsars but the Nobel prize went to her (male) thesis supervisor.

In Astronomy there's a joke that this is why it's called the "No Bell" prize. (Bit of black humour there, but it really is rather disgraceful).

Offline Sho

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2014, 02:01:54 AM »
@steampunkette

I don't think anyone here is denying microaggressions (or if they are, I might have missed it, but I'm certainly not denying). In the same way that you're saying hat his shirt can't be ignored because it is representative of a larger system full of microaggressions (I'm assuming that's what you're saying, I may be wrong), I would argue that focusing so heavily on his shirt does indeed take away from his great accomplishment, particularly when it has sparked such a huge media firestorm that is focusing on the feminist controversy as opposed to the landing itself.

I see the Barbie picture, and I fully agree that its highly problematic. I think that that picture and its implications are far more harmful than a man wearing a T-shirt with women in bustiers on it.

It seems to me that you're saying that women who agree with some parts of feminism cannot disassociate themselves with the movement because of a loud, vocal minority. Neither myself, nor BP, I'm assuming, ever argued that micro-aggression doesn't exist or that it doesn't affect people: it's actually somewhat insulting to imply that I don't understand or care to understand about such things simply because I choose not to associate myself with a movement that I have seen become increasingly transphobic, petty, and negative. I will take you at your word and believe that you don't mean it to be insulting, however.

I think it's perfectly valid to hold the opinion that a loud enough portion of the feminist movement has started punishing the more middle-ground section, and that at a certain point, I don't see the movement doing a huge amount of good (I think of this in the same way that Tea Partiers have done huge damage to the Republican party). I've seen more good come from women in STEM starting research initiatives and welcoming women into the fields themselves - and from women who no longer associate themselves as feminists but merely work for equality without labeling themselves - than I have seen coming from self-proclaimed feminists.

This is, of course, my experience and my opinion. Everyone is welcome to their own and I fully respect that. I, however, dislike being told that my opinion is invalid or having it assumed that I haven't learned about the struggles of women (or the sociological studies behind those struggles) because I find the current iteration of the feminist party to be petty.

Offline Silk

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2014, 02:24:11 AM »
You call it Microagression, I call it self-fulfilling legacy. Because prior to this I doubt anyone was put off joining STEM because of this shirt, but now it's been made a point of discussion, now people will be put off based on the connotation, so congratulations, you've created what your fighting against.

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2014, 03:08:47 AM »
@steampunkette

I don't think anyone here is denying microaggressions (or if they are, I might have missed it, but I'm certainly not denying). In the same way that you're saying hat his shirt can't be ignored because it is representative of a larger system full of microaggressions (I'm assuming that's what you're saying, I may be wrong), I would argue that focusing so heavily on his shirt does indeed take away from his great accomplishment, particularly when it has sparked such a huge media firestorm that is focusing on the feminist controversy as opposed to the landing itself.

I see the Barbie picture, and I fully agree that its highly problematic. I think that that picture and its implications are far more harmful than a man wearing a T-shirt with women in bustiers on it.

It seems to me that you're saying that women who agree with some parts of feminism cannot disassociate themselves with the movement because of a loud, vocal minority. Neither myself, nor BP, I'm assuming, ever argued that micro-aggression doesn't exist or that it doesn't affect people: it's actually somewhat insulting to imply that I don't understand or care to understand about such things simply because I choose not to associate myself with a movement that I have seen become increasingly transphobic, petty, and negative. I will take you at your word and believe that you don't mean it to be insulting, however.

I think it's perfectly valid to hold the opinion that a loud enough portion of the feminist movement has started punishing the more middle-ground section, and that at a certain point, I don't see the movement doing a huge amount of good (I think of this in the same way that Tea Partiers have done huge damage to the Republican party). I've seen more good come from women in STEM starting research initiatives and welcoming women into the fields themselves - and from women who no longer associate themselves as feminists but merely work for equality without labeling themselves - than I have seen coming from self-proclaimed feminists.

This is, of course, my experience and my opinion. Everyone is welcome to their own and I fully respect that. I, however, dislike being told that my opinion is invalid or having it assumed that I haven't learned about the struggles of women (or the sociological studies behind those struggles) because I find the current iteration of the feminist party to be petty.

Okay, I see what you're saying and I agree with it. Yes. It is impossible to disassociate yourself, as a feminist, from the loud and radical ones without either saying you're not a feminist or offering up a "No True Scotsman". I can understand how frustrating that is, especially with the number of TERFs who are finally getting the opportunity to spread their toxic rhetoric through the community by couching it in terms of respected second wavers. And I understand that you feel putting so much focus on this microaggression is a problem. And there is a push for more moderate feminism quite loudly, in fact.

I, personally, find such calls kind of misinformed, though. Because Feminism is, predominantly, moderate and not left as people tend to believe. It really appears to be left thanks to the Overton window being pulled hard right by conservatives since the 1940s, but that's neither here nor there. What's happening is that people are gaining more exposure to the louder side of radical feminism thanks to increased media connectivity (Internet) and it appears to be growing when, in reality, it's the same amount as ever that just looks bigger thanks to how loud it is.

He did something messed up, got called on it pretty loudly I admit, publicly apologized, and most feminists just kind of moved on after that, willing to accept he won't do it again. The only reason it keeps getting brought up, again and again, even in threads where it's not a discussion topic being covered such as the feminist history thread, is because antifeminists keep bringing it up and recentering the conversation on it often because they do not accept the existence of microaggressions or wish to argue that he did nothing wrong. It is, after all, the whole point of this thread to express that it was "Just a Shirt" to quote the OP.

But if you would prefer it I'll step on out of this thread entirely and stop trying to educate people on the topics involved, here. Maybe it will become a discussion lauding the ESA for their actions, but based on the recentering I've seen, again and again, I doubt it.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 03:21:09 AM by Steampunkette »

Offline Sho

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2014, 04:02:17 AM »
There's no need for you to step out of the topic; it's always good to have a plethora of opinions. I'm sure that there are many people who find your articles useful and who haven't had access to that information before, and I'm sure that it's helpful to them.

I do, however, think that it one thing to accept the existence of micro-aggressions (still can't tell if that's one word or two...) and another to say that this particular case was not a that. Personally, I do not consider that shirt to be a micro-aggression, and I think that this topic being brought up by anti-feminists 'over and over again' isn't a necessarily a bad thing. One can hope that it will bring more moderate feminists out of the woodworks - which I have increasingly been seeing happen - and that it will spur them to take back the movement.

From my personal experiences (I work in tech and live in a very liberal city), I have seen the number of TERFs growing rather than simply becoming more vocal or visible, for whatever reason. I speculate that a number of young women who have experienced hardships in life find themselves attracted to a movement that promises them superiority. Whatever the reason, I think that the frustration is not that micro-aggressions are being brought up; I think the frustration that I, and a number of other feminists-but-not-feminists feel is that we don't think micro-aggressions are the biggest problem facing our movement right now. Addressing them will be necessary, but in many ways focusing on such small things is like fixing a cracked foundation with bubble gum instead of with a thick coating of cement.

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2014, 04:38:20 AM »
I totally understand the fixing cracks rather than laying cement thing. But we are laying cement. All over the place.

There are feminist advocates with money and political voices and they lobby to change laws and show people big sweeping problems that exist in our society in their way.

But not all of us have that kind of money or authority, especially those of us who are also members of other minority groups. But we can help, too, by patching cracks to keep them from spreading under strain.

And getting people to understand how microaggressions (I don't know if it's one word, two words, or hyphenated, I've seen it in all three ways!) affect interaction and perceptions of people and shape discussion without willful intent to do harm: That's a lot of tiny cracks I can work on. And street harassment is a lot of tiny cracks that I can work on.

It's not like we can lay thick cement over freedom of speech and expression, after all. For that we've got to patch up the cracks by getting people to understand and be aware of the problem. Y'know?

As for this not being a microaggression... okay. I accept that you do not see it as one. And I won't try to convince you otherwise.

Offline Cycle

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2014, 07:42:27 AM »
Matt Taylor is a man who clearly has a expressive personality.  Perhaps he himself is fortunate to work with an organization that respects his personality (just as CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg go on stage with just a t-shirt and not the typical formal attire). 

Taylor was not acting in an individual capacity.  He was not just sitting in his lab on an ordinary work day.  He was on stage, doing a broadcast, to the entire world, as a representative of his entire group of scientists and staff.  That is not the time for him to express his individual personality.  That is the time for him to represent more than just himself.  Therein lies the failure.  He failed to understand why he was there, and how is actions will reflect on others and be interpreted by others.

Comparing Taylor to Zuckerberg simply highlights Taylor's mistake.  Study what Zuckerberg wears.  It isn't bowling shirts with cartoon drawlngs. 


Zuckerberg is a representative of the young social media technology crowd.  It is appropriate for him to dress casually to conferences and expos.  Indeed, it is strategically sound from a marketing perspective.  There is a pattern to his public image that shows Facebook analyzed and understands the impact of what Zuckerberg wears.  His clothing projects that image, intentionally and deliberately.  That is the difference between the two.  Taylor didn't think.


« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 08:15:02 AM by Cycle »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2014, 09:59:34 AM »
You call it Microagression, I call it self-fulfilling legacy. Because prior to this I doubt anyone was put off joining STEM because of this shirt, but now it's been made a point of discussion, now people will be put off based on the connotation, so congratulations, you've created what your fighting against.

Please show us a single example, anywhere, of anybody saying that women will be driven out of STEM by this shirt alone. That argument has been explicitly and repeatedly rejected in this very thread - what people are actually saying is that this shirt is symptomatic and representative of a broader underlying problem with attitudes toward women in STEM fields. And I strongly doubt that you are going to be able to convince the woman in a STEM field who you're arguing against that these attitudes do not exist.

Trotula of Salerno. Rosalind Franklin. Jocelyn Bell Burnell. Maria Goeppert Meyer. Gerty Cori. Esther Lederberg. Ada Lovelace. Chien-Shiung Wu. Judy Malloy. Lise Meitner. Candace Pert. Nettie Stevens. And those are the particularly egregious examples I could find in a 30-second search. How many do we need before people are willing to admit that there is a problem - a problem that this shirt was simply the msot recent highly-visible symptom of?

Offline Bloodied Porcelain

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2014, 10:16:03 AM »
Please show us a single example, anywhere, of anybody saying that women will be driven out of STEM by this shirt alone. That argument has been explicitly and repeatedly rejected in this very thread - what people are actually saying is that this shirt is symptomatic and representative of a broader underlying problem with attitudes toward women in STEM fields. And I strongly doubt that you are going to be able to convince the woman in a STEM field who you're arguing against that these attitudes do not exist.

Trotula of Salerno. Rosalind Franklin. Jocelyn Bell Burnell. Maria Goeppert Meyer. Gerty Cori. Esther Lederberg. Ada Lovelace. Chien-Shiung Wu. Judy Malloy. Lise Meitner. Candace Pert. Nettie Stevens. And those are the particularly egregious examples I could find in a 30-second search. How many do we need before people are willing to admit that there is a problem - a problem that this shirt was simply the msot recent highly-visible symptom of?

I don't think that's what Silk was saying at all. I think the point she was making was that pointing out something as minor as a tacky shirt being an issue could end up just turning even more women who might potentially get involved in the STEM fields away from them because they don't want to be part of the larger controversy. While that is admittedly not the intention, nor is it a good thing, she does have a point. It's similar to the point of people like myself and Sho, who have basically decided we want nothing to do with so-called "feminists" anymore because this sort of freak out over something insignificant and silly doesn't do anything but hurt the cause. There are battles worth fighting, yes, and I firmly believe the strong majority of people would rally behind them. A shirt and how people chose to dress regardless of the occasion, though? Not one of them, from our perspective. Is throwing a fit over a single man's shirt doing more harm than good long run? It could be argued either way, though I would say history stands on the side of it doing more harm. Sometimes you have to give some ground and overlook small things for the greater good of the cause you're fighting for. Does it suck? Yes. But that's reality.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 10:28:07 AM by Bloodied Porcelain »

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2014, 11:06:08 AM »
Again: The "huge fit" that was thrown over this (and let's not get into the problems with that framing)? It's smaller than the huge fit over daring to speak up. Like, way way way smaller. As in: My primary go-to news sources for political and science news are feminists, and scientists, and feminist scientists, and I heard the backlash first. As in: On this very forum, the backlash splashed on a discussion unrelated to the shirt before anyone said anything here about the shirt.

You don't get to say people are blowing an issue out of proportion while inflating that same issue by several orders of magnitude.

And frankly, given the volume and vitriol of the backlash against anybody who dares to say, in even the mildest tones, that yes, this is symptomatic of a significant problem... claiming that pointing out the issue is going to drive women out of STEM is just concern trolling. This and this aren't the sort of things driving women away in significant numbers - this is. Or this or this or this or this.

Does this make things clearer?

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #45 on: November 20, 2014, 11:17:34 AM »
I just wanted to say that I agree with what Sho said here:

We landed a spacecraft on a comet hurtling through space. THAT is the most important thing here; I think that choosing a T-shirt to focus on (one that was made by a friend of his, one that depicts comic-style women and frankly, I think is fun) is absurd. I also think that to bring this up (as opposed to other more relevant issues like date rape, the reasons WHY women don't enter science, etc.) makes women look weak and whiny. If this had started a legitimate conversation about why so few women choose STEM careers, then it would have been interesting. If his shirt had been used as a brief example, that would have been okay.

I honestly understand that there *are* stereotypes working against women who try making careers in science or engineering. The Barbie thing Steampunkette mentioned? This is exactly the kind of thing that needs to be fought against. I really have no problem with that. I simply think that the specific case of Taylor's shirt is extremely minor: at worst, it's just a small symptom of the problem. At best, it doesn't mean anything at all - as I said, I'm really not sure if images of sexy women are that problematic in itself (I mean, half of avis here on E might be images of sexy women...).

I also agree with Cycle that wearing that kind of shirt was unprofessional. Personally, I find it strange that this particular workplace allowed it... but I really wouldn't be eager to make assumptions of the bosses there being sexist. Maybe they just don't care...

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #46 on: November 20, 2014, 11:28:37 AM »
You're completely overlooking my point, which isn't that women who are already in STEM fields are going to leave because of this issue, but that women who ARENT involved but may want to be in the future decide against it because if this one small thing caused a big enough backlash that the guy had to publicly make a tearful apology, why would they want to risk being part of the larger controversy at play? As I said before, I don't think it's the intention, or that it is a good thing to turn people off when people get upset over these things, but it is a potential consequence. If I've spent the better part of my life calling myself a feminist and this issue became the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak, making me decide I no longer want to use the title for myself or be in any way related to feminism, what do you think it would do to those who are still trying to figure out what they want to do with their careers but are on the fence? Especially with how negative feminism is seen in society today.

Small issues like this compound on each other and can end up crippling a movement because they will invariably be thought of more for the things they did badly than the things they did well. That's an unfortunate part of human psychology (that you may forget the dozens of great things someone did for you, but you will never forget the one bad thing they did to you). Why do you think there's such a huge push back in society against feminism and such a negative view of it? If you don't think that these outcries over something small like a guy's shirt during a time where something MUCH more important was going on (IE landing on a comet) plays in to society's perception and reception of feminists and feminism, you're wrong.

And yes, the back lash to the reaction toward the shirt is severe. It should be. Why? Because people are SICK of this kind of behavior from feminists. Be all for stopping date rape and making STEM fields more appealing toward girls. Most people are all for that. What we aren't for is distracting from the major, important issues with small innocuous ones that in the long run mean very little just so people can fancy themselves activists and give themselves a pat on the back so they can feel better about how little they're doing on the big issues.

I just wanted to say that I agree with what Sho said here:

I honestly understand that there *are* stereotypes working against women who try making careers in science or engineering. The Barbie thing Steampunkette mentioned? This is exactly the kind of thing that needs to be fought against. I really have no problem with that. I simply think that the specific case of Taylor's shirt is extremely minor: at worst, it's just a small symptom of the problem. At best, it doesn't mean anything at all - as I said, I'm really not sure if images of sexy women are that problematic in itself (I mean, half of avis here on E might be images of sexy women...).

All of this.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 11:31:42 AM by Bloodied Porcelain »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #47 on: November 20, 2014, 12:04:17 PM »
And you're overlooking one of my points, BP: The overwhelming majority of the discussion of this shirt has been "Sit down, shut up, stop talking about it, there's no issue with sexism in STEM" at various levels of politeness. And this is just the latest example. Every time - literally every single time a woman in STEM dares point out that we haven't achieved equality yet, there is a backlash that completely blows the original statement out of the water in terms of volume, vitriol, and persistence. Yet somehow, this isn't what gets blamed for scaring women off - instead, it's the uppity woman who dared speak instead of looking pretty.

Why exactly is that?

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #48 on: November 20, 2014, 12:08:48 PM »
And you're overlooking one of my points, BP: The overwhelming majority of the discussion of this shirt has been "Sit down, shut up, stop talking about it, there's no issue with sexism in STEM" at various levels of politeness. And this is just the latest example. Every time - literally every single time a woman in STEM dares point out that we haven't achieved equality yet, there is a backlash that completely blows the original statement out of the water in terms of volume, vitriol, and persistence. Yet somehow, this isn't what gets blamed for scaring women off - instead, it's the uppity woman who dared speak instead of looking pretty.

Why exactly is that?

I haven't heard or seen a single argument stating that here is no issue with sexism in STEM, only that this shirt is not an issue and there are more important things that should be discussed and focused on, which is why I didn't deign to respond to that point, it seems something you're implying in to the arguments presented in this thread, rather than something that is actually been said by people speaking against those criticizing the shirt.

And to be clear: If someone ever actually DID imply that there's no sexism or inequality in STEM, I'd be the first person to argue with them. I just don't think this particular thing (Matt Taylor's shirt) is it.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 12:10:37 PM by Bloodied Porcelain »

Offline Silk

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #49 on: November 20, 2014, 12:35:27 PM »
I don't think that's what Silk was saying at all. I think the point she was making was that pointing out something as minor as a tacky shirt being an issue could end up just turning even more women who might potentially get involved in the STEM fields away from them because they don't want to be part of the larger controversy. While that is admittedly not the intention, nor is it a good thing, she does have a point. It's similar to the point of people like myself and Sho, who have basically decided we want nothing to do with so-called "feminists" anymore because this sort of freak out over something insignificant and silly doesn't do anything but hurt the cause. There are battles worth fighting, yes, and I firmly believe the strong majority of people would rally behind them. A shirt and how people chose to dress regardless of the occasion, though? Not one of them, from our perspective. Is throwing a fit over a single man's shirt doing more harm than good long run? It could be argued either way, though I would say history stands on the side of it doing more harm. Sometimes you have to give some ground and overlook small things for the greater good of the cause you're fighting for. Does it suck? Yes. But that's reality.

Thank you for better explaining the point I was trying to make <3

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #50 on: November 20, 2014, 12:39:15 PM »
I haven't heard or seen a single argument stating that here is no issue with sexism in STEM, only that this shirt is not an issue and there are more important things that should be discussed and focused on, which is why I didn't deign to respond to that point, it seems something you're implying in to the arguments presented in this thread, rather than something that is actually been said by people speaking against those criticizing the shirt.
This shirt is a manifestation of that sexism. It would not have happened in an environment where endemic sexism was not an issue. That is the entire point that those of us on this side of the conversation have been trying to make. The 'overshadowing' of the frankly-awesome achievement of the team? Has been coming from the other side. In fact, the feminist science sources I've been reading have given at least equal coverage to the actual work.

And to be clear: If someone ever actually DID imply that there's no sexism or inequality in STEM, I'd be the first person to argue with them. I just don't think this particular thing (Matt Taylor's shirt) is it.

From upthread, bolding mine:
Since when are women kept out of STEM research fields? As far as I can tell, people that go into those fields are the ones that have a passion for it. Is there any proof other than the overwhelming number of men over women? Because that doesn't prove sexism, it proves that women prefer to find other fields to specialize in, but that's just what I've been able to see, so I could be wrong. And just because he was wearing that shirt doesn't mean he works in a sexist environment. It means he works in an environment where people care more about your skill than your dress code.

Offline Bloodied Porcelain

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #51 on: November 20, 2014, 01:08:49 PM »
This shirt is a manifestation of that sexism. It would not have happened in an environment where endemic sexism was not an issue. That is the entire point that those of us on this side of the conversation have been trying to make. The 'overshadowing' of the frankly-awesome achievement of the team? Has been coming from the other side. In fact, the feminist science sources I've been reading have given at least equal coverage to the actual work.

I'm going to answer your quote with the exact same quote, but the part that made me look at that not as an accusation/insistence that he meant it as a "sit down and shut up" argument:

Quote
Since when are women kept out of STEM research fields? As far as I can tell, people that go into those fields are the ones that have a passion for it. Is there any proof other than the overwhelming number of men over women? Because that doesn't prove sexism, it proves that women prefer to find other fields to specialize in, but that's just what I've been able to see, so I could be wrong. And just because he was wearing that shirt doesn't mean he works in a sexist environment. It means he works in an environment where people care more about your skill than your dress code.

He implied that he personally hasn't seen the sexism involved in STEM research fields, and then went on to clarify that that is based on what he personally has seen and he could be wrong. That isn't "sit down and shut up it doesn't exist". Once again, you implying things in another's post that wasn't actually said.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #52 on: November 20, 2014, 01:23:21 PM »
I dunno, he's wearing a kilt and taking a break from his bagpipe to eat some haggis. I feel comfortable calling him a Scotsman. Whether or not he qualified it, it absolutely was more than a mere implication that this isn't a problem. One that you didn't address and then actively denied the existence of. Is deamonbane an example of literally all of the problems that have been occurring on that side of the argument? No. But he is a specific in-this-thread example of something you said does not exist.

That said... okay, maybe I have been characterizing your side of the discussion wrong. Exactly what do you think should be done, other than "stop talking about it"? (Which, I'll again point out, is repeated at greater volume and length than any of the original complaints.)

Offline Bloodied Porcelain

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #53 on: November 20, 2014, 01:35:09 PM »
I think you should be refocusing the energy you're putting in to complaining about a single man's shirt in to something actually productive and addresses a bigger, overarching problem.

  • Get behind pushes for toy companies to stop making "boy colors" and "girl colors" of "engineering" toys like Legos for longer than they survive popularity on facebook.
  • Write letters to the boards that decide on things like who gets awards in the STEM fields about the fact that women are actively left out of receiving these awards whenever possible.
  • Work on combating people like Snookie and Kim Kardashian as someone little girls should be looking up to and refocus them on empowering, intelligent women in the STEM fields.
  • Get with the non-profits that try to find ways to make STEM work more appealing to girls at a young age.
  • Volunteer to tutor young girls in science and math via programs like Big Brothers, Big Sisters or your local school system or church if they offer such things.
  • Before you decide to jump on the outrage bandwagon, look at the issue in question and ask yourself if it's worth making a big deal over... if it will actually mean something positive at the end of it, or if it's just going to perpetuate the notion that all feminists are either overly sensitive or looking for a reason to complain.

    Most of these things take little to no money thanks to the internet and e-mail. They just require your time and your effort. Your time and your energy are tools you have at your disposal even if you have literally nothing else. Do something with it that will further your goals, not set them back.

    Unless, of course, your goal is to actively chase other feminists away from the title/cause or to make feminists in general seem obnoxious... at which point, carry on.

Offline Cycle

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #54 on: November 20, 2014, 01:45:03 PM »
I was being serious, just poorly informed. Working on that now, thanks for the link.

Can we go easy on the personal shots?  Especially given the quote above?  Thank you.


Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #55 on: November 20, 2014, 01:53:19 PM »
Right, okay, citing someone's actual words as an example of things being said is a personal attack, and the fact that I think the shirt is symptomatic of a much larger issue means I cannot possibly be doing anything else to address the problem. Got it. I'm out.

EDIT: Okay, I was being overly emotional and a bit ridic here. I'm sorry.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 02:20:28 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Bloodied Porcelain

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #56 on: November 20, 2014, 02:01:20 PM »
That's... not at all what I said. I never implied you're not doing anything else. You asked for examples of things I think should be done instead of complaining over a shirt, so I did. I'm confused as to how this is upsetting.  ???

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2014, 02:05:30 PM »


Might be worth taking five to note how cute ducklings are.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2014, 02:05:53 PM »
I haven't heard or seen a single argument stating that here is no issue with sexism in STEM...
Just for the record, I made a misinformed question over the topic earlier in the thread, and following a link that was provided by a later poster, properly informed myself.

DUCKLINGS!

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2014, 02:14:42 PM »
That's... not at all what I said. I never implied you're not doing anything else. You asked for examples of things I think should be done instead of complaining over a shirt, so I did. I'm confused as to how this is upsetting.  ???
You said I, specifically, needed to "refocus the energy" I'm putting into "complaining about a single man's shirt" into a list of extremely basic 101-level stuff. That came off as... a little condescending, which was probably not helped by the prickliness of our conversation thus far. I'm sorry if I misread.

That said, I apparently wasn't clear either: There are people who do, in fact, see this shirt as a symptom of the problem and a microaggression in its own right. You claim that your side isn't just saying "sit down and shut up" about it, so: What would you have us do about this issue other than sit down and shut up?

Just for the record, I made a misinformed question over the topic earlier in the thread, and following a link that was provided by a later poster, properly informed myself.
And for the record, I'm not calling you out as misogynist or antifeminist - you were underinformed, and took action to correct that. My only point in citing you was that these words were in fact said.

Offline Bloodied Porcelain

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #60 on: November 20, 2014, 02:22:44 PM »
You said I, specifically, needed to "refocus the energy" I'm putting into "complaining about a single man's shirt" into a list of extremely basic 101-level stuff. That came off as... a little condescending, which was probably not helped by the prickliness of our conversation thus far. I'm sorry if I misread.

That said, I apparently wasn't clear either: There are people who do, in fact, see this shirt as a symptom of the problem and a microaggression in its own right. You claim that your side isn't just saying "sit down and shut up" about it, so: What would you have us do about this issue other than sit down and shut up?

Perhaps this is where our inherent issue is. You see it as an issue. I think seeing it as anything more than something worthy of a roll of the eyes is an overblown reaction by anyone aside from maybe his bosses, thus I don't think anything should be done about it. And even if it was something that could be rated as an "issue", it's such a miniscule one I still don't think anything should be done about it because it's not worth the effort it takes to scream about. It's a shirt some people don't like. Big whoop. Move on to something more important or at the very least something that could combat the issue from a more positive standpoint. Cause right now? All that I've seen out of the crowd (here and elsewhere) that are bothered by the shirt is overly negative.

And the reason why I offered what you call 101-level suggestions is because I don't know what your means are, but I have seen it pointed out that people are attacking little things like this because they don't feel they have the means to attack bigger issues so they'll leave those issues to those with more means than they have. While to some degree I can see the logic in that, it just strikes me as a "it's too hard" cop-out. Not necessarily what it is, but it certainly comes across that way. That said, I provided things that you can do with the bare minimum level of means: an internet connection, which you can generally get on most street corners for free these days.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 02:26:13 PM by Bloodied Porcelain »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #61 on: November 20, 2014, 02:37:39 PM »
See... here's the problem I have. You don't see it as an issue, fine, don't do anything about it. But you made a claim that your side wasn't just saying "sit down and shut up" on this. When I asked what you'd rather we do about it, your answer was... sit down and shut up, with extra overtones of "reasonable dissent is histrionics". Did you see the examples of responses to the shirt that I linked upthread, including the one that initially attracted all the flack? Which of those constitutes "screaming" and "pitching a fit", exactly?
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 02:41:09 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Blythe

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #62 on: November 20, 2014, 02:39:13 PM »


Might be worth taking five to note how cute ducklings are.

For anyone getting frustrated, taking five and looking at the ducks is definitely a good idea right about now.

I note that I am impressed three ducks fit on one hand.  :-)

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #63 on: November 20, 2014, 03:00:23 PM »
Might I suggest as well...

The Best Conversation ever

Online Oniya

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #64 on: November 20, 2014, 05:03:53 PM »
I'm going to take a step back from the shirt symptom with a little bit of broader picture.  Back in 'the day', it was considered unusual for girls to like, let alone be good at math and science.  There was even some since-discredited research saying that female brains were better at the humanities and male brains were better at the sciences.  As a result, there's been a substantial age-range of males that saw the sciences as their own personal clubhouse - possibly even a man-cave.  Add to that the fact that the people interested in the sciences tended towards the 'geek' and/or 'nerd' stereotypes, and there was pretty much the idea that no woman would even want to hang with that crowd.  And so there was no reason to be concerned about appearances.

This is what we are working to overcome.

A few months ago, there was an ad put out that yanked at my heart.
linked for child

From the video:  66% of fourth grade girls say they like math and science.  Only 18% of all college engineering majors are female.

When I was in college, I went to a 'women's college'.  I knew I wanted to be a math major since about 7th grade.  Some of my required classes were so small that the professors had to get special waivers or push them through as 'Directed Inquiries' to avoid having to cancel them for 'lack of interest'. 

Yes, things are changing.  There is more of a push to get girls interested in the STEM fields, but that has to start in the middle and high schools, if not earlier.  Parents have to stop teaching their kids that 'that's a boy thing' or 'girls don't do that', or 'boys will be boys'.  Even though they grew up being told those things.  The idea of astrophysics or any other lab being a 'boys' club' is from a previous generation, and will eventually die out if we can keep the older generations moving forward.

Part of the difficulty is going to be not yanking too hard as we do so.  Yanking causes people to pull back.  I'd wager that if someone had given Mr. Taylor a gentle nudge before the interview, he would have changed or covered the shirt, and we wouldn't be having this discussion - and it probably would have avoided all the negativity on all sides.  Mr. Taylor would have gotten a valuable lesson in public relations without being turned into some sort of tragic figure.

The comment has been made that 'no one saw anything unusual or inappropriate about Mr. Taylor's shirt' - and that this somehow puts all the onus on the team of scientists.  But I'd also like to point out that this was an interview conducted by a TV news station.  People that are in front of the public every day and have access to makeup and wardrobe teams.  Apparently none of them thought it worthwhile to call for a lab coat, or even a zip-up hoodie (which kind of ties in with the comments in another thread about female journalists).

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #65 on: November 20, 2014, 05:25:26 PM »
While I disagree with the news station doing anything (the media have enough control over what news is reported already, outright saying "why didn't you manipulate this news story in a different way.  You should have done" is problematic) I think this:

Part of the difficulty is going to be not yanking too hard as we do so.  Yanking causes people to pull back.  I'd wager that if someone had given Mr. Taylor a gentle nudge before the interview, he would have changed or covered the shirt, and we wouldn't be having this discussion - and it probably would have avoided all the negativity on all sides.  Mr. Taylor would have gotten a valuable lesson in public relations without being turned into some sort of tragic figure.

is exactly the point.  He never thought about it.  No one there did.  No one is suggesting that Dr Taylor murders prostitutes while laughing at pictures of crying women.  No one's suggesting he twirls his moustache while tying damsels to railway lines.  He, and no one else, thought of it.  Had they done so, there wouldn't have been a problem.  Someone giving that push, someone thinking of these issues, is all anyone is asking for.  But they didn't.

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #66 on: November 20, 2014, 06:05:59 PM »
I think you should be refocusing the energy you're putting in to complaining about a single man's shirt in to something actually productive and addresses a bigger, overarching problem.

  • Get behind pushes for toy companies to stop making "boy colors" and "girl colors" of "engineering" toys like Legos for longer than they survive popularity on facebook.
  • Write letters to the boards that decide on things like who gets awards in the STEM fields about the fact that women are actively left out of receiving these awards whenever possible.
  • Work on combating people like Snookie and Kim Kardashian as someone little girls should be looking up to and refocus them on empowering, intelligent women in the STEM fields.
  • Get with the non-profits that try to find ways to make STEM work more appealing to girls at a young age.
  • Volunteer to tutor young girls in science and math via programs like Big Brothers, Big Sisters or your local school system or church if they offer such things.
  • Before you decide to jump on the outrage bandwagon, look at the issue in question and ask yourself if it's worth making a big deal over... if it will actually mean something positive at the end of it, or if it's just going to perpetuate the notion that all feminists are either overly sensitive or looking for a reason to complain.

    Most of these things take little to no money thanks to the internet and e-mail. They just require your time and your effort. Your time and your energy are tools you have at your disposal even if you have literally nothing else. Do something with it that will further your goals, not set them back.

    Unless, of course, your goal is to actively chase other feminists away from the title/cause or to make feminists in general seem obnoxious... at which point, carry on.
Okay... EVERY POINT on your list is a feminist issue that is being pushed, to some degree or another, by feminists. There's no need to "Refocus" because we're already doing alllll of that.

But here's the Rub.

Sexism is not just wage disparity. It's not just calling women cunts and telling them to get into the kitchen. It's not just giggling at a nude calendar while yelling for the girl in the next cubicle to take her shirt off so you can compare.

It is a subtle and pervasive systemic oppression based on how people think, speak, and react.

All of the "Little Things" that people in this thread have repeatedly said don't matter? Matter as much if not more than any of the "Big Issues" do you know why?

Because like the rebar in concrete they reinforce and support the problem.

It is through pervasive attitudes of sexism that men in STEM fields can more easily justify taking credit from female colleagues. It is through pervasive attitudes of sexism that men in Congress can believe that the Lily Ledbetter Act is not only unneeded but also too dangerous to allow to exist. It is through pervasive attitudes of sexism that men can justify ridiculous levels of political, economic, verbal, and even physical violence against women.

Fighting the effect without also fighting the cause is a worthless battle. And since we can't stop people from thinking or believing sexist shit the best we can hope for is to point out when people do or say sexist shit. It won't stop them from believing sexist stereotypes or thinking the women around them are lesser but it will help clear the social environment of that toxicity which could make the world just a little brighter.

And hopefully our kids, less exposed to public displays of casual sexism, won't have the same social reinforcement. That would make the fourth or fifth wave of feminism's job a hell of a lot easier.

Oh. Wait. You didn't seriously believe that feminists think we can fix all of sexism in our lifetime, did you? We're fighting against a massive system of toxicity. Unless there is a huge cultural reawakening instituted by Men we're still going to be fighting these battles after I'm rotting in a grave.

Cause and Symptoms. You don't just fight the Symptom.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #67 on: November 20, 2014, 08:44:04 PM »
I'm going to take a step back from the shirt symptom with a little bit of broader picture.  Back in 'the day', it was considered unusual for girls to like, let alone be good at math and science.  There was even some since-discredited research saying that female brains were better at the humanities and male brains were better at the sciences.

At my university I'm doing a double degree in Arts and Science (which means of course that all of my courses clash on the timetable and neither faculty talks to the other). This meant I got two orientation tours, one for each faculty. In the arts faculty the staff were almost all female whereas in the science faculty the staff were almost all male. When I go to my classes, if I ever suddenly forgot which class I was in, I could just look around. The science classes are mostly male students and the arts classes are around fifty/fifty maybe slightly more women.

Online Oniya

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #68 on: November 20, 2014, 09:03:30 PM »
At my university I'm doing a double degree in Arts and Science (which means of course that all of my courses clash on the timetable and neither faculty talks to the other). This meant I got two orientation tours, one for each faculty. In the arts faculty the staff were almost all female whereas in the science faculty the staff were almost all male. When I go to my classes, if I ever suddenly forgot which class I was in, I could just look around. The science classes are mostly male students and the arts classes are around fifty/fifty maybe slightly more women.

The question is, nature or nurture?  If you could have talked to these students in their first few years of school before age 10 or so), what part of school would they have liked the best? 

Offline Caehlim

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #69 on: November 20, 2014, 09:14:08 PM »
The question is, nature or nurture?  If you could have talked to these students in their first few years of school before age 10 or so), what part of school would they have liked the best?

I'd expect it to naturally be close to 50/50. Men and women just aren't very different from one another naturally even if you look at averages, you'd expect women to like science just as much as men and vice verse with the arts. Something's discouraging women from doing science, and looking back at how many wonderful feats of science have been done by women (often in the face of significant opposition) that's really sad.

How much more would we know if we weren't discouraging half the population from contributing to science?

Offline Doomsday

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #70 on: November 20, 2014, 09:30:09 PM »
The amount of anti-feminist backlash caused by this issue is overwhelming compared to the level of criticism levied against Matt Taylor. As a member of several feminist groups on facebook, I didn't hear a peep about this until the internet exploded into faux outrage that Taylor was "Forced" to apologize for wearing that ridiculous shirt.

And I don't think it's right to excuse him just because of what he accomplished. We can congratulate him for what he did and still levy fair criticism against him. The line of logic that states, "He landed a probe on a comet, let him do what he wants!" is ridiculous and a slippery slope to me.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #71 on: November 20, 2014, 10:15:34 PM »
Personally, my take on it is he made a mistake. I doubt he was even consciously aware of the shirt he was wearing that day, and I am sure he didn't wear it to offend anyone.

But it did.

Did it offend any of his coworkers? I don't know, possibly. They may simply have been uncomfortable speaking up about it. Could it have offended any reporters sent to interview the man while he wore that. Possibly. I know I'd feel... well... a bit uncomfortable trying to talk to a man wearing that. But it offended several viewers, some of whom are undoubtedly European, and whom the ESA ultimately works for (in that they pay taxes and so forth).

Now, while I know the man works for the ESA I'm going to share a pretty typical definition of Sexual Harassment found in the policies of most American corporations and also government positions:

Quote
Sexual Harassment:
Sexual harassment includes any action or conduct that threatens or insinuates, either explicitly or implicitly, that an employee’s refusal to submit to sexual advances will adversely affect the employee’s continued employment, compensation, performance evaluations, advancement, assigned duties, or any other term or condition of employment. In addition, sexual harassment includes unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that demeans the dignity of an employee through insulting, intimidating, or degrading sexual remarks or conduct, or which has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or otherwise creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include, but are not limited to: unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, leering, catcalls or touching; obscene comments or gestures; display or circulation in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures (including through e-mail or other electronic or mobile devices); and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

That shirt very well falls under the category of harassing material.

Please note that harassment doesn't just have to apply to people you work with, customers, suppliers, guests, etc can all be victims of harassment, and the policy covers harassment of and by those people as well!

Now I don't know the rules in Europe, but I'd assume they have something fairly similar, and I sincerely hope the scientist who wore that shirt thinks twice about wearing it again in the workplace, because if the ESA has a policy similar to the one above, that guy could lose his job, and that would be a shame, just like it's a shame he wore a shirt that took away from the achievements of the entire team at the Space Agency.


Offline Euron Greyjoy

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #72 on: November 20, 2014, 10:35:37 PM »
The sad thing about this whole story is the fact, that his FEMALE friend made him the shirt for his birthday. However, using typical feminist rhetoric is that the patriarchy, has taught women to hate themselves.


What if Mr. Taylor was wearing this shirt instead?

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

Also am I the only one who thinks its ironic, that feminists are attacking Mr. Taylor for what he is wearing? It reminds me of another typical feminist retort.....

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

I wish I could trade in logic and reason, for professional victim hood. Its a fucking shirt. Mr. Taylor and his have made a colossal accomplishment, and feminists are all bent up out of shape over a shirt.

Offline Slywyn

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #73 on: November 20, 2014, 10:42:24 PM »
"Those darn feminists if only they'd use logic and reason like us men!"

Yeah can we fucking not.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #74 on: November 20, 2014, 10:45:19 PM »
The sad thing about this whole story is the fact, that his FEMALE friend made him the shirt for his birthday. However, using typical feminist rhetoric is that the patriarchy, has taught women to hate themselves.


What if Mr. Taylor was wearing this shirt instead?

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

Also am I the only one who thinks its ironic, that feminists are attacking Mr. Taylor for what he is wearing? It reminds me of another typical feminist retort.....

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

I wish I could trade in logic and reason, for professional victim hood. Its a fucking shirt. Mr. Taylor and his have made a colossal accomplishment, and feminists are all bent up out of shape over a shirt.
...reeeeally. You're resorting to fucking rape apologia to make your case. Well, you've certainly made the case that there are bigger issues than microaggressions, though I doubt it was in the way you intended.

Offline Euron Greyjoy

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #75 on: November 20, 2014, 10:49:40 PM »
"Those darn feminists if only they'd use logic and reason like us men!"

Yeah can we fucking not.
I'm not saying women cant use logic and reason, just feminists. They construe arguments in ways to paint themselves the victims with no one else to blame, except the boogeyman that is the patriarchy. 

...reeeeally. You're resorting to fucking rape apologia to make your case. Well, you've certainly made the case that there are bigger issues than microaggressions, though I doubt it was in the way you intended.
Seriously microagressions?




I have a simple question for you lot. Is Matt Taylor a victim of harassment or not? If not why? Is it because hes a white male?

Offline Slywyn

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #76 on: November 20, 2014, 10:52:36 PM »
If you're going to use images like that I'm not going to have anything to do with you or your arguments.

Offline Euron Greyjoy

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #77 on: November 20, 2014, 10:55:44 PM »
The truth hurts doesn't it? Your whole movement revolves around being a victim to both "microagressions" and "macroagressions". Face it other then the right to vote and making it illegal for a husband to rape his wife, feminism hasn't accomplished anything of significance. A movement that should of died a long time ago, but it's kept alive because victim hood is so alluring. I mean why work or try to do something, when you're being oppressed?

Offline Blythe

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #78 on: November 20, 2014, 11:03:24 PM »
Time for a cooldown. Thread locked.

Offline Blythe

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #79 on: November 21, 2014, 09:47:20 PM »
All righty, thread re-opened.  :-)

Offline blue bunny sparkle

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #80 on: November 21, 2014, 10:06:54 PM »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #81 on: November 21, 2014, 10:25:35 PM »
Unfortunately, don't expect that to be terribly convincing. The sort of people involved in the backlash wrote Greta off as One Of Them years ago.

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #82 on: November 21, 2014, 10:35:35 PM »
I wish we had a cheering emoticon. That post would get, like, 30 of them.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #83 on: November 22, 2014, 12:13:10 AM »
I just have to say that it seems like this Greta Christina seems to have missed the point of the discussion entirely...

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #84 on: November 22, 2014, 12:22:50 AM »
Nnnnot really; she's stating exactly why people have a problem with the shirt: Because it is yet another subtle little message telling women that their value is in their appearance.

Offline Doomsday

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #85 on: November 22, 2014, 12:41:45 AM »
Is it just me, or is there no relevance to the gender of the shirt's creator? Women internalize misogyny too, and that whole argument boils down to "I have a black friend!"

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #86 on: November 22, 2014, 01:38:18 AM »
Yup!

Offline Shjade

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #87 on: November 22, 2014, 01:57:25 AM »
Is it just me, or is there no relevance to the gender of the shirt's creator? Women internalize misogyny too, and that whole argument boils down to "I have a black friend!"

You don't even need to include the contentious "internalized misogyny" part. It's enough to point out that the creator's gender is irrelevant.

Offline alextaylor

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #88 on: November 22, 2014, 03:23:40 AM »
There's some culture clash here. I've worked with some high tech before and the culture there is... different. The higher you go, the weirder the culture seems to be. I can see something like the ESA being really weird. Maybe the weirdness is toned down a bit because it's government funded, but still, it's different. There's like some kind of competition going on where the crazier you look, the more talent you'll attract.

There's a few oddities in nerd culture. Nerd culture judges people purely by actions. Tech teams tend to be small and tight knit, with little competition or office politics because there's a huge problem to be solved out there. Coworkers are often close friends.

Companies literally do have formal meetings where people are dressed in their bikinis or shorts. Literally. (Ok there's no bikinis in that video, but that company does have poolside meetings)

The idea of getting fired for what you say on camera or what you wear is ludicrous. It could take years to replace talent like Matt Taylor. People actually compete with each other and throw wilder parties, build steampunk themed offices, etc just so they can poach the best talent.

"Suits" is an derogatory term. Nerds often wear the worst clothes they can, as if to make a point. Project managers may conduct interviews wearing pajamas. Zuckerberg gives speeches and meets everyone wearing the same shirt. It's inverse in that the more informal your clothes are, the more respect you get.

Informal clothing acts as some kind of stupidity filter. I'm not saying this just to be offensive - it's a paraphrasing of what multimillion dollar technopreneurs like Paul Graham and Vishen Lakhiani themselves said.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 03:29:22 AM by alextaylor »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #89 on: November 22, 2014, 06:48:00 AM »
Yes, this shirt is a manifestation of aspects of tech culture. The problem is that one of those aspects is that people are not judged purely on merit as you claim - and one of the non-merit things they are judged upon is their perceived gender. Girls are told that technical fields are the domain of boys, that they can't excel there. Women are made to constantly justify their presence, and given less access to needed resources. Women have to deal with sexual harassment and dismissive attitudes toward their attempts to handle it. Women's ideas and achievements are routinely ignored, downplayed, or outright stolen. And these things are a) making women feel unwelcome or incapable to the point that they either leave the field or fail to join it in the first place, and b) making it harder for women who do make a career of it to actually make valuable contributions. This is not speculation - this is what women in these fields are telling us, and what research is showing us.

So yes, it's part of the culture of STEM fields. And that is a huge problem.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #90 on: November 22, 2014, 06:54:23 AM »
Yeah, I think that's a huge part of the problem.  Tech culture has constructed this egalitarian narrative around itself - we don't care what you look like just how you work - that is totally false but is serving as something of a "shield" for anyone really addressing the problem.  "Maybe its just not the sort of place where people get hung up on shirts" is simply not a relevant defence, and it's meaning that the field can get away with stuff to a greater or lesser extent that would rightly be viewed as totally unacceptable in any other place.

Online Nachtmahr

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #91 on: November 22, 2014, 07:00:59 AM »
So, I'm just going to dive in to essentially give my personal opinion because.. Well, as inappropriate as some of these posts are, I really can't make it any worse.

I think people need to calm the heck down. I think it's absolutely outrageous that this interviewer gets to spew crap like what she did at an event like the one she attended. If people want to debate it afterwards - Go ahead! But all of this 'Rape Culture'-nonsense that's being blown out of proportion every, about how men can rape-by-proxy purely because of the fact that they possess a penis, or look at women.. My god.

It saddens me to see that something that is so vile and abhorrent in our world can be boiled down by these self-titled 'feminists' to something that happens all the time to everyone as long as they happen to be alive. I'm sorry, but no one is fighting a battle for equality at this point - These days it's all about tipping the scales in direction or the other. The 'hardcore feminist' groups out there aren't about being on equal footing, they want to be viewed as superior.

Now, all of this being said, it's a shirt. I don't really think he wore it to make any kind of 'micro aggression' or to take a jab at women altogether. In fact, I think the fact that the focus of this whole campaign is 'what is he wearing! OMG!' is sickening. Congratulations woman: In trying to stave of stereotyping you literally just went 'God, look at his clothes!'. Bravo.

If you really wanted to fight the way women are portrayed these days, why not picket Nicki Minaj rather than this guy?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #92 on: November 22, 2014, 08:02:55 AM »
I would suggest, Nachtmahr, that if you've read this whole thread and still hold that opinion there's likely to be little to nothing anyone can do to convince you otherwise.

As an exercise, though, what would it take to convince you you were mistaken here?  Is there a phrasing or a proof that would work?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #93 on: November 22, 2014, 08:03:53 AM »
I think people need to calm the heck down. I think it's absolutely outrageous that this interviewer gets to spew crap like what she did at an event like the one she attended. If people want to debate it afterwards - Go ahead! But all of this 'Rape Culture'-nonsense that's being blown out of proportion every, about how men can rape-by-proxy purely because of the fact that they possess a penis, or look at women.. My god.
That... that isn't even remotely what 'rape culture' means, and you're not even pretending to argue against anyone in this thread.

EDIT to be a bit less snarky and more informative: "Rape culture" refers to a culture that enables and supports rapists by sweeping vile, abhorrent shit under the rug as "boys will be boys" or "she was asking for it" or "but he's a pillar of the community, he couldn't have done that" or "men don't get raped" or "prisoners deserve it". (These are all real and extremely common arguments.) Or by making men feel entitled to sex if they just do X. Or by reducing women to sex objects and passive prizes for men to acquire. Or by treating it as perfectly acceptable to say "I hope you get raped!", but beyond the pale to say "Guys, don't do that." This is not nonsense; it's real, documented, and happening right now.

"Rape culture" as used in the feminist mainstream absolutely, categorically does not include "all men are rapists" or "all penis-havers are rapists" or "all penis-havers are men" or "looking at a woman is rape". Are there extremists who hold these views? Yes - a tiny minority at the extreme edge of the bell curve that other feminists are fighting against. Painting this crap as the viewpoint of all feminists - against what every single person around you is saying - is frankly deceptive bullshit.

It saddens me to see that something that is so vile and abhorrent in our world can be boiled down by these self-titled 'feminists' to something that happens all the time to everyone as long as they happen to be alive. I'm sorry, but no one is fighting a battle for equality at this point - These days it's all about tipping the scales in direction or the other. The 'hardcore feminist' groups out there aren't about being on equal footing, they want to be viewed as superior.
That's a very pretty strawman you've built there. Are you sure you have to beat the crap out of it?

Now, all of this being said, it's a shirt. I don't really think he wore it to make any kind of 'micro aggression' or to take a jab at women altogether. In fact, I think the fact that the focus of this whole campaign is 'what is he wearing! OMG!' is sickening. Congratulations woman: In trying to stave of stereotyping you literally just went 'God, look at his clothes!'. Bravo.
I am absolutely certain he didn't intend to send the message he did. But here's the thing: intent is not magic. Harmful actions aren't transmuted into harmless ones because you didn't mean it like that. And frankly, the rest of this paragraph is a distraction: You're saying there is absolutely no occasion on which it's appropriate to question someone's clothing choice in a professional setting on international TV as a representative of a large and underappreciated group? Ever?
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 08:35:57 AM by Ephiral »

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #94 on: November 22, 2014, 08:13:07 AM »
I may not be making any friends on either side of the debate with this, but...

I think this whole debate - in as much as it is still about Matt Taylor's shirt - is pretty pointless. A discussion about women in the STEM field and the general culture in that field could be very worthwhile, but when it comes to "the shirt" in a narrower sense no amount of talking here will lead to anything.

Here's why I think so:

Microagression certainly exists. We all know that small things can up to negative consequences from such time-honored phrases as "the straw that broke the camel's back" or "the drop that made the barrel overflow". Those sayings wouldn't exist if we were not all at least a little aware that a lot of small things can add up to something the individual thing could never have caused by itself.

That said, the key problem becomes figuring out what is part of a "continuum" of microagressions. And there we run into the problem of subjectivity. Unless we all operate under the same, generally-agreed definitions of what is sexist or misogynist we have to rely on subjective definitions, simply because we lack an objective definition.

Unless someone comes up with a parallel Earth were Mr. Taylor wore a different shirt and we compare data on women in the STEM fields (all other things being equal) in 5 or 10 years, it is impossible to say if, or what, the consequences of his actions will be.

