This Forever 21 T-shirt says something that is not OK. Pretty concerning, in fact...
One of our fave brands, Forever 21 is discovering that one of its alleged humorous T-shirts is anything but funny. The retail chain is getting some (much-deserved) flak for a new men’s T-shirt that says more than we hope. Some are even saying the graphic tee promotes rape and ‘makes fun of rape’.
The shirt in question, pictured below, has the words “Don’t say maybe if you want to say no,” in bold writing across the front.
Forever 21 is being slammed on social media for selling this men’s T-shirt with a slogan that many believe ‘promotes rape culture’. The retail major was forced to pull down the cringe-inducing item from the website on Monday. (Twitter)
Now, while we’re sure the Forever 21 folks behind the making of this T-shirt weren’t on a mission to make light of serious issues, that’s how some people are interpreting the quote: As a punch line for rape.
And to be honest, it’s hard to blame them.
Quick question: Who at Forever 21 thought anything about this T-shirt was a good idea? The aggressive men’s T-shirt has definite violent undertones that perpetuate the idea that “maybe” equals “yes”, when it comes to sexual consent.
Forever 21 is selling the shirt in stores and, at one point, sold it online.
Forever 21 has responded to all the hate coming their way, via the internet (Why would you even ask?), by pulling the T-shirt off the website and issuing a statement saying the company strives to exemplify the highest ethical standards and takes feedback and product concerns very seriously.
It pulled down the T-shirt from its website on Monday and said it “sincerely apologizes to anyone who was offended by the product.”
Read: Ah, the slogan tees
Still, it apparently took Forever 21 at least several days before it took action, as seen by pictures people posted on social media of the shirt in stores.
Forever 21 has especially come under fire for the graphic tee on Twitter, with some saying it promotes rape culture. Others want to know: Did no one - not even one person - recognise a potential problem before approving this Forever 21 T-shirt?
Basically everyone on Twitter criticised the shirt, pointing out the way it reinforced harmful notions of victim-blaming after sexual assault.
Sample these tweets that simply ask: Why would Forever 21 make a tee about rape, just why?
Unfortunately, this isn’t all that unique an incident.
Forever 21 isn’t new to controversy. In February, its shoppers lashed the brand for its plus-size Instagram account with models that didn’t appear to fit the larger size.
Very regrettable designs have been green light by other big retailers too: In 2014, Zara pulled a shirt that bore an unsettlingly uncanny resemblance to Nazi concentration camp uniforms.
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