Thursday, September 17, 2009

Woodhull Explains Position on Controversial Abercrombie T-shirts

A few days ago I posted a blog entry about a "buycott" call from the Woodhull Freedom Foundation to buy a certain group of rather silly sex-focused Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirts, or at least let the company know it has the support of the sex-positive community, as a result of conservative/religious extremist attacks on the product. After doing so I received comments both here and on my facebook entry where the blog entry also appeared that expressed strong opinions that the shirts were tacky, sexist, and generally objectionable, this time from within the sex-positive community instead of religious conservatives.

Woodhull has posted an explanation on, which says in part:

Like our past BuyCott efforts, our A&F BuyCott stirred a lot of emotion. Some of our constituents were quick to write (thank you!) and call to my attention the history of A&F, including successful lawsuits against them pressing charges of racism and sexism. This will remind me to keep a closer eye on A&F and other companies to detect such unacceptable behavior.

At the same time the issue on this occasion wasn’t the t-shirts or the retailer. The issue is that, popular or not, offensive or not, appropriate or not, the t-shirts are about sex and sexuality. Are they tasteless? Probably! Certainly a lot of people including many sexual freedom advocates think so. But does A&F have the right to market them? Woodhull says YES!

And that’s what the alert was about.

The attack on sex that fueled the assault on A&F was not stupid. It came from a well-oiled, well-researched, thoroughly entrenched message machine. It knew where to strike. It knew that there’s not much point in waving the hysteria flag around a shirt with pictures of flowers on it ...

You can read the entire commentary on carnalnation here.

No comments: