back to article I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm

A tearful Rosetta comet probe boffin has apologized after he appeared on camera wearing a shirt emblazoned with half-naked buxom women. Brit scientist Dr Matt Taylor wore the kinky attire during a live web video interview on Wednesday – as the world held its breath waiting for confirmation the Philae lander had made it to …

  1. tkioz


    Frankly I find the shirt offensive to the eyes (all those colours! Oh my goodness! Someone tell him about the colour wheel already!) but come on, let it go people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really?

      "Frankly I find the shirt offensive to the eyes (all those colours!"

      FFS why? Looks quite pleasant to me, given the drab that most people wear. Bloke should be given a medal for choosing something with a bit of go.

      I don't suppose that's how it will be received over at the Graun, with its ghastly hand-wringing writers, it's ghastly hand-wringing editors, and its ghastly hand-wringing readers. Mind you, will they have been able to fit it in between hand-wringing over "climate change", zero-hours, the plight of the "unemployed", and all their other liberal causes? I'd guess they probably did.

      1. Jan 0 Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        It looks quite pleasant to this Guardian reader too. It's a mad world where shirts mean more than attitudes and actions.

        1. SkippyBing

          Re: Really?

          I braved the comments on the Guardian article, so you don't have to, and I'd say ~90% were supporting the guy which made me feel slightly more hopeful for our species. I'm also now committed to getting a similar shirt in case I ever have to appear on TV. I won't be apologising though.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Guardian comments

            Short version then, a bunch of women who call themselves feminists without agreeing what feminism stands for have spotted a chance to make themselves look important by condemning a man who has extended the lifespan of the human race by a factor of millennia.

            Meanwhile, thousands of women just renounced feminism forever. The previously mentioned group will eventually hold a debate as to why, without figuring it's because most women want the species to survive.

    2. JeffyPoooh

      Guess who?


      A. You will make sure

      - that my clothes and laundry are kept in good order;

      - that I will receive my three meals regularly in my room;

      - that my bedroom and study are kept neat, and especially that my desk is left for my use only.

      B. You will renounce all personal relations with me insofar as they are not completely necessary for social reasons. Specifically, you will forego

      -my sitting at home with you;

      -my going out or traveling with you.

      C. You will obey the following points in your relations with me:

      - you will not expect any intimacy from me, nor will you reproach me in any way;

      - you will stop talking to me if I request it;

      - you will leave my bedroom or study immediately without protest if I request it.

      D. You will undertake not to belittle me in front of our children, either through words or behavior.

    3. g e

      Re: Really?

      You know what? If just ONE of the whiners was actually cleverer than this guy....

      Oh but then they'd easily be smart enough not to whine about some contrived bullshit they imagined in their own self-important/needy/attention-seeking little heads, wouldn't they.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really?

      Exactly what is offensive about a bunch of women wearing formal gowns and hair-do's looking elegant and feminine? I don't see feminists picking the Brit Awards when similarly clad women strut up the red carpet.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sad, y'know?

    Gawd, can The Reg get any more trivial?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sad, y'know?

      El Reg didn't start a #shirtstorm. Feminists did.

      1. Richard Jones 1
        Thumb Down

        Re: Sad, y'know?

        One of the major issues of the time is how easily the internet can make a non issue can become a hot topic for no reason at all. Anyone with some sort of stupid non point to make, (beyond being a fool) can start up a twit storm by simply being a twit.

        I guess the only way forward is to so flood the internet with stupid shirt pictures that the fools overload and burn out.

        1. Nick Kew

          Re: Sad, y'know?

          I guess the only way forward is to so flood the internet with stupid shirt pictures that the fools overload and burn out.

          Good point.

          Anyone know where I can get a shirt like that? El Reg, earn your journalists stripes and tell us!

          1. Mage Silver badge

            Re: Sad, y'know?

            Ban Twitter and Facebook and the Internet would be a more wholesome place?

            (Did I hear someone complain about porn? It's not a Internet phenomenon and unlike Twitter isn't used by BBC instead of Journalism. It's been much the same for thousands of years).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sad, y'know?

              > unlike Twitter isn't used by BBC instead of Journalism

              Upvoted. :)

      2. Fibbles

        Re: Sad, y'know?

        El Reg didn't start a #shirtstorm. Feminists did.

        I wouldn't call them Feminists, I'd call them SJWs. This was about attacking something they found personally offensive, not equality.

        As a side note; the shirt was given to him as a present from a female friend.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sad, y'know?

          Exactly. Feminists are no more a homogeneous group than 'scientists'.

          As for putting young women off science... nonsense. I know a lot of women who are very attracted to Heavy Metal and the like, and that world is full of tattoos and risque clothing. Many of these women have tattoos themselves, even tattoos of topless women.*

          Generally, these young women are more likely to trust a bloke like this than they are a smoothie in a business suit.

          Personally, I like wearing stripy shirts.

          *the math geek in me would like to see a tattoo of a naked lady on a tattoo of a naked lady on a naked lady, etc

          "Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,

          And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.

          And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on,

          While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on."

        2. Craigness

          Re: Sad, y'know?

          @fibbles this is what feminism is about nowadays, and it's never been about equality. When they fought for voting rights men could only vote if they made themselves available to be conscripted (in many US states this is still the case), but women wanted to be a class above, and get the benefits of citizenship without any of the responsibilities. When women were 40% of university students it was an "equality" problem that feminists wanted to fix, but now men are 40% they have no desire to make men equal, and instead campaign against men's groups and men's centres on campus, whilst removing due process from men accused of sexual assault and banning the culture of straight white males (dubbed "lad culture"). They don't want equality of representation among people working in sewers, but they have got it into EU law that 40% of board members must be women, even though women's choices regarding work-life balance, and what they study at university, suggest a non-discriminatory outcome would be far lower than 40%.

          Leading, recognised feminists should take some time out from attacking men and make it absolutely clear that they oppose the people who harassed Mr Taylor over his shirt. Otherwise we will call those people feminists, and so will they themselves.

        3. Tom 13

          Re: I'd call them


          Best word ever coined to describe them. They aren't about equality. They're all about forcing everyone to conform to their viewpoint.

      3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Sad, y'know?

        Comment by Tim Stanley in the Telegraph...

        "Matt Taylor's sexist shirt and the day political correctness officially went mad

        All eyes should have been on Rosetta's voyage to Philae. Instead offence-hunters were looking at a scientist's kinky shirt."


        "Imagine if these PC fetishists had been around on Twitter when we landed on the moon: “One small step for man? And one giant leap backwards for women. #sexistpigs”. Would they have reduced Neil Armstrong to tears upon his return for enforcing heteronormativity with his masculinist rhetoric about stepping? I don’t doubt it."


      4. Ken Darling

        Re: Sad, y'know?

        What's to stop feminists wearing shirts depicting half naked men?

        They really do have a bee in their bonnets, don't they.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sad, y'know?

          > What's to stop feminists wearing shirts depicting half naked men?

          Well, it doesn't quite work like that. The shirt in question, from the images I've seen, is a Heavy Metal themed piece of attire. Depictions of scantily-clad, voluptuous young women, usually in dynamic poses, are part of the iconography of Heavy Metal (as also are depictions of topless, muscular men with long hair... typically in poses evocative of gladiators or Middle Ages "warriors").

          This is not about "I'm going to go out wearing a shirt with images of nude women on it", but about "I'm going to go out wearing a Heavy Metal shirt".

          I mean, how many of us say "I'm off to Florence to look at a statue of a naked bloke with a small dick?" How many of us complain about the ornamentation on Gothic cathedrals, often showing pretty rude scenes, such as men sucking each other's todgers, lasses spreading their legs open to show their cunts, etc.? What would the Renaissance or Gothic periods be without their peculiar motifs, of which modern tendencies are but a continuation?

          Regardless of who the guy is or isn't, complaining about suggestive pictures of women in the context of a Heavy Metal scene is completely missing the point, if not an open display of nescience.

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Sad, y'know?

      Well, we in the office are largely in support of the dude. He made a mistake picking that shirt; it's a bit mad for the moment. And then the internet got upset. And now he's apologized, in a heartbreaking way.

      Just throwing it out there for debate. But we're not condemning the guy.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sad, y'know?

        > He made a mistake picking that shirt; it's a bit mad for the moment.

        Chris, I disagree with you there. The "moment" is nothing to do with choice of dress.

      2. Sarev

        Re: Sad, y'know?

        Yeah, right, El Reg - pot meet kettle... The Reg slagged off his taste in music in the article about him getting some ink.

        There's me thinking this is a tech news site for techies and here we have a clear-as-day, honest-to-god Übergeek who not only _looks_ like a geek but is actually successful and doing something worthwhile for Humanity. Here are the rest of us geeks reading this in our moderately well paid, dull as dishwater, 9-5 drudgery (for example, endlessly fixing shite code that some other muppet wrote) and what do we do when we see this guy? Criticise his taste in music/clothing. FFS.

      3. unwarranted triumphalism

        Re: Sad, y'know?

        'we're not condemning the guy'

        I am. He made an appalling error of judgement in a professional setting and should be fired.

        1. Paul Kinsler Silver badge

          Re: an appalling error of judgement in a professional setting

          The professionalism of a scientist has precisely /nothing/ to do with how they dress.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sad, y'know?

          > I am. He made an appalling error of judgement in a professional setting and should be fired.

          All you have to do is work yourself up to a position where you can be his boss, then fire him. What are you waiting for? :-)

          1. Bloakey1

            Re: Sad, y'know?

            "All you have to do is work yourself up to a position where you can be his boss, then fire him. What are you waiting for? :-)"

            Maternity leave?

            I'll get my coat.

        3. Hans 1

          Re: Sad, y'know?

          Surely you would have fired Einstein because of his haircut.

          1. The shirt is ugly

          2. People wear what they like/want

          PS: I would have loved to see a scientist in bathrobe or a "Fuck Creationists" t ... but that's just me. Who fucking cares what these guyz wear ? It is what they have between the ears that matters ... as for you, the French have managed to reconnect nerve cells so their is hope that when you die, we will be able to transplant your unused brains to some body that will use them.

        4. fedoraman

          Re: Sad, y'know?

          Allow me to hand you the first stone ...

  3. Mitoo Bobsworth

    I would suggest... the humourless, fatuously indignant wowsers who complained to grow a funny bone - that would be a far more productive use of their energy. Science needs character - and characters. Never apologise for being yourself. (unless you're a politician, in which case no amount of apology will redeem you.)

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: I would suggest...

      Never apologise for being yourself.

      That's a very absolute statement.

    2. Vic

      Re: I would suggest...

      Never apologise for being yourself.

      Rule #32 – Enjoy the Little Things


      [Yes, it's just been on the telly]

  4. Zog_but_not_the_first

    Just once

    I'd like to see a response that eschews the expected "deep apology, moment of madness, great regret" and delivers, "Yeah. Piss off".

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Just once

      Exactly. The shirt is awful in terms of colour and graphics taste.

