[–] yikesforever 26 points (+26|-0)

Did the ants consent to this or is it misgendering a whole species of ant

[–] NewMa 9 points (+9|-0)

It's literally misgendering by their own fucking rules.

[–] GelatinousRube 22 points (+22|-0)

Um. Aren't most ants still female?

[–] bluestocking [OP] 15 points (+15|-0)

There's no place for facts in modern science, silly. Only virtue-signalling!

I guess even female ants are expected to be nice and accept the labels males want to apply to them.

[–] ProxyMusic 20 points (+20|-0) Edited

What makes naming an ant "They" especially hilarious is that Them! is a very popular and famous sci-fi movie from the 1950s about ants that grew giant due to radioactivity. Asked to describe the monstrous creatures, a child could only shriek in horror "Them!" https://youtu.be/v4URRp39XOo

BTW, the two scientists the US government calls in to help save the day in "Them!" are a father-daughter duo, Dr. Harold Medford and Dr. Pat Medford - so the flick helped encourage the nascent feminist in many of us who saw it as girls:

Of course, when they introduce her they felt the need to sexualize her by having her skirt catch as she climbs out of the army plane so we see only her legs at first, to the delight of Bob and Ben. And, sure, she needs to be rescued from one of the giant ants. Because, you know, that’s how women usually function in a story.

However, after getting those two stale tropes out of the way, the film quickly establishes her as not only a superb scientist, on equal footing with her father, but a pretty bad-ass one, too. When they find the first ant colony and gas it with poison, she insists on accompanying Bob and Ben to make certain the entire colony has been destroyed. Bob, who has already laid claim to her as his possible woman, makes manly noises about her staying behind, but she refuses to be left behind, pulling out her scientist credentials, which he can’t argue against.

When they arrive at the queen’s egg chamber and Pat informs them she has found evidence that is very bad for the longevity of the human race, she commands them:

“Now destroy everything in here. Burn it.”

Clueless men: “What?”


She remains a major presence throughout the rest of the film, investigating giant ant sightings, speaking in front of leaders in Washington with her father, and riding into the underground sewer lines along with soldiers to find the final ant nest.

Sure, the guys get to battle the ants at the end and earn the hero mantle for saving the world. And I don’t mean to give short shrift to [actor Edmund] Gwenn’s Dr. Harold Medford. He is an important presence, too, teaching us to respect the power of nature and warning us of our folly for thinking our actions won’t have serious consequences. But to see a woman treated as an equal to the other heroes in a movie made during the 1950s is awesome.

What’s also great about this movie is that it’s about a team of heroes—along with our two intrepid scientists, there is local cop Ben, FBI agent Bob, a general and major in the army. Without any of them, the world would not have been saved. It’s a nice change from the lone wolf hero we’re so used to in today’s movies. In Them!, brains, courage, and brawn come together to save our species.


Haha, yes! I totally forgot about that movie, but this is perfect! :D Even more fitting that the movie was supposed to be taking place in LA, the land of woo.

[–] Lilim 5 points (+5|-0) Edited

This is what immediately came to my mind too 😂 It’s great to meet other fans of cheesy monster movies on here!

[–] ProxyMusic 9 points (+9|-0) Edited

Adding this to my earlier comment linking the naming of this ant "They" to the very famous 1950s sci-fi flick about giant ants called Them!

According to the article in the OP,

American singer-songwriter Michael Stipe, of rock band REM, and Douglas Booher of Yale University in America, who chose the name, said it was in honour of their mutual friend, activist and artist Jeremy Ayers, who died in 2016.

Stipe, who is 61, surely saw Them! as a kid. Also, Stipe owns two movie production companies, and has been producer on such films as Being John Malkovich and the comedy Saved!

I suspect there might be a tongue-in-cheek undertone here that no one in the MSM or social media is getting.

More on the background here, including a photo of Ayers in his Warhol-era persona Silva Thin: