Photo Karen Kunawicz/Facebook
A department store in the Philippines was selling a brown T-shirt reading, “It’s Not Rape It’s a Snuggle With a Struggle,” with two hands forming the shape of a heart in the middle. But after the photo went viral, the product was pulled from the retailer’s shelves.
Karen Kunawicz, who is from New Orleans, La., found the shirt at SM Supermall in Pasay City. She shared a photo of the offensive tee on her Facebook page, and it promptly received thousands of shares and comments from friends around the world. She said she spotted it in the statement tees section for boys. “I was shaking I could not take a proper photo,” she wrote on her wall. “Insulting to women and girls and as a mom of a soon to be 13 year old, it made me want to throw up.”
Photo The SM Store/Facebook
The SM Store released a statement on Facebook that reads, “We do not tolerate such action. SM does not support such irresponsible and malicious acts that mock important and sensitive social issues.” Store officials pulled the item from shelves and are investigating why the tee was shipped (and displayed for sale) in the first place.
The T- shirt sparked online rage, but it’s not the first time that the sexual violence has been trivialized on a tee. Last year, a T-shirt company that sold its goods through Amazon came under fire after shirts that featured slogans such as “Keep Calm And Rape A Lot” and “Keep Calm And Rape Them” were discovered. An Etsy shop in 2013 was pulled from the site after shirts with slogans such as “Autumn is perfect for date rape” and “I’m a sensitive guy, I only rape pregnant women” were revealed to the larger public. And recently, students wearing shirts spelling out “rape” were discovered on Twitter, and their Long Island school district said it was considering disciplinary and legal action against them.
While it’s great that SM Supermall is getting to the bottom of why and how the T-shirt made it onto shelves, the shirt can still be found online. Foulmouthshirts.com, a U.S.-based company, sells the tee and, according to the website, it’s available in more than 350 styles, sizes, and color combinations. And Idakoos.com sells tees emblazoned with “I Love Motionless Girls.”