I thought I’d written about as much as one non-fashion-conscious woman could write on the subject of T shirts after blogging about the Topman products that many said glamorised domestic violence and treated women as animals.
https://fwords.co.uk/2011/09/14/is-this-t-shirt-a-deliberate-trivialisation-of-domestic-violence/ and https://fwords.co.uk/2011/09/14/attention-turns-to-%E2%80%9Ctax-avoidance%E2%80%9D-as-topman-withdraws-t-shirts-from-sale/
But no – tonight, just as I was about to switch off the computer and go and do something else, Twitter started to discuss an offensive new offering from another company. This time it’s a T with the slogan “No + Rohypnol = Yes”.
Now, you could argue – and some did – that in the case of the Topman Ts, no offence was intended; it was just a bit of fun; it wasn’t intended to refer specifically to domestic violence. I think it will be harder for the makers of this latest example to use that justification. I’m not sure what other activity could possibly be referred to by the Rohypnol slogan. Under what circumstances could the use of Rohypnol be a bit of fun?
I don’t think I’m even going to mention the name of the manufacturer, cos I suspect they’d like that. If you want to know more, search “rape T shirts” on Twitter.
The upshot of the Topman controversy was that the company withdrew the product (and, it has to be said, did so PDQ). They had the sense, and the PR expertise, to understand damage limitation. I wonder if this latest lot will take the same approach. They are best known for their adverts in lads’ mags, where I imagine little offence is taken. Possibly they have been doing this sort of thing for years and no-one has noticed.
But it looks like the Rohypnol slogan which, let’s face it, even most men must find lacking in good taste, is about to get the company wider publicity which it might or might not find to its benefit.
I wasn’t able to save a picture of the product from the company’s website, but if you see one of the burly, inarticulate, under-achieving gorillas who frequent our streets on a Saturday night walking down the road wearing one, I’m sure you’ll recognise it. It’ll be the T shirt that says, in other words, “I fink rape’s funny”.
PS Here’s another blog post on the subject, explaining far more intelligently than me why this product is so offensive. http://fortyshadesofgrey.blogspot.com/2011/10/another-hilarious-t-shirt.html