      Sexist - do not think so. Are the ladies in question doing the dishes, washing the floor, putting out the laundry or doing anything else which the woman "should do" according to the "woman's place is in the kitchen astrophysical theory"?


      Then move along. End of story.

  5. Adam Jarvis

    Glossy screens

    I assume he stipulates Glossy screens for his desk, to help with the reflections.

  6. Donald_D

    a rocket scientist, as such salt of that frigging earth of ours, advancing man kind, apologises for ...what? decrepit quarterwitted middle class twit concern trolls' obsessions?? comp lit/chick lit/gender shysters barely smart enough to fake it through their sham studies but surely smart enough to suck up where sucking up needs to be done in order to advance pseudo-sciencewise and get on government sponsored gravy trains??? a grown-up man, two kids, hyper smart, effective, can do, *makes do,* and they get him to sob for *hit? gold-sprinkled crapola? and the reg can't muster the ?!$$$$§?**#!$!%&#*!++$$!!!!! balls to mock that--not him--til the pest dies and festers? til all that pestilent *iss dries up and the filthy, foul, flatulent, feculent wind abates? shame on you.

    1. Davie Dee

      I got as far as " frigging earth of ours" before the words all blurred in to Chinese, any one else do better?

      1. Fibbles

        I think even amanfromMars would struggle to make sense of it.

      2. VinceH

        I think he said the guy shouldn't have apologised, and that the people who objected to the shirt are idiots.

        And he's right - but feck me, it was hard work decyphering it!

      3. ChrisBedford

        [q]I got as far as " frigging earth of ours" before the words all blurred in to Chinese, any one else do better?[/q]

        My eyes went over the text, my brain did the OCR, but... yeah, still Chinese.

  7. dynjo

    World, get over yourself

    This guy just landed a robot on a comet billions of km away to help us understand the fundamentals of life.

    What the hell did the rest of the self righteous humourless politically correct granola eating idiots do for humanity today?

    He can wear whatever shirt he likes, period.

    1. Greg 16

      Re: World, get over yourself

      So it;s okay because he's a scientist? I'm not in the slightest bothered by the shirt, but I'm highly concerned by the double standards shown by Register commentards. If a UKIP candidate wore the shirt, would there be a similar outpouring of sympathy for the person in question to wear what they like?

      I'm not a scientist or a UKIP supporter, but when it comes to "political correctness" the rules should apply to everyone equally. Isn't that the essence of equality?

      1. deadmonkey

        Re: World, get over yourself

        Greg, I couldn't agree more and to be honest was bloody pleased to see your post here.

        I was guessing the way the comments would go, but was hoping there would be a bit more balance, but no, these days in the eyes of most reg commentards if you're brilliant you can wear what the heck you like and you should never apologise to anyone.

        I was brought up in the 70s/80s and my mum would tear a strip off me for appearing in such a shirt and for once I'd agree with her.

        Sorry if that means I'm in a minority and gets a ton of downvotes, but this stuff really can matter.

      2. Omgwtfbbqtime

        Re: World, get over yourself

        If a UKIP candidate wore that shirt he would still be a cunt.

        No let me rephrase that... If a politician wore that shirt he/she would still be a cunt.

      3. Hans 1

        Re: World, get over yourself


        ... a politician is like a sales guy, their craft is a con act which requires excellent PR - without proper attire they get nowhere, it's all they have. Now, who the fuck cares how a dev/scientist is dressed ? Right.

        Equality ? Ok, so a surgeon is supposed to wear a tuxedo to perform operations ?

        You, sir, hurt.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: World, get over yourself

          I would at least expect a bow tie for a surgeon... standards are slipping these days...

          1. Omgwtfbbqtime

            Re: World, get over yourself

            Having spoken to SWMBO, the derigeur for surgeons is white wellies.

        2. Adolph Clickbait

          Re: World, get over yourself

          Top hat and tails! I'd expect nothing less.

    2. Rick Giles

      Re: World, get over yourself

      "What the hell did the rest of the self righteous humourless politically correct granola eating idiots do for humanity today?"

      You left out 'Godless'.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: World, get over yourself

      I am a fairly cheap language teacher.

      I give my customers the choice.

      3500 / hour and I dress the way I want.

      5000 / hour and I will wear a suit and even a tie.

      The explanation for me is that my normal clothes I can wash my self. A suit has the extra upkeep of dry cleaning and going and getting it at the cleaners.

      I can go to classes on my bicycle in my casual clothes. A suit requires that I come by car so be prepared to pay extra for transportation / parking.

      strangely enough all my customers are fine with my casual clothes once I explain the rules.

      I think that image is still inferior to content.

  8. Mark 85 Silver badge

    He's in good company...

    Seems many of the brilliant minds are "bizarre" by many standards of society. Einstein and some of his actions come to mind. We need more brilliance and less politically correctness.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: He's in good company...

      Wasn't it Richard Feynman who cheerfully admitted to attending strip clubs?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: He's in good company...

        Yes, and painted¹ them in a very humane way.

        ¹ Literally too. He used to paint in them.

  9. 45RPM Silver badge

    I haven't got a problem with feminists - why would I? All they seek is equal rights and standards of behaviour for men and women.

    I have feminist friends, both male and female, who have shirts celebrating the naked fleshy beauty of the human body. I know of feminists who work in the porn industry. The trouble is that the shirt-objecting dick-spanks who have raised this complaint aren't really feminists - that's just an excuse. They're narrow minded prudes. They'd be pond life, if it weren't for the fact that pond life tends to be more open minded and less trivial.

    How sad that this man, a genius, should have to apologise for his wardrobe.

