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...
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.!