Contra Mozilla

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On Comet Landings and the Sorry State of Our Culture

Phileae Lander: I'm on a comet, Rosetta Probe!
Ok, those who know me probably figured I would eventually get around to writing about the comet landing. This is one of those truly great milestones in science, or in space exploration. I can imagine that the folks at Planetary Resources are also gleefully rubbing their hands together: one step closer to asteroid mining! This is one of those amazing feats which deserves our applause and praise, and those who pulled it off are heroes in their own right. Matt Taylor may be remembered for this achievement along with names like Buzz Aldrin or Neil Armstrong or John Glenn, or Alexy Leonov and Yuri Gagarin. He landed a robot on a comet 300 million miles from earth, and that robot has subsequently transmitted from that comet. (Bonus: it has found some organic molecules there). So congratulations to Dr. Matt Taylor and all the other scientists who worked on this project!



I wish I could end my post there. What a great achievement for mankind! Here's something that humanity has done to be proud of.

But, of course, this achievement was a bit soured. There are always killjoys. Apparently, it's ok for women to dress like sluts but not for a man to wear a shirt portraying them dressed as such (what, you thought it was the cool laser guns that are being decried?). Look, I'm not a huge fan of the guy's shirt either, but since he just landed a probe on a comet, I think he deserves a pass. (As one wag put it, if I ever land a probe on a comet hurtling through space millions of miles from earth, you'll be lucky if I decide to wear pants). The shirt:
The shirt? This guy is the man!
That this backlash comes from feminist circles--and that it is nearly unanimous--should be telling. That the shirt actually shows images of what feminists the world over repeatedly say women should be allowed to dress like is more so:
Suddenly an activist culture railing against the social norms of how women are supposed to look had fangs out for someone defying social norms of how a scientist should look. This intolerable shirt-against-humanity, clad with images of illustrated women in super hero spandex and seductively brandishing laser blasters conjured memories of Aeon Flux or Trinity in the Matrix, or Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Madonna and BeyoncĂ© – All feminist icons....

Try telling a feminist what they can and cannot wear to a space launch and good luck with the lawsuit.
In other words, if I woman dresses in a manner like those depicted on the shirt, she's a feminist icon and should be lauded for it, and let no man (or woman) say otherwise! But if a man wears a shirt depicting women in this way, then he must be a misogynist creep and must be denounced posthaste, whatever may be his accomplishments.

There would be humor in the fact that a movement which is supposedly mostly women who have supposedly moved beyond "traditional gender stereotypes" has resorted to commenting more about the man's shirt than his actual accomplishment. The conversation that these women are having is essentially this: "Can you believe what he wore to that interview?" "No, just look at that fashion faux paux." The men are mostly interested in the fact that he landed on a comet. The women are interested in the style of shirt he picked from the wardrobe this morning. I said there would be humor, but humor stops here: they have reduced this poor man to tears.

The sheer hypocrisy of the feminist movement is galling. It is also a giant leap backwards for women themselves:
On the surface, this is a shocking case of political correctness gone mad. But this shouldn’t distract us from the depressing insight it gives us into modern feminism. During a week in which comedian Dapper Laughs was banished from British television, and a petition was launched to stop pick-up artist Julien Blanc from entering the UK, the shaming of Taylor confirmed that modern feminism is forsaking women’s liberation in favour of pettily policing people’s behaviour.... 
Modern feminism, in contrast to first- and second-wave feminism, appears to be obsessed with the superficial. It focuses on how words, images and attitudes affect women, rather than trying to tackle larger social problems. This is a damaging trend, not only for feminism, but also for women themselves. Modern feminists’ focus on behaviour, its propensity for censorship and its increasingly anti-man rhetoric, is creating a dogmatic and divisive feminism that turns women into victims who need protecting from the big, bad world, rather than equipping women with the tools to tackle real issues of gender inequality.
Nor is this little temper tantrum from feminists an isolated incident. Remember the group four of young men who developed the date-rape drug-detecting nail polish for women--and the standard feminist reaction to them? The reaction which labelled this attempt to curtail date rape as just another part of the rape cultureHere's a refresher:
However, Katie Russell from Rape Crisis England & Wales was critical of the idea, saying that the charity will not support the invention.

