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February 4, 2004 11:07 AM   Subscribe

Boys Are Stupid, Throw Rocks At Them -- in the latest iteration of crude preteen fashion, some girls are sporting anti-boy slogans as part of that "faux girl power" look. Further corrosion of civility...or are boys in fact smelly?
posted by serafinapekkala (78 comments total)

 
After the Abercrombie racist t-shirt and kiddie-thong scandals, I just can't get that het up about this one, though it's annoying. It's definitely inappropriate garb for school, but will kids and parents stop buying them? Not a chance -- something tells me the moms who don't mind their 12-year-old daughters wearing low rise jeans, belly shirts, and body glitter aren't going to find this problematic.
posted by serafinapekkala at 11:12 AM on February 4, 2004


For some reason I wanted to read it as "Faux girl powder," which sounds like some sort of strange japanese product, or perhaps something worse.

OT: Is dELiAs now courting an older demographic? It doesn't seem as much of a pedobait catalog as it used to be.
posted by shoepal at 11:22 AM on February 4, 2004


I can't speak for all boys, but I have long confessed to being smelly. Is that a problem?

Seriously, you can find a lot of t-shirts and other paraphenalia that bear messages that are offensively anti-women, and a lot that are offensively anti-men. And comparing the seriousness (or the quantity) of the two is a waste of even my time. Let's just say: "It's all NOT good".
posted by wendell at 11:23 AM on February 4, 2004


It's funnier than the "goddess" or "slut" t-shirts.
posted by drezdn at 11:27 AM on February 4, 2004


"But name calling isn't funny or acceptable no matter what group it's targeted at. These shirts are simply substituting one power message for another."


Bingo.
posted by orange swan at 11:28 AM on February 4, 2004


Annoying, yes. Rude and sexist, even. I can't imagine a boy being allowed to wear a t-shirt to school that says, "Girls lie. Poke 'em in the eye."
That said, generally media hullabaloos or sanctimonious boycotts just make these things cooler to kids. I think I'll make fun of my little sisters if they choose to wear them, and see if I can't tease them out of the boy-bashing clothing trend.
posted by pomegranate at 11:30 AM on February 4, 2004 [1 favorite]


shoepal -- no, it's still meant for 10-16'ers, they just have slightly older models now. observe these panties...if you dare.

wendell -- i agree, it's all not good...but i guess i can't resist another "what kind of lowest common denominator society are we living in?!" thread. that, and i'm waiting to see how long before Janet Jackson's boob makes an appearance here.
posted by serafinapekkala at 11:30 AM on February 4, 2004


Oh, won't somebody think of the children?
posted by keswick at 11:32 AM on February 4, 2004


(.)

JJ boobie.
posted by ginz at 11:34 AM on February 4, 2004


Some boys might indeed be stupid and/or smelly, but I don't think that's reason enough to throw rocks at them and/or poke them in the eye.
posted by MsVader at 11:36 AM on February 4, 2004


The next time somebody makes a comment about how feminists are humorless, I will remember this as an example of how men are humorless too and have a good chuckle at the expense of all humanity.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:37 AM on February 4, 2004


(.)

JJ boobie.


No, no, a thousand times no. The official JJ emoticon is: (*Y_).
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:37 AM on February 4, 2004


I don't think it's very ladylike to throw rocks.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 11:42 AM on February 4, 2004


Oh please. If this is the worst they (girls) do to us (boys), they're letting us off wicked easy.

I think the shirts are funny and cool.
posted by lumpley at 11:43 AM on February 4, 2004




Ah, so you have deep and abiding respect for the beautiful creatures that are women.

In other words, you're a virgin.
posted by jonmc at 11:50 AM on February 4, 2004


I'll be sitting over here waiting for the inevitable lawsuit. Girl wears shirt saying to pelt boys with rocks to school, is permitted. Clever boy wears almost identical shirt saying to pelt girls with rocks to school, is suspended. Lawsuit ensues, ACLU takes case. Film at 11.
posted by jester69 at 11:54 AM on February 4, 2004


Eh, I can find better things to get worked up about I guess. Are the shirts and whatnot any more of a reason for outcry than a Hooters t-shirt? Or the stunningly witty line of "Big Johnson" apparel?

At any rate, if I had a daughter, I'd rather her sport one of these than some bullshit "Daddy's Little Princess" or "I'll Try Anything Once, Twice if I Like It" shirt. Those make me shudder.
posted by tr33hggr at 11:57 AM on February 4, 2004


This is a total outrage, I can't believe they are allowed to make these, there should be a law...

Wait, who cares? It's a tshirt. It's a joke. No one is going to throw rocks at anyone because of a tshirt.
posted by Orange Goblin at 12:01 PM on February 4, 2004


Girl wears shirt saying to pelt boys with rocks to school, shows boobies, wear belly shirts and lowriders for "Girl Power".

Boys say girls should show their boobies, wear as little as possible and shut up. They exist to get their pelts rocked.

Welcome to 21st Century Gender Equality. Women are making great strides, I see.
posted by Perigee at 12:01 PM on February 4, 2004 [1 favorite]


nicely done, Perigee. "rock my pelt," bleghhhhh.
posted by serafinapekkala at 12:08 PM on February 4, 2004


jonmc: huh?

Remember that TV Nation segment where Rusty Cundieff bought these four white guys as slaves, just before Mississippi finally made slavery illegal? I thought that was funny too.

I think these shirts are subversive and good. Visit indignity upon the people with social advantage, yes!

I can't be outraged. Girls advocating violence against boys just doesn't have the same, y'know, crushing weight of precedent and cultural momentum that boys advocating violence against girls has. Also, what Orange Goblin said.
posted by lumpley at 12:11 PM on February 4, 2004


We lie because women will believe anything. And if they don't, we'll just beat in into them.
posted by Witty at 12:17 PM on February 4, 2004


I think these shirts are subversive and good. Visit indignity upon the people with social advantage, yes!

Lovely. Assholedom somehow excuses more assholedom. I suppose if some chick did throw rocks at you, or attack you, or otherwise make your life miserable, you'd hang your head and say "I have a penis, I deserve it."

I agree that it's all a tempest in a teapot, but come on. This is the same site where people were wailing about "Wife Beater" shirts awhile back, IIRC. Just pointing up the hypocrisy. But if you enjoy being a self-hating white male, knock yourself out.

And as usual my man Jim Goad is the most cogent on the subject (read the whole interview)
posted by jonmc at 12:24 PM on February 4, 2004 [2 favorites]


But if you enjoy being a self-hating white male, knock yourself out.

or have a pack of junior high school girls do it for you! j/k... for once i am with you, jonmc, to a point, anyway.
posted by serafinapekkala at 12:29 PM on February 4, 2004


I know a girl (college-aged) who owns several of these shirts.

She often complains about not having a boyfriend.
posted by Mr Bunnsy at 12:34 PM on February 4, 2004


JONMC, I think you just coined a great t-shirt slogan.

"I have a penis, I deserve it."

Off to set up a cafe press store and make a fortune...
posted by shoepal at 12:35 PM on February 4, 2004


There is a long tradition of stupid people wearing t-shirts with stupid slogans on them. It is certainly sad to see this marketed with full juggernaut force at young girls for $$$profit$$$.

Girls advocating violence against boys just doesn't have the same, y'know, crushing weight of precedent and cultural momentum that boys advocating violence against girls has.

That is the kind of pointless dodge that some use to evade and/or deny responsibility and move our society away from equity rather than toward it. It, quite honestly, makes me sick. Violence is violence, period.
posted by rushmc at 12:38 PM on February 4, 2004 [1 favorite]


jonmc: there's a difference between a) self-hatred and b) recognizing good satire even at one's own expense.
posted by lumpley at 12:38 PM on February 4, 2004


for once i am with you, jonmc....

Who, me? I'm the most harmless, likable guy you'd ever want to meet...

