Thursday, September 10, 2009

Abercrombie & Fitch Pitches New Silly T-Shirts To America's Youth Angering Religious Right

UPDATE:  After a variety of comments on this post both here and over on my facebook profile where it was cross-posted,  I'm now convinced that this is a far from ideal set of circumstances to choose for a buycott on behalf of sex positivity.  Many thanks to all those who have offered sound and important observations. 

Woodhull's work is generally very good and worth supporting.  On rare occasions we activists can and do miss the mark, usually, or at least in my own case, due to haste to get a story out and move on to other pressing matters.   - Anita


Thanks to the Woodhull Freedom Foundation for the heads-up on this one.

Join the BuyCott! Call Abercrombie & Fitch at 614-283-6500 (press "0" for a live person) and let them know you support their right to sell and their customers' right to buy their "sex can be fun" tee shirts.

Abercrombie & Fitch  is being attacked by the religious right for selling these three tee shirts as part of its "New College" line of T-shirts.

Abercrombie & Fitch does not merely sell a popular line of clothing - they sell a lifestyle. And because A&F clothing is popular among teens and college kids, the influence of their sex-as-recreation lifestyle is widespread. If you feel like encouraging this lighter side of sex and showing the religious right that this is a free country help the BuyCott--buy one or more of these shirts.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention reports that Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year- almost half of them among young people 15 to 24 years of age.

In the past decade more than one billion dollars in federal funding has been doled out for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. In contrast, there has been no federal funding at all for comprehensive sex education. Thus the raging STDs?

Whether you buy a tee shirt or not drop a note to your local school board, state legislators, and your Congress member and Senators, encourage them to fund comprehensive sex education!


Sarah said...

Huh- I don't take issue with them because they're pro-sex, but because they're tasteless and somewhat sexist. While normally I assume that whatever the religious right is attacking must be a good thing, it's not ALWAYS true. Not worth boycotting obviously, but worth supporting? I don't think so.

Bitsy said...

While I support there right to sell those shirts, I can't say I support the shirts. The message I see is one that says I (male) think you, female, pleasing me sexually would be right way for the world to be organized.

Anonymous said...

And I think it's quite ok for guys to think that. I've certainly seen the reverse as well (I, female, think you, male, pleasing me .....)

Remember, girls can want sex too! They're even allowed to be overt about it these days. Haven't we made progress.

The problem only occurs when people try to force the issue using their authority. THAT is what's not ok. But, unless I somehow get a law passed saying people will be denied rights unless they do what A&F prints on their shirts, I don't think we have a problem here.

Up with the shirts!

Bitsy said...

Actually, I think the sexiest cues that are presented on these shirts are quite insidious. It is telling me, as a women, that my sexually is there only to please you. That you have a right to it. That men are gross and don't have a right to display themselves.

Even if you say you've seen the reverse, trust me, it wasn't in a social context that had these message every where.

I think there are many many problems that occur when these are considered good messages to send. (And many more if the people wearing try to enforce "their rights" to sex.)

Let's just say, I don't think I'd want to be friends with anyone who would wear these shirts. They are problematic, and an example of the progress that has yet to be made.

Gabe said...

While they've certainly got every right to sell such T-shirts, I'm not going to be weighing in supporting them. Not because the shirts are sexist and tacky. More because they're just a shitty company. They've got a history of labor disputes because they only want conventionally pretty, white employees with no visible disabilities.

Well, that and I just really hate the mall.

PixieStyx25 said...

Funny how you post statistics on STDs yet are encouraging your readers to buy shirts promoting the very behavior that spreads these diseases. I deffinately believe in comprehesive sex ed as knowledge is power BUT keeping it in your pants is a sure fire 100% way of keeping yourself disease free.

Anita Wagner said...

PixieStyx25, did you read my update at the top of the post? And isn't it clear that the statistics you reference were part of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation's announcement and not statistics I personally made reference to?

Regardless, though I agree that keeping it in one's pants, also known as abstinence, is the safest of safer sex practices, I still believe it unrealistic and unfair to expect people in the prime of their reproductive lives to use that remedy. Even more important is conveying the healthy attitude that sex is fun and good for you as a way to counter all the sex negativity that still finds it way into young minds.