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Offensive T-Shirts Poke Fun at Domestic Violence, Compare Women to Dogs

Offensive T-Shirts Poke Fun at Domestic Violence, Compare Women to Dogs

Topman, the fashion business counterpart to the clothing chain Topshop that caters exclusively to men’s clothing, has recently removed two offensive t-shirts that sparked a great deal of controversy.

One of the shirts reads, “I’m so sorry, but . . .” And then lists the following reasons for doing something wrong, “You provoked me; I was drunk; I was having a bad day; I hate you; I didn’t meant it; I couldn’t help it.”

After seeing the shirt, many found the message highly offensive and linked directly to domestic violence. One woman, Marie Horner, was so angered that she created a Facebook group called STopman in protest.

“Promoting the excuses that men use to get away with abusing women is clearly wrong, whether it’s on a T-shirt or not,” says Horner.

Many agreed and took to Facebook to air their complaints. Topman has since removed the t-shirts from stores and apologized for the design, but the conversation continues on Facebook with those who both agree that the shirt is offensive and those that do not.

Unfortunately, but not too unsurprisingly, the conversation from those who disagree has become pretty offensive itself, especially since many think the group should be disbanded since the shirts have been discontinued.

In response to the negative comments one Facebook group member shot back with, “The recent comments do provide evidence for a couple of things: 1. Some men really fear feminism and the idea of women gaining equality. 2. Those men are very unintelligent.” That goes for anyone who fears the idea of women gaining equality in my book.

Horner has also since commented saying, ”The point of this group is to raise awareness and start discussions about the thousands of people who are victims of violence from people they know and trust. Focusing on the t-shirt aspect is missing the point. The discussion should continue because ultimately the t-shirt has gone but the violence continues.”

The slogan on the second offensive t-shirt reads: “Nice new girlfriend – what breed is she?”

So we’ve got poking fun at domestic violence and comparing women to dogs. Well, I’m clearly offended and to be honest sick of jokes that are not funny and do nothing but disrespect and belittle women.

What do you think? Are the t-shirts offensive?

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Photo credit: Photo by garryknight used under a Creative Commons license.

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182 comments

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2:58PM PDT on Jul 14, 2012

Man who buys "what breed is she?" t-shirt is doomed to never have a girlfriend EVER AGAIN.

5:41AM PST on Feb 11, 2012

This is why we will always need feminism. (sigh) I truly wish I could say I was surprised.

10:56AM PST on Feb 10, 2012

“Nice new girlfriend – what breed is she?”

Nice boyfriend - what Petri dish did he grow in?

8:41AM PST on Feb 6, 2012

I agree that they are highly offensive. The bigger issue is the throwback imbecile that would wear something like that. (it's remarkable that anyone would want to look that ignorant)
Well, if you see somebody wearing something like that, at least it serves as an indicator that women should give the a$$hole a very wide berth.

9:17PM PST on Dec 7, 2011

These shirts are highly offensive, period. It doesn't matter if they took them off the shelf--the problem is that they were made in the first place. It is pathetic what men will resort to in order to disrespect & belittle women...simply revolting. A man who can't describe himself as a feminist is NO man in my book. If a man can't respect women for the brilliant, life-giving goddesses we are then he isn't worth it.

12:41PM PST on Dec 3, 2011

I'm surprised that the misogynist morons haven't started advertising men-only resorts where they can purchase packages to molest, rape and/or kill women and girls for their personal enjoyment in foreign countries where they can get away with it. That or Texas. Gee... makes me wonder if that was what was really going on with all of the women/girls being murdered in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

3:46AM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Celie G. for God's sake! What do you think the T shirt is talking about? We (women) have enough trouble without having to fight other women who are too ignorant to see what is obvious to the rest of us. And the women who have no power at home or at work, please choose another way to feel superior besides bickering against your own rights degrading before your eyes...or driving like you own the road. How many have seen that of people who are afraid to assert themselves...they get in their cars to show their rage and feel powerful. OMG...I can see why the Earth renews itself every couple thousand years.

12:58AM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Thanks for the article.

7:39AM PST on Nov 29, 2011

I find the shirts terribly offensive and I think that the first one described actually helps 'promote' domestic violence because these are the same excuses used by men to justify the abuse they inflict. The second one is demeaning and perpetuates the idea that women are just a thing to be owned, used( and abused), and that we are 'less than'.

3:37AM PST on Nov 29, 2011

I think it's an every single occasion. Being near some people we could not to wear it. It would be smart.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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