    1. Mike Bell


      Actually, no. The seek for equal rights and standards is egalitarianism, something that I wholeheartedly support. Feminism gets up a lot of people's noses because it's solely about women's rights.

      As for this guy in the shirt – he likes gawdy colours and hot chicks. So what? He's just being honest. If he liked cross-dressing that's his preference. It's shameful that he felt the need to apologise like that.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        @Mike Bell

        Feminism isn't about equality?

        Perhaps you should take that up with Cambridge, Collins, Merriam-Webster and Oxford, hmm?

        1. Mike Bell

          Re: @Mike Bell

          @Sorry that handle

          It is.

          but did you see this bit in the definition: "organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests"?

          That's the bit that is all about women.

          In contrast with egalitarianism which does not focus on the rights of one particular sex: That asserts the equality of mankind.

          1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

            Re: @Mike Bell

            If we must argue semantics, is it difficult to accept that feminism is a subset of egalitarianism?

            They both strive for equality. Feminism focuses on equality between men and women, while egalitarianism also encompasses equality of politics, race, class, economics, justice and religion, to name just a few.

            Advocating for sexual or gender equality is almost necessarily a feminist position because that's where the imbalance generally lies. The day that feminism (or any form of sexual/gender advocacy) is no longer necessary will be a very good day.

        2. Hellcat

          Re: @Mike Bell

          I've had these sorts of discussions with self declared feminists before, especially around the subject of women-only shortlists for jobs where there may not currently be gender equality. When I argued that to exclude men from being hired because the current balance is not 50/50 is discrimination against the men, I was told that wasn't a problem because "you men have had it good for long enough".

          "Woop" for equality!

        3. TheProf Silver badge

          Re: @Sorry that

          I take it you've not read 'The Female Eunuch' then?

          Ms Greer's (all praise her name) 'feminist' does not want equality with men for that requires women to fit into the mould created by man.

          Ms Greer's (all praise her name) 'feminism' decrees that society should be torn down and rebuilt in the image of woman.

          Equality doesn't enter into it.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Sorry that handle

          Are you going to be the one to break the news to Germaine Greer that she isn't a feminist then?

  10. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "The shirt I wore this week … I made a big mistake, and I offended many people and I am very sorry about this,"


    Tell all those motherfuckers off, dude! Seriously, punch them in their fucking FACE even the FEMALES. These zombified people wouldn't even DARE to say something from behind their assorted neurotic complexes when you met them in the street.

  11. Nick Kew
    Big Brother

    Burn the Witch!

    This is a scientist, not a TV personality. He's on camera because he's involved with a newsworthy event.

    What does it say about our Thought Police that they can be watching him ... not to marvel at a feat of engineering ... not to be gripped by a "will it work" cliffhanger ... not to learn something of the science it supports ... not to draw lessons[1] from the experience ... but to stone the heretic? Have they lynched the creators of Lara Croft yet? Better not tell them about Italy and Renaissance Art, where the ladies are often not merely central to the pictures, but naked!

    [1] Lesson: when sending a scientific vehicle into space and where it *might* fall long-term in deep shadow, the marginal extra cost of equipping it with on-board nuclear power is probably worth it.

  12. Pigeon

    I Could rant all day

    We know he's been told to give the apology. Give the ignorati a point, so what. If he had said "I've been told to apologise", there would just be another shitstorm. I'm sure he is smart enough to ignore their rancid opinions.

    No good comes of saying "Yeah, piss off", as I have found.

    1. Nick Kew

      Re: I Could rant all day

      Galileo recanted his science and avoided getting burned at the stake. History remembers him as a great scientist, but in his own time he was in trouble.

      Malala Yousefzai took a stand against bigots who attacked her. Now a huge celebrity and looks set for a life at the top. But nothing (yet) to go down as much more than a footnote in history. More a Rosa Parks moment than a Martin Luther King dream.

      Looks like this scientist has gone for the Galileo option. For history, not his own lifetime. A natural reaction from a rabbit caught in the headlights of a wave of bigotry that had never even crossed his mind.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Predictable, unfortunately

    The problem with the WWW, and Twitter in particular, is that anyone who comes to public attention is at the mercy of people who are totally, fucking, BONKERS.

    I hope he wakes up one morning soon and says to himself "Fuck 'em all" and moves on with his life. Let them fester in their bigotry.

    1. Pigeon

      I've balanced out your thumbsupdown

      * Hey dude, that shirt real sucks

      * Why, thankyou, My wife bought it for me

      * I'm going to stalk you on the Reg and downvote all your posts

      FFS, nobody died (but my downvotes really hurt, sortof).

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've balanced out your thumbsupdown

        Thanks, Pigeon. I was beginning to think I was being stalked until I saw that someone had been down the thread disapproving the comments.

      2. Getriebe

        Re: I've balanced out your thumbsupdown

        "Why, thank you, My wife bought it for me"

        Given to him, and made for him, by a woman at his tattoo shop

  14. Robigus

    Oh dear.

    The self righteous Twitterati and their ilk seek attention.

    What better way of getting attention than creating a self-righteous uber-pious storm? Why admiration and column inches through being creative, clever, witty or helpful*, when one can exhibit plain old ostentatious faux-outrage. Subtext "LOOK AT ME! ME! ME!" ;

    One has to wonder what went so wrong in their lives that they live the tabloid headlines of fear and anger. It is irksome that the media jump on these stories(?) and fan the flames. Perhaps that, in itself, is a symptom of the tabloid. Attention seekers; tabloid; symbiosis complete.

    Whatever ails them - I hope they find solace. Preferably with equanimity to their fellow humans.

