Anyone who knows (and loves) techno/science geeks knows a couple of things:
1) They are generally sweet-natured people who are preoccupied with techno/science geeky thoughts.
2) Because they are preoccupied with such thoughts, they are neither fussy, nor vain. Food is merely fuel, and clothes are mere bodily covering. They generally are not thinking about what they are eating, or wearing.
3) A comet scientist who has just helped to land a probe on to a comet is unlikely think think, “oh, I’m going to be interviewed, so I’d better take off this inappropriate-but-geeky shirt full of sexy-women-with-guns on it, which was designed by a female friend.”
4) Because techno/science geeks are sweet-natured, if a tweeting malcontent urinates on a great moment for science because she doesn’t like the inappropriate-but-geeky shirt, they will quickly and — unfortunately — tearfully apologize for giving offense.
5) Because techno/science geeks rarely-unto-never set out to demand attention, declare victimhood for themselves or deliberately offend their fellow humans, they don’t really understand that there are some people in the world who live to take umbrage, find things to be offended about, and make people cry.
6) These umbrage-taking, offense-seeking people mewling about the travesty of shirts bearing sexy-women-with-guns tend to be the same sorts of people who believe that when Kim Kardashian props herself up as a plasticine-nude cocktail shelf, she has offered conclusive and empowering proof that mothers can be sexy, or something. For the sake of the world.
7) Somewhere between demands that men “speak no catcalls” and “wear no inappropriately geeky shirts” and assertions that a woman’s full-frontal/champagne glass nudity is seriously empowering, there is cognitive dissonance. A disconnect.
8) Our techno/science geeks see disconnects as dead ends. This issue of sexy women is one fraught with confusing inconsistency; it involves a shifting of sentiments that ultimately confounds, a constant friction that delivers little light and less warmth. Whatever goalposts there are seem uncertain or downright illusory.
9) Preferring consistency to contradiction and clarity to confusion, our techno/science geeks are now reminded why it is that they — amid an unstable and insensible society where people can’t climb down off each other’s backs — are consoled by the stability and sense of mathematical formulae.
10) I don’t blame them for repairing to their labs, where — bound by immutable laws that do not change — they are free.
Funny thing, the people who are making so much noise and are so resolute about controlling everything people think, eat, do, wear…were raised by folks who kept saying this:
So how are things going for feminism? Well, last week, some feminists took one of the great achievements of human history — landing a probe from Earth on a comet hundreds of millions of miles away — and made it all about the clothes.
I watched that clip of Dr Taylor’s apology – at the moment of his supreme professional triumph – and I felt the red mist come down. It was like something from the show trials of Stalin, or from the sobbing testimony of the enemies of Kim Il-sung, before they were taken away and shot. It was like a scene from Mao’s cultural revolution when weeping intellectuals were forced to confess their crimes against the people.
Why was he forced into this humiliation? Because he was subjected to an unrelenting tweetstorm of abuse. He was bombarded across the internet with a hurtling dustcloud of hate, orchestrated by lobby groups and politically correct media organisations.
And so I want, naturally, to defend this blameless man. And as for all those who have monstered him and convicted him in the kangaroo court of the web – they should all be ashamed of themselves… It’s the hypocrisy of it all that irritates me. Here is Kim Kardashian – a heroine and idol to some members of my family – deciding to bust out all over the place, and good for her. No one seeks to engulf her in a tweetstorm of rage. But why is she held to be noble and pure, while Dr Taylor is attacked for being vulgar and tasteless?
I think his critics should go to the National Gallery and look at the Rokeby Venus by Velázquez. Or look at the stuff by Rubens. Are we saying that these glorious images should be torn from the walls?
Bang on. These prudish sartorial commissars are the daughters of the women who wore out their welcome back when they wailed about sexism in the workplace and then declared that Bill Clinton must get a pass for sexually exploiting a deluded intern. They’re quickly overreaching, again.
UPDATE II: Speaking of Deluded Overreach and being “used”…