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Monday, December 10, 2012

Spencer's Hates Women (At Least Their T-Shirts Do)

Since I am not as socially inclined as others and never get on Facebook, I would have missed the link that Mallory (a Women’s Programs Intern) shared with us on the GSEC Facebook page last week. Fortunately, I have Sarah Sullivan (Women’s Program Coordinator) to help me through life and she told me about the post.

 The post that I will be talking about is a link that takes you to a page titled '20 Examples That Spencer’s Gifts Hates Women’ (Spencer’s is the gag gift store at the Chico Mall and probably in most malls across America). Below the title are 20 different T-shirts with what Spencer’s considers “funny” sayings and pictures, all of which are highly misogynistic. As disturbing as I found every t-shirt, it is worth my time to spread the word to never shop at Spencer’s again (at least not in the T-shirt section). 

In my opinion you will easily realize how offensive these shirts are to 51% of the population by just looking at them, so I will highlight just two shirts here that I have the biggest problem with and find the most offensive (you can find the link at the bottom of this post or on the GSEC Facebook page). 

Disclaimer: Since males are the models for every shirt on this page, I am going to assume the target audience is men. I understand that women can buy and wear these shirts, which I also condone, but I am going to assume men are the primary consumers.  

Shirt #19: The word TEAMWORK is at the top, near the neck of the shirt. Below TEAMWORK is a woman on all fours with a man having sex with her from behind while another man is standing in front of her who she is performing oral sex on. 

When I see this picture under the word TEAMWORK, I think of gang rape. What if a man was wearing this shirt in public and a woman saw it who had been raped at some point in her life? It has the potential to stir up horrible flashbacks and emotions in that woman, all so this guy can get a couple laughs from his buddies for wearing this shirt. This is a perfect example of the rape culture that we live in and how it persists so fluidly in mainstream culture.

Shirt #6: There are two pictures side by side horizontally. The first picture is of a man and a woman taking a shot and it says THE FIRST SHOT IS ON ME. The second picture is of the previous woman giving the man a blowjob and above the picture it says THE SECOND IS ON YOU. 

Personally I enjoy going to the bars, getting some drinks, dancing, and having a great time. If a guy buys me a shot, does that mean I owe him a sexual favor? Absolutely not. All that means is that I got a free shot.
Men can drink as much as they want, it is socially acceptable and they will not be hassled while out at the bars. But if a woman is drunk she automatically becomes a target and an object of sexual fulfillment.

After looking at the T-shirts for a third time, I got even madder and wanted to channel my inner Harriet the Spy and do some real investigative work. Track down the company who printed these shirts, and then the designers who so cleverly thought them up and drew the pictures. But then what would I do once I found out who designed them? Write them a mean email? Probably wouldn’t be that effective in the bigger scheme of things. So writing a hate filled blog will have to suffice.

-Written by Mia Kirk

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