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.