I was checking through my twitter feed when a friend posted about a shirt that offended her. Curious, I followed the link she provided, and I know why she was offended. As a former prostitute I was utterly horrified by it.
The teeshirt, which reads "If you have sex with a prostitute without her consent is it rape or shoplifting?", goes WELL beyond simply being an off-colour joke. Not only does this shirt promote Rape Culture, which cultivates the idea that rape really isn't so bad if women would just stop complaining, it also promotes the dehuminization of Sex Workers. This shirt needs to be destroyed, not sold.
And lest anyone think I'm overreacting or exaggerating just how hurtful and dangerous this shirt is? Read this.
That's a WOMAN just telling a woman who was gang-raped at gunpoint that as a prostitute her rape only qualified as theft of services. THAT'S how pervasive rape culture is, and that's the mentality this horrific teeshirt contributes to. It isn't clever, it isn't funny, and it isn't unrealistic to fear this shirt could actually contribute to someone being raped.
Penny Marie Sautereau started this petition with a single signature, and won with 125 supporters. Start a petition to change something you care about.