Why Attacking Dr. Matt Taylor and #ShirtGate Belittles Feminism

In Ana Kasparian on YouTube, YouTube Posts by Hlarson6 Comments


Dr. Matt Taylor was the project manager behind the successful Rosetta Mission, which landed a probe called Philae onto a moving comet. Although this was an unprecedented achievement for scientists, some decided to shift the focus away from science and onto something as trivial as the attire of Dr. Taylor. While some might think they’re fighting for women’s rights in denouncing Dr. Taylor, they’re actually doing a massive disservice to the feminist movement. I explain why in the video.


  1. I agree with Ana, this is a case of someones accomplishments being over shadowed by shallow objectification.

    I also think some of the commenter have missed the point you were trying to make about the impact on self when great work is put into a project and peoples only concern is over a triviality like ones your appearance; unto which having watched a number of TYT videos that had Ana/and other female commentators in them, they would cover a serious issue and most of the comments involving them are sexual or appearance/body/etc related.

    These kind of attack only go to reinforce the stereotype of feminists as angry man-hater; also I believe Ana mentioned the shirt; which looks like and 80’s throwback and the woman on the shirt appears to strip down to bikini at least, was a GIFT from a FEMALE FRIEND.

    Issues like this; and others (issues on female sexuality, trans women, etc), are why I support women’s rights issues as an egalitarian.

  2. Ana, your analysis of the issue is misguided. Sure, it’s a lesser offense on the spectrum of sexism, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of criticism and comment. This was your opportunity to point out to the men sitting next to you why the issue matters, and instead, you belittled feminists. It’s extremely disappointing behavior on your part, especially given that you’ve been the target of misogynist taunts yourself. I recommend reading Phil Plait’s commentary on the issue, and I sincerely hope you will have the presence of mind to change your opinion: http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/11/17/casual_sexism_when_a_shirt_is_more_than_a_shirt.html

    1. I think it’s open to discussion. I’m a little shocked that he completed a major space project and the main response he got from it was ‘We don’t like your shirt!’ I mean “Hello..?”

  3. @ 1:58 `If you are the type of woman who will allow a shirt to prevent you from joining in on these types of jobs, then you don’t deserve to work in these fields. If that’s all it takes; a shirt will offend you to that extent? It’s fucking ridiculous!` Ana Kasparian … must applaud this.

  4. Again, based on the tweets represented in the previous segment from women opposed to the shirt – they were NOT saying that a shirt like this is going to make them uncomfortable enough to avoid pursuing a career in STEM. They were saying its a symptom of the casual sexism that exists in the industry – not something that in ITSELF is going to cause a great deal of damage. If your argument is based on tweets such as those very sensible sounding ones, then I think it is absolutely fundamentally flawed.

    1. What do you think was most important in the broad scheme of things?
      a) His accomplishment in astronomy.
      b) His ability as a science project manager.
      c) The data we got from the observation.
      d) His shirt.

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