I recently watched this video:
You might be wondering why I’d watch this video in the first place. The answer is simple; I subscribe to this YouTube channel. The channel posts videos featuring two regular hosts, John Iadarola and Hannah Cranston, discuss their opinions on different topics. Some of the topics are serious, while others are all in fun. This particular video features Hannah Cranston along with a guest co-host, but the premise is still the same.
If you didn’t go ahead and watch the video, the two hosts are discussing a t-shirt that was recently released in, and soon after pulled from, Forever 21 stores. The t-shirt was a part of their men’s line. (I didn’t even know that Forever 21 sold men’s clothing in the first place.) Here’s a photo of it:
As you can see in the photo, it’s a pretty simple white shirt with the phrase, “Don’t say maybe if you want to say no” printed on it. Apparently a lot of people found this t-shirt offensive. They say that it “promotes rape culture,” but nowhere on this shirt do I see a reference to sex/rape of any kind. The idea that this promotes rape is totally implied. However, enough people complained that Forever 21 took action.
“Forever 21 strives to exemplify the highest ethical standards and takes feedback and product concerns very seriously,” the company said in a statement.
“With regards to the t-shirt in question, upon receiving feedback from our customers, we took immediate action to have it removed from our website. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by the product.” –Today.com
According to the video, I didn’t do my own research on this, Forever 21 did not actually remove the shirt from their website but rather listed it as sold out so now, as Hannah Cranston pointed out, “It’s a popular shirt promoting rape.” This is another issue in and of itself, and one that I will not get into.
Here’s my opinion on the matter. I don’t see how this t-shirt in any way promotes rape, unless you are purely assuming that it is in fact referring to sex, and as a good friend of mine says, “Assumptions are like armpits and butt holes. They stink!” That refers to this too. Let’s say you don’t assume that this particular t-shirt refers to sex. What is it referring to then? Personally, I think that it’s trying to relay a positive message. In our culture it’s almost taboo to tell someone no. At work and in our personal lives we feel pressured to always say yes. Whether its taking on extra work at your job when you’re already stressed out or going out with friends when what your body really needs is rest, it can be hard to tell someone no. Maybe is our cop-out answer. If your friend asks you to go out Saturday night and you want to say no, you’re likely to say, “Maybe, I’ll have to check my schedule,” and later give her an excuse about being busy or forgetting instead of using the word no. I think the t-shirt is empowering people, men and women alike, to not feel guilty for using that two letter word.
Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I think people got way over-sensitive about a shirt. If it in some way actually insinuated that it was referring to sex, sure I’d understand the controversy, but it doesn’t. I can honestly tell you that I think people were upset about this because in this day in age we’re always looking for something to offend us so we can complain about it. I’d almost bet you that more than half of those who complained to Forever 21 wouldn’t have if someone hadn’t pointed out to them that this could be referring to sex, but because we can’t think for ourselves anymore (an entirely different problem that maybe I’ll address in a later blog), a bunch of people jumped on a bandwagon with someone else. So if you didn’t get anything else out of this blog, at least take away this; remember to think for yourself! You don’t have to agree with me. You don’t have to agree with your family. You don’t have to agree with the media, and you certainly don’t have to agree with the general public! Get educated and make your own opinions!