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Woman slams sexist shirt; Twitter douchebags tell her to kill herself. Worst offender? A contributor to A Voice for Men

No girls allowed?
No girls allowed?

Very cool: We humans have landed a space probe on a goddamned comet!

Not cool:  when one European Space Agency dude gave an interview about the landing, he was wearing a shirt festooned with cheesecake images of scantily clad women.

Even less cool: when Atlantic magazine science writer Rose Eveleth pointed out that this choice of attire doesn’t exactly broadcast the message that women (other than scantily clad ones) are welcome in STEM, she received a torrent of abuse from angry Twitter dudes, including requests for her to kill herself.

The cherry atop this crap sundae? The nastiest Twitterer of the bunch, who not only went after Eveleth but her defenders as well, is a regular contributor to A Voice for Men.

The whole thing started off with a couple of tweets from Eveleth about the shirt. Here’s one of them:

https://twitter.com/roseveleth/status/532538957490561024

After this, the deluge:shirt5 shirt4 shirt3 shirt2 shirt1And those are just some of the harassing tweets Eveleth retweeted. (I’ve highlighted the explicit death wishes for your convenience.)

You’ll notice that one of the death wishes (“Please kill yourself”) comes from a fellow named Christopher Cantwell.

If you take a look at his Twitter profile, you’ll see that this self-described “Anarchist, Atheist, Asshole” and Bitcoin fan had similar advice for a number of others who found the shirt troubling.

To wit:

cant1 cant2 cant3 cant4 cant6 cant7

Cantwell has also been sharing some of his charming thoughts about women in STEM.

cant8 cant9

So how does A Voice for Men respond to this sort of behavior by one of their regular contributors? They repost his blog entry on the, er, controversy, deriding concerns about the shirt as “feminist hysteria” and arguing that the real reason more women aren’t in STEM fields is that, well, they’re just not as smart as he is.

No, really:

The reason you don’t see women in highly technical fields nearly as often as you see men is not because of sexism. It certainly isn’t because of Matt Taylor’s shirt. You can’t even blame this on education anymore, since more women attend college than men. The issue at hand is one of simple aptitude and the choices people make as a result of that aptitude.

You gals remember choices, right? I seem to recall you caring about those things once upon a time.

If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. A society needs leaders and followers. In men, we see very high IQs figuring things out and working out these complex ideas. They document them in easy-to-understand ways for those of lesser intelligence in society and make technology available to all of us. We also see these low IQs, which are more suited to, say, mining the resources that this technology requires and operating the machines the geniuses designed. Women, traditionally carrying the role of raising children and supporting the men who designed and operated the machinery, needed to be somewhere in the middle. They couldn’t well manage the many complex tasks their role in society required of them without being smarter than the worker drones, but there wasn’t any need for them to be super geniuses who could land spacecraft on comets hundreds of millions of miles away either. …

For those of us at the upper end of the IQ spectrum, we are sentenced to a lifetime of watching stupidity like this run rampant. We will watch in horror for all of eternity as idiots dominate the headlines with their hysteria, responsibility avoidance, and demands for state privilege disguised as “equality.” We’ll see brilliant men like Matt Taylor smeared as being the worst type of bigot, simply because he’s smarter than the people who accuse him.

Yeah, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would complain about sexism in STEM.

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kittehserf - MOD
7 years ago

Crissa

I think that’s seriously fucked up. At no point will his lost job help the culture change. Isn’t it the reasonable voice explaining how he made a mistake?
We can’t just throw everyone off the planet for every mistake. People make mistakes. Hopefully, they apologize for their mistakes and learn from them. And hopefully others learn as well.

Fucking bullshit. He hasn’t lost his job: emilygoddess was talking about IF he had. You’re also missing the point of her comment: the lives of 3.5 billion women being more important than putting shit in space.
Fuck your “reasonable voice”. The reasonable voice is the one entrenched privilege feels free to ignore.

titianblue – I knew it! I knew it! People have been asking since this started how long it’d be before Dawkshite chimed in. Hope this gets covered on Pharyngula, they’ll rip him a new one.

