Retailer's T-Shirt Glorifying Sexual Assault Is Definitely Not 'Satire' -- It's Disgusting


Spencer's Gifts

With the presidential inauguration just days away, you're probably more than ready to put much of the ugliness of election season behind you. But one retailer has other plans. Known for its gag gifts, "outrageous guys tees, funny tees, and custom tees," Spencer's Gifts has come under fire for selling a T-shirt that makes reference to the lewd remarks Donald Trump was heard exchanging with the now shamed-faced Billy Bush during a leaked 2005 Access Hollywood interview. The shirt, which reads "Grab America by the P*ssy" in patriotic red, white, and blue, is so offensive on so many levels, we don't even know where to begin. 

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Like most people who've seen it, Mary Numair of Portland, Oregon, was shocked to find the reprehensible shirt among other slightly less misguided tees at her local mall. Understandably, her Facebook post, a call to boycott the store, has gone viral. 

Take a look:

We understand that going for shock value and pandering to low-brow humor is the chain's stock and trade, but whoopee cushions and fake vomit are one thing. There's nothing remotely humorous about sexual assault. 

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Also, Numair points out that the retailer put this T-shirt front and center at its entrance, making the situation that much more disturbing as unsuspecting passersby are forced to see it. Is this really the kind of thing you want your young son or daughter reading if they're accompanying you or just browsing with friends?

As a parent, I stopped shopping at Urban Outfitters because hearing my kids read aloud T-shirts littered with f-bombs didn't make me feel like a good mom. That's one thing, but encouraging and laughing at unwanted sexual advances is far more troubling. 

Dad David Valdes Greenwood addresses those concerns in his essay in the Huffington Post: 

Should your daughter then ask, 'If the President does it, does that mean it's ok?' you'd have to explain that, no, actually it's not ok; it's beyond not ok, and that if you were the one being subject to this attack, you would be very upset, perhaps traumatized, and might go to the police. Who knew that a trip to the mall could require an explanation of sexual assault, consent, and rape culture?

The playwright, novelist, and father sums up exactly why this shirt is so wrong when he writes: 

"Every adult, female or male, who has been groped, fondled, or penetrated without consent (over 300,000 Americans each year) now can see their private pain rendered as both punch line and consumer good."

More from CafeMom: We're Now Talking About Sexual Assault -- & Oddly Enough, We Have Trump to Thank

His powerful words really say it all, and yet Kevin Mahoney, the vice president and general counsel of Spencer's, told the Oregonian, "The shirt was never meant to promote any type of abuse or attack on any person."

Rather, Mahoney regards it as "satire" and likened it to Alec Baldwin's Saturday Night Live impersonations of President-elect Trump.

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While the tee was eventually removed from the store where Numair first spotted it, according to the chain's website, the shirt is sold out online. 

Well, I guess it's fair to say that Mahoney just doesn't get why this is offensive, nor does he seem to have a grasp on satire or assault either.

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