As long as no one can demonstrate a clear correlation between a certain action and a certain result arguing "but it is, and it will lead to..." is as valid or invalid as arguing "no, it's not, so what's the problem?", because we just don't know for certain.

The opinion "what Matt Taylor did will put off women from entering the STEM field" is a valid opinion.
The opinion "it doesn't matter at all" is a valid opinion.
The opinion "it's sexist, but it might not make a difference" is a valid opinion.

All those opinions are valid, for they are based on subjective criteria of the one stating that opinion.

That they are valid does not mean they are all right, but arguing against someone's opinion by just putting up a contrary opinion and saying "you are wrong" never did much good.

This could go on till we are all blue in the face without leading to anything.

Isn't it time to take a step back and just acknowledge that the other side is not wrong from where they sit? I see a lot of statements here that can neither be verified or falsified with any certainty. Maybe it's time to frame at least some of the posts here more as opinions, and less as immutable facts?

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #95 on: November 22, 2014, 08:20:41 AM »
Well. Those of us arguing that it was a problem? The position I've been seeing, and the one I espouse, is "This shirt will probably not discourage women from entering STEM in and of itself, but it is certainly symptomatic of the much larger cultural issue STEM has with women - and that does. This is why it was a problem and why it was appropriate to call him out on it." I, for one, would be very glad to see the discussion transition away from the shirt and toward the general problem it is representative of.

But then you get people like Nachtmahr or Euron Greyjoy, who drag it back to "HOW DARE YOU QUESTION WHAT HE WORE IT'S JUST A SHIRT", so we get stuck at the stage of saying "It's not just about this one action, it's about the much broader context of that action."

Offline Caehlim

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #96 on: November 22, 2014, 08:31:47 AM »
I think this whole debate - in as much as it is still about Matt Taylor's shirt - is pretty pointless. A discussion about women in the STEM field and the general culture in that field could be very worthwhile, but when it comes to "the shirt" in a narrower sense no amount of talking here will lead to anything.

I think a discussion of the shirt could potentially be valuable, but other than blue bunny sparkles' link, I haven't really seen one of those happen yet.

So far the conversation still seems stuck on whether it's okay to talk about a shirt and we haven't gotten past that yet to actually discuss anything about that shirt in particular.

Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #97 on: November 22, 2014, 08:34:12 AM »
Nnnnot really; she's stating exactly why people have a problem with the shirt: Because it is yet another subtle little message telling women that their value is in their appearance.

As opposed to the message that it doesn't matter what you do, you'll just be judged on your appearance instead?

Or the message that wearing something someone disapproves of is three times more important than doing your job to the best of your ability?





There's been a lot written on this between the news thread and this one since I last commented... enough that even by my lengthy standards it would be a bit unwieldy to go point for point. Instead let me pick out some "highlights":

1) I've seen people repeatedly try to dismiss Matt Taylor as a "PR guy". That strikes me as exceptionally disrespectful. He's a bona fide, died-in-the-wool scientist with a PHD in space physics, over 70 publications and has been the project scientist for space missions previous to this one (notably the Cluster II). He's pretty much literally in charge of science when it comes to the Rosetta mission... calling him a PR guy strikes me as just another attempt to reduce the importance of science.

2) A hypothetical Kythia mentioned earlier (where she would go to work in her bra and panties) doesn't hold up at all for me. If that comparison was legitimate then the complaint would be that men were feeling pressured into wearing aloha shirts if they wanted to get ahead in science. Even loosened slightly it would be that women were feeling pressured to wear aloha shirts (such as this one for example).

3) The amero-centracism of this debate is also quite striking. People are frequently bringing up demographics, sources and studies looking at STEM subjects/jobs in the US... which is nice and all but somewhat strange considering that this was a mission by the European Space Agency. As far as I can see there are three people from the US deeply involved in the mission all of whom were focused on the jet propulsion element. Demographics from Europe (and especially continental Europe) would be far more appropriate.

4) Likewise most of those demographics tend to bundle the various STEM disciplines into one and treat them as a whole rather than as individual disciplines that likely have their own cultures and approaches. To give a simple example over the last 10 years the retention and progression rate for women in astronomy (so from graduate student to assistant professor and from post doc to assistant professor) is statistically indistinguishable from that of men. As such it would appear that any discussion of micro-aggressions with regards to astronomy would have to focus entirely on what happens to people before they actually get involved in the field.

5) Steampunkette's discussion of microaggressions as things that force one to resign rather than an out-and-out firing also has a legal name; constructive dismissal and is an actionable cause in pretty much all European and American jurisdictions I'm aware of (if occasionally under a different name). I'm yet to find any example of a successful constructive dismissal case being brought against the ESA (or, considering the ESA's international status, against a member state for not offering recourse) with the closest thing being some technical claims under Germany's "unfair dismissal" laws where men argued they counted as employees because of the length of time they worked as part of a agency.

6) I'm still yet to see a proper answer about why the shirt constitutes a micro-aggression and thus is bad but his beard (remembering that some people consider beards sexist) or tattoos (remembering that some people find tattoos blasphemous) do not. Or him wearing aloha shirts in general which some people consider cultural appropriation/racism? Don't these all constitute micro-aggressions as they will make some people less likely to take up a career in STEM? Can we get a list of approved words/clothing/hairstyles/facial hair/stance/manner that won't put anyone off getting involved in an area and thus not constitute a micro-aggression? It wasn't that long ago that Zuckerburg was accused of being sexist because he always wore grey t-shirts.

7) On the concept of micro-aggressions again, using the idea that a micro-aggression constitutes something that while not necessarily particularly serious in-and-of itself and without necessarily having a negative intent behind it makes people uneasy or unhappy or underappreciated or insulted etc etc when taken in the wider context and in this specific case refers to women being less likely to take up STEM disciplines to begin with or remain in them once they've taken the first few steps, wouldn't informing women that they're less likely to be hired and, if they are, likely to get paid less also constitute a micro-aggression? If not, why not... surely telling someone that they're going to paid less than their colleagues if they even get hired at all is going to make them less likely to pursue a career in that area? Likewise isn't offering almost no coverage of the women involved in the project (many of whom had vital roles) but focusing on the men likewise a micro-aggression? I look at the Verge's coverage (source of the "I don't care..." article) and see that they never once mentioned any of the female scientists involved let alone got a quote from them. Kathrin Altwegg works on the team, has had around 20 articles specifically relating to the Rosetta mission published and gave a TED talk on the subject recently... the amount of coverage she received in the mainstream feminist press so deeply concerned about women not having prominent roles in STEM? Pretty much miniscule. Isn't the fact that their achievements are unlikely to be lauded by those who are seemingly supposed to support them going to put people off?

8) To go back to the awful Verge article for a moment am I the only one who sees something rather unpleasant about the fact that one can say that the entire mission is "one small step for man, three steps back for humankind" while also tagging it "men who lack a fleck of perspective about what's happening in the world"?

9) This entire hooda fits rather nastily into a general anti-acedemia (or at least non-feminist-approved academia) and science undertone that's becoming more and more present in some social justice and feminist circles. You can see it here where wearing a shirt people disapprove of is three times more serious than landing on a comet, you can see it in the reaction to the study into Viking graves where people ignored the conclusions and methodology of the very report they used to support them because they seemingly knew better, you saw it in Rebecca Watson and PZ Meyers pulling every trick out of the climate change deniers handbook to attack an area of science they didn't like, you can see it in people pulling Jack Thompson's arguments out of the dustbin of history and repeating them nigh-on verbatim while occasionally changing the word "violent" to either "sexist" or "misogynist" and you can see it in students arguing that even if a paper's conclusion is right it should not be allowed because the conclusion is something they disagree with to go with pretty recent examples.

10) It also fits into the puritanical streak that modern feminism seems to have. Of course there's the sex positive/sex negative distinction but considering that feminist pressure is well on its way to turning the vast majority of BDSM play into sexual assault and rape it's a deeply worrying measure.

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #98 on: November 22, 2014, 09:09:04 AM »
As opposed to the message that it doesn't matter what you do, you'll just be judged on your appearance instead?

Or the message that wearing something someone disapproves of is three times more important than doing your job to the best of your ability?
Yes, as opposed to that - the vast majority of feminist coverage of this (in fact, all of it that I've seen) has been "Fuck yeah, science! Look at this awesome thi-oh. Well, that's an issue that detracts from it. He shouldn't have done that. But fuck yeah probe on a comet!"

The coverage I've seen, not counting replies to the ridiculous backlash, has been at worst equally divided between the mission itself and the issue of the shirt. "Three times" strikes me as pretty damn disingenuous. And again, it's not about "wearing something someone disapproves of", it's about "sending harmful messages to an already-disadvantaged group."



1) He was in a PR role (and should have been conscious of this), but is a full-fledged contributing member of the team. No particular argument there, and I'm not sure where you saw it. (It's possible I'm overlooking or forgetting something here.)

2) Not my argument; Kythia can speak for herself and probably do a better job of it than I can.

3) and 4) Okay, let's look at broadly international stats on women in astronomy. Statistically indistinguishable from men, says you. Bullshit, says the IAU. Or perhaps you'd rather drill down to the level of the Rosetta team itself: Notice anything about the male:female ratio there?

5) "Constructive dismissal" is, to my understanding, something that an institution does as an unspoken but deliberate course of action. This is distinct from what Steampunkette is talking about, and thus a non-sequitur. Even if it weren't, "reasons sexual harassment and assault are vastly underreported" is its own topic - the short and relevant-to-this-discussion version is "no action in court does not mean nothing happened".

6) Be... because beards and tattoos (depending on the content of the tattoo, of course) don't objectify anyone? Are we really having this discussion?

7) No, because calling this shit out is how it stops, and because the people fighting it are also encouraging women in STEM. Perhaps you've heard of the Ada Initiative, for example? This is a blatant "sit down and shut up" argument against discussing sexism at all. Focusing on the men to the exclusion of the women? Yes, that's a problem - one that I'd rank above the shirt, to be honest, though they're on the same spectrum. Let's fix that, if only in a small way. (Please note that this, literally the only coverage of the project's women I could easily find, is also by someone citing the shirt as a problem issue.)

8) Yeah, that's hyperbolic, no argument there.

9) This is a Gish gallop. Which of the extremely large topics you've brought up here would you actually like to discuss in depth?

10) You... you realize that you opened this post by quoting a discussion about an article written by a kink-positive sex-positive feminist, right? Feminism and BDSM are not remotely enemies; the focus of mainstream feminism is on consent, not on what consensual activities are taking place. Further, even if this were an issue, it's completely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #99 on: November 22, 2014, 09:20:08 AM »
2) Not sure what you mean here?  My comment was:

Quote
OK.  Imagine I went to work tomorrow in my underwear.  Men like looking at sexy women (lets take as read that I'm sexy), whats wrong with that?  I can choose what I wear, what's wrong with that?  Etc. 

One of the things wrong with it is the inferences one could draw about my workplace.  You'd see me in my knickers and bra alongside my male colleagues in jeans and t-shirts.  Questions would be asked - do I really want to dress like that or do I feel I have to to keep my job?  What about other women coming in to my workplace, would they have to/be expected to dress like that?  Etc.  The fact that my dressing like that was not only tolerated but we saw nothing wrong with putting it on our publicity materials would raise some questions about the atmosphere of the place, in short.

and you say that "doesn't hold up for you".  What is it that doesn't make sense/you disagree with?  Obviously I'm biased but I don't see anything controversial there.  Beorning asked, in essence, why men looking at sexy women at work might be problematic, I gave an example of when it could be.  I'm honestly bemused by what "doesn't hold up" about it.

Offline Vorian

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #100 on: November 22, 2014, 09:30:05 AM »
1) He was in a PR role (and should have been conscious of this), but is a full-fledged contributing member of the team. No particular argument there, and I'm not sure where you saw it. (It's possible I'm overlooking or forgetting something here.)

This post in particular stands out. It doesn't appear to be a common argument but it's there.

Offline Cycle

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #101 on: November 22, 2014, 09:36:51 AM »
1) I've seen people repeatedly try to dismiss Matt Taylor as a "PR guy". That strikes me as exceptionally disrespectful.

Are people dismissing him as a "PR guy" or criticizing him for not understanding that he was acting as a "PR guy" in addition to being a scientist with a PhD?

Being a scientist with a PhD doesn't mean everything you do is right, nor does it mean you are good at everything.  The mistake Taylor made here is that he didn't understand what the role of being a "PR guy" required of him.  That is, he needed to think about the image he was projecting to the world.  Both on behalf of his other team members (i.e., not just himself), as well as the image that others see (i.e., he is supposed to be someone that the next generation looks up to).


Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #102 on: November 22, 2014, 09:46:40 AM »
"Rape culture" as used in the feminist mainstream absolutely, categorically does not include "all men are rapists" or "all penis-havers are rapists" or "all penis-havers are men" or "looking at a woman is rape". Are there extremists who hold these views? Yes - a tiny minority at the extreme edge of the bell curve that other feminists are fighting against. Painting this crap as the viewpoint of all feminists - against what every single person around you is saying - is frankly deceptive bullshit.

Hm. Pardon me for bringing up the things I've said earlier in the general feminism thread, but... the Swedish "rape tax" proposal? It was created specifically because of the "all men are rapists" mentality. And it made it to the Swedish parliament. So... "a tiny minority at the extreme edge of the bell curve"? Not really, not.

And for all the claims you're making about most feminists fighting this sort of stuff, I haven't heard a single feminist voice back here criticizing that proposal. I also haven't heard any feminists criticizing Magdalena Środa for her outrageous misoandrist views. And, on a human-to-human, Internet forum level, I've observed what happens when, say, one feminist poster spews bile on our current president's wife for her having made a choice of being a housewife. What happens is that other feminists shrug and don't say a word against it. Because it's easier to endlessly rant about the evils of men, Church, etc.

Yes, I do realize that I'm not deeply into feminist publications, discussion etc. But really, my personal experience just doesn't convince me in the truth of the claim that the misoandrist, hateful feminism is a fringe edge of the movement that's actively being fought against.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 09:48:26 AM by Beorning »

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #103 on: November 22, 2014, 09:51:15 AM »
Well. Those of us arguing that it was a problem? The position I've been seeing, and the one I espouse, is "This shirt will probably not discourage women from entering STEM in and of itself, but it is certainly symptomatic of the much larger cultural issue STEM has with women - and that does. This is why it was a problem and why it was appropriate to call him out on it." I, for one, would be very glad to see the discussion transition away from the shirt and toward the general problem it is representative of.
So you are saying that you would be happy to have a calmer discussion? That's all well and good, but given that that discussion doesn't really happen, aren't you implying that that is everyone else's fault? I am sure there is a more scientific name for this rhetorical device, but I would call it "finger pointing by implication". That doesn't help all that much to further the debate culture you might want to see here.

But then you get people like Nachtmahr or Euron Greyjoy, who drag it back to "HOW DARE YOU QUESTION WHAT HE WORE IT'S JUST A SHIRT", so we get stuck at the stage of saying "It's not just about this one action, it's about the much broader context of that action."
Summing up other people's opinion IN ALL CAPS?

That is exactly the thing that stands in the way of a calm and rational discussion.

Quote from: Ephiral
3) and 4) Okay, let's look at broadly international stats on women in astronomy. Statistically indistinguishable from men, says you. Bullshit, says the IAU. Or perhaps you'd rather drill down to the level of the Rosetta team itself: Notice anything about the male:female ratio there?
No, the IAU does not call it "bullshit". It provides a dataset that seems to support your point.

To judge how far it does support your point that the STEM field is biased against women would require a close analysis of several other factors. One is the male-to-female ratio in a population. It may make only a small difference, but if a country has significantly more men than women we should take that into account when examining the data.

The second, and in my opinion more important, point is general access to higher learning for women. If higher learning is generally barred to women, any data that shows women are underrepresented there in STEM does not point to a problem in the STEM area, but to a rather bigger problem. If almost no woman in a given country ever gets an opportunity to enter university that will automatically translate to a seriously low number of women from that country in STEM work. But that does not mean a bias against women in STEM exists in those countries. It points to a far bigger problem. The data sets are just not comparable if only applied to STEM.

Offline Slywyn

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #104 on: November 22, 2014, 11:57:55 AM »
This post in particular stands out. It doesn't appear to be a common argument but it's there.

He was -acting- as a PR guy.

Don't forget I pointed out in the same post that he was part of a team and we should be proud of his accomplishments.

Let's not put words in my mouth please.

Offline Vorian

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #105 on: November 22, 2014, 12:25:04 PM »
He was -acting- as a PR guy.

Don't forget I pointed out in the same post that he was part of a team and we should be proud of his accomplishments.

Let's not put words in my mouth please.

Err, no, the rest of your post was a good point but in your own words:

He was basically their PR guy and we're acting like he's the next Einstein.

Completely disregarding any other contribution he may have made. If that's not what you meant, fine, and thank you for clarifying. But let's not pretend it came out of nowhere.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 12:33:02 PM by Vorian »

Offline BeorningTopic starter

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #106 on: November 22, 2014, 12:29:47 PM »
Also, Slywyn, you said this:

Quote
And you know what? Landing a probe on a comet was not even all that difficult. And they still managed to screw it up.

With all due respect and without any hostility: come on...

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #107 on: November 22, 2014, 12:30:47 PM »
Also, Slywyn, you said this:

With all due respect and without any hostility: come on...

Eh, I dunno.  I landed three probes on comets this morning.  Did one of them one handed because I was brushing my teeth

Offline Slywyn

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #108 on: November 22, 2014, 01:59:15 PM »
Err, no, the rest of your post was a good point but in your own words:

Completely disregarding any other contribution he may have made. If that's not what you meant, fine, and thank you for clarifying. But let's not pretend it came out of nowhere.

Yes, let's not look at the context of the rest of the post.

I clearly only ever said he was a PR guy, I never said he was part of a team, I never said we should be proud of his accomplishments.

Also, Slywyn, you said this:

With all due respect and without any hostility: come on...

You know what landing on a comet takes? Math, understanding of physics, a lot of money, and time.

It's not 'hard', it's not something we don't know how to do. It's just something we've never done before.

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #109 on: November 22, 2014, 02:49:17 PM »
Ironically, the actual landing may be off topic for this thread, but assuming its not:

How big a deal actually is this?  Is this a moment that will change everything like the Wright brothers or something, a parlour trick like Slywyn has it or something in between?  I don't fully get the ramifications of it all - what's changed?

Offline Vorian

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #110 on: November 22, 2014, 03:04:28 PM »
Yes, let's not look at the context of the rest of the post.

I did, and what I got out of it was you rightly reminding us there was a team involved and unfairly painting him as just a PR guy, directly from what you actually said. Well, that and an irrelevant attack on the competency of the team that doesn't track with anything I've heard elsewhere. I'm not putting worlds in your mouth, I'm taking the most immediately apparent (to me, granted) meaning to your words in the context you wrote them. Again, if that was not your intent I appreciate the clarification, but your continued pattern of personal attacks isn't doing anything to convince me this was a legitimate misunderstanding. In any case, that was posted mainly for Ephiral's benefit to point out the sort of thing I thought consortium was talking about, and that I felt was needlessly hostile toward the scientists involved. Now I'm out of this part of the discussion, and probably the whole thing. For the record though my personal viewpoint on this is most closely in line with this:

I found this interesting...

It is a pornographers view on the issue.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/11/a-pornographer-and-atheist-explains-why-the-science-guys-shirt-crash-landed/

I just have a little different idea about what is acceptable collateral damage than most of the opinions I've seen expressed here.

Offline Slywyn

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #111 on: November 22, 2014, 03:14:52 PM »
Ironically, the actual landing may be off topic for this thread, but assuming its not:

How big a deal actually is this?  Is this a moment that will change everything like the Wright brothers or something, a parlour trick like Slywyn has it or something in between?  I don't fully get the ramifications of it all - what's changed?

Basically we get to learn more about comets and what they're made of.

From what I understand it can be important or not depending on what we actually learn.

It could confirm what we already think we know, or it could tell us something we never could have guessed.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #112 on: November 22, 2014, 03:15:11 PM »
So you are saying that you would be happy to have a calmer discussion? That's all well and good, but given that that discussion doesn't really happen, aren't you implying that that is everyone else's fault? I am sure there is a more scientific name for this rhetorical device, but I would call it "finger pointing by implication". That doesn't help all that much to further the debate culture you might want to see here.

Okay, let's remove the implication: By and large, it is not the people who objected to the shirt who are keeping the discussion focused on the shirt. I'd very much like to discuss the broader context it took place in, and have in fact tried repeatedly to introduce it into the discussion.

Summing up other people's opinion IN ALL CAPS?

That is exactly the thing that stands in the way of a calm and rational discussion.
The truth hurts doesn't it? Your whole movement revolves around being a victim to both "microagressions" and "macroagressions". Face it other then the right to vote and making it illegal for a husband to rape his wife, feminism hasn't accomplished anything of significance. A movement that should of died a long time ago, but it's kept alive because victim hood is so alluring. I mean why work or try to do something, when you're being oppressed?
But yes, me using caps was the problem, I'm sure. So very sorry.

No, the IAU does not call it "bullshit". It provides a dataset that seems to support your point.

To judge how far it does support your point that the STEM field is biased against women would require a close analysis of several other factors. One is the male-to-female ratio in a population. It may make only a small difference, but if a country has significantly more men than women we should take that into account when examining the data.

The second, and in my opinion more important, point is general access to higher learning for women. If higher learning is generally barred to women, any data that shows women are underrepresented there in STEM does not point to a problem in the STEM area, but to a rather bigger problem. If almost no woman in a given country ever gets an opportunity to enter university that will automatically translate to a seriously low number of women from that country in STEM work. But that does not mean a bias against women in STEM exists in those countries. It points to a far bigger problem. The data sets are just not comparable if only applied to STEM.
The complaint I was addressing was that the previous citations were too broad, and we should really be looking at astronomy on its own. The assertion I was challenging ws that women and men are statistically indistinguishable. So I cited figures on men and women in astronomy, with the requested international perspective. In short: Exactly the data that consortium said was lacking, and which he claimed would refute the problem with women in astronomy. It not only did not support his point, it proved it blatantly and laughably false. Why are you now shifting the goalposts?

Offline Vorian

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #113 on: November 22, 2014, 03:34:23 PM »
The complaint I was addressing was that the previous citations were too broad, and we should really be looking at astronomy on its own. The assertion I was challenging ws that women and men are statistically indistinguishable. So I cited figures on men and women in astronomy, with the requested international perspective. In short: Exactly the data that consortium said was lacking, and which he claimed would refute the problem with women in astronomy. It not only did not support his point, it proved it blatantly and laughably false. Why are you now shifting the goalposts?

Ok, one last thing since this seems to have been missed (bolding mine):

4) Likewise most of those demographics tend to bundle the various STEM disciplines into one and treat them as a whole rather than as individual disciplines that likely have their own cultures and approaches. To give a simple example over the last 10 years the retention and progression rate for women in astronomy (so from graduate student to assistant professor and from post doc to assistant professor) is statistically indistinguishable from that of men. As such it would appear that any discussion of micro-aggressions with regards to astronomy would have to focus entirely on what happens to people before they actually get involved in the field.

consortium made the claim that men and women stayed in and progressed within the field at rates proportionate to the numbers entering the field to begin with, and that that implied whatever was keeping women out of the field was prior to entering it rather than within the field itself.

Offline Cycle

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #114 on: November 22, 2014, 03:48:57 PM »
consortium made the claim that men and women stayed in and progressed within the field at rates proportionate to the numbers entering the field to begin with, and that that implied whatever was keeping women out of the field was prior to entering it rather than within the field itself.

What report shows this?


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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #115 on: November 22, 2014, 03:53:48 PM »
consortium made the claim that men and women stayed in and progressed within the field at rates proportionate to the numbers entering the field to begin with, and that that implied whatever was keeping women out of the field was prior to entering it rather than within the field itself.
Valid point, and the (extremely limited, non-European) data the IAU's women in astronomy group provides does support similar rates of retention and advancement. This is a far cry from saying that the problem is not within the field, though - hiring, for instance, is certainly something within the field that wouldn't show up in that data. I withdraw that point in my rebuttal to consortium, though I'd suggest that the still-ridiculously-low numbers of women are still indicative of a problem.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 03:55:18 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Silk

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #116 on: November 22, 2014, 06:16:22 PM »
Valid point, and the (extremely limited, non-European) data the IAU's women in astronomy group provides does support similar rates of retention and advancement. This is a far cry from saying that the problem is not within the field, though - hiring, for instance, is certainly something within the field that wouldn't show up in that data. I withdraw that point in my rebuttal to consortium, though I'd suggest that the still-ridiculously-low numbers of women are still indicative of a problem.

Well one thing to keep in mind in that matter is just sheer population as a whole, there is a finite amount of men and women in the world, and while there is fields that are dramatically heavy in female population (see nursing and social sciences) those numbers will be detracted from somewhere and vice versa. a 85% female population in nurses will have to be detracted from somewhere else. as there is at best 51% female 49% male. Not saying that's the cause, but it is something to consider.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #117 on: November 22, 2014, 08:24:30 PM »
How big a deal actually is this?  Is this a moment that will change everything like the Wright brothers or something, a parlour trick like Slywyn has it or something in between?  I don't fully get the ramifications of it all - what's changed?

I'm studying Astronomy at the moment and from the perspective that's given me, I'd say it's a lot bigger than it looks.