On preview: shoepal, we should have a competing shirt reading: "What do you say to a woman with two balck eyes? Nothing, she obviously dosen't listen."

jonmc: there's a difference between a) self-hatred and b) recognizing good satire even at one's own expense.

So then, should'nt women be laughing at shirts like this. If you're gonna use that argument then it's gotta go both ways. Otherwise then it is self-hatred.
posted by jonmc at 12:43 PM on February 4, 2004


"Girls are whores. Rape 'em!"
posted by Witty at 12:45 PM on February 4, 2004


Damn jonmc, now There's an eye opener. Debbie and Jim split, Debbies croaked/croaking, He gets involved with some psycho and beats her witless, ends up in jail...

...Gads. Life's gone on since "Answer Me!," hasn't it? Well, goes to prove they weren't posers, anyway. Thanks for the surprising update!
posted by Perigee at 12:51 PM on February 4, 2004


Ah yes. Jim Goad. My hero and role model. Of course, If I told him that. He'd tell me to fuck off and that role models are for weak-minded people. Which is of course another reason why I dig the guy.
posted by jonmc at 12:54 PM on February 4, 2004


Why can't the using of products labled like this become somehow leave a mark that can't be removed?

That way men would know what kind of woman he's dealing with. And make the choice of avoiding her.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:58 PM on February 4, 2004


Jon--that shirt you linked to is not good satire. That's an ugly sentiment with an ugly design.

These shirts aren't really satire, either. There's no righteous indignation, or any situation they're trying to change. Rather, they're the extension of a belief a lot of girls have when they're young. Look at the drawing style; look at the font. It's supposed to be childish. It's supposed to be playful. It isn't, but the problem it reveals isn't that girls want to bash boys heads in.

This has a lot more to do with people not wanting to grow up versus changing the cold war of the sexes into a hot one. If there's any violence that ever results from these shirts, I'll eat my computer.
posted by thecaddy at 1:03 PM on February 4, 2004


I'm just waiting for the inevitable lawsuit against this manufacturer after a girl throws a rock at a boy on the playground and he's injured. They'll argue that the shirt made her do it, just like years ago Mike Judge was accused of making a 2 year old burn his house down because Beavis said "Fire Fire Fire" once in a while and the 2 year old was allowed to watch the show.

I believe in free speech, so I wouldn't ban these shirts. I just think it's a step backwards in our society. How does putting men down and generalizing that 100% of them lie and are evil make women feel better about themselves? I (as a female) have always shuddered when my female friends say to me "all men are assholes." It's pathetic that they really believe it when they haven't met all the men on the Planet Earth.
posted by Spencerinc at 1:06 PM on February 4, 2004


jonmc is made from greasy grimy gopher guts, from what I hear . . .
posted by tr33hggr at 1:07 PM on February 4, 2004


jonmc, I think you misunderstood my tongue in cheek misogyny. sigh.
posted by shoepal at 1:09 PM on February 4, 2004


Wait - boys are smelly, but nerds get chicks?
posted by Guy Smiley at 1:09 PM on February 4, 2004


One of my college buddies had a collection of old mugshots, one of the perps from a more recent roll had a great Hawaiian style print shirt covered in great slogans. The ones we could read were stuff like:

"Smells like fish; eat it" and the winner,
"No more Mr. Nice Guy; on your knees bitch"

The guy had obviously gotten a little drunk and had his ass handed to him in a bar fight.

On another note, that all took place in the great state of Mississippi, where at the time the state was in the process of ratifying the aforementioned constitutional amendment outlawing slavery. Incidentally the legislature during the same session was debating the addition of corporal punishment to minor drug offense sentences.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:12 PM on February 4, 2004


These shirts aren't really satire, either.

yup, they pretty much couldn't be less satirical. as for humorous, that's obviously up for debate...but have a look at this "childish" battle o' the sexes cartoon which i happen to have pinned up at my desk (not a self-link, i just found the pic on Google, see upper left corner). now that i would like to see on young girls' t-shirts...
posted by serafinapekkala at 1:16 PM on February 4, 2004


jonmc is made from greasy grimy gopher guts, from what I hear . . .

...and marinated monkey meat, chopped up baby parakeet, and eyeballs floating in a pool of blood.

Didja pack a spoon? Never mind, Here's a straw.

Jon--that shirt you linked to is not good satire. That's an ugly sentiment with an ugly design.

That was kind of the point.

Hell, in the Village I've seen grown women walk around in shirts reading "Boy Beater." The main thing that irks me about the apologists is that they have this naive (and I'd argue sexist) idea that women are these meek, suffering creatures incapable of being vicious little shits as men are.

NTM, the age group this is aimed at tells me that these shirts are not about empowerment. The 10-13 demographic is a pretty socially cruel group, male and female, so it's more like wearing a shirt saying "I'm a bully and proud of it!" and I hate bullies.


Shoepal, I got you. I was just being a wiseass.
posted by jonmc at 1:17 PM on February 4, 2004 [1 favorite]


...and actually this and the one that says "Chicks Dig Pale Scrawny Guys" are the best t-shirts to wear ultimately.
posted by jonmc at 1:22 PM on February 4, 2004


If you believe the Budweiser commercial, it's the Designated Driver who gets all the chicks...

I personally boycott shirts with messages on them of any kind. Except for one. It says "STOP READING MY SHIRT". During my previously-admitted stay in a mental ward, I called home to ask for some changes of clothes. My mother-in-law brought a half-dozen items including that shirt. Try wearing that in front of diagnosed paranoid schizophrenics.
posted by wendell at 1:43 PM on February 4, 2004 [1 favorite]


Sites like TShirtHell.com pump out truly hateful (but often laugh out loud funny) shirts. This is more of the same really and isn't that big a deal to me.

But to a kid who's still learning the mores and norms of society, the shirts can be sending the wrong message.

The best test is to invert it, put a shirt on a boy that reads "Girls Suck, Hit one with a truck" and see what happens. If its inappropriate on a boy then how could it possibly be appropriate for a girl to wear the same thing?

Then again, I had guys suspended from my school for wearing skirts once.
posted by fenriq at 1:59 PM on February 4, 2004 [1 favorite]


it's the Designated Driver who gets all the chicks...

Brilliant double-standard marketing. So let me get this straight: drinking the product will get me chicks, but also, not drinking the product will get me chicks?

This alcohol, it is an amazing fluid.

Also, this culture, too.
posted by namespan at 2:08 PM on February 4, 2004


Also, this culture, too.
F**k ethics, it will make you riches.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:16 PM on February 4, 2004


Stop the gynocentrifuge, I want to get off.
posted by subgenius at 2:29 PM on February 4, 2004


Women: Down with sexism! Down with sexism!
Man 1: Look at all those feminists.
Man 2: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
[they both reach for bottles of beer, shake them up, and
spray the foam on the protesters. This magically turns
them into bikini-clad party animals. ]
Both Men: Yeah! Yes! All right!
posted by Skot at 2:35 PM on February 4, 2004 [1 favorite]


Stop the world, I'm properly anchored and I want everybody else to fall off.
Copyright 2004, Wendell. T-shirt rights available.
posted by wendell at 2:52 PM on February 4, 2004


For me, the litmus test is how it makes boys feel. Unfunny joke or not, the shirts send a put-down message to boys, and I imagine some are hurt by it.

Who wants someone else's daughter to tell their son that he's stupid? And to wear it as a sign, with a sanction from the school?

Bullying is bullying, and it hurts more than just the target.
posted by squirrel at 2:58 PM on February 4, 2004 [1 favorite]


For me, the litmus test is how it makes boys feel.
I agree with squirrel. No one can tiptoe around others all the time just to make sure they don't offend anyone. But why go out of your way to make someone feel inferior when they had no hand in what chromosomes they'd be born with?
posted by Spencerinc at 3:01 PM on February 4, 2004 [1 favorite]


fenriq: Then again, I had guys suspended from my school for wearing skirts once.

Happened to me. Stupid dress code.

This shirt, and many many others wouldn't make it. It's changed some since I went to school, but only for the worse -- now middle school students may only wear tops that are solidly colored a small number of "accepted" colors. Seriously, does Georgia think that forcing students to tuck in their shirts (enforced, I asked) will raise their 50th place SAT scores?
posted by zpousman at 4:02 PM on February 4, 2004


Hateful shirts are bad. Lots of people sell hateful shirts.

I don't think that the "David and Goliath" people (the designers of the shirt) are actually trying to promote physical violence between female and male children, any more than I think they were trying to promote Histrionic Personality Disorder with their Drama Queen lipgloss.

No, I don't think these are funny. I don't like peeing Calvins, Confederate flags, or the T-shirts that say "beware of anything that bleeds for a week and doesn't die", either.

And "I'm With Stupid" t-shirts are right out. Except for Jessica Simpson and her husband--they both need 'em.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:58 PM on February 4, 2004


"Ah, so you have deep and abiding respect for the beautiful creatures that are women.

In other words, you're a virgin."


jonmc wins this thread.

The "some men are mean to women, therefore it's okay for all girls to be mean to all boys"-argument just doesn't cut it with me.

Still, it's just a t-shirt - who cares?
posted by spazzm at 5:00 PM on February 4, 2004


Worse than the negligible harm this will do to boys' self-esteem (generally they'll know it's a joke and take it like one), I think the shirt's message does two things:

1) Tells boys that it's normal for them to behave like assholes. ("Ha ha, isn't it funny and even cool when we boys behave like assholes?")

2) Normalizes bad behavior on the part of boys in the eyes of girls ("Boys are just like that, and you certainly shouldn't expect anything better.")

I know a few women who complain a lot about how stupid men are, and I tend to feel bad for them, because each of them has decided to hook up with a string of the most immature, irresponsible, poorly-socialized men they can find. They see that coming and they say, "Sign me up!" No wonder they feel the way they do about men.

That said, I agree with those who are saying we have much better things to worry about than these t-shirts.
posted by boredomjockey at 5:01 PM on February 4, 2004


Come on, these are obviously meant to be a joke and play on the pre-teen feelings of both boys and girls that the other sex has cooties while being secretly and wildly attracted to them, so making up taunts to hide that attraction.

It's a joke, get over it.
posted by dg at 5:46 PM on February 4, 2004


Any boy who's feelings will get hurt by this shirt is a girl. ::ducks and runs::
posted by moonbiter at 5:52 PM on February 4, 2004


I'd just like to say that "I have a penis, I deserve it." is a great idea for a shirt. Especially because it can mean whatever you want it to.

"Berate me, hit me with rocks. I have a penis, I deserve it."

"Get in the kitchen and bake me a pie. I have a penis, I deserve it."
posted by ODiV at 7:47 PM on February 4, 2004


Why are we chastising the girls who wear these shirts, or the companies producing them?

THESE GIRLS HAVE PARENTS.

They're the ones making the mistake of letting their girls turn into misandrists. It's nothing more than a form of child abuse.
posted by shepd at 8:43 PM on February 4, 2004


Boys stink. Its true, and I am SOO happy.
They also have far better places than eyes in which to poke them.

While I would usually go along with dg, especially if I didn't think about it too much, there is a large trend in marketing which makes me side with boredomjockey.

Way back in the dark ages (before internet) ads showed stupid women that needed men to care for them. Latter this switched, now you see that men are stupid and need women to look after them.

Seems to me these messages do indeed tell too many guys that its okay to be an overgrown juvenile in need of supervision, that this is in fact endearing to women (maybe it is, I wouldn't know).
posted by Goofyy at 12:17 AM on February 5, 2004


The posters with all the cartoons from this range were on sale in the student union here on campus. Taking into account other comments on this thread I suspect the range is aimed more at older girls/young women to buy into a faux-retro child's attitude to boy-girl divide ("ironically" of course). So can overreactors .
posted by biffa at 2:08 AM on February 5, 2004


oops, don't know what happened there

So can overreactors turn the outrage off.
posted by biffa at 2:09 AM on February 5, 2004


Let me get this straight, biffa: because anti-boy merchandise is available at your student union its marketing circulation is limited to college students? Your suggestion is both false and shortsighted.

