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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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wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
6 years ago

The first time I walked into a physics class, I realized I was one of two women, and most of the men were a year younger than me (I was a biology student taking physics for a well-rounded science background–most of the guys were potential physics majors). My first thought was, “Oh, God. I can’t let these guys do better than me.” Because I felt like it was up to me and the other women alone to hold up the honor of women in physics.

It was stressful, and even though I kicked ass in that class, I still am glad I didn’t have to fight that my whole way through. I don’t blame any women who decide that much as they might like the field, they don’t always want to be The Only One.

And you know? I didn’t experience anything I’d call misogyny in that class–all the guys were nice, and the teacher called Emmy Noether his favorite physicist on the first day. Imagine what it would be like with a different mix of people. Or worse–when my dad was in college, the physics building didn’t even have women’s restrooms.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

You are the troll.

Ticks “No,no, you, the regular, are actually the troll” box on troll bingo card. Wonders if it’s worth scrolling up to look at all of troll’s comments in attempt to get full house.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

i would actually be really interested in an ethnographic study of women in all walks of life to find out if they ever wanted to be a scientist, and if so what happened to that, if not why not. i don’t think one has been done, and i’m not in a position to do that atm but really want to see what results would come up. the closest i’ve seen is one where women who stared out in stem programs and quit were asked why they quit (spoiler alert: it was the misogyny).

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

i just want to point out here that social sciences get a lot of “that’s not real science” crap from natural scientists (including engineers, or engineering students as the case may be) but this “i once met a woman in an engineering program, and never experienced it myself because I’m not a woman, therefore misogyny in stem is not a problem” anecdata would get you laughed all the way to the curb in any social science research.

As an inferior woman with an inferior psychology degree, I concur. Anecdotes do not equal data is one of the first things students in the social sciences learn.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

Even if you wanted to go by anecdotal data, who are you going to listen to? The woman who says “I feel unwelcome in this field,” or the dude that says “nah, nah, women are so welcome in this field!”

Ghostiger’s little “everyone wanted to be friends with the few women in the field” tickles me. I’m guessing the women didn’t see the constant attention as “wanting to be friends.”

Malitia
Malitia
6 years ago

Policy of Madness:

i would actually be really interested in an ethnographic study of women in all walks of life to find out if they ever wanted to be a scientist, and if so what happened to that, if not why not.

Well, you can have my story. It’s not a study but at least counters the “not able or willing assumption”:
I wanted to be a scientist, but my family was too poor to send me to study in a different city, so I got stuck with the local college (economics and accounting mostly, I later took some more IT classes … we still couldn’t afford new clothes for years).

Malitia
Malitia
6 years ago

Blockquote mammoth… o/

ghostiger
ghostiger
6 years ago

weirwoodtreehugger – Well thanks for pointing out the flaws in my comment here (not sarcasm). I was lazy.

First of all, my example of the shirt does apply because past history and probability of that shirt being worn by women doesn’t change the fact that it is an equivalent scenario: the environment and context of an event are not part of that event’s properties (good or bad is an intensive property, as it does not depend on the size of the system: how many women wear a shirt depicting scantly clad men). Example: A white man attacking a black man is as wrong as a black man attacking a white man, regardless of the years black people spent oppressed or how likely both are. Pure analytic reasoning.

My point is not the shirt, and I think that those threats made towards those that criticized it are very wrong. My point is that people can’t blame their life choices on anyone else. You studied a STEM because you wanted to, despite how “inviting” the people or the field was, right? Your case is the perfect example. And you should know that it is in everybody’s best interest to have more women in STEM fields. In fact I bet you met very nice people there.

I do not act as if I have the intellectual superiority here, I thought I was the only one in STEM simply because everyone here speaks based on stereotypes about STEM and men in general, actually perpetuating the myth STEM seem being uninviting by how they speak about it (girls will hear that and avoid the field without ever hearing insider’s opinions), you are the first one to actually mention that you also have experience in the field.

You are well aware of the different currents in feminism, I assume. Again, my gender does not affect the quality of my reasoning behind it (that’s sexist!) and the people that have a different opinion than the one in this comments section.

Also I am here the only one that does not have an aggressive tone. It is a simple question of maturity and being able to discuss sensitive subjects without hating (at least you seemed to try to contain yours and actually talk).

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

In Delusions of Gender, Cordelia Fine writes about a study conducted on college math students. Female students performed less well on a math test when they were asked to write down their name and gender on the test paper than females students who were just asked to write down their names. Even if a woman doesn’t think “girls can’t do math” on a conscious level, the stereotype seeps in.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. Or at least an astronomer. But I grew up thinking I was better at English than math and science. It wasn’t until I was about 20 years old that I looked back at my academic performance over the years and realized the opposite is true. I’m actually far better at science than I am at English. I didn’t realize I was good at science until I took a biology class with my friend who was majoring in the subject and I outperformed her without even studying very hard. When I was 22, my parents divorced and sold the house. While I was cleaning out my bedroom I found a certificate that said I had come in second in a math competition in 7th grade. I don’t even remember this happening. I’ve searched my brain and still can’t remember. I often regret not majoring in physics or biology. By the time I had my epiphany I was a junior and had completed too much of my psych major to turn back. Changing majors would have required an extra year of school that I couldn’t afford.

I grew up in a progressive city with progressive parents who encouraged both my scientific and artistic interests. Nobody ever told me that girls can’t grow up to be scientists. Still, the attitude seeped in.

ghostiger
ghostiger
6 years ago

This comment section seems very uninviting, I hope you’ll see the irony in that.

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

the environment and context of an event are not part of that event’s properties

Have to disagree with you, right there, ghostiger. If I jump on you, and start pushing on your chest hard enough to move your sternum (and possibly break ribs) it’s a very bad thing. Unless, of course, your heart has stopped beating and I’m doing CPR. See how context works, there? In the first scenario, I’d rightfully be charged with assault. In the second, I’m trying to save your life.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

Example: A white man attacking a black man is as wrong as a black man attacking a white man, regardless of the years black people spent oppressed or how likely both are. Pure analytic reasoning.

and yet your position is that the shirt is actually fine. if x is exactly as wrong as y (which i am not agreeing with, but for the sake of argument let’s go with this) it does not then follow that y is actually a-ok.

your logic is terrifically bad here. do you even see how bad it is?

I thought I was the only one in STEM simply because everyone here speaks based on stereotypes about STEM and men in general

so, when stem people say that stem is misogynist, and you believe that it isn’t, your response is not to say, wow, I maybe need to think this over a bit more. instead you assume that they are not actually stem people.

when evidence doesn’t match your presumption, you question the evidence not your presumption. that’s not very stem.

Again, my gender does not affect the quality of my reasoning behind it

true. the quality of your reasoning is shit regardless of your gender.

M. the Social Justice Ranger
M. the Social Justice Ranger
6 years ago

Also I am here the only one that does not have an aggressive tone. It is a simple question of maturity and being able to discuss sensitive subjects without hating (at least you seemed to try to contain yours and actually talk).

http://i.imgur.com/wUwIteR.gif

Shut up, Ghostiger.

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
6 years ago

The refusal* to understand the concept of “context” really comes out when they start complaining about how feminist women wearing scanty clothes to protest against slut-shaming, rape culture, and purity myths means that sexualized fictional characters are a-okay all the time every time.

*Because I don’t believe they are actually that dense about social norms.

Puddleglum
6 years ago

This comment section seems very uninviting, I hope you’ll see the irony in that.

Troll is shocked (shocked I tell you!) to find that people (women, even) disagree with him. Gee, I wonder how often he’s dictated reality to women in real life; here’s a hint buddy, they gave up listening and were just nodding politely so you’d finish blathering and go away.

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
6 years ago
ghostiger
ghostiger
6 years ago

Thanks for your story, but it doesn’t have any mention of anyone being rude or uninviting to you, it is a matter of self-discovery (I’ve also had self-discovery issues). Also, I don’t know how long ago was your story, but in my case, when I entered college 5 years ago, we were 50 men in the classroom and not a single woman, bigoted students used to verbally harass pretty girls (most of us hated them and blame them for the lack of women scientists). But now, after 5 years that has changed, one third of students are women and assholes keep their mouths shut. Progress has been made and those girls that decided to enter a STEM are what helped to fight the sexism of a few: sheer numbers. The rest of us have been nice to girls all our lives and don’t like to be judged by the crimes of others.

I was actually encouraging women to get in STEM, they seem to be better students. But what do I know? I am just a terrible person for being a man and having a different opinion.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

you know who refers to “maturity” all the time?

people who are not mature, but think they are.

It is a simple question of maturity

yep

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

First of all, my example of the shirt does apply because past history and probability of that shirt being worn by women doesn’t change the fact that it is an equivalent scenario: the environment and context of an event are not part of that event’s properties (good or bad is an intensive property, as it does not depend on the size of the system: how many women wear a shirt depicting scantly clad men). Example: A white man attacking a black man is as wrong as a black man attacking a white man, regardless of the years black people spent oppressed or how likely both are. Pure analytic reasoning.

The environment and the context are important. When discussing a social phenomenon (women and our allies being offended by a shirt depicting women in a sexualized way) the culture that phenomenon takes place in is important. We are not discussing a physics problem. We are discussing sexism. You clearly do not know the first thing about sociology, psychology or history. Being good at the “hard” sciences does not confer expertise in unrelated fields on you. When you analyze whether or not a shirt is sexist or contributes to the culture of sexism, you must analyze the context the shirt is worn in. You’re a bit out of your depth here and you don’t even seem to realize it because you have a massive ego.

do not act as if I have the intellectual superiority here, I thought I was the only one in STEM simply because everyone here speaks based on stereotypes about STEM and men in general, actually perpetuating the myth STEM seem being uninviting by how they speak about it (girls will hear that and avoid the field without ever hearing insider’s opinions), you are the first one to actually mention that you also have experience in the field.

It appears that you haven’t read the whole thread. Lots of women commenting here have spoken of their experiences in STEM already. But you couldn’t resist marching in here and pretending you know better than everyone else could you?

By the way, you claiming that sexism in STEM is a myth. Do you have any actual evidence of this? Anything other than your own personal observations? You see, men often don’t notice misogyny because you don’t experience it. If your mighty STEM brain knew the first thing about how the human brain works, you’d realize that our perceptions are not unbiased and they don’t always reflect objective reality. This is why a single anecdote is not data. Your claim that because you don’t see sexism at your university that means it doesn’t exist doesn’t hold up to any scrutiny at all.

Malitia
Malitia
6 years ago

This comment section seems very uninviting, I hope you’ll see the irony in that.

Strange. I experienced quite the opposite, but then again I wasn’t mansplaining to the regulars. I actually even lurked to not make false assumptions about them or the topic in the first place.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

when I entered college 5 years ago, we were 50 men in the classroom and not a single woman, bigoted students used to verbally harass pretty girls (most of us hated them and blame them for the lack of women scientists). But now, after 5 years that has changed

ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

ghostiger
ghostiger
6 years ago

wordsp1nner – I would love to reverse the roles in those paintings and see how the world reacts.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

My point is that people can’t blame their life choices on anyone else.

And you are also claiming that other people have no influence on thise choices, that witnessing the sexism meted out on other women would not discourage a woman from subjecting herself to that sexism. Damn, you’re such a fool, it’s embarrassing.

Presumably, you think that death and rape threats, doxxing and harrassment, aren’t currently discouraging women from going into Games Design, right? I mean, hey, why would that make any girl or woman decide to that her love of programming wasn’t worth the sacrifice?

Empathy? You fail at it.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

It is a simple question of maturity and being able to discuss sensitive subjects without hating

News flash: humans aren’t Vulcans.