“Whilst Undercover Color’s initiative is well meaning, on the whole,” she said, “Rape Crisis does not endorse or promote such a product or anything similar. This is for three reasons: it implies that it’s the woman’s fault and assumes responsibility on her behalf, and detracts from the real issues that arise from sexual violence.”
Or the cries of "slut-shaming!" every time somebody opines that women (and often men) should dress more modestly? Or the feminist circling the wagons around Lena Dunham over the (autobiographically admitted) molestation charges? These are all recent things. We don't have to dig back very far to find these various stories. The tale they tell suggests reveals how pointless and less-than pointless, indeed, how manipulative and shrill modern feminism has become.

The same applies to talking about a man's shirt in this instance. Too soon.

Indeed, the movement is not only full of bossy busybodies, but indeed of outright bullies. I can think of only one other movement which rivals the modern feminist for its bullying demeanor, and that is the homosexualist movement--but that is for another day. John C. Wright puts this issue of real bullying by feminists into focus:
The issue is this: The termagants, bullies, and harridan harpies who vexed this weakling to the point of tears, on the day which was his triumphant crowning achievement and should have been the happiest of his life, they are not modest Christian women objecting to a tasteless shirt, nor are they scientists worried that their profession create a dignified public appearance.
The harpies crap on the feast. That is their role. That is who they are.

They are filth, pure and simple. Don’t give them any cover or concealment by making their madness sound sane.

If you thought his shirt was tasteless, then land a flying interplanetary probe on your own comet first, jerkmouth, and you can wear a godzilla-dam mothra-flocking neon TUXEDO with saint Catherine wheel epaulettes and twin buttock rockets up the tails for your news conference, if you like. Until your accomplishments in life match his, shut your odious, oleaginous, obnoxious trap.

It was his lucky shirt. Given to him by his lady. He just did something no one else his history has ever done, ever.
Or, as Mollie Hemingway notes, we ought to start standing up to these bullying and harassing harridans:
How many times have you heard the line that feminism is simply “the radical notion that women are people”? And when was the last time you thought that sentiment even remotely expressed whatever the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is going on in feminism these days?...

Some of the people most worried about feminist bullies are women. That’s because we suffer from the image they project of women being perpetual victims. And not just perpetual victims but frail little things unable to handle cartoon images of scantily clad women. In my list of things in life that have been tough, I’d rank roughly everything before “seeing a really cool guy wearing a shirt.”

Feminist bullies are so invested in the false idea that women are oppressed that they’re giving all women a bad reputation. Women, contrary to the image perpetuated by feminist bullies, are not weak. We are strong. We can handle all sorts of things and do so every day. We live full lives with complex and meaningful relationships and we have many professional and personal accomplishments. Women and girls are able to navigate life quite well, thank you very much, and it’s actually easier when women aren’t constantly talking about how supposedly oppressed we are. We’re not. I mean, sure, everyone in life has troubles. None of those troubles, for the vast majority of women, include “seeing a dude wear a shirt while discussing how he just landed a spaceship on a literal freaking comet.”...

It’s not just women who are hurt by feminist bullies. Everyone is. That’s because human relationships are harmed in the toxic outrage culture. The very perpetuation of humanity relies on men and women getting along well. People who stoke resentment and anger between the sexes, or create false claims about women’s oppression, are making it more difficult for happy, healthy, human relationships to flourish...

Last week we saw Kim Kardashian slather her body with oil and put everything on display. Much joviality ensued. I mean, if anyone suggested that she wore something inappropriate to work, I missed it.

But we live in a culture where third-wave feminists engage in “slut walks” to send the message that nobody should be judged by what they wear. And yet if you make cartoons of the very same things these women wear on slut walks and put them on a shirt, that’s “ruining the comet landing”? That doesn’t even make sense.
A fine summary of the whole modern feminist movement: hypocrites employing double-standard to harass and bully their opponents--really, any man who looks like a target of opportunity--who no longer stand for anything good. Actually, they are less concerned with the "the radical notion that women are people" and more with the actually radical notion that men aren't.

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