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With #GamerGate floundering, the Internet Douchebag Squad whips up a #Shirtstorm

Graph tracking the decline of #GamerGate, and the sudden surge of #Shirtstorm
Graph tracking the decline of #GamerGate, and the surge of #Shirtstorm, posted by GGer @Eggkin “thanking #shirtstorm & the femloons for keeping the spark alive.”

By all rights, the furor over rocket scientist Matt Taylor’s cheesecake shirt should have died down by now. After being chided earlier this week for marring the celebration over the landing of a space probe ON A GODDAMNED COMET by doing interviews in a tacky shirt covered with half-naked ladies, Taylor offered a brief but heartfelt apology. You would have thought we’d all be able to move on.

Not so fast. Because these days apparently no controversy can ever be over as long as it serves someone’s interest to keep it going. And so a loose but very familiar coalition of reactionaries and antifeminists and angry techies have started flogging an amorphous cause they call #Shirtgate or, more popularly, #Shirtstorm, purporting to be outraged that Taylor was “humiliated” into apologizing.

So many of the angriest voices in this, er, conversation are #GamerGaters it looks a lot like a sequel. Call it GamerGate Part Two: The Straw Graspening. And it’s not just me making the connection: #GamerGaters and #Shirtstormers, often one and the same, are making the connection:

https://twitter.com/Scrumpmonkey/status/533409838207078400

Heck, our old friend Milo is making the connection:

https://twitter.com/Nero/status/533727009105801216

Oh, it’s a veritable #GamerGate Old Home Week! GG mainstays Thunderf00t and Mundane Matt have rushed out videos about The Shirt.

People are making graphics covered with hard-to-read text:

B2hh9YqIUAA6Tua.jpg large

There are giant complicated conspiracy theory graphics covered with red lines and angry red text. This one notes that Chris Plante, who wrote an article criticizing Taylor’s shirt, also wrote one of the now-notorious “Gamers are Dead” pieces.

https://twitter.com/Reyeko_/status/533482641774100480

Apparently there were a few dudes who were none too pleased with Plante’s story on The Shirt:

https://twitter.com/plante/status/533244307105648640

#Shirtstormers wrote angry “letters” in too-small-type. (Click here for larger, more readable version and here for one with angry graphics, too.)

https://twitter.com/Alpha_duck1/status/533698520100777984

While others tried to draw a parallel between Taylor’s alleged “humiliation” and … rape.

https://twitter.com/MSamenfink/status/533812500429828097

Neo-reactionaries and “Dark Enlightenment” types see opportunity in the #Shirtstorm hashtag.

https://twitter.com/voxday/status/533336186535030784

https://twitter.com/antidemblog/status/533341319184531456

https://twitter.com/BernardChapin/status/533628518077186049

As do MRAs:

https://twitter.com/deanesmay/status/533758421158227969

As does this familiar name:

They’re all there, all hoping to turn a debate over a shirt into another endless internet Benghazi.

 

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Bear
Bear
7 years ago

I can’t tell if GerardO is being sarcastic or not *squints at comment*

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

Seconding the call for Crissa to fuck right off. Charging in as a newbie, antagonizing people in every thread and then trying to turn regulars against each other is not going to fly. Why are you even here if we’re so mean and awful?

Fibinachi
7 years ago

Though I’ve heard from others that vet techs have seen some of the same effects as teachers and nurses did generations ago: once a certain field gets a large number of women in it, it becomes ‘women’s work’, devalued, and men start being socially pressured not to go into it.

This

There’s something interesting research into the fact that more women entering a given profession makes other people see it more as “women’s work”, and thus less valuable in general, or less reasonable for real men to work with, which erodes the power of the sector in a given industry. The same is true of men entering a system in large numbers, after a certain point, it starts being seen as a more reasonable profession for men, and then suddenly it’s prestigious and interesting and oh you’re an a xxx? cool.

Go to example is programmers!

Historically, back when we were doing hole punching and simple mechanical re-arrangement, a lot of programmers were female because it was a scut-job just seen as involving moving simple arrangements of numbers around. Then people started realizing just how eeffing useful mechanical computation actually is, you get more people in general moving into the area, and as the amount of men doing programming grew, they started muscling out women. Not physically, but you saw surges in organizations dedicated to improving the prestigious nature of the job itself, more requirements for more diplomas in relation to actually working with it so that instead of being hired straight out of high school, you now had to attend X amount of university years at Y place – a situation that allowed more men to apply than women – and then it started being self perpetuating.

Then it starts changing as they’re shunted out bit by bit, and we end up with a culture that says programming is manly and mathematical and computer science is for logical logic using men who are way better than emotional women, and how do we get more women programmers because we have so few, and oh no.

It’s not a conspiracy, but it is an interesting illumination of how the moment something is seen as simple, mechanical and repetitious it’s “Okay” for women to do it, but the moment people rearrange that so its about creativity and logic and hard work, it becomes less “okay”, because women aren’t supposed to do that sort of stuff, don’t’cha know.

But it’s still ones and zeroes.

Find the same in a lot of other sectors, like male nursing.

But of course this is just me regurgiating random examples of stuff I remember, and I have no citations atm :b

thebewilderness
7 years ago

Mr Taylor, unlike David, is suffering international embarrassment just now. He damaged his ability to enjoy his achievement to the degree he would have if his peers were not giving him the side eye. I am sure he will live it down in time, but it is a sad reflection on his character and will have lasting effect.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

I’ve always thought that if men all of a sudden tomorrow decided to become administrative assistants and child care workers en masse it would take at most 2 or 3 years for everyone to collect forget that these were traditionally women’s occupations. In no time we would be hearing that men are hard wired to be super good at typing and diaper changing and no lady brains could possibly handle it.

ParadoxicalIntention
ParadoxicalIntention
7 years ago

@cassandrakitty

I apologize if it came off as me speaking for all queer women, nor did I mean to call anyone “irrational”. I meant to speak only for myself, and say that those people who disagreed with the slight disagreement found it irrational, not that I found it irrational (I actually went on to agree with the sentiments that were spoken against the shirt later in my comment, so I would also like to apologize for possibly coming off as hypocritical).

Communication is not my strong suit tonight, I suppose. I will try to do better. Thanks for calling me out on that. : )

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

No problem! We get a lot of trolls, so people tend to try to nip potentially questionable stuff in the bud.

Michelle C Young
7 years ago

Good grief.

This is why PROFESSIONAL scientists wear lab coats.

There’s nothing wrong with the shirt, per se. It was that it was utterly inappropriate for that interview.

In the words of Dilbert – “Casual Friday has gone too far.”

ParadoxicalIntention
ParadoxicalIntention
7 years ago

@cassandrakitty

Believe me, it hasn’t gone unnoticed! I really like that about this place. :3

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

The shirt was utterly inappropriate wear for work too.

Thebarton Gamer
7 years ago

Indeed cassandrakitty! Everyone knows it’s supposed to be sea lions!

http://wondermark.com/1k62/

contrapangloss
7 years ago

Pallygirl, awwww contraries!

If his work was marine mammal necropsies, that’d be the perfect shirt. After the first day, it would literally stink as much as the message it sends.

Alas, he works in the wrong branch of science for it to be good work wear.

(Although, durned good sewing job by his friend. The fabric is just all sorts of wrong…)

marinerachel
marinerachel
7 years ago

I don’t wear a lab coat to work. I wear a lab coat in the lab but that’s it. They’re not office attire. I’m not wearing bachelor party t-shirts when I’m in the office either though, just regular old business casual.