Mistake =/= accident, but calling his choice to wear that shirt a mistake is weasel words in this instance. It still lets him off without real responsibility for his choice. How fucking oblivious would he have to be to have NO IDEA that it was inappropriate for the occasion (for work altogether, but focussing on the occasion right now).

titianblue
titianblue
7 years ago

@Kim his actual words were

The shirt I wore this week. I made a big mistake and I offended many people, and I am very sorry about this.

shadethedruid
7 years ago

So, in other dumb shirt news, I saw someone actually saying that “feminists should love the shirt because it promotes sex positivity”.

I can feel my brain imploding.

pawsjones
pawsjones
7 years ago

Yeah, many people seem to regard the word mistake as a synonym to accident. What’s up with that? I’m not just talking about this dude’s apology and the comments here. All the bad things I’ve done myself I view as mistakes, which in itself says nothing about to what extent I was responsible for the choice behind them nor the consequences that followed. The importance of it can also range from very trivial to very dire, all depending on the context.

As for him, I do think he’s using the word to trivialize what he did and shirk full responsibility to some extent, whether it’s intentional or not.

Kim
Kim
7 years ago

So he’s just sorry that he got in trouble. good to know. Admittedly I did find it hard to believe a guy would cry on international television because he realised he was contributing to women being less represented in STEM. That he was crying because he was embarrassed and facing repercussions is a lot more believable.

Jody
Jody
7 years ago

David did you read that discusting Times article that said there are less women scientists because boys are attracted to mechanical things and girls to living things (like puppies??) Also there’s no sexism in the science fields! To bad my friend who finished her engineering degree didn’t get the memo. She said there was only one other female or none in her classes and she would recount many tales of blatant sexism to me. The article was one of the worst sexist articles I’ve read in mainstream media: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/opinion/sunday/academic-science-isnt-sexist.html?referrer=

Bina
7 years ago

…I think you’re missing the joke about the etymology of ‘hysteria’…

No, trust me, I’m NOT. But you might be.

Bina
7 years ago

So, in other dumb shirt news, I saw someone actually saying that “feminists should love the shirt because it promotes sex positivity”.

Objectification is sex, now? Someone please tell them the meaning of the verb “to conflate”.

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

Last point: since when do we let the offender’s narrative define the situation? He said it was a “mistake”, we just trust that he’s being honest? For real? Oh, Matt, thanks for mansplaining about how the shirt was just a trivial oversight (and therefore our criticisms of your shirt were uncalled for).

See, besides the “I couldn’t help it/I didn’t mean it” aspects of the word “mistake”, it also ignores the fact that sexual harrassment is defined by the person who experiences it. It is not a defence to reply something along the lines of “it was a mistake” or “I didn’t mean it that way”. The fact that the recipient defines what is sexual harrassment is an interpretation that is very consistent and very strong in HR, and also applies in employment law (at least in my country, YMMV), say in cases of constructive dismissal. And yes, this shirt is an example of sexual harrassment.

It is the same with bullying (and there is an enormous cross-over between bullying and sexual harrassment): we don’t let the bully say “it wasn’t bullying because I didn’t mean it that way.

This is a guy who really likes being in the limelight: http://www.metalsucks.net/2014/11/13/dr-matt-taylor-dude-put-probe-comet-cannibal-corpse-fan/ and notice the up-playing of the fact that this was team work and the science /s

Kelly
Kelly
7 years ago

Ok, this is the kind of position that the MRA turds are ascribing to every feminist. I really didn’t think anybody was that worked up about the shirt as much as about the disturbing backlash from uninvolved neckbeards.

Irene
Irene
7 years ago

Take Richard Feynman as an example. Compared to his collegues, his IQ was less than stellar; in the 120s, IIRC, so gifted but by no means genius.

