You might be creepy if…

This is nothing groundbreaking. I know that creepy “rape t-shirts” have been around forever. Unfortunately I got a stark reminder about it yesterday when a coworker forwarded an email with the Top 5 Rape Shirts post in tow. Stuff like this seriously creeps me out! Who buys these shirts? Do you actually think it reflects positively on your character? Is rape funny to you?

I could move on here to write a post about how rape jokes contribute to rape culture. That would be the predictable next step. Instead, I’m going to brainstorm some potential reasons why someone might defend these shirts and respond from there.

Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Rape Shirt

1.       You are making light of a bad situation. If this is really your approach to making yourself and others feel better about rape, you might consider looking around for your sense of compassion, because you probably lost it somewhere along the way.

2.       You think that rape can never happen to you or anyone else you love or care about. Chances are good that people you know, people that you see in front of you right now, people that you work, play and learn with, friends and family members have been impacted by rape. You may not know about it because you’re wearing an insensitive t-shirt.

3.       You feel strongly that rape happens because the victim made bad choices. This is called victim-blaming. Let me be clear: NO ONE wants or deserves rape. The only person responsible for rape is the person who decides to RAPE SOMEONE.

4.       You really do think that no means yes sometimes. Your standard for yes should be: ALL INVOLVED PARTIES are excited, engaged, ripping clothes off and yelling something to the effect of “Yes, I want it now!” We call this active, verbal consent. It’s the gold standard for great sex.

5.       You want to warn others that they shouldn’t date you. This may be the only nearly viable reason for buying a rape shirt. It may not be that you think you might be a rapist, or that you’re sure of it. It might be that you just want others to know that you don’t take sexual violence seriously, that you blame victims, and that you’re not fully invested in satisfying your partner(s) in bed.

Just some food for thought to munch on. For more on healthy, joyful sexuality please refer to our 2012 SAAM Campaign.


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