    Anonymous - obv.

    * Because it's difficult and requires effort.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still waiting

    Why no twitter storm - outraged at Coke using semi naked men to sell Diet Coke.

    (Or is it Pepsi - they all look the same to me).

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Still waiting

      I've often thought about that - my main hypothesis at the moment is that women's sexuality is considered less threatening than men's:

      -The Diet Coke Man is a strong lad, and could fight the women off if he wanted to. He isn't going to be fearful. (men are generally stronger than women).

      -However, I doubt he wants to. (evolutionary, the cost to a bloke is half an hour of his time, the cost to a women could be pregnancy and years of raising a child - so she's likely to be fussy about where half the kid's DNA comes from).

      -The, um, mechanics of the, erm, deed, are such that it is difficult for women to take advantage of an unwilling partner.

      - He might get swooned at a couple of times a week. Many women receive unwelcome comments every five minutes if they walk down a busy street.

  16. TitterYeNot

    Humans... <Sigh>

    <C&C_CHNL_3> - Hi Philae, how are the power levels? How are you doing?

    <PHILAE_UP_LNK_4> - Not too impressed if I'm honest, Control. Here's me sitting on a frikkin' comet after a 10 year, 4 billion mile journey that's included a Mars flyby, and all you idiot humans are talking about is Taylor's shirt!

    <C&C_CHNL_3> - Yeah, sorry about that. He cried and everything. On the bright side though, we think we can use either a leg retraction or gyro spin manoeuvre to bounce you away from that cliff and back into sunlight. We're running through the maths right now.

    <PHILAE_UP_LNK_4> - No way, Control, no way! Let me power down in peace with some dignity intact. You know what'll happen - despite all we've achieved, I'll forever be remembered as the robotic lander called 'Skippy'...

  17. mikemurk

    Anyone up for....

    Creating a twit-storm and sitting the President of Coca-Cola in front of a camera to cry and apologise for years of sexualising and objectifying men in order to sell Diet Coke?

    Thought not....

    1. Craigness

      Re: Anyone up for....

      And Hollister, for their misandrist, sexualizing bags. Again, no takers.

  18. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    I hope

    Next time he wears a shirt with pictures of totally naked women.

    I could go on to explain how those who complain about depiction of beautiful female bodies are actually being the real misogynists but they are obviously too dumb to understand anything, so I won't.

    1. Craigness

      Re: I hope

      Some harassers have claimed that's what he was wearing. The Daily Telegraph even claimed the women were wearing "bondage gear" and didn't mention any of the huge amount of support he was getting, only the opposition voices.

  19. Jez Lawrence

    Bad choice of print not style. And only in a non-media-savvy way at that.

    The man's a god.

    I really hope his confidence stands up to 1st world internet trolls with absolutely zero sense of perspective about what humanity just acheived.

  20. Craigness

    A first test for WAM on Twitter

    The good news is that Twitter has something in place to resolve all the gender-based harassment he's been getting, and the women doing it from the UK will have their IPs tracked and each get 2-year prison sentences. This will prove WAM is committed to ending harassment and is not just another feminist group censoring egalitarian viewpoints and anti-feminists statistics.

    Bowie predicted all this, you know:

    You really made the grade

    And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Problem With This Chap

    Is, partly, being born British.

    I have seen PhDs in Germany, Spain, and even Austria, that make Dr. Taylor look like a sartorial icon. If anyone does give a shit about it, they very wisely keep it to themselves.

    But not in Blighty, where ignorance and conformance are celebrated.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Should've gone topless

    Title by a coward

    Or exercised the many other lewd and provocative ways that have become very acceptable over the last 50-years. Could've worn a "don't hug me I'm scared 4" T-shirt.

  23. Chris G Silver badge

    Matt Taylor

    Never apologise for who you are dude! Especially when you and the the team you work with have achieved a milestone in human history, I'm willing to bet none of the pondscum that tweeted and bleated about your shirt have or will achieve a fraction of what you have just done.

    Have a beer and tell 'em all to fuck off!

  24. Cynicalmark

    We are all going to hell in a handcart.....!!!!

    .....and no bugger is steering........Stop being all pansy and man up. Who gives two tosses what 3 old ladies and a bitter group of guaranteed to be single cat ladies think of what you wear. Stop pandering to these bullies and grow a pair - be who you are and not what the fashion and behaviour police want you to be.....grrrrrrr

  25. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Missed Opportunity for El Reg

    Maybe the SPB should send Matt a lab coat (with mission patch, of course) and a pipe? While not garden shied variety, this is still boffinry at the highest level.

  26. I Like Heckling

    He should never have apologised in the first place because he's got nothing to be sorry about... His crime was not having much in the way of 'acceptable' fashion sense... and by acceptable, I mean those pathetic types who actually judge a person based on their attire.

    The only thing this has proved is that the online faux outrage community... otherwise known as 'Bullies' have proven yet again that if you shout loud enough and pretend to be outraged enough.. You can attempt to humiliate and upset a person so much that they think about changing who they are... when the person they already are is perfectly fine already.

    It's yet another example of misandry being mistaken for feminism... but in the most basic terms... It's simple prejudice and bigotry towards someone just because they don't like something he was wearing... people like that are pathetic little individuals with so little meaning in their lives that bulling a person in this manner is their only means of satisfaction.

    The internet has many great things about it... but the ability to act and berate people in this manner is one of them that I wish didn't exist... Stupid, moronic, pathetic little scrotes the lot of them.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I don't mean the response to the shirt, I mean that the modern press is overly reliant on reading Twitter as shortcut to actual research.

