Rush Limbaugh isn't the only one getting in on the slut-bashing parade. The website TShirtHell.com has jumped on the misogyny bandwagon too... or has jumped on... or willing jumpen on the bandwagon. I'm not completely sure what "Unavailable Shirts" means aside from the fact that the shirts were probably available at one time, but the very idea that there are people walking around out there with that shirt on makes me loathe humanity even more.
Today I had a delightful exchange with a customer service representative from T-Shirt Hell who thinks that jokingly inciting violence against women is funny. It began with a quick email through their web contact form:
I appreciate some dark and clever humor as much as the next guy, but the "Stop Abortion, Kill Sluts" t-shirt is not only tasteless but it muddies the issue and promotes violence against women.
And about an hour later, a "Customer Servant" (which I thought was a title reserved only for Christian webmasters) responded with the following:
Where do you see that shirt on our site? You must have an outdated link as that shirt is not for sale on our site.
What I should've asked was, "So... when was that shirt for sale on your site??" (which is sort of an admission in itself that it was available at one time). Several replies later of attempting to explain how a t-shirt that 1) calls women sluts, and 2) is encouraging violence against them is offensive and misogynist, CS came back with this:
None of our humor shirts reflect our views on women. That's what you don't understand. It's comedy. I'm a woman myself and I understand this.
And apparently "anybody who has an issue with that shirt is ridiculous. All of [their] shirts are comedy. [They're] not telling anyone to go kill women. [Their] customers certainly understand this is all humor. All comedians that go on stage do similar types of humor." Just like Tracy Morgan was just "making a joke" about murdering his own son if his son ever came out as gay. And a pre-teen girl who passes some guy on the street with that shirt is certainly going to get the irony implicit, and how that shirt really respects her.
Bottom line, T-Shirt Hell sells offensive t-shirts. I know that. They do business in being tasteless and vile because people want to buy tasteless and vile shirts. But there is a not-so-fine line between offensive and sending misogynist and negative messages to women and girls. Encouraging people to kill women ("slut" or not, and even "jokingly") is not comedy.
So my reason for posting this is two-fold: