Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Since When Did Rape Become a Source of Laughter?

OK people, now I know I said I was having a break, but my old friend Amazon has been at it again.

You may remember my last campaign to Boycott Amazon in November last year, when they felt it was completely reasonable to sell an offensive how to guide to Paedophilia. 

The fact that last time they used a lack of judgement over what is and isn't suitable to profit from led to millions of customers worldwide deleting their accounts, and their share price falling in the UK for the first time ever (not to mention a worldwide media debate where I was asked to appear on the BBC World Service) yet this seems to have made no difference to them.

Its now been brought to my attention that Amazon are now selling this T-shirt.

The mind boggles as to what sensible product buyer looked at the words printed on the front and thought "yep that's a hilarious slogan, lets flog that".

It seems to me, in recent weeks, that rape, one of the most violent acts that can be perpetrated against women (or men) has somehow been twisted into something that its quite OK to joke about.

Facebook, which is used by millions of all ages (some as young as 14), is still refusing to remove the page "You Know She's Playing Hard to get When You're Chasing Her Down an Alley",
despite widespread calls from Facebook users and the media to close the group.  One e-petition has close to 6,000 signatures, and many more Facebook users have joined the group to voice their anger at the members of the group who laugh at sexual violence and rape victims. However, the group owner is happy that the site is causing such debate posting on Saturday:

Sorry about the statuses but this admin has to write my comeback to thishttp://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/15130624
i d not support rape this group doesnt bbc are obviously made up or a bunch of bored house wifes who like to target this to fill there time such as this " Robin Knowles"
who wrote an article abut this group
thanks for supporting us uve made us get even more likes s i thank u for that but this group has not dne anything wrong according to the terms and cnditions f facebook groups s if it does get taken down it will result in court because it has done nothing wrong
Robin Knowles from 200,000 people who can take a joke please lighten up and have a nice day :)
(dk don boss)

Facebook is condemned by victim support charities for not removing a page which they say trivialises and jokes about rape.

 ·  ·  · Saturday at 06:48

and then this on Sunday:

thank you to the people who are 'trying' to get this group banned. yous are just promoting this group and getting it more likes :D
 ·  ·  · Sunday at 04:49

It becomes more baffling when the same Facebook refuses to bow to public pressure on a group promoting a criminal act, yet sees fit to ban groups supporting breastfeeding for being obscene.

As someone who is involved with the group SOS (Speak Out Support), started by a close friend who herself was the victim of a terrifying gang rape, I am absolutely appalled that, in this day and age, something so despicable has become something which its suddenly OK to mock, to see fun in.

It makes me question the sanity of people who would buy such a t-shirt, or join and comment on such a group? It also makes me question the motives of such big names as Facebook and Amazon, who have had their practices called into question by this very blog previously and saw their profits and memberships decrease as a result?

Rape is not funny, it is not something that I believe my friend will ever see a funny side to. It has affected her whole life, her families life. 

So, just as before, as you were great last time, when you happen to be on Twitter or Facebook, or on your blog, lets all stand up and let it be known we do not think profit or fun should be found in promoting rape. Lets Boycott Amazon once again, and tell them with our credit cards that rape is not to be mocked. 

I'll be using the hash tags #BoycottAmazonAgain and #RapesNotFunny, so feel free to join in and retweet the hell out of it- lets get it trending.


After writing this post, being a responsible writer I emailed both Amazon and Chargrilled, who make the t-shirt as well as others including one with the slogan "No+Rophynol (a drug used by attackers in date rape cases as it can be slipped into a drink or food with no taste or alteration to colour) =Yes".

Now, Amazon obviously remembered me from last time, and despite not coming back with a response, or posting a press release on their site (so far, so like last time) they did remove the page (but I'll be watching to make sure it doesn't reappear). Meanwhile, they do still stock other idiotic poor taste tops by the same company.

CharGrilled, responded in what isn't exactly a shocking way considering the level of intelligence it must take to sell that slogan on a t-shirt.

Shortly after my email was sent, about an hour after, Mr Charlie Shiner, owner of Chargrilled, tweeted this:


After the ensuing backlash, he has now removed his twitter feed. 

However, you can contact Mr Shiner and let him know what you think of his t-shirts, his sense of humour, and his attitude problem- his email is enquiries@shinerplant.co.uk, and they also, helpfully, have a Facebook page. With a public wall. Have fun people.

1 comment:

  1. I too contacted Amazon and got a one line response saying the item I referenced was not for sale. Basically implying I had written them a long complaint about something they didn't have on their site. Promptly replied informing them the items were for sale this morning and I expect a full and frank explanation of why the items were for sale and how Amazon proposes to apologise to rape victims for its insensitivity and support of the criminal act of rape. Yet to get a reply to that one!


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