Sorry to derail, but Feynman never actually took a “real” one-on-one IQ test with a psychologist — just a paper/pencil affair in high school, probably a precursor to the SAT. There’s no reason to suppose that he did his best on it; one can always score lower than one’s ability. (Also, since we don’t know what test it was, we don’t even know whether the numbers were on the same scale as the IQ tests in use now, nor what the highest possible score was.) It doesn’t really make any sense to take that number seriously when the point is about not taking any such numbers seriously. (Note: I think modern IQ tests are useful in some very limited applications, but hoo boy, the baggage.)

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

@Kelly: you can take your #nottruefeminism and shove it. Either you haven’t read the entire thread, or you don’t do reading comprehension very well.

hippodameia8527
hippodameia8527
7 years ago

I get the feeling it’s “and” instead of “or.”

thebewilderness
7 years ago

I think they are just going on each thread to register their objection to peeps talking.

kittehserf - MOD
7 years ago

Fuck off, Kelly. Better yet, go learn what context means.

ParadoxicalIntention
ParadoxicalIntention
7 years ago

Honestly, the first time I heard about the “feminist hysteria” of the fallout on the shirt was on Imgur (which has gotten so anti-feminist I don’t even want to go on that site anymore for all the damn MRA circle-jerking), and the reaction was some of this same shit I’m seeing here (multiple posts demonizing feminists and I got into an argument with one guy who INSISTED that we don’t “denounce” feminists who go too far, and got self-righteous when I said that I couldn’t speak for feminism as a whole but I know I do this).

But, NO. We wimmens are the ones who blow everything out of proportion and over-react to every little thing, not the big, strong menz!

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

…Um, sorry to go off on a tangent, but I don’t have time to go looking around for feminists who go too far.
My job is mainly to have a life, keep two lovers happy, work, pay bills, walk doggies, deal with my physical, mental, financial and spiritual health issues. Somewhere in there I try to wedge in a little ad-hoc advocacy for feminism among other worthy social causes.
If I waste time talking about feminists who go too far…I am not doing any of that. Too, I’d have to actually spend time reading these feminists’ stuff to police it. The MRA’s seem to have time galore to waste on this. I don’t.
I’m 41 and I want to make a positive change in the world, on a small scale, before I croak. Probability that croaking will be in 25-30 years due to crappy genes.

Do MRA’S ever denounce one of their own that go too far?
Considering that some of them have been noted to think that rape, death threats, stalking, and beating women half to death is ok, what WOULD they collectively think so bad that they had to denounce??? Mass slaughter?
I think they’d be down for putting feminists in death camps…yup.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Coming from a movement that’s had members advocating the bringing back of actual honest-to-god medieval torture devices for women it is just a teensy bit hypocritical of them.

voteforcantwell
7 years ago

I’d love to respond to this blog post, but you use donotlink for all your links, which is search engine vandalism. I can’t support that kind of behavior.

voteforcantwell
7 years ago

Oh, and you moderate your comments, a clear indication of your intellectual dishonesty.

sparky
sparky
7 years ago

I’d love to respond to this blog post, but you use donotlink for all your links, which is search engine vandalism. I can’t support that kind of behavior.

Are you for real?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

That made me literally LOL. Thank you, random dumbass.

grumpycatisagirl
grumpycatisagirl
7 years ago

Search engine vandalism?

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
7 years ago

I wonder what search-engine Banksy would do. Recreate a page on a site with some artfully-arranged banner ads?

Oh, and you moderate your comments, a clear indication of your intellectual dishonesty.

You can judge a blog’s intellectual rigor by the amount of spam and curse words in the comment section. Needless to say, youtube is practically paradise.

Shiraz
Shiraz
7 years ago

What’s a matter, dude? Pissed that David and the mods won’t let you spew garbage on everyone?

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