Stop me if I’m being sexist here, but I’m going to go ahead and assume that the person behind the now infamous ‘Keep Calm and Hit Her’ t-shirts was a man.
The story goes that the series of ‘Keep Calm and’ t-shirts produced by Solid Gold Bomb and sold by Amazon, were created by an automated computer dictionary and a scripted programming process, which to my technophobic ears equate to as much as “Computer says no”, or in this case, “Computer says rape a lot”.
The scripted programming process in question was compiled by only one staff member of Solid Gold Bomb – incidentally anyone sensing some massive overcompensation in the company name? The founders obviously follow the Gillette school of thought, just whack three relatively masculine sounding words together and watch the money roll in – they might as well have called themselves Massive Throbbing Cock. But then, going to work everyday might have been a cruel reminder of the sad, pathetic truth he carried around in his Y Fronts.
This single member of staff, or Scapegoat, as he will be go down in history, is the only figure the company has put forward as any source of blame, or at least incompetence. Only one person was responsible for the automated scripted programming process, and sorry Scapegoat, that’s you. Good luck buddy!
It seems incredible that no one else at Fusion Titanium Pimp had absolutely no duty or interest in what their automated computer dictionary was throwing up all over Amazon, or that in designing the scripted programming process, no one thought to restrict any obviously offensive or risky language, say for example, RAPE or KNIFE.
It’s all pretty hard to believe.
And in my experience, if it’s hard to believe, then you shouldn’t.
The sorry excuses being rolled out by Raging Steel Dragon are as unimpressive as their t-shirts, unoriginal, unacceptable and offensive.
The least the company could have done was have the Solid Gold Balls to come out and admit that they were trying to make a cheap buck out of uneducated, overcompensating teenage boys, you know the type, they wear huge baseball caps saying ‘THUG’ that their mums’ bought for them in Matalan.
The truth is, offensive as the t-shirts were, having the word RAPE emblazoned across some guy’s sagging moobs is the tip of the feminist iceberg, and actually the image is laughable. It’s about the only thing in this whole saga that has raised any humour, the general response on twitter is a resounding ‘Rape is not funny’.
I am always amazed by people who make rape jokes, it’s a sense of humour I hope never to get. But in a bid to try and understand this kind of mindset a little better I did some research. Why would a businessman (which I am still assuming the braincell behind Turbo Platinum Excel is) ever consider branding his product with this kind of distasteful and disturbing humour?
So as well as researching testosterone-pumped words to ridicule Huge Matrix Hustler, I also looked into what Google had to say on the query “Why do men rape?”
Let me assure you, it doesn’t make for pleasant reading. The first result was perhaps the most disturbing even though the nature of it was simply someone on Yahoo! Answers asking the same question as I had, but the phrasing of it was still disturbing. He (I checked) asked why men “indulge” in rape, as if it’s just a slightly more expensive bottle of Rioja you let yourself buy because you’ve had a tough week. The responses were just as worrying, most notably because it took four answers before anyone pointed out that rapists aren’t indulging, they are committing a violent crime.
But thankfully, RapeCrisis England and Wales had a more educated answer. This is what they had to say:
(There is a huge Google world out there with a million different answers, but I settled with this answer, mostly because I couldn’t quite stomach reading any more opinions on the psychosis of rapists at bedtime.)
“Rape is an act which is totally controlled by the perpetrator. During rape a woman’s right to be self-empowered and sexually self-determined is completely denied. Our sexuality is fundamental to our sense of ourselves and such a violation takes away the control we expect to have over our bodies and our lives.”
If this is the case, whatever the sexual desire or intention on the surface of the attack, if rape is perpetrated in an effort to defy or violate a woman’s self-empowerment or sexual self-determination, surely the perpetrator’s own emasculation is a given? If a man resorts to rape in order to determine his own masculinity he is a testimony to the empowerment of women. It certainly seems to be the general consensus surrounding the culture of gang rape in India, that women are being punished for having a mind of their own, for refusing to live as second class citizens.
I realise this kind of theorising offers absolutely no consolation to the victims of such a horrific crime, and I don’t pretend to offer the suggestion as such. But I hope it sheds a little light on the idiocy of Solid Gold Misogynists or whichever Scapegoat they are trying to pin this on.
‘Keep Calm and Rape A Lot’, roughly translated through this theory, means ‘You are a weak and emasculated man who has no other humane or civilised way of exerting his own sense of self worth than by wearing a t-shirt which promotes the violent violation of another human being’.
I’d like to imagine that any receipt of purchase on this product just said ‘Is your mother proud of you?’
Because that’s the really sick part in all of this. We know that companies and businesses and corporate operations will do pretty much anything to make money, no matter how offensive or disturbing it seems to the everyday man or woman. We’re never really surprised by their abhorrent behaviour. What is most disgusting about this whole thing, is that most of us know someone who would have seen that t-shirt and laughed, maybe even bought it.
These t-shirts are just another by-product of a misogynistic culture which has normalised the violent abuse of women. And it’s still not funny.