One thing that is quite surprising about Astronomy is we know very little about it. It seems odd given that we can whizz about the solar system in our little spacecraft and still not really know much in this field of science. Many of the significant discoveries about the planets and stars were made by people who are still alive today.

Understanding the formation of our solar system is still a contentious subject. People furiously debate the origin of the moon for example, and although the Theae theory that another object impacted the Earth is relatively well accepted these days, it really is just an educated guess.

The problem is that the formation of the solar system happened around 5 billion years ago and we're here now just looking for evidence of it. Most of it is buried far beneath the surface of planets, unreachable since the furthest we've ever drilled into the Earth is 12km. Seismic probes, electromagnetic sensors and a lot of very intuitive and clever mathematics and physics can let us figure out some of the evidence but it's still tough.

A comet though formed at the same time as the solar system, and in its structure we will see evidence of how our solar system came to exist. It's also much smaller than a planet so we can easily reach its core. Plus this comet has been until recently hanging out in the Kuiper belt, far from the sun and so basically snap-frozen preserving that evidence. If the formation of the solar system was a homicide investigation, a comet would be a bullet fragment that was lodged in a wall and safe from when it rained on the scene.

Unfortunately this mission was a little bit of a mixed-bag of success and failure. We only just got started, but the position that Philae has landed on is blocked from sunlight so its solar panels have been unable to recharge the battery. We've still got more information about comets than we ever have before, but not everything we wanted.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #118 on: November 22, 2014, 09:51:55 PM »
Well one thing to keep in mind in that matter is just sheer population as a whole, there is a finite amount of men and women in the world, and while there is fields that are dramatically heavy in female population (see nursing and social sciences) those numbers will be detracted from somewhere and vice versa. a 85% female population in nurses will have to be detracted from somewhere else. as there is at best 51% female 49% male. Not saying that's the cause, but it is something to consider.
Which would be a valid argument if we didn't have research and documentation showing women being undervalued and driven out.

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #119 on: November 22, 2014, 11:48:27 PM »
It still wouldn't be a valid argument. Reverse the Gender involved and add in "Car Mechanics" as the alternative.

Unless it's Silk's intention to specifically say that women aren't interested in STEM Fields (which I doubt is her intention) the argument merely deflects based on sexist stereotypes of "Men's Work" and "Women's Work"

« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 11:55:44 PM by Steampunkette »

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #120 on: November 23, 2014, 01:46:43 AM »
This is venturing into a lot of stuff I don't know much about (and don't really have the brainspan or time to really understand), but I did want to toss in my two cents...

First off, yes, after reading some of these reports about how people treat different genders in science fields, I agree there's an issue.  Someone talked briefly about a study here with identical resumes given with only the name changed (sadly, skimming through the thread a second time, I couldn't find it to give proper credit) and the female name was far less recommended than the male name.  A few other people mentioned how women are generally passed over for awards.  These are all issues that we should work on fixing.

The microaggression sexism bit, though?  I don't think that's a very large issue, or at least not as large as some people are making it out to be.  I could be entirely wrong on this, of course, and like I said it's not something I've really spent much time looking into.  Regardless, I don't think the fact that he wears a shirt like this is any kind of significant barrier to entry, nor do I think it's a sign that there's a much larger problem, at least not by itself.

I also don't think that a smaller representation of women in these fields compared to men is an issue.  As Consortium pointed out, the rate of advancement within the field is pretty comparable between men and women, so whatever's causing less women to get in, it has more to do with something that happens before they enter the field.  Personally, I think a large portion of that can be put on genetics and brain chemistry, though I admit that gender roles in society also plays a large factor.

As for Cycle's idea of firing him... no.  Flat out, no.  If he were hired as a PR guy, where that was his main job?  Yeah, I could see causing a mess like this would get you fired.  "PR guy" is not Matt Taylor's job, however, just a brief role he took on for an interview.  Should he have worn something more professional?  Yeah, definitely.  Should the fact that he didn't put his science career in jeopardy?  No, and anyone that thinks otherwise needs to take a long look at their priorities.

Offline Sho

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #121 on: November 23, 2014, 02:14:28 AM »
As Consortium pointed out, the rate of advancement within the field is pretty comparable between men and women, so whatever's causing less women to get in, it has more to do with something that happens before they enter the field.  Personally, I think a large portion of that can be put on genetics and brain chemistry, though I admit that gender roles in society also plays a large factor.

I...I'd love some clarification on this. Are you saying that women are genetically less capable of entering STEM fields?

I'm asking for clarification because I'm almost 100% certain you're not saying that, since thinking that is true would be exactly what everyone is arguing is the problem.

Offline Valthazar

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #122 on: November 23, 2014, 02:43:15 AM »
I...I'd love some clarification on this. Are you saying that women are genetically less capable of entering STEM fields?

I'm asking for clarification because I'm almost 100% certain you're not saying that, since thinking that is true would be exactly what everyone is arguing is the problem.

I posted this table in the MRA thread, and I agree, this is only one component of the much broader nature vs. nurture issue.  Research suggests that there are some (statistically significant) differences in physiology and brain chemistry between genetic males and females.  I agree wholeheartedly that this data should not be misinterpreted to suggest that women are any more or less capable than man in STEM fields.  In fact, many researchers dismiss these conclusions entirely. 

On a personal level, I feel that social factors are the much greater reason for the lack of women in STEM fields - but I do realize that biological differences may potentially be a tiny factor (albeit one that is still being explored).

Table

Offline Silk

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #123 on: November 23, 2014, 04:35:52 AM »
Which would be a valid argument if we didn't have research and documentation showing women being undervalued and driven out.

To dismiss a 1% factor because there is a 10% factor isn't the best recourse though. As I said, i'm not stating it as a cause, merely just something to consider. Especially since were talking about microagressions and how every small thing becomes a big thing.

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #124 on: November 23, 2014, 08:13:13 AM »
Ironically, the actual landing may be off topic for this thread, but assuming its not:

How big a deal actually is this?  Is this a moment that will change everything like the Wright brothers or something, a parlour trick like Slywyn has it or something in between?  I don't fully get the ramifications of it all - what's changed?

It makes a couple of "first-time ever" in scientific terms. First landing on and transmission from the core of a comet, first dig into the ground of such an object - and it's at a distance equal to the span between Earth and Jupiter when the two are in straight line on the same side of the sun. The experiment will have to be repeated with a few more comets of course to provide more data, but I figure the results are notable and they have a bearing on some real key questions about the early days of the solar system and, like, the origin of the oceans and the background of life on Earth. Some scientists think part of the water in the primeval ocean may have been provided by icy comets dropping down in spates onto the Earth, and taking any kind of molecules with them down, molecules that may have included some building-blocks for life - and Philae seems to have found organic molecules on the comet: not life of course, but the kind of stuff they were looking for.

Also, despite contact with the lander being broken off after just days, it managed to carry out much the larger part of the scientitific program it was sent there for, and the vital parts of it (with the help of ingenuity from its base camp on Earth).

As a feat of engineering and "rocket science" it was absolutely amazing, as big as the early probes photographing Mars and the outer planets or the first flight across the Arctic Ocean in the 1920s. Sneaking up on a tiny speck of space rock in fast motion and managing to put down a small, vulnerable lander like that, and to stay in contact after landing - that was really cool, and very difficult.

Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #125 on: November 23, 2014, 08:28:10 AM »
Yes, as opposed to that - the vast majority of feminist coverage of this (in fact, all of it that I've seen) has been "Fuck yeah, science! Look at this awesome thi-oh. Well, that's an issue that detracts from it. He shouldn't have done that. But fuck yeah probe on a comet!"

What mainstream feminist coverage of this was there before the shirt appeared? And the tone of most mainstream feminist coverage I've seen (at least before the backlash) was less "Fuck yeah science" followed by the shirt and more "Fuck no, misogyny!" followed by a brief mention of the science with a clear indication of what was more important; the "I don't care..." article which led the way on this contained a single sentence about the science.

The coverage I've seen, not counting replies to the ridiculous backlash, has been at worst equally divided between the mission itself and the issue of the shirt. "Three times" strikes me as pretty damn disingenuous. And again, it's not about "wearing something someone disapproves of", it's about "sending harmful messages to an already-disadvantaged group."

I used the term "three times" deliberately because it was deliberately used in the "I don't care..." article; "That's one small step for man, three steps back for humankind". Because someone wore a shirt someone disapproved of humanity has gone backwards three times more than it has advanced by landing on a comet.

1) He was in a PR role (and should have been conscious of this), but is a full-fledged contributing member of the team. No particular argument there, and I'm not sure where you saw it. (It's possible I'm overlooking or forgetting something here.)

People have already mentioned Slywyn's post where he describes Matt Taylor as "basically their PR guy and we're acting like he's the next Einstein." Now, I don't think anyone's treating him as the next Einstein... they're in rather different fields so it would be a strange comparison to make. But he is not "basically their PR guy". He's "basically" their project scientist and in charge of all the science to do with the mission who also happened to do a few interviews

3) and 4) Okay, let's look at broadly international stats on women in astronomy. Statistically indistinguishable from men, says you. Bullshit, says the IAU. Or perhaps you'd rather drill down to the level of the Rosetta team itself: Notice anything about the male:female ratio there?

I see you've retracted this point but I'll link anyway so others can see... there's a reason I said "retention and progression rate". I will note a typo; I said assistant professor twice when I meant associate professor for one of them. Once a woman gets "into" astronomy it appears they're just as likely to progress as a man is. The question therefore becomes why it is that more men then women enter astronomy in the first place rather than what happens once they're there.

5) "Constructive dismissal" is, to my understanding, something that an institution does as an unspoken but deliberate course of action. This is distinct from what Steampunkette is talking about, and thus a non-sequitur. Even if it weren't, "reasons sexual harassment and assault are vastly underreported" is its own topic - the short and relevant-to-this-discussion version is "no action in court does not mean nothing happened".

The example/definition Steampunkette used for micro-aggressions was:

Have you ever worked at a job where they explicitly try to get you to quit without outright firing you? First they make you work on the shift where no one likes you. Your job description gets stretched to cover work that no one likes to do but has to be done and is generally shared. Then your schedule gets changed to work odd hours, sometimes working 2 shifts back to back, other times coming in for work 4 times in a day for 2 hours per segment with a deadline coming up and a checklist you have to run through that makes it nearly impossible to get any work done before you're kicked off the clock because they're not able to pay you for overtime.

Eventually you just quit. It's easier than putting up with that bullshit, even though any one of those details is perfectly understandable and explainable as a unique event.

That's a textbook constructive dismissal case; a lawyer would leap at the chance to action it because if it was the example set out above it would be pretty much slam dunk and an easy win. As above I'm unaware of any of these sort of cases being brought against the ESA and it doesn't strike me as a good definition of micro-aggressions either which is why I changed it to what I think is a far more applicable one later in the post.

6) Be... because beards and tattoos (depending on the content of the tattoo, of course) don't objectify anyone? Are we really having this discussion?

But earlier in your post you said the issue was "sending harmful messages to an already-disadvantaged group." Some women consider beards sexist; is an environment where something sexist is openly allowed not a harmful message to an already-disadvantaged group? Some followers of certain religions consider tattoo's blasphemous... is an environment where something blasphemous is openly paraded around (and celebrated in the media in the case of Taylor's landing tattoo) not harmful to an already-disadvantaged group (remembering that the percentage of people in STEM fields who are believers is well below the average)?

If micro-aggressions are small things that in-and-of-themselves are not seemingly that serious and not necessarily done with malicious intent but which make a field or discipline less welcoming and more hostile to certain people and thus mean they're less likely to become involve to begin with or stay involved... even limiting it to certain already-disadvantaged people... then I still can't see how you can exclude groups of people who may receive a harmful message. Not all women consider the shirt sexist or off-putting (and so clearly it doesn't count as a micro-aggression for them) but some do. Not all women consider beards sexist (and so clearly it doesn't count as a micro-aggression for them) but some do.

7) No, because calling this shit out is how it stops, and because the people fighting it are also encouraging women in STEM. Perhaps you've heard of the Ada Initiative, for example? This is a blatant "sit down and shut up" argument against discussing sexism at all.

It's not, it's to point out the flaws in this micro-aggression theory. Isn't telling women that if they apply for a job in STEM disciplines they're less likely to get a job and if they do they'll be paid less sending out a harmful message to an already-disadvantaged group? Isn't it likely to put women off going into STEM disciplines? It doesn't matter if the intent was positive, negative or neutral... it still seemingly counts as a micro-aggression.

Focusing on the men to the exclusion of the women? Yes, that's a problem - one that I'd rank above the shirt, to be honest, though they're on the same spectrum. Let's fix that, if only in a small way. (Please note that this, literally the only coverage of the project's women I could easily find, is also by someone citing the shirt as a problem issue.)

There's quite a lot of coverage of the project's women... it just tends to come from the generic press rather than feminist bodies. To simply use Kathrin Altwegg as an example one could watch her TEDx talk, see her quoted about what the comet tells us about the earth's water, more quotes from her about the mission in general, extensive quotes from her (and Claudia Alexander), more quotes about why the landing would be the icing on the cake and she was frequently mentioned for her comments on what the comet might smell like. Pretty much all those links came from putting "kathrin altwegg rosetta" (and some just by putting "kathrin altwegg") into google... and excludes the multiple foreign language sources.

But why celebrate women when you can shout at men instead?

9) This is a Gish gallop. Which of the extremely large topics you've brought up here would you actually like to discuss in depth?

Can anyone else see the irony in accusing someone of a Gish gallop during a discussion largely focusing on micro-aggressions; a subject about which the very basic concept is that there are a huge range of separate things which all combine together to create a picture? Because that's largely what I'm saying here. There is a distinct whiff of anti-academia (or, as I say, non-feminist academia) and science within modern feminism often pushed by prominent figures in the movement and the coverage of this story... complete with hyperbole, minimizing the science and the seeming refusal to mention women involved in the mission by the feminist press... fits firmly into it.

10) You... you realize that you opened this post by quoting a discussion about an article written by a kink-positive sex-positive feminist, right? Feminism and BDSM are not remotely enemies; the focus of mainstream feminism is on consent, not on what consensual activities are taking place. Further, even if this were an issue, it's completely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

And the sort of consent mainstream feminism is focused on, particularly the sort of consent that led to California SB 967 and the general "ongoing affirmative/enthusiastic consent", turns almost all forms of consensual BDSM play into sexual assault. Much like with the anti-science micro-aggressions within feminism (and I think that terminology fits remarkably well) the puritanical anti-aggressions which lead to consensual BDSM becoming sexual assault and lead to images of "pinup" style women being self-evidently wrong are worth looking at.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #126 on: November 23, 2014, 08:41:05 AM »
I...I'd love some clarification on this. Are you saying that women are genetically less capable of entering STEM fields?

I'm asking for clarification because I'm almost 100% certain you're not saying that, since thinking that is true would be exactly what everyone is arguing is the problem.

Not necessarily, though it wouldn't surprise me if the average brain chemistry of women is different in a way that does make them less capable of entering STEM fields.

Note that this is talking about women on average, not any specific woman.  In the same vein, I could say that women in average are genetically less capable of working a job that requires a lot of heavy lifting, since women on average don't have the muscle density required to lift heavy loads, but to use that logic to suggest that any one individual woman isn't capable of working that job without looking at her actual strength is absurd.

But, my point earlier wasn't that I think women are less capable of entering such fields, rather that they're less interested in working such fields, and that lack of interest could easily be because of genetic differences.

Online Oniya

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #127 on: November 23, 2014, 12:11:51 PM »
There was a video linked earlier (and I've linked it somewhere else in PROC, so I'm not going to link it again).  In fourth grade (about 10 years old), 66% of girls say that math and/or science is their favorite subject.  Somehow, only 18% of engineering majors are female.  The interest is obviously there in the early years. 

Offline Silk

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #128 on: November 23, 2014, 01:06:27 PM »
There was a video linked earlier (and I've linked it somewhere else in PROC, so I'm not going to link it again).  In fourth grade (about 10 years old), 66% of girls say that math and/or science is their favorite subject.  Somehow, only 18% of engineering majors are female.  The interest is obviously there in the early years.

So to elaborate on that chain of thought. Either creating a longtitudinal study to follow a collection of students to see what their favorite subjects is, or a study which checks students of every year from fourth grade to college would help shine light on where the interest in science and maths comes in. However there is a few things to consider as well. Such as puberty development, internal peer pressure, hell could be something as simple as stage in puberty compared to boys. (since it's around the period that girls are significantly more able at school due to earlier development.

Online Oniya

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #129 on: November 23, 2014, 02:14:05 PM »
So to elaborate on that chain of thought. Either creating a longtitudinal study to follow a collection of students to see what their favorite subjects is, or a study which checks students of every year from fourth grade to college would help shine light on where the interest in science and maths comes in. However there is a few things to consider as well. Such as puberty development, internal peer pressure, hell could be something as simple as stage in puberty compared to boys. (since it's around the period that girls are significantly more able at school due to earlier development.

And external peer pressure.  (Things like teen magazines, Facebook memes, even Cosmo covers and the like.)

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #130 on: November 23, 2014, 02:42:25 PM »
http://eldan.co.uk/2013/12/bad-neuroscience-and-gender-reading-this-will-change-your-brain/

So here's the thing.

Everyone LOVES to talk about Men and Women "On Average" and assume it's not sexist to categorically label like that.

On Average there are more men than women with a higher IQ. Coincidentally, on Average, there are more men than women with a lower IQ.



Thanks to the way our IQ charts work and the way the tests are designed, this is essentially bound to happen where one group of people scores closer to average based on their social and academic background while another group scores more wildly based on theirs. Does it mean that men, on the whole, are both smarter -and- less intelligent than women?

No. On the whole it averages out and the outliers are outliers due to their social and academic upbringing rather than any form of biological superiority or inferiority.

In the end, however, what you're looking at with people who go into a specific field are not outliers and averages they're individuals. They're a unique combination of brain chemistry, cultural background, academic provisions, and social reinforcement that leads to an interest in the Sciences and Maths.

This is why in multiple threads I've done my best to explain that binaristic gender is a shitty way to try and categorize people. You will find more differences between the brain chemistry of two randomly selected men than you will find between "Men" and "Women" on Average.

And, you know, if the STEM Fields accounted for a large percentage of the human population (somewhere between 40% and 80%) then I might actually support trying to look at Gendered Averages to get an idea of who might or might not be best for the field or why different fields have more or less men in them compared to women...

But right now there are about 5 million people in the OECD countries that are considered STEM Scientists and Researchers. You're looking at a pool of people so small that they represent less than 1/10th of a percent of the population of the countries they represent. Adding in computer engineers and the like won't increase that too statistically significantly.

Gendered Averages are very nearly useless to begin with. In this case they are completely useless. I feel like there's a fallacy, there, but I don't recognize it by name. Appeal to Lottery?

Offline Silk

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #131 on: November 23, 2014, 05:48:27 PM »
And external peer pressure.  (Things like teen magazines, Facebook memes, even Cosmo covers and the like.)

While were at it, let's add one more, the growth in popularity in comparison to the amount of time it takes to qualify. It takes around 9-11 years of further study to attain a PH.D grade qualification. Sso were looking at girls who were interested in the field back in 2003 and back. The climate towards computing, gaming, and science in general was MASSIVE back then. These sorts of thing were still widely the nerds recourse. Something that girls would go out of their way to avoid (At least that was the state of affairs back then in my area). I don't know what the statistics are in relation to the amount of girls in further study for these sorts of courses. But it does seem like early days to expect the current interest in science and what it has to offer. To have matured for a period that is scarcely older than the last generation of consoles (xbox was  released in 2001, PS2 was 2000) is a little bit of a stretch.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #132 on: November 24, 2014, 01:56:50 AM »
http://eldan.co.uk/2013/12/bad-neuroscience-and-gender-reading-this-will-change-your-brain/

So here's the thing.

Everyone LOVES to talk about Men and Women "On Average" and assume it's not sexist to categorically label like that.

On Average there are more men than women with a higher IQ. Coincidentally, on Average, there are more men than women with a lower IQ.



Thanks to the way our IQ charts work and the way the tests are designed, this is essentially bound to happen where one group of people scores closer to average based on their social and academic background while another group scores more wildly based on theirs. Does it mean that men, on the whole, are both smarter -and- less intelligent than women?

No. On the whole it averages out and the outliers are outliers due to their social and academic upbringing rather than any form of biological superiority or inferiority.

In the end, however, what you're looking at with people who go into a specific field are not outliers and averages they're individuals. They're a unique combination of brain chemistry, cultural background, academic provisions, and social reinforcement that leads to an interest in the Sciences and Maths.

This is why in multiple threads I've done my best to explain that binaristic gender is a shitty way to try and categorize people. You will find more differences between the brain chemistry of two randomly selected men than you will find between "Men" and "Women" on Average.

And, you know, if the STEM Fields accounted for a large percentage of the human population (somewhere between 40% and 80%) then I might actually support trying to look at Gendered Averages to get an idea of who might or might not be best for the field or why different fields have more or less men in them compared to women...

But right now there are about 5 million people in the OECD countries that are considered STEM Scientists and Researchers. You're looking at a pool of people so small that they represent less than 1/10th of a percent of the population of the countries they represent. Adding in computer engineers and the like won't increase that too statistically significantly.

Gendered Averages are very nearly useless to begin with. In this case they are completely useless. I feel like there's a fallacy, there, but I don't recognize it by name. Appeal to Lottery?

I want to point out that, for the most part, I agree completely with what you're saying.

The only reason I bring up average brain chemistry is because, if it is true that men are more likely to want a career in STEM fields (and I'm not saying that this is the case, mind you, only that it's a possible explanation - an untested hypothesis, if you will), it would stand to reason that the ratio of men to women actually in those fields would likewise be unequal.  It wouldn't say that any individual woman is worth less than any individual man on the team, only that the number of women on the team would be less than the number of men.

There was a video linked earlier (and I've linked it somewhere else in PROC, so I'm not going to link it again).  In fourth grade (about 10 years old), 66% of girls say that math and/or science is their favorite subject.  Somehow, only 18% of engineering majors are female.  The interest is obviously there in the early years. 

Ah, I apologize, I did also see that in here but I forgot about it when I made my earlier post.  Still, off the top of my head, I can think of two possible refutations to that.  First, that age is before puberty, and that's definitely something that screws around with people's brain chemistry in very messy ways.  Second, the complexity of math used in any sort of engineering or science major is several orders of magnitude more complicated than math done by 4th graders, which means several people that think it's an interesting topic could easily be turned off when they see what it's really like.  Granted, those factors affect both boys and girls, so there's definitely more to be figured out as to why the interest seems to wane. 

Alternatively, when were the fourth graders asked about math?  Keep in mind that the women going into engineering fields were fourth graders over a decade ago, and the difference may be something as simple as the fourth grade of the 80s and 90s being very different from the fourth grade of this side of the century...

Offline Steampunkette

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #133 on: November 24, 2014, 05:51:13 AM »
Sethala: Averages are pointless because when you look at scientists you're looking at a range closer to one extreme of dozens of different traits. Averages don't mean squat, there.

What matters is Socialization and Opportunity.

In the Western World we actively socially condition women to AVOID STEM fields. We do our best to make STEM fields "Unsexy" while simultaneously demanding that -every- woman BE SEXY. Meanwhile we condition men in a similar manner, complete with the selective reinforcements of family obligations (Of which the woman must provide) and the like. You'd be amazed how many women come home for the Holidays from college only to hear one or two family members ask when they're going to stop wasting their time and settle down to raise a family.

This is a cultural issue, not a biological one.

As for your untested hypothesis: It's an unprovable one. The only way to test it while completely controlling for socialization is so ridiculously unethical it's inconceivable. The closest thing to testing that hypothesis would be to minimize or get rid of the social factors (Which, coincidentally, is one of Feminism's goals) and then see how things play out over the course of six or seven generations.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #134 on: November 24, 2014, 07:29:22 AM »
Sethala: Averages are pointless because when you look at scientists you're looking at a range closer to one extreme of dozens of different traits. Averages don't mean squat, there.

What matters is Socialization and Opportunity.

In the Western World we actively socially condition women to AVOID STEM fields. We do our best to make STEM fields "Unsexy" while simultaneously demanding that -every- woman BE SEXY. Meanwhile we condition men in a similar manner, complete with the selective reinforcements of family obligations (Of which the woman must provide) and the like. You'd be amazed how many women come home for the Holidays from college only to hear one or two family members ask when they're going to stop wasting their time and settle down to raise a family.

I am not denying that your last paragraph is true.  At all.  However, if on average, 20% of the male population is biologically hardwired to understand and enjoy STEM fields, while only 5% of the female population is hardwired for it, how would that not account for a 4-to-1 ratio of male to female scientists?  What makes you think that we should have an equal number of male and female scientists if there are more men than women in the population that are suitable for it?

This is a cultural issue, not a biological one.

As for your untested hypothesis: It's an unprovable one. The only way to test it while completely controlling for socialization is so ridiculously unethical it's inconceivable. The closest thing to testing that hypothesis would be to minimize or get rid of the social factors (Which, coincidentally, is one of Feminism's goals) and then see how things play out over the course of six or seven generations.

As we learn more about how the human brain works, it should be possible to analyze brain chemistry and find out if there really is something that makes the average woman less suitable for science fields - we do already know that male and female brain chemistry is different due to differing hormones, after all.  I'm not saying we have this technology today, but there's certainly more ways to figure this out than waiting until we live in a utopia of equality.

