It’s not rape if you yell surprise

Feminist Melissa Tankard Reist calls it “rape chic“.

Australian clothing retailers Roger David calls it art:

Art is meant to inspire and educate…, and the meaning and interpretation is left in the hands of the viewer – we are here to inspire ideas, not mediate or control them.

The man who designed the shirt on the left, Dan Monick, says there is little to no meaning behind the shot.

“She was wearing a headband and it started to slide down her face and she bit it. The shot is a snapshot from me and Annie hanging out, it is not a premeditated image. I took 3 frames. If I had put any meaning behind the image it’s more about the messed up aspects of Hollywood silencing individuality and unique voice. It’s about Hollywood silencing the human.

Love how women become “human” precisely at that moment when it is women’s experiences of violence that are being capitalised upon to make money.

You can tell the retailers selling this in Australia what you think here.  Or the cutting edge “artists” whose work isn’t “premediated” and “has no meaning” here.

Unfortunately, these shirts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to glamourising sexual violence, making excuses for forcing someone else to do something sexual against their will, or teaching women our bodies don’t really belong to us.

I read the delightful “Keep reading this shirt while I look at your tits” this year at Parihaka.  Actually on a man.  I imagine the fact this man never seemed to actually talk to any real women on all the occasions I saw him was completely unrelated.

Or how about this one:


We’ve got a long way to go, all you people out there keen to stop rape.


3 thoughts on “It’s not rape if you yell surprise

  1. As the creator of the facebook petition to stop the sale of its not rape its surprise sex tshirts, I am also outraged by these tshirts.
    I was a victim of domestic violence and sexual assault.
    I view these t-shirts as pro-violence and pro-rape.
    I have now taken control of my body and my mind. I now know my rights and one of those is to say NO!
    I am not a feminist. I am far from it. However I do not want to see a man wearing a tshirt that has a disheveled woman with a gag in her mouth as I walk down the street. I don’t want to rekindle those memories.
    That is how a majority of victims feel. Most don’t even report it to the police, they would prefer to pretend it never happened. Of the few that are reported only a minority of victims attend court because they do not wish to relive it in front of the perpetraitor. Thus many of the reported cases not ending in conviction.

    Maybe the photo was not premeditated, but the shirt was and it is obviously affecting many women.
    We ask for Roger David to take it off the market for the victims of violent crime and rape, so we the victims don’t have to relive the nightmare.

  2. Pingback: The Down Under Feminists Carnival is here! « The Radical Radish

  3. I find these images truly disgusting. He knew exactly what he was doing and to say otherwise is a blatant lie. I too was a victim and now I refuse to go quietly when I see anything( including images) offensive .I don’t wish to see these images and if ever I do see any one person, woman or man, wearing this type of ensemble (trash) I will let them know exactly what I think of their clothing choices.

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