    Hence , and I am talking generally since I'm not aware of the details over the aforementioned shirt, any strong response to a topic on twitter seems to be reported as "internet fury over..." (I'm sorry I can't do the voice from What The Papers Say ) even if the rest of the online world is going 'meh', or 'so what?'

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I saw his interviews. I saw the shirt. I heard him speak. Didn't pay attention to any of it. Just sat in awe, thinking this dude and his team just chased a comet and landed a metal box on in.

  29. aqk

    May I have the shirt?

    I do not wish to sound shirt-faced, but if the good rocket scientist is finished with the shirt, might he send it to me?

  30. SF
    IT Angle


    Congratulations, Steve is back!

  31. skeptical i

    Just in time for the helliday shopping season

    the Matt Taylor shirt knock-offs. I hope the artist who gave him the shirt (someone above said she made it?) can cash in on the McFuror, some good has to come from the twitstorm. Hells, I'd buy one.

  32. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Poor attempt at sarcasm?

  33. Rob 44


    Isn't it strange that the very people who complain about being judged for what they wear, are judging someone for what he wears?

  34. IWPCHI

    Your comments confirm misogynist attitudes in IT

    It is not at all surprising to read all these comments here supporting the casual sexism displayed by ESA Rosetta scientist Matt Taylor when he both chose, as one of the top scientists working on the Rosetta mission, to wear a shirt covered in near-pornographic images of gun-toting half-naked women, and then made sexist comments comparing the difficulty of maneuvering the Rosetta spacecraft from 3AU away to sexy women who play hard-to-get. It comes as no surprise to us that the readers of the Reg - who presumably heavily represent the male denizens of the IT industry - reveal that they are just as sexist and misogynistic as they have been reported to be by innumerable women in IT.

    You guys just don't get it: it's not the fact that Matt Taylor OWNS a shirt like that or that he likes to wear it; it's that he thought it was OK, as a supervisor of a workplace to wear it to WORK and present himself wearing it as a representative of what the top astrophysicists at ESA consider to be acceptable attire in a workplace where, historically, women have been discriminated against. The shirt itself isn't offensive; it's the wearing of it as the supervisor at a workplace that gives it an especially unsubtle and derogatory misogynist political spin.

    No one cares if he wears such a shirt to a pub or to a club (although even then it does reveal an attitude of "who cares what women think about anything?"). It's a classic example of the casual disregard for women, the casual sexism, that permeates the world and apparently the worlds of science, IT and the news media (the fact that ESA's PR people allowed him to go on international TV dressed like that ALSO presents us with evidence of casual sexism in that sphere of human endeavor as well).

    No one cares if one of you little boys go out and buy a shirt like his and wear it around town. All the women who are unfortunate enough to know you already KNOW that you're a sexist pig; it won't shock them in the least. And it doesn't matter because you don't have any power over their lives at all like Matt Taylor might very well have over the women where he works. If a project leader like Taylor says he doesn't want a certain woman scientist on his team, she's probably not going to be hired. And if two women, equally qualified or not, applied for a job working with Dr. Taylor... well, that shirt shows us all what his kind of "ideal" woman is, doesn't it?

    His actions and statements were those of a typical male chauvinist who might be a decent guy in general but who wears his sexism on his sleeves - all four of them.

    So, he apologised - good. If the women he works with are willing to accept his apology, then we'll accept it too. End of story, we hope.

    N.B.: You guys might be surprised to learn that in the USA, a boss or supervisor who chose to wear clothing like that in the workplace could be responsible for his company being hauled into court and sued for creating an atmosphere in the workplace that was demeaning to women. There literaly are laws against doing the kind of stupid crap that Taylor did in his workplace - and that's a good thing.

    Last but not least: W.C. Fields warned us against "smartening up chumps" but we'll make an exception to our usual policy of following his very wise advice and tell you: you're probably blissfully unaware of it, but from your comments here it certainly appears to us that you're all (in this specific comment board for this specific article, with maybe a couple of exceptions) a bunch of sexist, misogynist pigs... and every woman who knows you personally probably thinks that about you as well. You can carry that burden with you through your entire life if you choose to do so. If you do, it will affect your relationships with every woman you encounter in your sad lives - including those who will someday decide whether to hire you or someone who has a bit more intelligence when it comes to sexism and racism and things like that which YOU think are totally unimportant and stupid.

    Don't forget to wear your AWESOME Bettie Page T-shirt to the interview!

    Workers of the World, Unite!

    Independent Workers Party of Chicago

    1. pepper

      Re: Your comments confirm misogynist attitudes in IT

      How adorable, the trolls are out in force skimming the interwebs. How very enjoyable!

      Bit ranty though, you pretty much gave away the goal of your post right of the bat, best to use subterfuge a little more so we can get a little game out of it!

      Also, making broad sweeping general statements is rather sexists, you also presume guilt without evidence and a host of other applications of bad logic. Are you yourself not what you accuse others of being?

    2. x 7

      Re: Your comments confirm misogynist attitudes in IT

      " W.C. Fields warned us against "smartening up chumps""

      I always understood that to be an epistle arguing against the education of women. Most educated women are chumpy. (or is it chunky? hard to tell sometimes......)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Your comments confirm misogynist attitudes in IT

      Nice spoof on the "PC" movement, feminist activists, and prudes in general. :-)

      I do hope you do not actually believe any of that, though. If you do, I sincerely feel sorry for you.

    4. Hig Hurtenflurst

      Re: Your comments confirm misogynist attitudes in IT

      Some astonishingly good extrapolation there: you are Trin Tragula and I claim my five pounds.

