Some Happy News To Cheer You All Up

I thought for once some happy news would be a good thing to share with everyone. We all get to read about so much depressing and/or triggering fuckery that sometimes it gets a bit much to take and things can feel kinda bleak. But I have a tale of fuckery vanquished to act as a sorbet for everyone.

Trigger Warning for sexual violence and Misogyny.

So on Monday the 10th, I was lazily shedding turkey coma, (Canadian Thanksgiving WAS Monday here, but my mom does the family dinner thing on Sundays), and was having a scroll through my twitter feed. One of my UK friends seemed to be upset about something. So much so she had misspelled the url for the link to what had upset her in a blog entry.

While I was telling her the link needed correcting I asked her to show me what had upset her. She linked me to 1StopShirtShop.co.uk, an otherwise seemingly normal internet shirt store.They had the usual categories that have become common of course. Some comic book tees here, some movie tees there. And the seemingly obligatory these days "Offensive tees".

Most of the offensive tees were of the expected "Get in the kitchen my sammich won't make itself" variety. Sexist and unfunny, but sadly easy enough to ignore for most of us. But the shirt that had upset my friend was one that read "If you have sex with a prostitute against her will, is it rape or shoplifting?".

As a rape survivor AND a former prostitute, this staggering example of Rape Culture almost literally made me vomit.

I've become friends with Change.org's Shelby Knox since she rectified the "Justin" incident for me last fall. "The then community manager of change had banned me for standing up to rape apologists who were blatantly posting dehumanizing "most rapes are false reports to hurt men" comments. My rebuttals sharing person history tio show why rape is bad all got deleted, but the rape apologists' posts were still there, Shelby rectified it by encouraging Justin to move on and deleted the offending comments. So given that I decided to try a petition there aimed at this shop.

So I started the petition.

I set the signature goal at 1500. I thought that seemed a reasonable target for what was ostensibly a small action. I shared the petition link on Twitter and Facebook. And hoped for the best.

Now I've seen other such actions on Change that generally took awhile to get anywhere, if they ever did. But much to my happy surprise, in less than 24 hours after only 100 signatures, I found that 1Stop had quieted removed all trace of the shirt ever existing. The link to it's page used on the petition description comes back dead, and going to their homepage and searching keywords "rape" or "prostitute" turn up no results of this shirt.

The company listened, with minimal prodding, and removed a shirt that went well beyond just being "off colour humour" and into promoting the rape of sex workers. They heard the message about rape culture, about the harms that sex workers face, and they LISTENED.

And that, while sadly being an all too rare thing these days, is a wonderful thing. Someone listened with minimal prodding and a harmful shirt that, and you folks all know I'm not exaggerating, could have legitimately contributed to actual sex workers being raped, by frat boys who think the shirt is funny, or a men who realizes police likely won't care. A shirt like that was outright dangerous.

But they LISTENED. We spoke up about rape and someone actually heard us.

And goddammit, that just feels good.


  1. Here from Shakesville just to say yay! And thank you for your efforts.

  2. Well, now, I don't know. Is it rape or shoplifting? Huh. Is keeping a lawyer in your basement kidnapping or shoplifting?

    C'mon, prostitutes are people not things! This shouldn't be hard!

  3. Do you really believe that acting hysterical will change anything?

    If they continue to get fits of hyperventilation in response to this shit then it continues to be offensive. Indifference is the greatest weapon you can have against casual callousness. Folks call each other fag and nigger to take it back, so to speak.

    If you really believe a shirt is responsible for causing rape, then no doubt you're up in arms about GTA and THE DEBIL'S MOOZAK and all that.

    Those predisposed to random acts of violence will find a trigger, eventually. May be a tee shirt, may e a game, may be a book. You can't censor everything out of fear. That's now way to live your life.

  4. To Anonymous Troll; I never said the shirt would itself directly cause rape. But it DOES enforce the rape culture. And a teeshirt is not anywhere CLOSE to the same thing as scripted violence in the naraative of GTA, which, by the way, DOES NOT INCLUDE any rape scenes nor references TO rape, so you're ridiculously condecsending and stupid anaology goes right out the window.

    I also fail to recall ever hearing any "Devil's Music", mostly because it only exists in the minds of ignorant elderly Christians. I also fail to recall any popular song off the top of my head that condones, encourages, or promotes rape.

    That teeshirt? Condoned rape. I didn't "censor it out of fear". I campaigned the comnpany to take it down out of justifiable anger.

    Posting dismissive, sexist, belittling "there there dear" comments accusing a woman of "hyperveniling" because she's angry, and generally being a pompous douchemaggot about a subject you CLEARLY don't actually understand given your bad anaologies and sexist banter, THAT is no way to live your life. My life? Standing up to bullies and pigs and bogots and fighting the rpe culture and bigotry? That's the PERFECT way for ME to live.


Thanks for commenting, try to NOT be crude or mean-spirited. You can disagree with me without calling me a fat bitch etc.