Still, thanks for the lulz. Your attempt to use concepts like “reason” and “logic” against people who are much better than you at both is pretty entertaining.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

I am just a terrible person for being a man and having a different opinion.

Ah, poppet, are you talking to those straw feminists in your head again?

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

This comment section seems very uninviting

Only to misogynists. You’re mansplaining feminism to a bunch of feminists. How did you think it would go?

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
6 years ago

So five years ago, your department was horrifically uninviting to women, and you don’t see why this would still be a deterrent? Even if I believe you that it is 100% fixed (which I don’t, considering you are a dense ass who couldn’t see misogyny if it bit you on your ass), that kind of reputation doesn’t go away that fast, and it certainly doesn’t help that the misogynist asses are still around–just five years older and farther along in the field.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

This comment section seems very uninviting, I hope you’ll see the irony in that.

It’s not because of your gender, it’s because you’re being an asshat. I’m sure you made the assumption that we’re all women here just as you made the assumption that we don’t know anything about STEM but there are in fact men do comment and are welcomed here. Kirbywrap and Anarchonist who have commented today on this thread are both men. We like them. We don’t like you. We don’t have to be nice to people who are being ignorant and rude.

Thanks for your story, but it doesn’t have any mention of anyone being rude or uninviting to you, it is a matter of self-discovery

That whooshing sound is the point going right over your head. Did you notice that my story was preceded by discussion of a study? You see, neuroscience research indicates that babies as young as 6 months old absorb environmental cues and behave accordingly. We are effected by the environment. Even the most intelligent and scientifically minded people are not exempt from this. I might have had great parents as a child in the 80’s but I still absorbed sexist messages from the culture at large. Even though I’m a lifelong feminist, I still have to work to try and scrub those from my brain. You absorbed sexist messages too. Such as viewing female sexuality as decorative. You however, think you are above cultural messaging and are not trying to combat it. You are evidently still young so maybe you’ll learn. But you have to be open to it. You have to listen to people who are more knowledgeable in the subject than you.

The rest of us have been nice to girls all our lives and don’t like to be judged by the crimes of others.

Calling us petty scientific illiterates is nice?

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

wordsp1nner – I would love to reverse the roles in those paintings and see how the world reacts.

Was script-flipping on the bingo cards? It really should be.

I am just a terrible person for being a man and having a different opinion.

You are filtering your experience through your preconceptions. That’s not very STEM of you.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

he’s mansplaining stem to stem people on the grounds of 5 years college experience, of which the first were packed with misogyny, and little to no experience in the field.

unbelievable. “you ladies are totes wrong about the misogyny in stem because 5 years ago, which is practically a lifetime and definitely not within the living memory of any of you, women were openly run out of classes, and that has had zero effect on how many women are in stem right now.”

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

If we hate men for having opinions, why are we even on this blog?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

it certainly doesn’t help that the misogynist asses are still around–just five years older and farther along in the field.

yeah, I’m kind of mystified as to where trolly thinks those asshole men are right now and how they are treating women in the field, right now.

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

And, the inner Nice Guy (TM) comes out.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

Well, ghostroll already made it clear he doesn’t understand context. Perhaps those asshole men just melt off into the wind, affecting no one and nothing beyond a single school and a single program.

It’s like trying to have a useful conversation with a baby that hasn’t quite grasped the idea of object permenance yet.

M. the Social Justice Ranger
M. the Social Justice Ranger
6 years ago

But what do I know? I am just a terrible person for being a man and having a different opinion.

If you want to claim that we are emotional and easily offended and that you are coming from a place of pure unclouded logic, you might want to stop with the woe-is-me histrionics.

Also, posting. Stop posting.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

If we hate men for having opinions, why are we even on this blog?

Well, I don’t about you, but us opinion-having men are just here to hate ourselves apparently. We don’t take kindly to those who have opinions, such as not taking kindly, about others ’round here.

ghostiger
ghostiger
6 years ago

weirwoodtreehugger – Yes there is sexism in STEM and everywhere else (although undeniably diminishing), but avoiding to do what you love is not the answer. There are also a lot of sexist women and nobody bats an eye about that.