Offline Valthazar

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #135 on: November 24, 2014, 07:35:35 AM »
In the Western World we actively socially condition women to AVOID STEM fields. We do our best to make STEM fields "Unsexy" while simultaneously demanding that -every- woman BE SEXY. Meanwhile we condition men in a similar manner, complete with the selective reinforcements of family obligations (Of which the woman must provide) and the like.

I think it is a sweeping generalization to suggest that women are choosing careers based on the perceived "sexiness" of the career in society.  Isn't it rather condescending to women to make the assertion (let alone the assertion that women are "forced" to be sexy)?  No one is forcing a woman to do anything.  I would like to believe that adult women (just like men) possess the strength of character to choose careers because they enjoy them.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #136 on: November 24, 2014, 08:43:30 AM »
All this hoo-ha over a shirt...

Offline Slywyn

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #137 on: November 24, 2014, 08:50:37 AM »
All this hoo-ha over a shirt...

As many people have explained over the course of the thread, it's not really about the shirt.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #138 on: November 24, 2014, 09:03:21 AM »
Is it possible to change the title then, to reflect the actual topic?

Offline Slywyn

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #139 on: November 24, 2014, 09:05:43 AM »
Is it possible to change the title then, to reflect the actual topic?

The topic revolves around the shirt and what it means, but isn't about the shirt itself.

Consider the shirt to be symbolic, if that helps.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #140 on: November 24, 2014, 09:21:26 AM »
Haha, not really, it still sounds as if this is being blown out of proportion. I tried skimming through the first posts but couldn't catch anything that might sway me and I'm guessing the meat of the argument is somewhere in the middle of this thread. I'm not sure if it's worth digging for, so I'll just take your word for it that this is about more than a shirt.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #141 on: November 24, 2014, 10:15:09 AM »
Haha, not really, it still sounds as if this is being blown out of proportion. I tried skimming through the first posts but couldn't catch anything that might sway me and I'm guessing the meat of the argument is somewhere in the middle of this thread. I'm not sure if it's worth digging for, so I'll just take your word for it that this is about more than a shirt.

The main reason why the shirt is "an issue" for some people is they think it shows an atmosphere of "we think women are more useful being sexy than they are at doing actual work".  I don't agree that someone being able to wear a shirt like this is any indication of a problem, personally, though I will admit I added some hyperbole in that summary.  Though there are troubling issues with women not getting proper credit for scientific awards, as well as a test someone here mentioned involving giving different people the same resume only one had a male name and the other female, and the female resume had a notably worse reception, that I do agree are a problem.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #142 on: November 24, 2014, 11:40:12 AM »
Presumably you agree (Sethala) that a workplace where informal aloha shirts are allowed is different to one where everyone must be in a suit?  That one would expect a difference workplace culture between the two places?  I don't overly want to put words in your mouth, but that seems pretty uncontroversial.

If you do, then the basic premise that "suitable clothes for work are both an expression of the environment and serve to shape the environment" doesn't seem overly controversial either?

I'm just trying to work out where our opinions diverge.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #143 on: November 24, 2014, 12:02:08 PM »
Presumably you agree (Sethala) that a workplace where informal aloha shirts are allowed is different to one where everyone must be in a suit?  That one would expect a difference workplace culture between the two places?  I don't overly want to put words in your mouth, but that seems pretty uncontroversial.

If you do, then the basic premise that "suitable clothes for work are both an expression of the environment and serve to shape the environment" doesn't seem overly controversial either?

I'm just trying to work out where our opinions diverge.
.

Phone posting, apologies for terse writing here.

Agree with first paragraph.  But an office that allows aloha shirts doesn't necessarily encourage wearing them.  Especially if only one person wears them.  If entire team wore similar shirts, had pinup girls on every wall, named probe after a famous porn star, etc, I might agree there's a problem.  Overall, I just have issues taking the leap from what you said to "therefore, the working environment as a whole is unwelcoming to women".

Will say more when I have a proper keyboard.

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #144 on: November 24, 2014, 12:04:24 PM »
.

Phone posting, apologies for terse writing here.

Agree with first paragraph.  But an office that allows aloha shirts doesn't necessarily encourage wearing them.  Especially if only one person wears them.  If entire team wore similar shirts, had pinup girls on every wall, named probe after a famous porn star, etc, I might agree there's a problem.  Overall, I just have issues taking the leap from what you said to "therefore, the working environment as a whole is unwelcoming to women".

Will say more when I have a proper keyboard.

Well, slow down there cowboy.  I didn't say "therefore the working environment as a whole is unwelcoming to women" so, yanno, not wanting to make that leap isn't a bad thing.

I take it you disagree with the second though?  That the clothes that are deemed suitable for work are an expression of the work environment and create a feedback loop which reinforces the environment?  As I say, just trying to work out where our difference is.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #145 on: November 24, 2014, 04:23:22 PM »
Well, slow down there cowboy.  I didn't say "therefore the working environment as a whole is unwelcoming to women" so, yanno, not wanting to make that leap isn't a bad thing.

I take it you disagree with the second though?  That the clothes that are deemed suitable for work are an expression of the work environment and create a feedback loop which reinforces the environment?  As I say, just trying to work out where our difference is.

Apologies, I thought that was the conclusion you were going to.  Anyway, I don't necessarily disagree with the second, though I will add that it's not always the case.  For the sake of discussion, assume I agree with what yiu said.  Did you have a further conclusion to those statements?

(Still phone posting, btw)

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #146 on: November 24, 2014, 11:55:19 PM »
So you agree the shirt is sexist and you agree that clothing choices are a good reflection of thr nature of an organisation. Honestly,  even just the first would seem to be enough to make complaints about it valid, but adding in the second it sèems obvious that its symptomatic of a wider problem. Given everything you have said, I don't see hpw you don't see a problem? Sexist shirt bad, sexist shirt unchallenged in work environment worse.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #147 on: November 25, 2014, 01:33:14 AM »
So you agree the shirt is sexist...

I don't believe I ever agreed to that, actually.  Not in the context you're taking it in, at least.

and you agree that clothing choices are a good reflection of thr nature of an organisation.

Also don't necessarily agree to that, I only ceded that point to see where you were going with this argument.  I agree that clothing choices can be a reflection of something's nature, not that they are a reflection.

I'll give a personal example.  Myself and a group of friends get together on a regular basis to play Magic, as well as a few other board and card games.  For those who aren't aware, Magic is a game played with something like trading cards, and because of their collectible nature, some cards can be very valuable, so rather frequently players will use sleeves on the cards, or lay out a playmat to set the cards on so they don't pick up table gunk (often using both).  Obviously, these sleeves and playmats can come with a variety of art, and I've got a small collection of different playmats and sleeves.  Most of them depict female characters, often in an anime art style, sometimes rather scantily clad.  Usually, these go without any real notice or mention, though sometimes my friends joke about it and call me out for it.  To say that our game environment tolerates and accepts these often "sexy" peripherals would be correct.  To say that my use of them indicates that everyone encourages using them, however, would be a stretch.

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #148 on: November 25, 2014, 01:43:03 AM »
I don't believe I ever agreed to that, actually.  Not in the context you're taking it in, at least.

I got it from your inclusion of the shirts on:

If entire team wore similar shirts, had pinup girls on every wall, named probe after a famous porn star, etc, I might agree there's a problem. 

a list of sexist activities.  If you don't see a problem with the shirt, why include it on that list?  I'm confused as to your posiion.

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To say that our game environment tolerates and accepts these often "sexy" peripherals would be correct. 

Yes, your team tolerates and accepts this.  That's...that's kinda my point.  As per above it appears you think the shirt is sexist.  Per this argument the team "tolerates and accepts".  Therefore: problem.

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To say that my use of them indicates that everyone encourages using them, however, would be a stretch.

This is the second time you've talked in terms of "encouraging" ("But an office that allows aloha shirts doesn't necessarily encourage wearing them. ") - I'm not sure why.  It's not something I - or anyone else - is claiming.  It's not clear what you're arguing against here, not me certainly.

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #149 on: November 25, 2014, 02:02:40 AM »
Thinking about it:

are you getting "encourages" from me talking about how clothing helps set the environment?  I guess I can see that.  But if you are, then you're wrong.  Do you think your sexy anime sleeves make it more or less likely that someone else in your group will use them?  They're clearly not objectionable to your group (accepts and tolerates) so thinking that someone who hadn't seen them before would say "Hey, Sethala, where did you get them from?  I like them" and get something similar is kinda not really a stretch.  Accepted and tolerated behaviour must necessarily encourage similar behaviour if that's what you meant by "encourage"

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #150 on: November 25, 2014, 02:43:59 AM »
I got it from your inclusion of the shirts on:

a list of sexist activities.  If you don't see a problem with the shirt, why include it on that list?  I'm confused as to your posiion.

Orders of magnitutde, mostly.  Let's assume that I found such a shirt distasteful and mildly offensive.  If I went to a gathering where one person was wearing the shirt, I'd probably roll my eyes at it, possibly gossip a bit about it, maybe crack a few jokes at his expense, but it would likely roll off as either something I forget in a few days or something I remember as a joke and laugh about (i.e. "Hey, remember that guy at that one party, with the shirt?").  However, if I ended up talking with him and he seemed a genuinely nice guy - that is, accepted that yeah, he gets some flak for his choice of fashion, maybe joked about it, and made it seem that yeah, he wouldn't be any source of problem if a woman joined the team, I'd be able to look past it, primarily because there's enough "other stuff" there for me to focus on and ignore something I don't like.

However, if I went to that same gathering, and everyone there was wearing the same kind of shirt, every wall had posters of pin-up girls, the furniture and fixtures were carved in the shape of attractive women... then yeah, there's a problem, because that definitely means the entire team has a certain outlook, not just one person.  I suppose my point is that I think a shirt itself isn't sexist, but it could be a sign that there's a larger problem that is sexist at work - emphasis on the word "could" - and having a lot more similar things pushes that "could" into "probably".

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Yes, your team tolerates and accepts this.  That's...that's kinda my point.  As per above it appears you think the shirt is sexist.  Per this argument the team "tolerates and accepts".  Therefore: problem.

This is the second time you've talked in terms of "encouraging" ("But an office that allows aloha shirts doesn't necessarily encourage wearing them. ") - I'm not sure why.  It's not something I - or anyone else - is claiming.  It's not clear what you're arguing against here, not me certainly.

[...]

are you getting "encourages" from me talking about how clothing helps set the environment?  I guess I can see that.  But if you are, then you're wrong.  Do you think your sexy anime sleeves make it more or less likely that someone else in your group will use them?  They're clearly not objectionable to your group (accepts and tolerates) so thinking that someone who hadn't seen them before would say "Hey, Sethala, where did you get them from?  I like them" and get something similar is kinda not really a stretch.  Accepted and tolerated behaviour must necessarily encourage similar behaviour if that's what you meant by "encourage"

I apologize, I'm not really sure where I got the word "encourage" from, but yes, it's what I inferred from what you said about clothing setting the environment.  Now yes, I will say that if one person in an office is allowed to wear a tacky, casual shirt, it probably means that the rest of the office is allowed to wear tacky, casual clothing, and probably does so, to varying degrees.  The analogy kind of stops there, however; you wouldn't say that because one person wears a tacky Star Wars shirt that the whole team is Star Wars fans, for instance.  It could easily be that this one person is the only Star Wars fan on the team.  Now yes, someone else could ask him where he got his shirt from, or that neat Han Solo figure he's got next to his computer, and that person might get something similar for themselves, but chances are that person was already a Star Wars fan to begin with.  Similarly, in my example of my Magic group, I have had someone ask where I got the sleeves from, and he may end up getting something similar for himself, but that's because anime-style art is already something he's interested in.

I apologize if this is getting rambly, it's been a bit of a long day out of town for me and I'm about to go to bed, so my thoughts aren't entirely coherent right now...

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #151 on: November 25, 2014, 03:16:21 AM »
Orders of magnitutde, mostly.  Let's assume that I found such a shirt distasteful and mildly offensive.  If I went to a gathering where one person was wearing the shirt, I'd probably roll my eyes at it, possibly gossip a bit about it, maybe crack a few jokes at his expense, but it would likely roll off as either something I forget in a few days or something I remember as a joke and laugh about (i.e. "Hey, remember that guy at that one party, with the shirt?").  However, if I ended up talking with him and he seemed a genuinely nice guy - that is, accepted that yeah, he gets some flak for his choice of fashion, maybe joked about it, and made it seem that yeah, he wouldn't be any source of problem if a woman joined the team, I'd be able to look past it, primarily because there's enough "other stuff" there for me to focus on and ignore something I don't like.

Right, this here might be where our disagreement is.  To my mind - if the shirt is offensive then its offensive and having multiple people wearing it doesn't make each individual instance more offensive.  Its not some sort of magic fabric that gains power from having duplicates nearby.  I suspect he is a nice guy, but that doesn't mean you get a free pass on things.

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I apologize, I'm not really sure where I got the word "encourage" from, but yes, it's what I inferred from what you said about clothing setting the environment.  Now yes, I will say that if one person in an office is allowed to wear a tacky, casual shirt, it probably means that the rest of the office is allowed to wear tacky, casual clothing, and probably does so, to varying degrees.  The analogy kind of stops there, however; you wouldn't say that because one person wears a tacky Star Wars shirt that the whole team is Star Wars fans, for instance.  It could easily be that this one person is the only Star Wars fan on the team.  Now yes, someone else could ask him where he got his shirt from, or that neat Han Solo figure he's got next to his computer, and that person might get something similar for themselves, but chances are that person was already a Star Wars fan to begin with.  Similarly, in my example of my Magic group, I have had someone ask where I got the sleeves from, and he may end up getting something similar for himself, but that's because anime-style art is already something he's interested in.

No, it certainly doesn't mean everyone there is a Star Wars fan, and thats not what I'm claiming.  It does, however, mean that Star Wars is accepted and tolerated.  Matt Taylor wearing a sexist shirt doesn't make everyone at ESA sexist, it does make sexism accepted and tolerated (which could be argued to mean they are sexist, but thats a different conversation).

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #152 on: November 25, 2014, 11:55:33 PM »
Took some time away from the thread to think about my position a bit more, and I think I still need to take some time to examine my own thoughts on it.

I will say that part of the reason I pulled away from agreeing out of hand that the shirt was sexist was this post, though:

So you agree the shirt is sexist and you agree that clothing choices are a good reflection of thr nature of an organisation. Honestly,  even just the first would seem to be enough to make complaints about it valid [...] Sexist shirt bad, sexist shirt unchallenged in work environment worse.

Normally, if you asked me if I thought the shirt was sexist, I would probably say "Yeah, but what's the problem with that?"  To me, something being sexist isn't necessarily a bad thing by itself; I would probably say that porn and harem anime are also sexist, but that doesn't make them a bad thing that shouldn't exist, just something that some people don't like looking at.  Regardless, I felt that our definitions of what "sexist" meant wasn't the same, so I didn't agree to what you said, and I apologize for not saying anything about it earlier.

That being said, I do have three questions for you about this.

First, what would you say if you found out that their policy was along the lines of "You can wear that, unless someone complains about it.  Then you have to take it off and stop wearing it to work."  Assume as well that he had the sense to not wear it during a broadcasted interview and that everyone who worked with him knew it would be gone if they spoke up about it.  Would it still be a problem just being there, even if no one who regularly associates with him is themselves offended by it?

Second, we can both agree that there is an issue with sexism in the science fields, even if we disagree to the severity and causes.  If there were no issues of sexist preferences, everyone was treated equally regardless of gender, etc, would there be an issue if someone wore a possibly sexist shirt like this?

Third, what other areas would we need to be wary of offending people?  For example, let's say that another person in the team likes Harry Potter and has a few posters from the movies next to his computer and wears Harry Potter shirts.  Would there be a problem if someone spoke up and said that their religion believes that Harry Potter is evil, reading it is satan-worship and practicing witchcraft, etc?  Essentially, where would the line be drawn?

Offline Shjade

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #153 on: November 26, 2014, 12:11:21 AM »
First, what would you say if you found out that their policy was along the lines of "You can wear that, unless someone complains about it.  Then you have to take it off and stop wearing it to work."  Assume as well that he had the sense to not wear it during a broadcasted interview and that everyone who worked with him knew it would be gone if they spoke up about it.  Would it still be a problem just being there, even if no one who regularly associates with him is themselves offended by it?

Generally speaking, policies that require someone to voice a complaint for any change to happen put that person in the position of then being viewed in a negative light by their peers for being a "buzzkill" or similar. Probably would have an impact on the environment regardless, maybe even a worse one.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #154 on: November 26, 2014, 01:00:30 AM »
Generally speaking, policies that require someone to voice a complaint for any change to happen put that person in the position of then being viewed in a negative light by their peers for being a "buzzkill" or similar. Probably would have an impact on the environment regardless, maybe even a worse one.

True, but that's intended to be a hypothetical question as a thought exercise, not an idea of a solution to please everyone.  Assume that no one other than the person making the complaint and the person in charge know who complained and that Matt Taylor would accept the decision without any hard feelings.

My intent with asking it is to find out if it would be acceptable to wear if anyone offended by it could make it go away without any challenge, or is the mere idea that someone could be offended by it enough to say it's not allowed?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #155 on: November 26, 2014, 02:20:14 AM »
I don't really know what Harem Anime is (besides, yanno, knowing what both of those words mean - I mean I'm not familiar with the genre) so I'll skip that and just address porn.

First, porn isn't inherantly sexist.  Sexist porn is sexist, non-sexist porn isn't.  It's kinda a little worrying that that needs explicitly mentioning.  Second I dont understand - and I suspect I never will, this might be an unsurmountable wall between us - how you can say "Yeah, its sexist but so what".  Are there - and this is intended as a genuine question - things that you think "yeah, they're racist but so what"?  Because, I dunno.  Euw.

Questions:

1)I don't honestly view this as an important line of inquiry - the onus is on (hypothetical) you not to be a pig not on (hypothetical) me to call you on it.  The analogy is with victim blaming, though I'm not suggesting this is anything near the most extreme example of that.

2)Again, I think its the wrong question.  If everyone were treated equally, then noone would be wearing a shirt like that.  I see it as a self-refuting question.

3)Sorry, I'm a little unclear on precisely what this question is.  I'm goning to answer "Where would the line be drawn" as my best guess but if I've misunderstood then sorry. 

I'm always wary of "where is the line" type arguments - they can generally be answered with "the line is drawn in the appropriate place, obvi".  In this case, well, what do you think?  Do you for one second think those two positions are the same?  Is this really a source of confusion?  I'm sorry if I sound incredulous and it was a real and genuine question but it...I dunno.  It really doesn't sound like something you actually see as an issue.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #156 on: November 26, 2014, 03:45:08 AM »
I don't really know what Harem Anime is (besides, yanno, knowing what both of those words mean - I mean I'm not familiar with the genre) so I'll skip that and just address porn.

First, porn isn't inherantly sexist.  Sexist porn is sexist, non-sexist porn isn't.  It's kinda a little worrying that that needs explicitly mentioning.  Second I dont understand - and I suspect I never will, this might be an unsurmountable wall between us - how you can say "Yeah, its sexist but so what".  Are there - and this is intended as a genuine question - things that you think "yeah, they're racist but so what"?  Because, I dunno.  Euw.

I probably have a poor internal definition of the word "sexist" then, and end up conflating the terms sexist, sexualized, and sexy.  I'll have to come back later on this point once I've thought things through more.

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Questions:

1)I don't honestly view this as an important line of inquiry - the onus is on (hypothetical) you not to be a pig not on (hypothetical) me to call you on it.  The analogy is with victim blaming, though I'm not suggesting this is anything near the most extreme example of that.

No, the intent wasn't for this to be victim blaming, the intent was just to set up a hypothetical situation where he could wear the shirt if no one was offended by it, but had to remove it if someone was offended by it.  The thought exercise is basically the idea of, "if this literally does not affect anyone in a negative way, is it still bad?"

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2)Again, I think its the wrong question.  If everyone were treated equally, then noone would be wearing a shirt like that.  I see it as a self-refuting question.

I could easily envision a world where women in science fields (and everywhere else, really) are given the same opportunities, the same payment, and the same recognition as men in the same fields, and still see a few people deciding to express themselves by wearing a shirt like this.  Alternatively, if everyone were treated equally, he could be wearing this shirt while a female coworker wears a similar shirt, only with half-naked guys plastered all over it.

To clarify my question though, I'm specifically saying that the hypothetical world isn't necessarily one without sexism between individuals, but it is one free of sexist biases when it comes to main issues such as employment opportunities, wages, and so on.

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3)Sorry, I'm a little unclear on precisely what this question is.  I'm goning to answer "Where would the line be drawn" as my best guess but if I've misunderstood then sorry. 

I'm always wary of "where is the line" type arguments - they can generally be answered with "the line is drawn in the appropriate place, obvi".  In this case, well, what do you think?  Do you for one second think those two positions are the same?  Is this really a source of confusion?  I'm sorry if I sound incredulous and it was a real and genuine question but it...I dunno.  It really doesn't sound like something you actually see as an issue.

I know this can be a silly question, but I'm building towards a point here, and I'd really rather not put words in your mouth in order to make that conclusion.  My point is, however, that there can be a lot of shirts, posters, etc that are offensive to a small group.  As I said, a religious person may find offense that their coworker is allowed to wear a Harry Potter shirt, thinking that it marginalizes them.  Heck, the person with the Harry Potter shirt could be atheist, and think that the religious person's cross necklace and shirts with religious messages is offensive to him.  Or heck, if you don't think that's offensive enough to cause problems, what if instead of a Harry Potter shirt, it was a very anti-religion shirt?  Would you say such a shirt is also not appropriate for work, and if not, why not?

One more question that I thought of, though this is going off on a tangent and isn't related to the point I'm working towards with the other three questions.  In some video games, especially MMOs, it's not uncommon for a few pieces of armor to look like normal, full-body plate mail on male characters, but end up incredibly revealing on female characters.  Personally, this is one of those things I'd classify as "sexist, but not a problem", but again, my definition of sexist is probably not right.  However, there is at least one game where the highly-revealing female armor is equally revealing male armor - a chest piece that can be aptly described as "boob plate" on a female character, when worn on a male character, is little more than a few leather straps across his chest connected to a tiny piece of metal "armor" that's only slightly bigger than his fist.  Would you consider such armor sexist, seeing as how it is equally revealing and impractical on both sexes?

Offline Vorian

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #157 on: November 26, 2014, 04:00:07 AM »
One more question that I thought of, though this is going off on a tangent and isn't related to the point I'm working towards with the other three questions.  In some video games, especially MMOs, it's not uncommon for a few pieces of armor to look like normal, full-body plate mail on male characters, but end up incredibly revealing on female characters.  Personally, this is one of those things I'd classify as "sexist, but not a problem", but again, my definition of sexist is probably not right.  However, there is at least one game where the highly-revealing female armor is equally revealing male armor - a chest piece that can be aptly described as "boob plate" on a female character, when worn on a male character, is little more than a few leather straps across his chest connected to a tiny piece of metal "armor" that's only slightly bigger than his fist.  Would you consider such armor sexist, seeing as how it is equally revealing and impractical on both sexes?

I'd just like to voice my disagreement with the bolded part. I like having sexy armor options when they're applied equally, but that sort of double standard is exactly when and why it is a problem.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 04:07:54 AM by Vorian »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #158 on: November 26, 2014, 05:52:18 AM »
Instead of building to a point, Sethala, would it not be easier just to make it?  As I've said, I don't agree with the premise of your questions, and us debating whether they are valid questions and then me thinking about what I think of them and then me misspeaking and having to clarify and...it all just seems like a colossal waste of time.  Particularly when there is nothing preventing you making your point without this elaborate foreplay. 

Offline Shjade

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #159 on: November 26, 2014, 11:12:31 AM »
No, the intent wasn't for this to be victim blaming, the intent was just to set up a hypothetical situation where he could wear the shirt if no one was offended by it, but had to remove it if someone was offended by it.  The thought exercise is basically the idea of, "if this literally does not affect anyone in a negative way, is it still bad?"

The answer to that is, "Possibly, yes."

If no one in your workspace thinks the shirt is a bad thing, seeing it being treated normally reinforces the idea that "this is normal, this is fine," which then gives them cause to be even more resistant to the idea that similar circumstances might not actually be fine since "people at the office do X all the time and no one gets upset about it," etc.

Your hypothetical setup is still assuming that sexist material isn't sexist until someone gets offended by it. That's not how it works.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #160 on: November 26, 2014, 12:40:13 PM »
I'm really sorry Sethala, I made a reslly fucking snippy post for reasons unrelated to you, but it was still you who had to put up with it. You deserved and deserve better. Sorry. Took a bad mood out on you.

Shjade is right though, or at a minimum I agree with Shjade.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #161 on: November 26, 2014, 02:38:58 PM »
No worries Kythia, it happens.

Anyway, the main point I was trying to get at was along these lines: if the shirt is offensive, is it a larger problem because it's being worn in an industry that already has problems with female representation, and would other possibly offensive items (the Harry Potter or atheist examples) also be an issue, even if the demographic the potential offense is directed at isn't being marginalized by the industry as a whole?  Though I am curious about the third question I asked, I assume that you would say someone getting offended by a Harry Potter shirt is rather silly, but I'm curious if you would think a shirt that basically says "I'm an atheist" would be inappropriate for a work environment the same way Matt's shirt is.

Also, what you and Shjade mention does bring up another point I'd like your opinion of.  Obviously, you think this shirt is inappropriate for a workplace.  Would you think the shirt is still a problem if it's, say, only worn by Matt on his days off, when he's lounging around at home or hanging out at a bar?

I'd just like to voice my disagreement with the bolded part. I like having sexy armor options when they're applied equally, but that sort of double standard is exactly when and why it is a problem.

