What we are seeing here is an informal campaign of gaslighting feminists, scolding and scorning us for seeing the sexism they claim isn’t there. To classify those women who work in science and felt alienated by a sexist shirt as “bullies” and “idiotic” is to deny their experience and how they perceive their place in the world. But to then compound this by ignoring the input of professional science organisations in favour of sustaining the “crazy feminists” narrative is grossly irresponsible and dishonest.
Now, I know feminism is not perfect. But in a church as broad as this one, spanning multiple continents and hundreds of cultures, not all feminists are going to be focussing on the same thing at the same time. Just because some of us we were momentarily focussed on sexism in science does not mean we have forgotten equal pay, childcare services, the treatment of Indigenous mothers in custody, domestic violence, or indeed, what women in Afghanistan endure each day.
It is feminism’s job to critique all aspects of our culture, not just those everyone else regards as fair game. Making the world a safer -and yes, better- place requires a complete overhaul of society, a deconstruction of how unconscious prejudices and seemingly harmless antics combine to create an atmosphere of hostility to women.
So while the rest of the world may have conveniently overlooked their words in favour of casting feminists as petty, overemotional crackpots, I’d like to take a moment to thank those professional science organisations that have come out in support of those women who dared speak out.