At some point, I'll actually dig up the blog entry Kim du Toit did on this merchandise a zillion years back. Since this means reading his site, I'm just not nearly drunk enough to deal with it right now. Management apologizes for the inconvenience.
From various sources, so let's say The Seattle Times, Stores pull 'Boys Are Stupid' merchandise:
The T-shirts and pajamas are meant to be funny, with cartoon captions such as "Boys Are Stupid — Throw Rocks At Them." But some protesters, encouraged by a fathers'-rights talk-show host, are not amused and have pressured Bon-Macy's and two other retail chains into dropping the merchandise.
The products in question — an array of girls' clothes and accessories — are manufactured or licensed by David & Goliath, a T-shirt company based in Clearwater, Fla.
[. . .] The graphics have been in use more than two years but only recently came to the attention of Glenn Sacks, a commentator who hosts "His Side," a weekly radio show sympathetic to the fathers'-rights movement and often at odds with feminists. The show airs in Los Angeles and Seattle (11 p.m. Sundays, KKOL, 1300 AM).
At Sacks' urging, listeners and supporters have contacted targeted retailers, urging them to stop selling the David & Goliath products. Seattle-based Bon-Macy's, California-based Tilly's and Claire's Stores, an international chain, say they no longer will carry the contested items.
[. . .] Sacks said reaction to the protest campaign had been largely positive, although some people have suggested he was overreacting.
"I'm sorry if I sound like a humorless zealot, but I just don't see the humor in it," Sacks said. "My 11-year-old son, whatever the joke is, he just doesn't understand it, either."
He contended that many marketers, while wary of offending women and minorities, "have developed a moral blind spot toward disparaging males."
I note that if Mr. Sacks has a daughter, he didn't ask her if she saw the humor in it. And no mention of a wife either. I expect I should look to see if he's married.
I also expect I could see if he had anything to say about those shirts Abercrombie & Fitch were selling a bit ago.
But again, too sober.
"moral blind spot toward disparaging males." Christ. For the longest time, I thought people who said shit like that were just playing to the crowd, that they couldn't possibly actually believe what they were saying.
I've learned better.
I almost wish I hadn't. Hypocrisy I can deal with, but that sort of total ignance. . .
The other thing driving me to drink is how much sense Warren Ellis makes to me in this entry, Microcasting, Message Boards And Social Networks over at Die Puny Humans:
The argument against this is usually that the net was intended to be a free conversation space, and that gating off spaces goes against its intent. Obviously, I don't agree. And further, I think the evolution of the net has outpaced early intents. There are people out there who freely admit that most of their time on the web is spent attempting to fuck up the flow of message boards. Pro trolls, would you believe. For those of us who want the net to effect cultural leverage, I think it's way past time to acknowledge that not everyone has a useful opinion and putting up a message board isn't an invitation that you want to deal with children's shit. If someone wants to sit down with you and your friends, they need to prove in some basic way that they're not going to spill their beer down their fucking shirt fronts.
I have a feeling that you can't talk about social networks without talking about social skills. I have a feeling that maintaining the net as a communications system over the next few years is neither about technology or policy -- it's about basic pub etiquette.
Haven't had to play bouncer around here lately, but that's mostly because the trolls and tourists have had very short attention spans, or bigger fish to fry. We'll see how long that lasts.
Oh, and the Weather Pixie in the next entry? Pulling archived info from whenever they shut down the Chicago/Meigs station, apparently. It's like 9 degrees here, without the wind chill factored in. So running out of smokes was a Very Bad Thing Indeed, because there's just no way I'm going back out in that to get more. . .
Update: That Context Thing.
From ifeminists.com > introduction > editorials > They're Only Boys, from the misty past of August 27, 2002:
Think male bashing is confined to the baby boomer, feminist set?
Oh, please. Now our teenage girls are encouraged to wear their anti-boy sentiment. Literally.
Bra burning may be out, but the anti-male movement is most definitely still in.
But instead of doing away with an undergarment in a symbolic break from male oppression, girls can now display their freedom from testosterone-generated evils -- pretty much the root of all that is wicked and unjust -- on the outside via antiboy T-shirts.
Again, that's 2002. Hard to believe, I know.
And (know I'm gonna regret this), from kimdutoit.com: Rant 09/03/2002: Women Bashing Men:
So in the same spirit, I will publish entries submitted by interested readers which demonstrate the opposite side of the coin. Let me start the ball rolling with this one:
- Girls: F. F. F. (Find 'em, fuck 'em, forget 'em)
Let's see who has the best sense of humor. Oh, and one last thing: Girls, don't throw rocks at us, unless you want to get Big Owies. We throw better and harder than you do.
I was a hell of a lot kinder or something in 2002. I look at this now, and really don't see how I can work with this material.
Update: Apropos of that "wary of offending women" shit, from the Business 2.0 101 Dumbest Moments in Business for 2003,
10 - In November, Chrysler announces that it will sponsor the Lingerie Bowl, a football game to be played by female models airing as a pay-per-view special during halftime of the Super Bowl. After the carmaker comes under fire for the sexist nature of the event, CEO Dieter Zetsche quickly distances himself from the spectacle, claiming he had no knowledge that it was in the works. The company reportedly pressures the event's producers to change the players' uniforms, demanding that participants wear sports bras and volleyball shorts; then, a week later, it drops the event altogether.
Perhaps this is some unique definition of "wary" that I wasn't previously aware of.
Link to the Lingerie Bowl added, because driving up their traffic is obvously a Good Thing, right?