Social context doesn’t change what’s right or wrong. Your example of an aggressive push VS the Heimlich maneuver is not adequate because it is a different action (not even the same movement: the Heimlich maneuver is done from behind, below the ribs): one being an aggression an the other one a rescue move. In my example both are persons are wearing shirts with depictions of the opposite sex in scantly clothing (exactly the same action), both would offend some people (even if I’m sure one would offend more people) and be just colorful clothing to others.

Sexism is wrong, be it against males or females, even if society is more hurt by sexism towards women, you can’t resort to censorship. In the age of Inquisition, social context dictated that sciences and freedom of religion were a bad thing (to say the least), still society was wrong, not the few that were doing science or had a different religion. The shirt is tacky, but it doesn’t matter who it offends, only it’s content. Something is not sexist if it offends you, it is sexist if the content demeans in an objective way one of the sexes.

You can’t stop your hate, and seem actually offended by my opinion. I think assholes exist everywhere and in both genders.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

When a girl (or any person) doesn’t study in a STEM, it’s because he or she doesn’t like math.

Someone who doesn’t study a STEM is because he or she doesn’t like it or is bad at it.

just for argument, let’s assume that this is fact.

when I entered college 5 years ago, we were 50 men in the classroom and not a single woman, bigoted students used to verbally harass pretty girls (most of us hated them and blame them for the lack of women scientists). But now, after 5 years that has changed, one third of students are women and assholes keep their mouths shut.

that means that 5 years ago women couldn’t do math, but within the past 5 years that has changed and suddenly women are able to do math!

My point is that people can’t blame their life choices on anyone else.

and that’s why trolly thinks that men who are dicks to women are not to blame for making the life choice to be dicks to women.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

Your example of an aggressive push VS the Heimlich maneuver is not adequate because it is a different action (not even the same movement: the Heimlich maneuver is done from behind, below the ribs)

inability to tell the diff between cpr and the heimlich, even though grumpyoldnurse actually used the term “cpr”: check

mansplaining medical terms to a medical professional: check

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
6 years ago

OMG… so it isn’t just sexism he’s clueless about.

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

@ ghostiger – It was my counter example, not WWTH’s, and I was talking about CPR, not the Hemlich manoeuvre. Small point, I admit, but telling, IMHO. And, again, you miss the point.

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

ninja’d! And, very neatly, too. 🙂

ghostiger
ghostiger
6 years ago

Wow, this really escalated quickly. No one here can have a conversation (not even among yourselves), everyone just stating their opinion. This is soooo constructive. I think I’m wasting my time here, great “conversation”.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

he really seems to have this idea that because he knows engineering, that means he knows everything. like when you beat a game on hard, you get the easy and normal difficulty achievements at the same time.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

Dropping what he thinks are mind-blowing truth bombs when he actually has yet to say anything new or original: check. You’re in a 201 class and you haven’t even mastered the 101 material.

M. the Social Justice Ranger
M. the Social Justice Ranger
6 years ago

Ghostiger makes me believe in intellectual osmosis, because I feel like I’m getting dumber every time I slog through ones of his posts.

ghostiger
ghostiger
6 years ago

I’ll just sit back and see if you have anything useful to say among yourselves or the thread dies when there is no one to hate on.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Will he stick to the flounce? So far I award it a 4/10. Mostly for the stunning amounts of projection in accusing of just stating our opinions.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

“I am entitled to a debate and you’re the bad guys for not providing it” should also be on the bingo cards.

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

A bit pedantic and OT, but I have never broken ribs doing the Hemlich. I have, however, frequently, broken ribs doing CPR. The motions are not nearly the same. Also, the only time one uses chest compressions to try to clear a blocked airway is on an unconscious hugely pregnant woman or hugely abdominally obese person of any gender.