April 12, 2008

I think rape is funny, and all I get is this lousy t-shirt: WTF

Posted in patriarchy, rape and sexual violence, sexism, WTF at 8:34 am by LB

The Lizard Queen has a good posting, piggybacking of of Cara’s post at The Curvature; they are both worth a read.

They are responding to the awful rape-endorsing t-shirts that are available at CafePress (and no, I’m not going to give them the benefit of linking to them).

While you might be tempted to sidestep the issue by saying that people have a right to print whatever they want on a t-shirt, Lizard’s commenters point out that the “free speech” argument refers to censorship by the government, not by a company.

Further, The Curvature cites CafePress’ own content policy:

General Guidelines for Prohibited Content

  • Content that may infringe on the rights of a third a party.
  • Items that make inappropriate use of Nazi symbols and glamorize the actions of Hitler.
  • Use of marks that signify hate towards another group of people.
  • Hate and/or racist terms.
  • Inappropriate content or nudity that is not artistic in nature.
  • Content that exploits images or the likeness of minors.
  • Obscene and vulgar comments and offensive remarks that harass, threaten, defame or abuse others such as F*** (Ethnic Group).
  • Content that depicts violence, is obscene, abusive, fraudulent or threatening such as an image of a murder victim, morgue shots, promotion of suicide, etc.
  • Content that glamorizes the use of “hard core” illegal substance and drugs such as a person injecting a vial of a substance in their body.
  • Material that is generally offensive or in bad taste, as determined by CafePress.com.

The list outlined above should NOT be construed as an exhaustive list of offensive material but rather as a general guideline for you to follow.

Cara says further:

I think that these shirts pretty much have to fall under at least one of these guidelines. Cafe Press says that if something breaks the usage policy to email them at cup@cafepress.com. So, below the jump, I’ve compiled a bunch of links for the shirts I found, roughly though hardly scientifically in order of most to least offensive. I suggest sending off an email with these URLs and an explanation as to why they violate the content policy. Trigger warning: all of these shirts are very disturbing and offensive.

one
two
three
four
five
six
seven
eight
nine
ten
(Note: this shirt is particularly offensive as “rape.com” redirects to rainn.org)
eleven
twelve

Lastly, I’d like to note that many of the most offensive shirts (”I put the sensual back in consensual”) can be seen during searches but are no longer available — though I don’t know if it’s because they’re sold out or because Cafe Press removed them. If you do find something that I’ve missed, leave them in the comments. I have no illusions that this will somehow stop rape jokes, but we can at least try to keep fuckers from making a profit off of them.

I’ve emailed CafePress, and I’d encourage you all to do the same. Let’s not let anyone profit off of rape and our culture’s refusal to take it seriously.

UPDATE: Most of the shirts have been removed-yea! Item 8 and 10 are still available. I want to leave my post up though, because we need to be aware that this crap exists and that speaking up works! There is plenty more of this b.s. out there, believe me, so keep your eyes opened and when you see it say something and spread the word.

1 Comment »

  1. Jim Finn said,

    Statement tees should be fun, unique and stylish. So be careful in putting such tags in your customized tees because you might that you already offended certain people. Though we cannot please everybody, considering others peoples feelings should be given importance.funny offensive t shirts


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