Generally agree, I think that if a game is going to include sexy armor, unless it's already intended to be a fetish-focused game (hello, Scarlet Blade), it should include sexy armor options for both sexes.  Though I do love the recent trend in MMOs to include some kind of armor appearance changing system, that lets you take armor you like the look of and apply it to the armor you're actually wearing because of stats, and I think that this at least makes the skimpy armor more acceptable, even if it's not completely balanced between male and female.

Online Oniya

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #162 on: November 26, 2014, 03:23:58 PM »
Just for definitions' sake, 'Harem Anime' is where the male protagonist is pursued by numerous females (sometimes for comic effect).  Two prime examples would be Tenchi Muyo, and to a slightly lesser extent Ranma 1/2.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #163 on: November 26, 2014, 03:27:26 PM »
Well lets be clear, Sethala, I don't not object to Harry Potter shirts because I think being offended by them is silly.  I do, as it happens, think being offended by them is silly but I would require a pretty exlpicit world wide mandate before I could claim that my likes and dislikes are the metric the entire world should use.  I have no issues with Harry Potter shirts because there is no evidence to suggest anyone is being harmed by them.  If it became clear religious people were being harmed by Harry Potter shirts then I think they are inappropriate.  If it turned out environmentalists are being harmed by crucifixes then I think they are inappropriate.  If it turned out sports fans are being harmed by "Save the Whales" shirts then I think they're inappropriate.  And so forth.  What I think is inappropriate is creating a hostile and unwelcoming atmosphere at work through something so easily changed - everything else is a specific outgrowth of that.

If there is evidence that action X disciminates against demograph y then, all else being equal (which covers a whole host of off topic topics, but I think you get my drift) then action x shouldn't be done at work.

There is and should be different rules for work and hanging around with your friends.  Generally there are too many situations that fall into the classification of "not work" to really give examples but my metric for what's appropriate and what isn't is above.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #164 on: November 26, 2014, 03:41:32 PM »
Well lets be clear, Sethala, I don't not object to Harry Potter shirts because I think being offended by them is silly.  I do, as it happens, think being offended by them is silly but I would require a pretty exlpicit world wide mandate before I could claim that my likes and dislikes are the metric the entire world should use.  I have no issues with Harry Potter shirts because there is no evidence to suggest anyone is being harmed by them.  If it became clear religious people were being harmed by Harry Potter shirts then I think they are inappropriate.  If it turned out environmentalists are being harmed by crucifixes then I think they are inappropriate.  If it turned out sports fans are being harmed by "Save the Whales" shirts then I think they're inappropriate.  And so forth.  What I think is inappropriate is creating a hostile and unwelcoming atmosphere at work through something so easily changed - everything else is a specific outgrowth of that.

If there is evidence that action X disciminates against demograph y then, all else being equal (which covers a whole host of off topic topics, but I think you get my drift) then action x shouldn't be done at work.

There is and should be different rules for work and hanging around with your friends.  Generally there are too many situations that fall into the classification of "not work" to really give examples but my metric for what's appropriate and what isn't is above.

Fair enough.  I think I'll just have to agree to disagree that such a shirt is actually harmful (although part of that may be my thought that people in general need to grow thicker skin and stop saying that the reason they can't do X is because something offends them).  I do think you have a point that when the environment is already not welcoming towards women, having a shirt like this that can be offensive to someone because they're a woman can magnify the problem, but I think that if there were no real problem and no barriers to entry, having a minor thing like this isn't an issue.

Just for definitions' sake, 'Harem Anime' is where the male protagonist is pursued by numerous females (sometimes for comic effect).  Two prime examples would be Tenchi Muyo, and to a slightly lesser extent Ranma 1/2.

I will say that there's also male harem anime, which is where a female protagonist is pursued by numerous males (and probably some gay/lesbian harem anime out there somewhere), and my mention of it earlier was referring to either type.

Online Oniya

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #165 on: November 26, 2014, 04:31:28 PM »
I will say that there's also male harem anime, which is where a female protagonist is pursued by numerous males (and probably some gay/lesbian harem anime out there somewhere), and my mention of it earlier was referring to either type.

Interesting - don't think I've encountered that in the mainstream anime that we get here.  (Which is to say, the stuff that is commonly available dubbed.) 

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #166 on: November 26, 2014, 04:46:37 PM »
It's definitely not as mainstream, at least in the US (no idea how popular it is in Japan).  I have heard of a few, though it's not as interesting as female harem anime to me.  I think I've seen a handful advertised on the anime I've got on DVD, though.

Offline Sho

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #167 on: November 26, 2014, 10:13:42 PM »
@Sethala

I've seen you make the point that you think there's a good chance that women are less capable than men when it comes to STEM fields (or less genetically geared towards STEM).

That is an absurdly insulting idea, and I've got to say, I haven't seen any proof from you yet (though I may have missed it). Having that general idea in your mind is exactly the problem that feminists are fighting against (leaving aside the shirt, since I do think that I've touched on that point enough); if people think women are less capable when it comes to STEM, they are encouraged not to enter STEM, and thus women don't go into STEM. Short explanation for a major problem.

I'd like to ask you to provide some proof for what you've asserted you think is true - that women are genetically less inclined to enter STEM fields, or that they are somehow hard-wired, on average, to be less capable in those fields. It's a bold claim to make, and saying "I think this, maybe..." doesn't make it any less necessary to provide proof.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #168 on: November 26, 2014, 10:26:23 PM »
@Sethala

I've seen you make the point that you think there's a good chance that women are less capable than men when it comes to STEM fields (or less genetically geared towards STEM).

That is an absurdly insulting idea, and I've got to say, I haven't seen any proof from you yet (though I may have missed it). Having that general idea in your mind is exactly the problem that feminists are fighting against (leaving aside the shirt, since I do think that I've touched on that point enough); if people think women are less capable when it comes to STEM, they are encouraged not to enter STEM, and thus women don't go into STEM. Short explanation for a major problem.

I'd like to ask you to provide some proof for what you've asserted you think is true - that women are genetically less inclined to enter STEM fields, or that they are somehow hard-wired, on average, to be less capable in those fields. It's a bold claim to make, and saying "I think this, maybe..." doesn't make it any less necessary to provide proof.

I apologize if I was assertive before, but I do not believe this is actually true, merely that it's a possibility.  This is merely an untested and unsubstantiated hypothesis, and I was arguing in a hypothetical sense, not implying that this was the case, though I apologize for making it seem otherwise.  Further, I don't believe that this is in any way a good excuse to say that any one particular woman would be less valuable than a man in these fields.  The only thing that this would matter for is explaining why there are less women than men in STEM fields, not for saying that they don't belong in such fields.

Edit: I went through the thread and found where I jumped in.  My first assertion, and one that I was wrong to make without proper evidence, was that women may be genetically predisposed to not enjoy entering such fields, not that they were less capable of it.  I went off on a minor tangent replying to your initial response, and mentioned that them being less able to work in such fields is possible, but clarified my point that I wasn't talking about capability, rather talking about aptitude.  Someone else picked up on that post and I continued the discussion from there, though I stopped repeating myself that I didn't think this was likely, merely possible.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 10:39:22 PM by Sethala »

Offline Shjade

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #169 on: November 27, 2014, 12:22:06 AM »
Also, what you and Shjade mention does bring up another point I'd like your opinion of.  Obviously, you think this shirt is inappropriate for a workplace.  Would you think the shirt is still a problem if it's, say, only worn by Matt on his days off, when he's lounging around at home or hanging out at a bar?

At home: no. That's your personal business, whatever. Is it still a sexist shirt? Probably. Should that matter to anyone if you're just enjoying it by yourself at home? No.

I mean hell, I do all kinds of things that have horrible implications on my own time, in my own space. I don't take it out with me where it might have an impact on someone.

Still, you shouldn't be surprised if, upon inviting a guest over, you discover they're not thrilled by what you decided to wear to greet them. Not that they have a right to dictate what you wear, but you can't really demand they feel okay about it, either.

As for hanging out at a bar: *shrugs* Depends on the bar, I guess? I don't go to bars.

Addendum: it's fair to say this pretty much covers all the bases.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 12:49:41 AM by Shjade »

Offline Kythia

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Offline Shjade

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #171 on: November 27, 2014, 01:06:55 AM »
And I only found it 6 days late. ;p

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #172 on: November 27, 2014, 09:44:43 AM »
Left the discussion for a while because, frankly, I was not in top form, and others were making the point better.

That article was awesome, Shjade. linked from it and worthy of highlighting in its own right was this. Can we please drive a stake through the heart of the "horrible feminist backlash" meme now? (Probably not.)



And the sort of consent mainstream feminism is focused on, particularly the sort of consent that led to California SB 967 and the general "ongoing affirmative/enthusiastic consent", turns almost all forms of consensual BDSM play into sexual assault. Much like with the anti-science micro-aggressions within feminism (and I think that terminology fits remarkably well) the puritanical anti-aggressions which lead to consensual BDSM becoming sexual assault and lead to images of "pinup" style women being self-evidently wrong are worth looking at.

Left this untouched earlier in my step back, but I really want to address it, because seriously?

Have you actually read SB 967? Because... well, it doesn't remotely do what you're claiming. In fact, I learned about affirmative consent as defined there from, and continue to find the greatest support for it in, BDSM circles. The concept is actually really, really simple: Only have sex with people who have agreed to it in ways they've agreed to. I'm involved in relationships with a fairly strong D/s element right now that are built on that foundation. So... no, this is pretty blatantly false.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 12:57:03 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Vorian

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #173 on: November 27, 2014, 03:16:08 PM »
Generally agree, I think that if a game is going to include sexy armor, unless it's already intended to be a fetish-focused game (hello, Scarlet Blade), it should include sexy armor options for both sexes.  Though I do love the recent trend in MMOs to include some kind of armor appearance changing system, that lets you take armor you like the look of and apply it to the armor you're actually wearing because of stats, and I think that this at least makes the skimpy armor more acceptable, even if it's not completely balanced between male and female.

While that does allow for greater control over a character's appearance, in this case it's a band-aid over the problem at best. There's still a very obvious and pervasive double standard in the available options, or at least there was back when I played. Outside of leather armors women were almost entirely limited to bikini cut gear and dresses, while men lacked sexy or revealing armors entirely to the best of my recollection. That has to change on both ends for the extra appearance customization to mean anything. (I also have mixed feelings about it on account of roleplaying disconnect, but that's a separate and much less important consideration.)

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #174 on: November 28, 2014, 02:28:56 AM »
While that does allow for greater control over a character's appearance, in this case it's a band-aid over the problem at best. There's still a very obvious and pervasive double standard in the available options, or at least there was back when I played. Outside of leather armors women were almost entirely limited to bikini cut gear and dresses, while men lacked sexy or revealing armors entirely to the best of my recollection. That has to change on both ends for the extra appearance customization to mean anything. (I also have mixed feelings about it on account of roleplaying disconnect, but that's a separate and much less important consideration.)

Oh certainly, given the choice I would say that any game that makes sexy armor for female characters should have equally sexy armor on males, in addition to an appearance-changing system to let people avoid sexy armor if they don't like it (or, in my case, keep the look of sexy armor even if it doesn't have good stats).  That's not to say that every single piece of armor has to look the same on males and females, but it shouldn't look like full-body plate armor on guys and metal bikinis on girls.

Offline Florence

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #175 on: November 28, 2014, 04:32:29 PM »
My opinion, simply put: Is the shirt sexist? Yes. Should he have known better than to wear it on television? Certainly. Is it a bigger deal than landing on a friggan comet? No. No it is not.

As far as sexist things go, this is like... bottom rung priority. I consider myself a feminist, but honestly, I don't really care. The shirt was stupid, but making some huge scandal out of it is almost equally stupid in my opinion. Its a shirt. A really tacky shirt.

The fact that it managed to overshadow landing a robot on a comet is... somewhat depressing.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #176 on: November 28, 2014, 11:12:15 PM »
So, I kind of want to give a bit of closing comments before leaving the discussion...

First, did Matt Taylor screw up by wearing the shirt on TV?  Yeah, big time.  I'm really curious why no one tried to stop him, although part of me wonders if he wore it on purpose as a way to say "thank you" to the woman that made it for him, thinking of it as sentiment that he's wearing something she made without really thinking about what it actually is he's wearing.  Did he screw it up bad enough to be fired for it?  If his job was "PR guy", then yeah, I'd say this is a big enough mistake to lose that job unless he was really good at it otherwise.  Since his job is "science guy" though, screwing up on something that's not his job shouldn't have that big of a punishment.  Reprimanded maybe, definitely told that they'll be watching what he wears to such interviews more closely, but he should at least be able to still be the science guy.

Now, as for wearing the shirt to work?  I can see a lot of jobs where such a shirt would be highly inappropriate.  If your job was to sell stuff to customers, for instance, wearing a shirt like that would definitely be a bad idea (unless you were selling bondage fetish gear...).  Anything involving meeting clients or generally people outside of the company seeing you, yeah, that's a bad idea to wear a shirt like that.  But if you work in a very closed area with a lot of tight-knit people that know you pretty closely, without people outside your work group seeing you in the context of work?  I could easily see something with a bit more personal touch that happens to be possibly offensive as allowable.  Not in every group, certainly, but I don't think any of us know enough to completely condemn him for it.  We certainly don't know enough to say whether the environment as a whole is unwelcoming to women just because he sometimes wears that shirt, at any rate.

At the end of the day, it's still a shirt.  Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things that really are keeping women out of science fields, or even denying the accomplishments of women already in such fields; you guys have made that abundantly clear throughout the thread.  And yes, an environment that allows such a shirt without question may very well be an environment that is biased against women, but insisting that this must be the case is pretty flimsy logic.  Really, campaigning against a shirt isn't going to accomplish much.  Even if you end up banning sexist shirts from the industry, that's not going to change bias that people already have - heck, making outcries like this may end up making the bias even worse, as people who were already bias now have one more thing they can point at and say some inane crap along the lines of "See, this is why women/feminists are a joke and shouldn't be allowed here".  Focus on the real issues, the things that can be clearly shown to be important biases that have a clear, visible effect on people's lives.  You can't win an argument by shouting louder than the other guy, and trying to just makes people wonder if all that shouting is really necessary.

Granted, I can't deny one thing that was effective about this mess, and that was getting people's attention.  I generally don't care about feminist matters until they intersect with something I know or care about enough to get involved, and if it wasn't for such a loud outcry about the shirt, I probably would never have bothered to learn about the issues that women actually face.  Even if I think this is a lot of shouting about nothing, the dialog that came from reasonable discussion after the shouting was gone was productive.

Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #177 on: December 14, 2014, 01:08:22 AM »
Apologies for the late reply (and bringing the thread back up), but I missed this the first time.

Left this untouched earlier in my step back, but I really want to address it, because seriously?

Have you actually read SB 967? Because... well, it doesn't remotely do what you're claiming. In fact, I learned about affirmative consent as defined there from, and continue to find the greatest support for it in, BDSM circles. The concept is actually really, really simple: Only have sex with people who have agreed to it in ways they've agreed to. I'm involved in relationships with a fairly strong D/s element right now that are built on that foundation. So... no, this is pretty blatantly false.

Have you read SB967?

Specifically these parts (emphasis mine):

Quote
An affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by both parties to sexual activity. “Affirmative consent” means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time.

That's fine in a vanilla relationship... it's a distinct improvement in fact. Of course both partners should engage in enthusiastic, ongoing sex... and if one suddenly seems to lose interest or "freeze up" then of course the other should check if they still want to continue rather than take a "I've started so I'll finish" attitude.

But in BDSM play?

Let's give a simple example. My partner and I have gone through informed consent and we're taking it strictly. Both of us know what we're planning to do in the play session and both of us refuse to go any further even if the other partner wants to "push their limits" during the play itself (acknowledging the effect that subspace can have on someone's ability to make decisions they'd be happy with when they come out of it). We have a safe word... hell, let's say we go for one of those more complex three-versions of a safe word system which correspond to traffic lights (one for stop immediately, one for keep going but lower the intensity, one for speed up because I want more). We do some play and despite whoever is in the sub role crying, screaming, being in pain, pulling away and generally appearing scared, upset and in distress they never say the safeword and never intended to. We finish playing, hug, talk about what we liked and didn't like and both came to the conclusion that we had an awesome fun session that we'd love to do again.

Perfect right? And under the way that consent used to be assessed absolutely fine.

But not under SB967.

How can a sub who is "crying, screaming, being in pain, pulling away and generally appearing scared, upset and in distress" possibly be seen as "affirmatively consenting"? Their every action and reaction is exactly the opposite. Under the old system that's fine because they hadn't said "no" (the safeword) and thus consent was still there. But under this one? As soon as one stops affirmatively consenting through word or deed then it becomes sexual assault. It doesn't matter that the safeword wasn't used. It doesn't even matter that the sub wanted to continue. As soon as the sub showed signs of distress or that they "weren't into it" (and BDSM play frequently includes people appearing to "not be into it" regardless of if they actually are) the dom would have to confirm affirmative consent or anything further is sexual assault.

Which means under a SB967 framework, BDSM play would seemingly have to take one of three forms:

1) Incredibly mild and largely cheesy play which becomes little more than a sub sticking their bottom out and going "please, spank me".

2) The dom stopping every minute (or, depending on the play possibly even few seconds) to re-establish affirmative consent.

3) The need for yet another safeword that the sub would have to say every minute (or, depending on the play possibly even few seconds) to confirm they were affirmatively consenting to the play.

Does any of that sound like an enjoyable or practical way to engage in BDSM?

In your D/s themed relationship has there been a moment during play where you or your partner(s) didn't appear to be affirmatively consenting? Where, despite not saying the safeword, if one simply looked at how they were acting and reacting one might think that you/they weren't enjoying it? Did you/they cry out in pain after a blow was struck? Did you/they try to move away as the other partner(s) approached with a flogger in hand? Etc Etc.

Because if any of those situations did occur and you didn't immediately stop to reestablish affirmative consent then under SB967 whoever was in the dom role for all of part of the play didn't just engage in BDSM play between consenting adults fully informed of what was to happen and able to end it at any time for any reason. They engaged in sexual assault.

And that's the simple issue here.

BDSM play features a vast number of situations where the entire point of the play actively goes against affirmative consent. Non-con roleplay is the obvious example... that quite clearly falls foul of it. But any play which puts the sub in seeming distress or pain is likewise in the firing line. Any play which a sub (while in the scene and not using their safeword) appears hesitant or reluctant to do falls foul. Anywhere where the sub says "no" (but without using the safeword because they don't actually want the scene to stop) is pretty much gone. Anywhere where at any point one could look at the scene and the only reason you assume you have consent is because the safeword hasn't been used is now no longer classed as consensual, regardless of what the participants want.

Welcome to SB967.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #178 on: December 14, 2014, 06:13:36 AM »
I dunno. 

OK, imagine I'm an actress and something bad is happening to the character I portray.  I'm crying (because I'm an awesome actress and can do that at will), begging for it to stop, etc etc etc and generally giving all the signs that I want whatever is happening to stop (with, I might point out, Oscar winning  in a way critics will later describe as "fucking awesome")  Noone would reasonably think that I, Kythia, wanted it to stop solely that my character did.

Now, sure, there's no law, that I know of, saying "actors must continually affirm that they want to carry on acting" but there are laws about slave labour and the like.  Noone would claim that because I gave all the signs of wanting this to end and it didn't that I was being forced in to doing it.

I can see where you're going - that my lack of protesting/silence through saying the safeword can't be taken as agreement that I want you to flog me with your flogger (I googled them.  I don't - for the avoidance of doubt - want you to flog me with your flogger.  If you were running to your car, flogger in hand, then please stop) but that would translate to the second I stopped screaming "yes" in a more vanilla encounter being me revoking consent.  And noone, yourself included, thinks that that is how the law would work: "That's fine in a vanilla relationship... it's a distinct improvement in fact. Of course both partners should engage in enthusiastic, ongoing sex"

I'm neither a lawyer nor a BDSM person (while I recognise you are both) which may change matters, but just going on the words in the snippet you provided it doesn't seem to me to say that you need to be constantly nodding and saying "what's next?  I am looking forwards to it and wish to engage in it".  It seems to be saying that I can revoke my consent at any time; and that will necessarily take different forms.  Hell, it'll take different forms at different stages of a vanilla sexual encounter: if I decide before we start I don't want to go ahead I'd convey that in a different way to how I would if things were already moving. 

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #179 on: December 14, 2014, 10:11:01 AM »
The optimist in me wants to agree with you, Kythia, but the cynical/pessimist side wants to point out that, should anyone get arrested for "sexual assault" in the middle of BDSM play for whatever reason, it also requires the judge/jury/lawyers to also understand that BDSM play will often look like one side isn't giving consent.

As an aside, I know that at least in Minnesota, if anyone's arrested for assault (not just sexual assault), the state is required to prosecute even if no one presses charges.  I'm not sure how this would apply to someone falsely arrested during BDSM play, but I assume it would end up with an arrest and court appearance even if the sub says everything was consenting.

Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #180 on: December 14, 2014, 10:14:41 AM »
I dunno. 

OK, imagine I'm an actress and something bad is happening to the character I portray.  I'm crying (because I'm an awesome actress and can do that at will), begging for it to stop, etc etc etc and generally giving all the signs that I want whatever is happening to stop (with, I might point out, Oscar winning  in a way critics will later describe as "fucking awesome")  Noone would reasonably think that I, Kythia, wanted it to stop solely that my character did.

Now, sure, there's no law, that I know of, saying "actors must continually affirm that they want to carry on acting" but there are laws about slave labour and the like.  Noone would claim that because I gave all the signs of wanting this to end and it didn't that I was being forced in to doing it.

I don't think the comparison holds up. Forced labour in the USA is governed by 18 U.S. Code § 1589 which states:

Quote
(a) Whoever knowingly provides or obtains the labor or services of a person by any one of, or by any combination of, the following means—
(1) by means of force, threats of force, physical restraint, or threats of physical restraint to that person or another person;
(2) by means of serious harm or threats of serious harm to that person or another person;
(3) by means of the abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process; or
(4) by means of any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause the person to believe that, if that person did not perform such labor or services, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint,
shall be punished as provided under subsection (d).

None of those would apply to a situation where an actress (who for the avoidance of doubt is freely and consensually acting in the scene) appears distressed while acting. Likewise in the UK it's governed by s71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 which states that:

Quote
A person (D) commits an offence if—

(a)D holds another person in slavery or servitude and the circumstances are such that D knows or ought to know that the person is so held, or

(b)D requires another person to perform forced or compulsory labour and the circumstances are such that D knows or ought to know that the person is being required to perform such labour.

Again, I can't see how that would apply to an actress (who for the avoidance of doubt is freely and consensually acting in the scene) appears distressed while acting.

I can see where you're going - that my lack of protesting/silence through saying the safeword can't be taken as agreement that I want you to flog me with your flogger (I googled them.  I don't - for the avoidance of doubt - want you to flog me with your flogger.  If you were running to your car, flogger in hand, then please stop) but that would translate to the second I stopped screaming "yes" in a more vanilla encounter being me revoking consent.  And noone, yourself included, thinks that that is how the law would work: "That's fine in a vanilla relationship... it's a distinct improvement in fact. Of course both partners should engage in enthusiastic, ongoing sex"

Consent comes from word and deed... just as one didn't necessarily have to outright say "no" to revoke consent previously one doesn't have to deliberately say "yes" to affirm consent now. As long as one seems to be actively and freely engaging in the sex then it would seem that affirmative consent is there. So in relatively vanilla sex the fact that both partners are moaning lustily, moving their hips, running their hands over each others bodies, talking dirty, grinding away etc etc would seemingly be affirmative consent.

The issue is that in BDSM play that frequently doesn't happen. By both word and deed whoever takes on the sub role frequently does the exact opposite. Remember that consent can be withdrawn at any time and under a SB967 style regime consent is withdrawn the moment someone doesn't appear to affirm their consent... so any reluctance, hesitation, backing away, being upset etc etc requires the other party to immediately check that the other party is affirmatively consenting or be guilty of sexual assault.

I'm neither a lawyer nor a BDSM person (while I recognise you are both) which may change matters, but just going on the words in the snippet you provided it doesn't seem to me to say that you need to be constantly nodding and saying "what's next?  I am looking forwards to it and wish to engage in it".  It seems to be saying that I can revoke my consent at any time; and that will necessarily take different forms.  Hell, it'll take different forms at different stages of a vanilla sexual encounter: if I decide before we start I don't want to go ahead I'd convey that in a different way to how I would if things were already moving.

It changes what "revoking consent" means though. In a "no means no" style system then once sex had started one had to actively do something to indicate they'd revoked consent, even if it didn't necessarily require them to outright say "no" (and why the inclusion of safewords meant that BDSM play wasn't sexual assault). Now consent is revoked the moment one party isn't affirmatively consenting to it. Take this brief VERY NSFW BDSM clip (tubesite) for example... does the sub appear to be affirmatively consenting to her treatment, especially in the first 30 seconds or so? Or in this STILL NSFW largely softcore pro-wrestling themed trailer (MP4)? Or this STILL NSFW Superheroine in Peril style largely softcore trailer(MP4)? Now, replace the actresses and actors doing a paid film with an amateur couple doing it for their own enjoyment... is the person in the sub role clearly affirmatively consenting throughout the play? Because if they're not at that point whoever's in the dom role would have to stop, break the scene and find out if they were.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #181 on: December 14, 2014, 10:54:15 AM »
OK, that makes sense.

Finally, and I recognise this is a side issue, but you mention:

Quote
We do some play and despite whoever is in the sub role crying, screaming, being in pain, pulling away and generally appearing scared, upset and in distress they never say the safeword and never intended to.

Do laws around sexual consent even apply to a situation like that?  Assuming this is during the flogging, I mean.  There's nothing in flogging that I would call sex, is there something there the law would?  Or is the "correct" language to use that of assault and whether or not when can consent to that.  Can you?  (Consent to assault, I mean)

Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #182 on: December 14, 2014, 11:42:13 AM »
Do laws around sexual consent even apply to a situation like that?  Assuming this is during the flogging, I mean.  There's nothing in flogging that I would call sex, is there something there the law would?  Or is the "correct" language to use that of assault and whether or not when can consent to that.  Can you?  (Consent to assault, I mean)

On whether hitting someone with a flogger constitutes sexual assault.

The key here is s3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 which states:

Quote
(1)A person (A) commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally touches another person (B),

(b)the touching is sexual,

(c)B does not consent to the touching, and

(d)A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

"Touching" can include touching with an object rather than just with your own body. So if hitting someone with a flogger counts as sexual touching (and in BDSM play I'd argue it does) then hitting someone with a flogger without their consent does constitute sexual assault. It may also constitute one of the so-called non-fatal offences as well (likely battery, ABH or GBH).

As for whether one can consent to assault/that class of non-fatal offences (assault, battery, ABH and the two types of GBH) in the UK the general principle is "no"; if two people in a pub have an argument, one says "let's take this outside", the other agrees, the pair go outside and have a (consensual) fight where one gets injured, the other person can't use the fact the other consented as a defence. However there are a number of exceptions; every day life (so you can't claim you were battered because someone pushed into you while crowding into a train or bus), tattoos/piercings, sporting activity within the laws of the sport (which is why tackling is allowed in football and boxing is allowed at all for example) and a controversial one relating to "horseplay" are the most common

As for how that applies to BDSM it's a difficult position. I laid out some analysis in this thread but the basic position is that it's somewhat of a legal grey area already. Because of competing case law as things stand it appears that BDSM play (and likely normal sex but that hasn't been tested in court) that constitutes ABH (so leaves any bruises or marks on the skin) or worse can't use consent as a defence unless it is similar to one of existing exceptions. So we have somewhat strange situation where if one consensually spanks another on the bottom and leaves bruises it will likely be no defence that the other party consented but if I (consensually) brand or scarify someone else then consent may well be a defence (on the basis it's similar to tattooing) despite the harm being much greater.

While not tested by the courts (and not raised during the BDSM prosecutions I'm aware of) the "horseplay" defence may be the best one; in essence if one consents to "rough and undisciplined play" and there was no intention to case injury (mere foresight of bruising (or even of greater harm) not being sufficient) then consent can be raised as a defence. There are issues here though... whether BDSM constitutes "rough and undisciplined play" is one, whether it can be said that certain types of BDSM play have no intention to cause injury is another and whether the defence would even be extended is another; horseplay generally covers "japes" (to use an entirely inappropriate term) with the two leading cases being a schoolboy receiving birthday bumps which led to a broken arm and a bunch of drunken RAF officers setting fire to another was the other.

Online Oniya

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #183 on: December 14, 2014, 11:58:23 AM »
I would think that the key to this would be the 'and' nature of the law as you've described it (meaning that all points listed must be present.)  In the case of BDSM, not only does point (c) fail - B consents to the touching, but point (d) would fail as A would reasonably believe that B consented as per the ongoing nature of their relationship and arrangement of safewords etc.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #184 on: December 14, 2014, 12:40:45 PM »
I should like to point out that in BDSM play affirmative consent IS given. It would be simplistically easy to argue that a submissive has given consent and continues to give consent during a scene by not invoking their 'safe word'. Now if that's ignored you may have something, otherwise, the idea that the police will be breaking down doors and arresting people for bdsm play is utterly ridiculous.

In fact if the worst did occur when the 'victim' testifies that the play was entirely consensual, no prosecutor worth his salt is going to prosecute.

Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #185 on: December 14, 2014, 01:20:21 PM »
I would think that the key to this would be the 'and' nature of the law as you've described it (meaning that all points listed must be present.)  In the case of BDSM, not only does point (c) fail - B consents to the touching, but point (d) would fail as A would reasonably believe that B consented as per the ongoing nature of their relationship and arrangement of safewords etc.

The discussion here is if an "affirmative consent" regime is put in place... in which case B likely wouldn't be "consenting" to the touching (as they weren't affirmatively consenting to it if they were in pain, crying, screaming etc etc) and A may struggle to claim that he reasonably believed that B was consenting (would a reasonable man believe that B is affirmatively consenting to being hit again by crying, screaming and being in pain etc etc). Remember that as per SB967 silence or resistance or a lack of protest (i.e. not saying the safeword) doesn't constitute consent and any existing or past relationship is ignored (so the ongoing nature of their relationship is irrelevant).

I should like to point out that in BDSM play affirmative consent IS given. It would be simplistically easy to argue that a submissive has given consent and continues to give consent during a scene by not invoking their 'safe word'. Now if that's ignored you may have something, otherwise, the idea that the police will be breaking down doors and arresting people for bdsm play is utterly ridiculous.

1) Again, as per SB967, it doesn't matter if the person in the sub role didn't use their safe word; "Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent". Safe words are based on the "no means no" theory of consent; the safe word is the person in the sub role saying no and as such is sacrosanct while anything else they say or do can (within reason) be taken as being part of the play. But in a "yes means yes"/affirmative consent theory they fail woefully because they fall squarely into the "lack of protest/silence" area.

A sub should be giving affirmative consent at the start of play; I wouldn't engage in it if they didn't. But affirmative consent has to "be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time." That means if at any point during the play the sub doesn't appear to be affirmatively consenting to the play then it has to stop or it becomes sexual assault.

2) The police already have kicked down doors for people engaging in consensual BDSM play; R v Brown is still one of (and arguably) the leading cases on consensual BDSM play in the UK (and Europe following their failed appeal) and there it was held that it was utterly irrelevant whether the so-called "victims" consented or not.

3) SB967 relates to a colleges policies rather than criminal law/the police and colleges/universities are utterly bi-polar in the way they deal with sexual assault; on one hand they generally treat people who report assaults against themselves poorly but on the other hand if they do decide to engage with it they tend to treat male alleged aggressors incredibly badly and with very little due process; this is a great, in depth article, that covers sexual assault in colleges in general but I'll pick out one statistic from it (original source here); United Educators (an insurance group for higher education) did a study of the cases where they'd paid out for claims against institutions relating to the way they dealt with sexual assault between 2006 and 2010. 72% of those payouts when to the accused, almost all young men who had had their due process rights infringed.

In fact if the worst did occur when the 'victim' testifies that the play was entirely consensual, no prosecutor worth his salt is going to prosecute.

1) I'm sure this isn't your intention but I'm incredibly hesitant about accepting any argument that touches on "well, it may technically be sexual assault but the victim won't report it/testify and so it's OK". That has profoundly worrying consequences.

2) Likewise I find it extremely troubling to be in a situation where I am technically guilty of sexual assault and rely entirely on the fact that a college/prosecutor won't take it further.

3) Remember, under SB967 the person in the sub role hasn't consented unless they affirmatively consent throughout the process. It doesn't matter if they actually did consent in their mind or they wanted the play to go on... the responsibility falls on each party to ensure the other is affirmatively consenting and so if the person in the sub role doesn't appear to affirmatively consent at any point and the person in the dom role doesn't stop to ensure they are then they're committing a sexual assault, regardless of the subs internal wishes.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #186 on: December 14, 2014, 05:17:16 PM »
Also, SB-967 didn't create a new state law governing sexual acts between consenting adults, it:
Quote
require the governing boards of each community college district, the Trustees of the California State University, the Regents of the University of California, and the governing boards of independent postsecondary institutions, in order to receive state funds for student financial assistance, to adopt policies concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking that include certain elements, including an affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by a complainant. The bill would require these governing boards to adopt certain sexual assault policies and protocols, as specified, and would require the governing boards, to the extent feasible, to enter into memoranda of understanding or other agreements or collaborative partnerships with on-campus and community-based organizations to refer students for assistance or make services available to students. The bill would also require the governing boards to implement comprehensive prevention and outreach programs addressing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. By requiring community college districts to adopt or modify certain policies and protocols, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

It just mandates schools adopt this policy to receive state funds.

And how does a case in the United Kingdom have bearing on a new statute in California?

Also, you're reading way too much into this.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #187 on: December 14, 2014, 05:58:27 PM »
I think you're misunderstanding the point a little, Apple of Eris.

Non SB-967 consent laws are like a taxi.  You can sit back and relax and do nothing until you say "I'd like to stop here please."  SB-967 is like riding a bicycle, you have to constantly reaffirm that you want to move or you won't.  I, personally, think that is a good thing, but thats off topic a little except  for the fact that it is being held up in various places as that same "good thing" which, of course, raises the possibility that other places - states or nations - will adopt something similar.  So the fact that it only mandates schools is a bit of a distraction, whats being discussed is the principle of consent laws.

Consortium's worry, which he has to a greater or lesser extent convinced me is valid, is that that model of consent is problematic in BDSM.  That raises a discussion, obviously.  Do we care that consent in BDSM would be dubious under those laws?  Is it maybe worth penalising BDSM play if it decreases rape?  Is it possible to come up with a grand unified model of consent that doesn't have issues?  Etc.  I'm taking no stance (here) on those and similar questions, simply pointing out that a discussion around the validity of the SB-967 model includes them.

As to how a case over here affects a California statute, I'm...honestly a little confused by your question.  You stated, and I'm quoting your entire post and highlighting the relevant bit:

Quote
I should like to point out that in BDSM play affirmative consent IS given. It would be simplistically easy to argue that a submissive has given consent and continues to give consent during a scene by not invoking their 'safe word'. Now if that's ignored you may have something, otherwise, the idea that the police will be breaking down doors and arresting people for bdsm play is utterly ridiculous.

In fact if the worst did occur when the 'victim' testifies that the play was entirely consensual, no prosecutor worth his salt is going to prosecute.

It's not at all clear that you're talking solely about California statutes if that's what you were doing, and certainly not about ones that affect school and wouldn't, in the first instance, be investigated by the police.  Because you don't mention it and in fact arguably mention facts that count against that interpretation.  Consortium mentions a UK case in which something broadly similar did happen in an attempt to show that the bit of your post I bolded above has in fact happened - regardless of whether its ridiculous or not. 

Does that answer your objections?

Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #188 on: December 14, 2014, 06:17:22 PM »
Also, SB-967 didn't create a new state law governing sexual acts between consenting adults, it:
It just mandates schools adopt this policy to receive state funds.

Which I noted above.

And how does a case in the United Kingdom have bearing on a new statute in California?

Because there is a growing campaign to get similar changes to the way consent in viewed in the UK, both within universities and in general.

Also, you're reading way too much into this.

Just a week or two ago it became illegal for VoD websites based in the UK to include various BDSM activities in their content. BDSM is already in a legally grey area in the UK. Certain (admittedly on the extreme end of the extreme) BDSM websites and videos are already de-facto illegal... and there have been attempted prosecutions over urethral sounding and fisting videos. We've seen the nasty specter of obscenity laws raised twice in recent years, including a prosecution for someone selling BDSM DVD's.

As someone who enjoys and engages in consensual BDSM play with other people who enjoy and engage in it and writes BDSM-based stories online am I meant to sit back and relax when it comes under threat from yet another attack from yet another angle? Especially when supporters of that sort of change make clear that they don't mind if something is bad law or if they restrict what counts as consent too far as long as it has the aim of reducing rape (see Ezra "The Yes Means Yes laws creates an equilibrium where too much counts as sexual assault. Bad as it is, that's a necessary change" Klein).





Kythia's basically got it.

I don't object to "yes means yes" in principle or with regard to what we'd consider "vanilla" relations. I think if it were to be implemented widely there would be some issues to begin with but they come down to how people react to the change rather than the change itself; rightly or wrongly (and I'd say very much wrongly) it's generally seen as being "normal" that men initiate sexual encounters and women react. If we're in a situation where men are waiting for the woman to "say" yes (noting that it's through word and/or deed) but women are reluctant to do so not because they're not interested but because they're so used to not initiating or worried about being seen as a"slut" then it could be a little awkward as things work out. Perhaps my biggest fear in that regard is that the men who have actually educated themselves about affirmative consent and take it seriously are going to be hesitant about going forward... while the men who (while not being rapists) don't really care or know about it and just push forward... and get the girl.

But as I say, that's not a concern with the change itself. It's a concern with the reaction and the reaction can be overcome.

But transferred to a BDSM context? Then the issue isn't the reaction to the change, it's the change itself. If people are willing for essentially "innocent" people in vanilla interactions to fall foul of it in the name of the greater good (see Klein above) then why should we expect them to be more merciful to BDSM... which despite 50 Shades taking (a bastardised version of) it into the mainstream remains a largely misunderstood and ignored minority? If it is argued that something that classified all of BDSM as sexual assault would help lower rapes and sexual assaults how many people would be willing to stand up for BDSM? And how many would be willing to sacrifice it?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #189 on: December 15, 2014, 03:59:37 PM »
This may be my Canadian "state stays out of the bedroom" perspective, but... consortium, you seem awfully caught up on appearances rather than matters of fact. The law does not state that both parties must appear to be actively consenting to a third party with no understanding of their relationship or dynamic; it says they must be consenting. As such, "I was consenting and enjoying myself." "So was I." would appear to be an absolute defense and case closed.

(And before you protest that it shouldn't get as far as court: The entire reason "not guilty" verdicts exist is because, as a society, we have accepted that sometimes we will arrest and try people who have committed no crime.)

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #190 on: December 15, 2014, 07:33:38 PM »
This may be my Canadian "state stays out of the bedroom" perspective, but... consortium, you seem awfully caught up on appearances rather than matters of fact. The law does not state that both parties must appear to be actively consenting to a third party with no understanding of their relationship or dynamic; it says they must be consenting. As such, "I was consenting and enjoying myself." "So was I." would appear to be an absolute defense and case closed.

(And before you protest that it shouldn't get as far as court: The entire reason "not guilty" verdicts exist is because, as a society, we have accepted that sometimes we will arrest and try people who have committed no crime.)

I'd like to point back to my comment about Minnesota law: The state is required to prosecute in assault cases (just assault, not sexual assault, although I assume sexual assault is similar) after someone is arrested, even if the "victim" doesn't want to press charges.  On paper, this is intended for the benefit of abused spouses that can't bring themselves to press charges against an abusive partner, but all it takes is a concerned neighbor overhearing a couple's BDSM play and calling the police because they think someone's actually getting hurt.

Edit: Scrubbed the aside, apologies, bad day at work.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2014, 07:46:32 PM by Sethala »

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #191 on: December 15, 2014, 10:30:47 PM »
Once again, this isn't in Minnestoa so Minnesota law doesn't apply. This law doesn't even apply to anyone except people in schools accepting state funds. It's not like bob and janet will be in their trailer in the San Bernadino mountains and the state cops come kicking the door in cuz Bob has Janet in a hogtie and gag.

But I'm out of this one.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #192 on: December 15, 2014, 11:19:28 PM »
Once again, this isn't in Minnestoa so Minnesota law doesn't apply. This law doesn't even apply to anyone except people in schools accepting state funds. It's not like bob and janet will be in their trailer in the San Bernadino mountains and the state cops come kicking the door in cuz Bob has Janet in a hogtie and gag.

But I'm out of this one.

Just because a law doesn't affect you right now, doesn't mean you shouldn't argue against it if it's something that would impact you if it came to where you are.  Precedence is an important factor for people making laws, and if a law seems to work in one area, it's going to be much more readily adopted in other areas.

Also, while I'm talking about Minnesota law specifically, it's only because that's the only state I have personal experience with, and I wouldn't be surprised if other states have similar laws.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #193 on: December 16, 2014, 12:09:05 PM »
I'd like to point back to my comment about Minnesota law: The state is required to prosecute in assault cases (just assault, not sexual assault, although I assume sexual assault is similar) after someone is arrested, even if the "victim" doesn't want to press charges.  On paper, this is intended for the benefit of abused spouses that can't bring themselves to press charges against an abusive partner, but all it takes is a concerned neighbor overhearing a couple's BDSM play and calling the police because they think someone's actually getting hurt.

Edit: Scrubbed the aside, apologies, bad day at work.

I was not talking about police discretion - or in fact about police at all. Sure, the state is forced to prosecute - and when they do, "we were both consenting" is an absolute defence.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #194 on: December 16, 2014, 12:39:25 PM »
I was not talking about police discretion - or in fact about police at all. Sure, the state is forced to prosecute - and when they do, "we were both consenting" is an absolute defence.

As I understand consortium11's position - and my apologies to him if I'm misrepresenting him - the problem is that they weren't consenting because the legal definition of consent, which is obviously the one that matters in a courtroom, has changed.  They were both agreeing, sure, but technically they weren't consenting. 

Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #195 on: December 16, 2014, 03:44:45 PM »
This may be my Canadian "state stays out of the bedroom" perspective, but... consortium, you seem awfully caught up on appearances rather than matters of fact. The law does not state that both parties must appear to be actively consenting to a third party with no understanding of their relationship or dynamic; it says they must be consenting. As such, "I was consenting and enjoying myself." "So was I." would appear to be an absolute defense and case closed.

(And before you protest that it shouldn't get as far as court: The entire reason "not guilty" verdicts exist is because, as a society, we have accepted that sometimes we will arrest and try people who have committed no crime.)

1) As above, I find any argument that can be described as "well, yeah, it was a sexual assault but the other party won't go to the authorities/say it was and the authorities won't press charges" incredibly problematic.

2) Again, as per SB967 the other person wasn't consenting. Consent is required to be affirmative and ongoing throughout. If at any moment one of the parties wasn't affirmatively consenting then consent is removed... that's basically the key thing about the change from "no means no" to "yes means yes". "No means no" means, once you've kicked off, you can keep going until the other party indicates you shouldn't. "Yes means yes" means you stop as soon as the other party isn't saying yes. It doesn't matter if they say after the event they consented (even if mentally they did the entire time)... at the time they weren't and thus, sexual assault.

Anything other than ongoing affirmative consent under SB967 isn't consent. Not any more. Not saying "no" (or not using a safeword) is no longer consenting. Simply lying there and taking it isn't consent. You have to, for lack of a better term, be "asking for it" (through word or deed) for there to be consent.

3) Under SB967 it is the responsibility to each party to make sure for themselves that the other party is affirmatively consenting throughout. Going "well, they'll say they consented afterwards" (even if you know) that's the case) isn't good enough. You need to check throughout and at any point where affirmative consent seemingly isn't being given, check it is.

I find it somewhat striking that the defence for SB967 with regards to BDSM breaks down to either "pretend SB967 doesn't exist and everything's exactly the same as it was before" or "well, yes, you're committing a sexual assault but it's unlikely anyone is going to go after you for it so you'll be fine."

I don't think that those behind SV967 and similar measures (or campaigning for them) have gone out of their way to target BDSM and frankly, I doubt too many even bothered to consider what the impact would be. What I'd like is some recognition of how they're turning the majority of BDSM into sexual assault and some discussion on why they think it's acceptable to treat BDSM as collateral damage in their wider campaign.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #196 on: December 16, 2014, 03:49:29 PM »
...how exactly is the state proving the case with literally zero evidence?

My defense is not "well it's sexual assault but who cares"; it is "It might be mistaken for sexual assault, but that's a factor we already accept as okay for every other crime".

Offline Garuss Vakarian

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #197 on: January 05, 2015, 09:34:52 AM »
"Man Mat's shirt is so sexist! He is a pig. Mysogynist. Opressor! He should be ashamed! Im glad he cried on tv! "


"OMG! This shirt is the best! Yay celebs wear it >_< "




Dark Truth: The company that makes the shirt "This is what a feminist looks like" Runs a sweatshop. Paying the women essentially 1 dollar an hour, for most of their day, these women sleep in a small room where they essentially lay on the floor, and some even sleep on top of each other. It's ok though, they signed the contract so it's legal. What is it these women say though? Oh yeah. "We dont feel like we are equal." Of coarse they dont, their treated like slaves. But dont listen to me, because thats what a feminist looks like, and no one likes to acknowledge how ugly feminism has become. Heres a link to an article on it. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2817191/62p-HOUR-s-women-sleeping-16-room-paid-make-Ed-Harriet-s-45-Feminist-Looks-Like-T-shirts.html

Look into their eyes, and tell me you think they are treated fairly. Feminism is a sinking ship, if your a good person and have a lick of sense. Take my advice, bail now. Take your chances in the river, for the ship will sink you.




It's sad when a shirt made by a women, gets a man bullied for it's some what erotic nature. A man humiliated, his lifes work made a joke, his proudest moment ruined, brought to tears before the general public. When a shirt made by oppressed women is praised as the best shirt for a feminist to wear. Such is the gross hypocrisy that is modern feminism. To be honest, it deserves to be treated like a joke, men and women like the bullies who bullied Matt are the reason no one can take it seriously any more. And it is disgusting people like the company whom owns that shirt, who as the article said. Set women back. One small step for evil, 10 steps back for for feminism. A sad day indeed.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 09:41:10 AM by Garuss Vakarian »

Offline Caehlim

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #198 on: January 05, 2015, 11:01:21 AM »
Dark Truth: The company that makes the shirt "This is what a feminist looks like" Runs a sweatshop.

The company that manufactures the shirt Compagnie Mauricienne de Textile, is a private company who work for a lot of different clients. One of those clients is the Whistles clothing brand, that produces these shirts and then donates the profits to the charity known as the Fawcett society. Given that the Fawcett society is a feminist labour rights focused charity, it's rather embarassing for them to have not looked into the conditions under which a product linked to their name is manufactured.

However despite the Fawcett society's lengthy pedigree within feminist circles dating back to a suffrage movement in 1866, they are not feminism incorporated. One charity, who have unwisely contracted out their slogan to a private company to assist with fundraising, doesn't speak for feminism as a movement or philosophy.

Being a feminist requires more than wearing a shirt with a catchy slogan and debating feminism requires more than criticizing the factory in which said shirts are made.

Quote
Paying the women essentially 1 dollar an hour, for most of their day, these women sleep in a small room where they essentially lay on the floor, and some even sleep on top of each other. It's ok though, they signed the contract so it's legal. What is it these women say though? Oh yeah. "We dont feel like we are equal." Of coarse they dont, their treated like slaves.

So... do we shut down CMT? They're only one company amongst many that operate under these sorts of conditions, and unfortunately their wages are legal under Mauritius industrial law. Even if we could, do you really think that's best for these women. They chose to travel there deliberately because even though those wages are low by our standards, they're better than the jobs that are available back in their home countries. As one of the women said:

‘It is awful but we have no choice. In my country, the rupees I earn here are worth three times as much as they are in Mauritius.'

Raising the standards of living for these women will require more than criticizing a feminist shirt, they'll need serious economic growth in Bangladesh (the country the woman I quoted was from) to place these women on a footing to be able to demand better. The Whistles clothing company or the Fawcett Society withdrawing their contract to manufacture their shirts at CMT won't benefit these women, they'll just have even more labour to set up their work-areas for a different contract.

Quote
Look into their eyes, and tell me you think they are treated fairly.

Look at the label on the clothing you're wearing, do some research, find out under what conditions it's made and prepare to wince.

Full disclosure: Given how cheap the clothing I'm wearing was at K-mart, it was almost certainly made in a sweatshop but it's all I can afford.

Offline Blythe

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #199 on: January 05, 2015, 11:57:50 AM »
Feminism is a sinking ship, if your a good person and have a lick of sense. Take my advice, bail now. Take your chances in the river, for the ship will sink you.

I want to address this. Yes, the treatment of those women is deplorable and I hope that's addressed.

I don't believe the solution about feminism is to tell those practicing it correctly to abandon it because of those who do not seem to be holding to feminist ideals. Ceding control of a movement to groups practicing it incorrectly does not seem like a viable answer. All that does is make the problems people have had with feminism far worse.

I'd much rather see strong-voiced feminists who care about women, about equality, speak out against the treatment of women in sweatshops and do things the right way than abandon feminism, personally. Rather than tell people to stop practicing feminism, I'd much rather encourage people to jump in and practice it the right way and reclaim it.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #200 on: January 05, 2015, 12:10:13 PM »
Yeah, its somewhat difficult to see how "Some women are being treated poorly" leads to "We should abandon a movement that seeks to ensure women aren't treated poorly."

Offline Cycle

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #201 on: January 05, 2015, 12:41:06 PM »
Feminism is a sinking ship, if your a good person and have a lick of sense. Take my advice, bail now. Take your chances in the river, for the ship will sink you.

What do you mean by this, exactly?

The Oxford Dictionary defines "feminism" as follows:  "[ˈfeməˌnizəm]  NOUN   the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men."

So, you are suggesting that we, as a society, should stop advocating for women to have equal political, social, and economic rights as men?  And take our chances doing what instead?


« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 12:42:17 PM by Cycle »

Offline Silk

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #202 on: January 05, 2015, 01:54:11 PM »
What do you mean by this, exactly?

The Oxford Dictionary defines "feminism" as follows:  "[ˈfeməˌnizəm]  NOUN   the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men."

So, you are suggesting that we, as a society, should stop advocating for women to have equal political, social, and economic rights as men?  And take our chances doing what instead?

Well the common one is that with that definition entirely excludes avocation of mens rights to be equal to women, it leads to a issue that is often seen in modern feminism. An example if you will.

