A Matter of Appearance

Image Source:  www.zazzle.com
Image Source: http://www.zazzle.com

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about the little probe that could – the Rosetta/Philae probe that was launched by the ESA and traveled 4 BILLION miles to land on a comet.

Quite a scientific/technological accomplishment, don’t you think?

This probe (which was launched way back in 2004), traveled to the comet, detached the probe (Philae), which then landed on the surface of the comet (while it travels at about 135,000 miles an hour) and began transmitting data back to Earth.

The scientists involved in the mission (which has taken over a decade!) have been making appearances to talk about the project.

I haven’t been following the story, just reading blurbs here and there as they crop up in my news feed.  Today, I came across an article by Boris Johnson with The Telegraph.  One of the scientists involved with the project is in the news.  A great scientific achievement – they deserve their 15 minutes of fame.  After reading the article, I am once again left shaking my head.

Why is Dr. Matt Taylor making headlines?  Because he had the audacity to wear a shirt that some found ‘offensive.’


The man was part of a team that landed a probe on a comet 4 BILLION MILES from Earth and people are complaining about his shirt?  What is wrong with people?  (If you want to see his infamous shirt, just Google it. There’s a million pictures of it.  Probably more pictures than you will find of Rosetta/Philae.)

Now – the shirt was a shirt I might find my brother wearing.  He’s a gamer, into sci-fi, comic books, a business owner, and a self-proclaimed nerd.  Did the shirt have scantily clad women on it?  Yes.  Were any of them naked or showing naughty bits?  No.  Did I (as a woman) find it offensive?  No.

I don’t understand the ‘feminist’ uproar.  Over a shirt.  A SHIRT.

Of all the things to worry about in the world today, we’re going to focus on a shirt?


Was it the best choice of attire for someone who would be on TV?  No.  But then, many people were also probably offended by the multitude of tattoos that Dr. Taylor sports.  Does his choice of attire have any bearing at all on his ability to do his job as a scientist?


I heard a story the other day about a male TV news anchor who was frustrated over the continual crap his female co-anchor received over things that have nothing to do with her ability to perform her job duties.  She was continually sent emails, tweets, facebook posts, etc. about her hair, her clothing, her makeup.  Most of them not very nice.  The feedback the male anchor received was generally focused on how he did his job, how entertaining he was, etc.  So he did a little experiment (you can read the story here).

He didn’t tell anyone.  He just quietly did it. He began wearing the same suit to work every day.  EVERY DAY.  (He did clean it a few times.)  What did people say?


No one noticed.  Or if they did, they didn’t care.  So, as a male TV anchor, he is judged on his ability to do his job.  As a female TV anchor, you are judged by your appearance.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Because what someone wears matters more than what they do.