Cartoon Feminism: Dr. Taylor’s Shirt #Feminism #Pseudofeminism

TattoosandtitillationsIn the last 100 years, feminists have fought for the rights of women all over the world; they have fought for equality of political voice, wage parity, reproductive health rights, equal access to education and job opportunity, the end of female genital mutilation, rape as a tactic of war, the kidnapping and selling of women into slavery, forced marriage, the legal status of rape victims, the mass extermination of female fetuses in China and India…

These are the laudable causes that feminists have fought for on behalf of ALL humans.

But the attack on Mr. Matt Taylor for wearing a shirt with a print of scantily clad cartoon characters on it is not feminist. It’s lazy, opportunistic, hype- and controversy-garnering manipulation of the media at the expense of ruining a single, accomplished scientist’s career. It’s blatant hacktivism that depreciates the very real cause of feminism.

And if it is feminism’s purview to combat the multiple ways in which women are represented in dehumanizing ways, that’s fine too; start with MTV, and 50% of all the billboard ads, and page three of the Sun, and every variety show with scantily clad women dancing on it. We live in a society inundated with the marketization of sexual imagery involving the objectification of women, and increasingly, the sexual objectification of men. If this offends you, take the fight to the culprits – the entities who’ve been using sex to sell things to us for the last 50 years. To pick on a single scientist’s cartoon shirt is absurd.

This is CARTOON feminism and the people who have applauded it aren’t feminists. They are active and destructive participants in the erosion of a very important movement that concerns itself with the very real and very serious issue of the inequality of women in the world.

What is more, the attack on Dr. Matt Taylor also speaks to a forced ‘norming’ of how science is visually represented in the mainstream, and a reactionary response to a scientist who doesn’t look like a stereotypical scientist.

In my books, that’s Queer shaming.