Not funny.

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Does Walmart ever do anything that doesn’t totally suck? They’re selling this t-shirt in their stores, and some people don’t think it’s so cute.

For the past two years, this woman has been stalked until she feels like a prisoner in her own life. She has been spied upon, bullied and threatened with her life.

She has been in frequent communication with local authorities. Yet, because North Carolina has one of the most vague stalking laws in the nation (a bill is wending its way through the legislature to address that), her recourse has been limited.

So when she saw the T-shirts, clearly aimed for the teen-younger adult set, she didn’t see the humor.

“It’s reprehensible,” said the woman, whose story is well documented but who asked not to be identified for fear that her stalker might retaliate.

“People don’t realize how serious stalking is,” she said. “You constantly live in fear, look over your shoulder and suffer from psychological and physical symptoms due to the stress of the stalker.”

She wondered aloud: What’s next?

“Some say it’s rape, I call it hot sex”? Or: “Some call it domestic violence, I say I’m just teaching her a lesson”?

Of course, t-shirts like that do exist. They just aren’t being sold at one of the nation’s largest retailers.


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9 comments for “Not funny.

  1. Kristen from MA
    October 2, 2007 at 10:27 am

    walmart is the store that – a few years ago -pulled another t-shirt design off the shelves because the company felt that it’s slogan was ‘anti-family.’ the slogan?

    A woman’s place is in the House – and in the Senate.

    walmart – the world’s largest purveyor of patriarchy.

  2. QLH
    October 2, 2007 at 11:44 am

    “Some say it’s rape, I call it hot sex”? Or: “Some call it domestic violence, I say I’m just teaching her a lesson”?

    That’s such a good parallel, I have to buy her argument.

    Also, the creepy bloody font? Not cool.

    How is the House/Senate joke anti-family? Senators don’t have families? Maybe Congress is notoriously anti-family…

  3. Mme. Termagant
    October 2, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    At a county fair about 10 years ago, I saw a trucker hat for sale with the caption:

    “I don’t like 4 letter words
    … like Stop, Can’t, Don’t, Won’t”

  4. Kristen from MA
    October 2, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    How is the House/Senate joke anti-family? Senators don’t have families? Maybe Congress is notoriously anti-family…

    exactly! it’s not, unless you think that anything – even a joke – is anti-family if it shows a woman in any role other than homemaker .

    there was another crazy incident re: an album cover. i think its was a go goo dolls album (not sure) that had been for sale for a while but was suddenly pulled off the shelves. the cover photo was a snapshot of one of the band members as a baby, sitting in a high chair. he had grape jelly all over his face, and the album was pulled because someone in mgmt thought it looked like blood.

    is it something in the arkansas water?

  5. Bitter Scribe
    October 2, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Actually, T-shirts like that serve a purpose. They’re the equivalent of “I’m a sexist jerk with a sick sense of humor. Stay away from me.”

  6. Esme
    October 2, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Earlier today, a classmate of mine was escorted out of a Walmart for asking to speak to a manager about this shirt. He claimed to her that it was “funny.”

  7. kxo
    October 2, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    To be fair, context matters. For instance, at an anime convention or something similar, I can totally see fangirls wearing this as a joke, and no one would ever think anything other than, “Wow, she’s a hardcore fan, she must really love (anime character).” Honestly, if I hadn’t seen this first on a feminist blog, I would have assumed it was for exactly that (what can I say, I run in dorky circles). Now, if I saw some random guy at Wal-Mart wearing this, that would be an entirely different story, and I would probably try to put considerable distance between myself and him, for the reasons you gave above.

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