If my bra straps are hanging out I receive a civil but stern e-mail telling me to cover up. I adjust my scarf so my tits aren’t spilling out when I lean over my boss’s desk and no one has to see my brassiere. That’s how adults respond to reasonable criticism of their attire.

contrapangloss
7 years ago

I’ll admit to being very much inclined to take his apology at face value. Is it good that he didn’t think about the negative aspects of the shirt because our culture totally reinforces the not big deal was of objectifying women?

No. It stinks. It really stinks. That he was so oblivious til after the damage was done is painful.

Still, he’s thought about it now, and apologized, and I’m cool with him for the time being. I don’t always think things through perfectly, either…

Tyra Lith
Tyra Lith
7 years ago

Ugh. Sommers. If I understood her right, everything comes down to:
a) most women are just too dumb for STEM
b) the few exceptions just think that science is too icky for them.
And “Look at all those studies that prove me right! Jk, I won’t show them to you!”

That woman must be one of the most annoying people on earth.

LordCrowstaff
LordCrowstaff
7 years ago

Eh, guy apologized, he hopefully learned a lesson about appropriate clothing at the workplace (and in general) and that’s that.

Time to let that go, I think.

shadethedruid
7 years ago

In an ideal world, the apology should’ve been the point where the conversation moved on (regardless of whether you accepted it or not).

The apology should’ve meant that the conversation stopped being centred around him and the shirt, and moved onto a more productive conversation* about women in STEM or just attitudes about women in general.. Maybe then this whole fiasco could’ve provoked something good.

…But no, someone out there decided it had to be all about the shirt and the mean old feminists attacking teh poor, defenseless scientist manz.

*Productive conversation, on the internet? Maybe I expect too much.

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

Yes, because we here are the ones that started the #shirtstorm tag.

Back to Sommers, I had a quick look at her background and found she was a philosophy professor.

Really? She doesn’t seem to do logic very well.

LordCrowstaff
LordCrowstaff
7 years ago

Yeah, shadethedruid, I’m not talking about the idiots who think that saying that a shirt is not appropriate and unfortunate at best is basically Hitler. Those would not drop a conversation where they feel “wronged” even if their life depended on it.

Arctic Ape
Arctic Ape
7 years ago

CroneGeek:

The exact same yahoos are now throwing a tantrum because a scientist almost cried for 10 seconds after a couple of days of criticism of his public appearance representing a government agency.

He didn’t even cry enough to fill Jessica Valenti’s bathtub.

[/obscure joke]

But the ESA management and PR team still have some explaining to do.

Indeed. It’s always more difficult to get organizations to discuss their screwups, as opposed to making immediate culprits take the blame.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
7 years ago

Yeah, shadethedruid, I’m not talking about the idiots who think that saying that a shirt is not appropriate and unfortunate at best is basically Hitler.

Someone informed me that I was, in fact, a “fascist art nazi” for both not liking the shirt and pointing out that – generally – wearing that kind of thing in a serious interview would be considered inappropriate (not to mention a ton of other occasions).

Apparently he was really “forced” into apologizing, according to him. ‘Cause, as we all know, no one ever apologizes because they realized they may’ve been wrong or understood the complaints despite how it made them feel.

Gee, didn’t know having to apologize for a mistake was some great infraction against someone’s being…

Arctic Ape
Arctic Ape
7 years ago

Obviously, feminazi headquarters threatened to cut both ESA’s funding and Taylor’s balls.

Misha
Misha
7 years ago

I have no problem with sexy babes on shirts. As a pansexual lady, I love sexy ladies! Even if they’re on shirts! This does not bother me at all, and I’m a little irked that because I’m a feminist, people think I suddenly have a massive, irrational problem with it

ParadoxicalIntention, I think you’re here in good faith, so I’m gonna ask if you could not with the “hot babes” stuff. Not only are there a number of reasons for this, which I won’t go into because they’re pretty obvious in the context of this blog, but also because referring to women who please your virtual boner as “hot babes” is very, very cringy and this isn’t the space for it.

Misha
Misha
7 years ago

Edit: ‘sexy’ babes, which might actually be worse than hot babes.

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