    5. Cari

      U Wot M8?

      "Your comments confirm *misogynist*"<<<< stopped reading here.

      Stop abusing and misusing this word. It *really* doesn't mean what you think it means.

      A misogynist is someone who hates *all* women. Who treats them like crap, and will use them for sex and whatever else they can get out of them. Someone who thinks of women as lesser beings. Who will use women to get back at other men to prove their dominance over "weaker" men. Who will hit, beat, rape, manipulate, threaten to kill if not *actually* kill their female partner when they feel their woman has stepped out of line.

      They treat women like their servants, expecting women to run around on them every hour of the day, every day of the week and still give it up whenever it's demanded (it being sex btw). Misogynists don't hold many men in high regard either, calling them "pussies" for actually being respectful human beings, and determine a man's worth on how successful he is in life with women. They don't have empathy for women. They refer to them as "sluts" or "slags", and boy can a misogynist not stand a woman with a sexual history (although he will expect her to perform like a pro in the bedroom).

      They cannot *stand* the idea of *their woman* being with another man, and will shame and bully their woman out of looking anywhere but the floor when around other men. Their woman isn't allowed to talk about sex in the company of others, and they absolutely loathe the idea of their woman being seen as sexual by any other man. Ironically, that doesn't stop the misogynist from bragging to "the lads" about their sexual exploits (gotta make sure everyone knows how "alpha" he is, ofc).

      Misogynists see women as property, as trophies to be won to show their superior status, as slaves to do their bidding and to clean up after them, to be discarded once they're no longer of use. They don't respect women in positions of authority, they can't stand the idea of a woman being more intelligent than them, and they really, /really/ hate when a woman has to bail them out of financial messes, especially if *their* woman is earning more than them.

      Know what's great about misogynists though? They tell you who they are. They will be more than forthcoming with how badly they've treated women in the past (be they partners, friends, colleagues or family), and will happily tell you how you're the only woman ever they have had any respect for (but ofc. this is a lie). They will openly show a lack of respect for other women when in your company, and make sure to point out to you all the ways women behave that are undesirable to them.

      Actual misogynists don't simply wear a shirt (made by their female friend) with pretty women showing *gasp* a bit of shoulder (what is this, the Victorian age?) and get on with their life treating them like human beings of equal standing.

      Get some perspective!

      I have never, in all my life and experience met a man working in IT, or in the geek community that is anything remotely resembling a misogynist. They're either too busy getting on with what interests them to give a crap about the gender of the person they're working or socialising with, or have been beaten and bullied into putting women on a pedestal by benevolent sexists abusing words like "misogyny" and shaming them for the tiniest of things (like wearing a shirt with pretty ladies on).

      I have known one actual misogynist in my life (and, being in IT and geeky circles since high school, I've known a lot of men), and that was my abusive, non-geeky, non-techy ex. And in work, the /sexists/ were the few dude-bro types that had to talk about sex all the time to make sure everyone knew they were men, and manly men at that.

      This man should not have been bullied and harassed like he has been. He certainly shouldn't have had to apologise, and cry while doing so. He should have been celebrating the achievements of im and his colleagues, and instead of talking about his damn shirt, the media should be abuzz with how awesome it is they landed a prove on a freaking comet!

      eta. and in the event I'm responding to a satirical post, well consider this a comment to anyone that actually *does* believe the man's shirt was misogynist.

      1. jebdra

        Re: U Wot M8?

        I agree with everything you've said.

        However, you really can't blame the general internet population for misunderstanding the meaning of the word "misogynist" - not after Julia Gillard's speech at Tony Abbott.

        For the record, physics and math at uni, worked in IT most of my life and female. No problem with the shirt. In awe at the achievement.

    6. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Your comments confirm misogynist attitudes in IT

      You will wear what you are told you can wear.

      You will conform to the rules of the state

      You will obey

      you will not question

      you will conform

      you will obey

      you will conform

      you will conform


      PS f*** you, I am not a number

    7. Vic

      Re: Your comments confirm misogynist attitudes in IT



      1. Omgwtfbbqtime
        Thumb Up

        Re: Your comments confirm misogynist attitudes in IT

        Vic - Have a +1 for channeling the original Moderatrix - Sarah Bee!

    8. Hans 1

      Re: Your comments confirm misogynist attitudes in IT


      I will quote Bill Maher, once more:

      Because they’re [The French are] not a nation of 6-year-olds who scream and giggle if they see pee-pee parts.

      Finished primary school, yet, IWPCHI ?

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Your comments confirm misogynist attitudes in IT

      All the women who are unfortunate enough to know you already KNOW that you're a sexist pig

      I wouldn't go as far as saying wearing all shirts like that means you're a sexist pig but I don't think it's acceptable to wear one like that when you're on TV representing a company. If I saw someone wear that in a pub I wouldn't think anything of it but in a professional atmosphere it's different -- it depends on who will see you wear that shirt. It's kinda like swearing, your colleagues probably won't care but other people might, especially when you're supposed to be representing a company.

      The shirt isn't sexist, just unprofessional -- unless it was his lucky shirt, in which case it wasn't so lucky, I suppose.

    10. Benjol

      Re: Your comments confirm misogynist attitudes in IT

      As someone commented elsewhere: you're saying that he chose to wear those clothes so he had it coming to him? Sounds familiar.

    11. lucki bstard

      Re: Your comments confirm misogynist attitudes in IT

      IWPCHI - Self described as 'integrated revolutionary Trotskyist workers party'

      The last Trotskyist revolution failed, and you want to create another one, because it will succeed how?? But it will replicate the previous revolutions where a minority became richer and the majority got screwed (again).

      As for the tag:

      'Chicago: the most corrupt city in the most corrupt county in the most corrupt state in the most corrupt country in the world!' I really feel that you need to get out more and visit other countries; and maybe you'll realise that you may not live in paradise, but you are a lot better off then most of the world.

      Although if you had the initiative and open mindedness to travel the world and spend time with ordinary people then you couldn't be a member of the party you are a member off.

  35. Packet

    wait - so he's being judged by what he's wearing?

    now where have i heard that before about someone being judged by what they wear...

  36. x 7

    feminism is for feminists

    femininity is for females

    women tend to get the two confused.

    so fuck 'em. Its what they deserve

    where can I buy one of those shirts?

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Now, IWPCHI - if you're still reading - that ^^ is a misogynist statement.

  37. Mussie (Ed)

    Total Shit

    Somone on reddit made a dam good point, its not okay to tell a woman not to wear something but by god if your a man you will wear what we tell you to.....

  38. Winkypop Silver badge

    Seems a bit harsh

    That is all.

  39. Hedgehog Spen

    Support for MAtt Taylor

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Support for MAtt Taylor


  40. SolidSquid

    Mostly I find it funny that his wife said he'd toned it down and used the example of him having a mohawk at one point, considering the Curiosity landing had "Mohawk Guy"

  41. ladylaff

    Proving once again that the crowd may be many things, but it is not wise

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where can I buy that shirt?

    See title.

  43. codejunky Silver badge


    All I can say Dr Matt Taylor is that you are dealing with a lot of inferior minds in this world. And unfortunately inferior minds can either look up to you for your achievements or, unfortunately, stick to the fields they feel expert in. It is a shame that you and everyone elses achievement of this amazing mission have been tarred by a mob of idiots looking for offence instead of being recognised for your real world contribution.

    As for your apology, I am sure you would get a fairly loud backing from the population if you told the morons to grow up and get lost (using whatever stronger language you may prefer). Also kudo's for being able to wear that shirt because I would not look good in it.

  44. Carl

    Its not about the shirt

    People wear, say and do things every day that _someone_ is going to find offensive.

    Sometimes that "someone" is going to make a fuss.

    The question is what happens then.

    What's happened here is ESA's seen a PR shitstorm coming, crapped its pants and sent Matt Taylor out to deal with it. Something which, as a rocket scientist rather than a PR drone, he is not equipped to do.

    Here's what should have happened. One of those glossy talking head types up top at ESA should have got out in front of this and made the following statement.

    "Good morning. Welcome to the press conference. We have some exciting new about the mission. Before I start I just want to touch on some stories that have been floating around concerning an item of clothing worn by one of the team last week. I have talked to that member of the team and am satisfied that the incident was a mistake and that the mistake will not be repeated. As project director I take personal responsibility for such matters and as such all questions about it should be directed to me personally. I regret in advance that since this is an ongoing HR matter I cannot due to privacy rules discuss the specifics of the incident nor the identity of those involved.

    Now then. On with the press conference. Here is Matt Taylor."

    And that would have been it. Done. This isn't rocket science.

  45. bearded bearcan

    This is all so terribly terribly wrong

    You land a probe on a comet - you get to wear any shirt you want.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From THAT!?!

    Is that still typical of the footage quality?

    I think we need to hear some apologies from the people complaining and not just for being uptight timewasters with nothing worthwhile to add.

    This person watched a video aimed at presenting a radical step in mankind's achievements, and spent the whole thing squinting at the guys shirt instead of paying attention to the actual facts.

    Having read the title and his mum's comments I looked at the picture and it took around 60 seconds to make sense of the blurry blob of colours he's wearing. I eventually saw a Hawaiian shirt, featuring stereotypical Hawaiian natives as romanticised by Hollywood since always.

    I can't say for sure without going to Hawaii but I have traveled and it's not uncommon for people in hot countries to wear less clothes. So I'm feeling the complainer might also like to explain the concept of racism and empire to us, just so we can be sure that these ladies emblazened on his shirt can be verified as pornographic, page 3 esque like irrelevance or whether the complainer is in fact being racist and imperialistic by insisting natives be inaccurately portrayed as wearing a full Davenshire tweed suit and bowler or whatever else it takes to stop this person being offended by the human body they are so trapped in.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is that one of those "This is what a feminist looks like" shirts I've read about?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It was only a matter of time before the gamergate freak show rolled into town. RIP reg comments.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't know what a 'gamergate' is, but I think most of the comments here are from established residents.

      I think there is a genuine revulsion towards the sort of bullying, oppressive behaviour shown in this case. I commented earlier that the attackers were bonkers - if the post by IWPCHI is anything to go by, then I think perhaps I was being restrained.

  49. Rick Brasche

    Those Who Can, Do...

    Those Who Can't...are professional victims who need to take down Those Who Can.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > I think we need to hear some apologies from the people complaining and not just for being uptight timewasters with nothing worthwhile to add.

    To be fair, the guy probably has got better things to do with his time, but if it had been me I would have sued for defamation of character. Just to teach people to keep their gobs shut unless they can back up what they say about someone else with solid, irrefutable facts.

    Come to think of it, I already (almost) did, many years ago. Long story, but cue a letter from my solicitor and a public retraction and apology shortly thereafter. Not that I was personally offended, but people like that need to learn some respect in one way or another.

  51. Jove Bronze badge

    More than a year later he still looks like a prat, and is one of those that do not know how to behave in public.

    1. x 7

      more than a year later he's still a guy who worked on a very successful space mission.

      What have you done?

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