A man has to work for 8 hours and gets paid £6 a woman works for 6 hours and gets paid £6. Which on paper is a fair deal, but when you say a man makes makes £48 in a days work, but a woman makes £36 in a day's work it becomes unfair, so the woman get's her pay raised to £8 so they both result in £48 a day. But there is no avocation that the man is now working 2 hours more for the same pay as the woman.

Not saying that feminism doesn't do that, but it barely gets a fraction of the attention that discrepancies against women gets. This includes, jail time for same crime. Boys grades in schools, Domestic violence, rape (In many counties erections are seen as consent regardless of the mans wishes) Suicide rates, false child support claims. Although these issues are slowly getting more attention and addressed more, its almost never under the banner of "Feminism" even though it might be a feminist advocating it.


Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #203 on: January 05, 2015, 02:01:50 PM »
OK, even if it were correct that feminism paid no attention to men's issues (or issues that disproportionately affect men, to phrase it a little better) - which it isn't - that still wouldn't be a valid point.  Are you objecting to any movement that doesn't try to address every single problem in the world?  Because that's simply not a sensible position to take.  So yeah, even if we grant your demonstrably untrue premise, it wouldn't matter in the slightest - working towards women's equality would still be a good thing.

Offline Silk

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #204 on: January 05, 2015, 02:08:29 PM »
It's quite simple really. One, I didn't say feminism didn't I said it doesn't get the attention, nor the banner of feminism rallying cry about them. Just thought I'd correct you there. Also, in a objective sense, equality is a balance between, which means you need a balance of focus. You can't have a scale which has one side with 4kg of sugar and the other with 5kg of butter, then make it equal by giving the side with sugar 5kg of butter but only give the other side 2kg of sugar if you want the scale to be balanced.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #205 on: January 05, 2015, 02:11:22 PM »
It's quite simple really. One, I didn't say feminism didn't I said it doesn't get the attention, nor the banner of feminism rallying cry about them. Just thought I'd correct you there. Also, in a objective sense, equality is a balance between, which means you need a balance of focus. You can't have a scale which has one side with 4kg of sugar and the other with 5kg of butter, then make it equal by giving the side with sugar 5kg of butter but only give the other side 2kg of sugar if you want the scale to be balanced.

I'm sorry, I don't understand your point, it's been a long day at work.  Could you explain that again please?

Offline Silk

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #206 on: January 05, 2015, 02:21:13 PM »
If you have a scale. Lets call it the equality scale.  Two sides, Males and females. Currently the scale is out of balance. Males have 6 kg of butter, while females have 4kg of sugar. Now for an organization that wants to get the balance between the two to reach equality, you can't just give females 3kg of the 6kg of butter and give males 1kg of sugar then call it a day. Because that isn't balanced. It would be women with 3kg of butter and 3kg of sugar, while males have 3kg of butter and 1kg of sugar.

If equality is to be achieved then the balance must be struck, otherwise it's just going to be imbalanced the other way. Which a lot of people are of the growing view that Feminism's version of equality is just for females to have the same amount of butter as men, while not really caring about that women have 4kg of sugar over men. When true equality would be for them both to have 3kg of butter and 2kg of sugar. Its a matter of give and take, and recently Feminism has done a whole lot of taking.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #207 on: January 05, 2015, 02:25:53 PM »
If you have a scale. Lets call it the equality scale.  Two sides, Males and females. Currently the scale is out of balance. Males have 6 kg of butter, while females have 4kg of sugar. Now for an organization that wants to get the balance between the two to reach equality, you can't just give females 3kg of the 6kg of butter and give males 1kg of sugar then call it a day. Because that isn't balanced. It would be women with 3kg of butter and 3kg of sugar, while males have 3kg of butter and 1kg of sugar.

If equality is to be achieved then the balance must be struck, otherwise it's just going to be imbalanced the other way. Which a lot of people are of the growing view that Feminism's version of equality is just for females to have the same amount of butter as men, while not really caring about that women have 4kg of sugar over men. When true equality would be for them both to have 3kg of butter and 2kg of sugar. Its a matter of give and take, and recently Feminism has done a whole lot of taking.

OK, sorry for not following you earlier.

What on earth makes you think that is happening?  Do you have anything to back that up, or is it just the impression you've been left with?  Not to claim that your impression is ignorable, but clearly it makes a difference whether this is a problem of perception or of fact.

Offline Silk

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #208 on: January 05, 2015, 02:30:18 PM »
This is just my personal perception in response to what Cycle posted and what appears to be the growing consensus of people who are losing favor of Feminism in general. Objectively right or no, that seems to be what's getting peoples goat.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #209 on: January 05, 2015, 02:33:46 PM »
So how would you suggest that is overcome?  Taking you as the type specimen, what would convince you (and, by extension, others)that you're mistaken?

Offline Silk

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #210 on: January 05, 2015, 02:42:48 PM »
For me personally, it would be more time to be focused on things I personally feel that matter. Currently we have much larger uproars about scientist's T-shirts and video games than we do about one sex having 4 times the suicide rates other another. Or that systematically boys are disadvantaged within school settings and that we are trying to change boys to fit schools instead of schools to fit boys. Not that it's just feminists faults in that regard, media certainly doesn't help. Also the cherry picking of information to suit needs would be a nice change of pace. It's kinda like the anti-vaccination thing going on. One study, that was founded to be a complete fraud. Is about the only evidence given in support. Yet it's still screamed and lorded as the be all of end all and all evidence to the contrary is shouted down or otherwise ignored.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #211 on: January 05, 2015, 02:51:18 PM »
Do you have any examples of that cherry picking, or is it again a matter of perception - that it appears to you there is cherry picking happening even if you can't point to any of it?  Again, both are valid but the distinction matters.

As to the bulk of your post, yeah I know that over here (UK) white working class males are systematically underperforming in schools, its a fairly big issue.  Firstly, I return to the point that even if feminism had nothing at all to say on this matter it would still not make feminism a bad thing - just as, say, gay rights organisations have nothing to say on that matter. 

Feminism has, though, engaged with the it- there's a really interesting book about it available online which traces through the subject. 

I suspect the issue here is with the media you choose to consume being more receptive to short, easily discussed matters like a shirt or whatever rather than ones that require more in depth analysis.  In short, I think your issue is 100% with the media but I can understand how it looks like an issue with feminism. 

All I can really suggest is that you have a scout around and look in to the issues.  Obviously, as I think has been clear by my posts, I think you're mistaken on this point.  But I can't, I dunno, forcefeed it to you. 

EDIT:  Managed to use "matter" three times in one sentence.  *hangs head in shame*
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 02:55:44 PM by Kythia »

Offline Silk

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #212 on: January 05, 2015, 02:55:55 PM »
http://aspiringeconomist.com/index.php/2009/09/11/rape-statistics-1-in-4/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-hoff-sommers/wage-gap_b_2073804.html

Not sure on their validity as they were quick Google searches, but you get the idea. Anyway getting off topic and I got assignments to write so I won't respond for a while.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #213 on: January 05, 2015, 03:01:14 PM »
Fair enough, there are some problems with validity there but I certainly don't want to distract you from assignments.  It was good talking with you and best of luck with the schoolwork.

Offline Cycle

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #214 on: January 05, 2015, 03:28:56 PM »
I don't understand how you came to this conclusion (emphasis added):

Well the common one is that with that definition entirely excludes avocation of mens rights to be equal to women, it leads to a issue that is often seen in modern feminism.

From this definition:

The Oxford Dictionary defines "feminism" as follows:  "[ˈfeməˌnizəm]  NOUN   the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men."

I bolded something that is relevant:  equality.  One equals one.  Two does not equal one.  One does not equal two. 

Thus, that definition actually does call for men's rights to be equal to women's.

Equal is equal.


Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #215 on: January 05, 2015, 03:33:48 PM »
Do you have any examples of that cherry picking, or is it again a matter of perception - that it appears to you there is cherry picking happening even if you can't point to any of it?  Again, both are valid but the distinction matters.

To pick out a topical example, a stat that was frequently paraded around during the recent UVA rape scandal (and one that both Biden and Obama have repeated and used) was that one in five women will be sexually assaulted while at college/university in the US and a woman is actually at more risk of being sexually assaulted if she goes to college then if she doesn't. However the study this is based on is of two universities and even with a financial reward for those taking part the response rate was very low. Even the lead author of the study states that "We don’t think one in five is a nationally representative statistic" and "In no way does that make our results nationally representative."

On a side note much of what I talk about here is discussed in this article, an excellent piece that came about as a response to the Rolling Stone UVA rape debacle.
Another example from the same topic that gets cited is that the actual situation is even worse; one in four women in college will be raped. The issue. The responses to the study actually indicated that 1.7% of the respondents had been raped. First, the 1.1% of attempted rapes are bundled in to give 2.8%. Then, as the study only covered a 6 month period they doubled it to 12 months. Then they concluded that as they only covered a year and most people spend five years at college they should multiply the number by five... hence roughly 25% (although that should still be cited as either suffer rape or attempted rape). For comparison, a 25% rate of being raped would mean that a US female college student is marginally more likely to be raped than a woman in the Congo where rape is regularly used as a punishment.

For obvious reasons it's fairly difficult to find completely water-tight, accurate figures on sexual assaults in general. It is worth noting though that the National Crime Victimisation Survey found the rate of completed or attempted sexual assault on college age females was 0.6% between 1995 and 2013. While there are some issues with the methodology and it may under-represent the total amount, those issues are far less consuming then those used in the studies above. There's an interesting discussion within the study above about the difference between the studies and the responses.

One swallow doesn't make a summer (or a study as my typo originally said and I thought was too appropriatly to be taken out completely) and I'd be the first to agree with you that one, some or even lots of feminists using bad statistics to make their points does nothing to invalidate feminism itself. But it is worth noting that the feminists using such stats tend to have the biggest platforms, the loudest microphones and the most important friends. When you have the President of the United States of America trying to set national policy on the basis of statistics that the author says shouldn't be considered nationally representative but which have been loudly and repeatedly used by feminists everyone should be concerned.

Offline Garuss Vakarian

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #216 on: January 05, 2015, 03:42:08 PM »
Blyth: I didnt even have to finish reading, your right. What I mean to say, is feminists with actual sense and reasoning should keep themselves from the ones who complain about a mans shirt, call gamers misogynist's and act like any one who disagrees with radical statements are sexist or simply indoctrinated women. Women whom are actually intelligent, and seek not to be viewed among radical and all be it narrow sighted feminists should try to speak louder. Theres not much to sugar coat when I say there are some twisted people that are respected as feminist's. Look at Briana Wu, she went on tv multiple times and is treated like a victim. And for some time respected amoung the twitter following of feminists. (Which is a gross incalcuable amount of women who say things like #gamergate is why we need #killallmen)

Silk: How about a story to show an action beyond cherry picking, more in the realm of gross social behavior: Back in november, a single mom was killed by a sick and disturbed man whom put photos of it on 4 chan. I, as most other normal human beings would show at the very least basic human empathy. Instead she goes on to twitter to say : Police investigate 4 chan link to murder. Gamergate, please tell me how my life is not in danger?

Notice how the narcissist looks at a tragedy, which should never have happened. And makes it about HER. To what depths of selfish and out right idiotic behavior are men and women like this not willing to sink to in order to further their own bs political agenda and garner more attention? 4 chan is not gamer gate, it in fact has completely sided against gamergate and deletes or blocks any post or person mentioning it. 4 chan is not connected to gamer gate, yet this moron doesnt even know her  own ally's and connects dots to say that this guy based on his connection to 4 chan is connected to gamergate. Further the killer was simply a disturbed man in need of mental help, but never received it and therefor it resulted in tragedy. Being a sexist is not what matters in the situation, the fact that she was a women does not matter, it doesnt make it less or more tragic.

Yet brianna makes it about HER. Look at this word, and you will define Brianna Wu, Zoey Quin, Anita Sarkesian, and any sjw on twitter in general. Narcisism:

1: An obvious self focus on interpersonal relations and exchanges.
2: A lack of psychological awareness.
3: A difficulty with Empathy
4: Problems distinguishing ones self from others.
5: Hyper sensitivity to any insult, or imagined insult
6: Detesting those whom do not admire, adhere, or agree with you
7: Using other people without considering the cost's of doing so
8:Pretending to be more important then you really are
9: Claiming to be an expert at many fields, even without proper knowledge or education
10: An inability to view the world in the perspective of others, or basic human ability to understand other points of view.

 (I dont mean to use the tragic incident, I merely mean to shine a light on the self serving behavior of a un empathetic women. I understand the views of feminism, I just dont understand the radical things people say and do. Her actions are detestable, by any rational person. There for my own disagreement with her opinion is not the point of my mentioning of this. I considered the costs of using her, I understand I am using Briana as an example, I chose to do so with this knowledge weighing the benefit of putting light on a subject vs me being viewed as sexist. This is the action of a women that is not liable for out cry but liable for remembrance. To remember who she really is. I am not offended, I am disgusted. But my disgust is for her having no care for the grieving, simply wanting to further her own personal image.)

We are all susceptible to being a bit full of ourselves, but a narcissist is an extreme. An extreme which these women and men are.

Kythia: (Edit: I feel as though my sarcasm was mean, I apologies for it. Being mean was not the intent.) Tell me, is there anything you can provide to back up your argument that mens rights are a concern for feminist? I assure you, by a margin it is not. If I went and began talking about men's rights id be labeled a misogynist, laughed off stage. Oh, heres evidence that  the radicals dont fucking care about men though:

Meet Ms. Valenti, a so called literary pillar in the feminist community.
Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

Thank you ms.Valenti for your unbias support of all genders, I can sleep well at night knowing you represent my best interests in social change, and the treatment of the sexes. I tottaly feel like I matter, after all. SHE SWIMS IN MY TEARS.

Oh, and this is a quite popular mug
Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide



Cycle: Egalitarian, the belief that all men, women, colors, sexuality's are equal.

Feminism: The avocation of womens rights.

A feminist can be: Aglitarian.

A feminist can also be: Sexist, racist, narcissistic, or down right stupid.

Dont automatically assume feminism equals mens rights as well as women. It does not. It is a movement based ENTIRELY, on womans rights. A feminist, CAN care for mens. But they DONT have to, to be FEMINIST. It is a clear misunderstanding, that just because your feminist, it means you care for all sex's. It doesn't. It simply, doesn't. At some point, people got to realize it is not all it's cracked up to be. It really, really is not. Ive met good feminists, despicable ones that yell in a mans face for asking her the time of day, and down right conniving ones always trying to set a situation in their favor. (To look good, and full fill an agenda.) All humans are liable to error, to evil actions. Feminists, are human beings to. And feminism, is simply a social movement, not a word that means equal rights. Egalitarian: Word for equal rights. Feminism: Name of a social movement.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 04:01:17 PM by Garuss Vakarian »

Offline Silk

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #217 on: January 05, 2015, 03:50:59 PM »
I don't understand how you came to this conclusion (emphasis added):

From this definition:

I bolded something that is relevant:  equality.  One equals one.  Two does not equal one.  One does not equal two. 

Thus, that definition actually does call for men's rights to be equal to women's.

Equal is equal.

Except it's not equal because it implies attention to a simple facet. With almost all examples I've seen it's always compared to women, (Unless it's more in which case it's compared to men) It's loaded language.

Example with this.

http://imgur.com/gallery/n01WW

It starts off well, then it goes back to having the mens issues focused on women. Instead of it just being a mans issue. It decides to go "Like women". Well why does it have to be made about women again? Why is it only given credibility when it's made into a woman's issue?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #218 on: January 05, 2015, 03:53:27 PM »
Kythia: Tell me, is there anything you can provide to back up your argument that mens rights are a concern for feminist? I assure you, by a margin it is not. If I went and began talking about men's rights id be labeled a misogynist, laughed off stage. Oh, heres evidence that  the radicals dont fucking care about men though:


I've already posted a link to a book in this thread, and in the female conscription one I reference another instance.  What sort of thing are you looking for in addition to what I've already provided?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #219 on: January 05, 2015, 04:01:13 PM »
Sorry, consortium, I somehow managed to miss your post entirely.  Whoops.

Yeah, bad reporting of stats is a problem (and certainly not one limited to this issue).  My concern was with the characterisation of "cherry picking" more than the existence of bad stats though.  Cherry picking implies a level of malice that reporting and repeating bad stats doesn't.  I'm obviously not goign to sit here and claim that no feminist anywhere in the world has ever maliciously used bad stats, I imagine they have and I imagine five seconds of Google could find where.  But, painting the movement as a cherry picking one is a separate claim that I don't feel has been justified.

Offline Garuss Vakarian

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #220 on: January 05, 2015, 04:16:19 PM »
I've already posted a link to a book in this thread, and in the female conscription one I reference another instance.  What sort of thing are you looking for in addition to what I've already provided?

Allow me to qoate from my response on the other thread a bit:

Quote
Listen, in the past things were probably more civil. Male rights advocates and womens rights advocates worked together on common goals, thats great. But, I dont think they would today. Frankly, watch women who protest at men rights events, and you can see there is no getting along there any more.

The thing is, I wont pretend to know any suffering you faced. I wont pretend to know how these things make you feel. But, believe me, there are many out there who view feminists as bullies, and mean spirited people. Not out of ignorance, it is because a lot have acted in these past few years as mean spirited Bullies. As with my description of narcissism, one who chooses not to perceive the opinions of others is a narcissist. And believe me, if you dont share the opinions of these people, your either considered evil or indoctrinated. They would say it to your face. I can be as nice as humanly possible on twitter, and still be called a women hater about ten or fifteen times. But if I were to call Anita a misandrist, if I were to say any ill. I would probably be doxxed (Personal information pulled and given out on the internet. Doxxing is popular in the feminist circles on the web.), and ridiculed. What am I asking here? Stop looking to the past, women from before are not the women in the now. Though they accomplished much, does not mean current feminists accomplish anything other then looking bad, and nit picking in order to stay relevant. My point? My point in those pictures is, they dont care. If they did, they would consider the oppression a male may feel by wearing a shirt like that. Just as they say mat should have considered the oppression women would feel by wearing his shirt. It is a hypocrisy before you in those pictures. That was my point.

Edit: I dont hate feminism, I dont hate feminists, I am just tired of the crap. Get back on track, face real issues, not pointless social justices, like some guys shirt.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 04:23:53 PM by Garuss Vakarian »

Offline Cycle

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #221 on: January 05, 2015, 04:17:26 PM »
Cycle: Egalitarian, the belief that all men, women, colors, sexuality's are equal.

Feminism: The avocation of womens rights.

Your definition is not consistent with the general definition of this term.

Cambridge Dictionary Online:  "an organized effort to give women the same economic, social, and political rights as men"

Wikipedia:  "Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies which share a common stated aim: to define, establish, and defend equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment."

Ubran Dictionary:  "The belief that women are and should be treated as potential intellectual equals and social equals to men. These people can be either male or female human beings, although the ideology is commonly (and perhaps falsely) associated mainly with women.

"The basic idea of Feminism revolves around the principle that just because human bodies are designed to perform certain procreative functions, biological elements need not dictate intellectual and social functions, capabilities, and rights.

"Feminism also, by its nature, embraces the belief that all people are entitled to freedom and liberty within reason--including equal civil rights--and that discrimination should not be made based on gender, sexual orientation, skin color, ethnicity, religion, culture, or lifestyle.

"Feminists--and all persons interested in civil equality and intellectuality--are dedicated to fighting the ignorance that says people are controlled by and limited to their biology.

"Feminism is the belief that all people are entitled to the same civil rights and liberties and can be intellectual equals regardless of gender. However, you should still hold the door for a feminist; this is known as respect or politeness and need have nothing whatever to do with gender discrimination."

Note this last definition specifically mentions the belief that all people should be treated equally.  Not just women.  Not just men.  But all people.


Example with this.

http://imgur.com/gallery/n01WW

Interesting example.  To quote (emphasis added): 

"A lot of time feminism is seen as man-hating at whatever. I did not consider myself a feminist for a long time because of this. However, the majority of feminists, the feminists that aren't all up in yo face are not looking to hate your manness. We are merely trying to make the world a little safer for everyone. That means I will treat women the same for sexual harassment as I do for men. That means I will not belittle a man's sexuality and masculinity. Everyone should feel free to be who they are in a safe environment."


Offline Garuss Vakarian

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #222 on: January 05, 2015, 04:28:08 PM »
Your definition is not consistent with the general definition of this term.

Cambridge Dictionary Online:  "an organized effort to give women the same economic, social, and political rights as men"

Wikipedia:  "Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies which share a common stated aim: to define, establish, and defend equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment."

Ubran Dictionary:  "The belief that women are and should be treated as potential intellectual equals and social equals to men. These people can be either male or female human beings, although the ideology is commonly (and perhaps falsely) associated mainly with women.

"The basic idea of Feminism revolves around the principle that just because human bodies are designed to perform certain procreative functions, biological elements need not dictate intellectual and social functions, capabilities, and rights.

"Feminism also, by its nature, embraces the belief that all people are entitled to freedom and liberty within reason--including equal civil rights--and that discrimination should not be made based on gender, sexual orientation, skin color, ethnicity, religion, culture, or lifestyle.

"Feminists--and all persons interested in civil equality and intellectuality--are dedicated to fighting the ignorance that says people are controlled by and limited to their biology.

"Feminism is the belief that all people are entitled to the same civil rights and liberties and can be intellectual equals regardless of gender. However, you should still hold the door for a feminist; this is known as respect or politeness and need have nothing whatever to do with gender discrimination."

Note this last definition specifically mentions the belief that all people should be treated equally.  Not just women.  Not just men.  But all people.


Interesting example.  To quote (emphasis added): 

"A lot of time feminism is seen as man-hating at whatever. I did not consider myself a feminist for a long time because of this. However, the majority of feminists, the feminists that aren't all up in yo face are not looking to hate your manness. We are merely trying to make the world a little safer for everyone. That means I will treat women the same for sexual harassment as I do for men. That means I will not belittle a man's sexuality and masculinity. Everyone should feel free to be who they are in a safe environment."

Ok, so how about Masculinism? That could just as easily be the word of equal rights. Thats simply all about males right? Feminism is all about womens rights. The word may have equal rights in a dictionary, but I wont use it. It doesnt represent me, it represents women. Why adopt a word with Femininity in it as the word for equal rights of both genders? Why not use a word with gender ambiguity? Or right, because.... Reasons!

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #223 on: January 05, 2015, 04:30:23 PM »
Or right, because.... Reasons!

I've never understood that saying.  "Oh, you do this because you have reasons do you?  Not like me, I never have a reason for anything.  Fuck you and your oppressive insistence on having reasons for doing things."

Offline Garuss Vakarian

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #224 on: January 05, 2015, 04:36:09 PM »
Well, my understanding of the saying is that is is told in jest. Or at least thats how I use the saying. As meant to provide a bit of humor, make things less tense in heated arguement. Ya know?

When I say Reasons! I say it in a hyper voice, and a ditsy attitude. Which is not aplicable in a forum, It's more funny in person. lol >_<

Offline Caehlim

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #225 on: January 05, 2015, 04:42:55 PM »
I've never understood that saying.  "Oh, you do this because you have reasons do you?  Not like me, I never have a reason for anything.  Fuck you and your oppressive insistence on having reasons for doing things."

Personally I always understood it as having one of two meanings.


1. "I support the change of men's uniforms to have extremely tight pants because... reasons."

Wherein you're suggesting that you have a reason, expect everyone to be able to guess the reason but remaining vague so as not to directly incriminate yourself. (In this case it's a "nudge-nudge I want to oggle men in tight trousers but you didn't hear it from me")

On the interwebs this would usually be accompanied by some sort of illustrative picture to make the reason even more clear, while still not directly saying it. In the case of the above example perhaps a photo of the men in tight pants from a suggestive angle or a suspiciously extreme close-up.

or

2. "John's not a racist, he just doesn't like black people because... reasons."

In which case you're mocking the very idea that the person has reasons and implying that they actually don't. Potentially also used to draw attention to someone being vague as to their reasons while suggesting that they have them.


Personally I suspect the quoted example you used is an example of type 2, or at least that was my interpretation.

Offline Shjade

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #226 on: January 06, 2015, 01:05:31 AM »
Ok, so how about Masculinism? That could just as easily be the word of equal rights. Thats simply all about males right? Feminism is all about womens rights. The word may have equal rights in a dictionary, but I wont use it. It doesnt represent me, it represents women. Why adopt a word with Femininity in it as the word for equal rights of both genders? Why not use a word with gender ambiguity? Or right, because.... Reasons!

The Reasons:

- feminism operates on the understanding that, at present, women do not have equality with men in most contexts
- that masculinity is considered favorable over femininity (see also: the many, many insults based on implications of effeminate appearance, nature, and values)
- that issues specific to women require attention specific to those issues in an effort to achieve parity


Masculinism would, by contrast, suggest a focus on men's issues to achieve parity which, in most cases, do not exist. Are there situations in which women have advantages over men? Sure: public perception regarding child caregiving, occupations like interior design or fashion (where it is generally assumed men in such industries are obviously homosexuals since no proper straight masculine guy would be interested in stuff like that), etc. And yet, when you look at those problems, they exist because of, again, the overall social perception that masculine > feminine. These problems exist for men because of problems relating to women.

Put another way: Masculinism, if it existed, would probably be a movement about trying to devalue the cripplingly overvalued emphasis on the masculine in society. In other words, Feminism, but from the other direction.

Why be that confusing when you'd be working toward the same goals in the end?

Oh right, because...Reasons.