False because marketers will sell their products to whoever buys them. An item's appearance in one place does not preclude its appearance in other places. File that under D for duh.

Shortsighted because the "outrage" (too strong a word) I see in this thread responds to the message the shirts are sending, per se, and the anti-feminist cynicism represented by the marketers, regardless of whoever is likely to wear the message.
posted by squirrel at 9:36 AM on February 5, 2004


"Girls are stupid... rape them!"

"Girls are stupid... beat them!"

Hey... same "humorous" sentiments. C'mon, defend these. Maybe you can even put them on a t-shirt and wear them proudly cause they're so cool! Or is it different because they're targeting girls? If so, why is it different? Why is it okay to insult boys and advocate violence against them but not vice versa w.r.t. girls?

Just wondering.
posted by hurkle at 10:02 AM on February 5, 2004


My kid wears a "Down with whitey" shirt to school. Does that bother anyone?
posted by mcgraw at 10:25 AM on February 5, 2004


This post title, "Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them", is definitely in the top ten Mefi best titles of the year (if not among the top ten best of all time).
posted by troutfishing at 11:11 AM on February 5, 2004


mcgraw, your kid is on his way home from school today with spraypaint on his face and blood in his stool.

You're next.
posted by dfowler at 11:40 AM on February 5, 2004


mcgraw, your kid is on his way home from school today with spraypaint on his face and blood in his stool.

Wow, he must have eaten at the same place I did for lunch then!
posted by Pollomacho at 11:45 AM on February 5, 2004


dflower:

mcgraw, your kid is on his way home from school today with spraypaint on his face and blood in his stool.

who are you mr t.

You're next.

yeah right, nucklehead. you dont know whats going on
I hope Snoop steps in for a swing at you too punk bitch..
posted by mcgraw at 11:51 AM on February 5, 2004


I'll knife you.
posted by dfowler at 12:17 PM on February 5, 2004


I'll knife you.

wo scarry
posted by mcgraw at 12:22 PM on February 5, 2004


Just kidding, mcgraw, everyone knows your kid is dead.

What not everyone knows, though, is what he sounded like while I strangled him. He pissed himself, you know, before he died (with my son's meat in his bun).
posted by dfowler at 12:33 PM on February 5, 2004


in his bun).

ha ha thats a goodone
posted by mcgraw at 12:36 PM on February 5, 2004


right, Soy?
posted by mcgraw at 12:38 PM on February 5, 2004


Did I miss something here? Do you two work together or something?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:02 PM on February 5, 2004


Let me get this straight, biffa: because anti-boy merchandise is available at your student union its marketing circulation is limited to college students?

I believe my precise words were 'I suspect the range is aimed more at older girls/young women'.
Yes, people who sell things will sell them to whoever, however small children don't have charge cards but do have parents - the danger to our children meme is overused and overwrought. The idea that these represent any serious danger to society is ludicrous, just as it would be if it was applied to any primetime tv show which features boys vs girls teams.
posted by biffa at 2:14 PM on February 5, 2004


biffa, you keep putting words in people's mouths and then saying they're going too far. No one has expressed "outrage" or fear of "serious danger." If you believe your own precise words, why not use those of others? My point stands.

mcgraw and dfowler, please explain yourselves in metatalk.
posted by squirrel at 2:51 PM on February 5, 2004


squirrel, the message the t-shirts send is quite clearly an 'ironic' statement referring to the boy-girl rivalry of childhood transposed across to male-female interaction in the pubescent and post-pubescent age ranges. The basis of the logo's appeal (if indeed they have any) is for those who are buying into this sense of irony and of the changing nature of this interaction.
I would be entertained to see you present the argument for the link to 'anti-feminist cynicism' that you make on behalf of the marketers.
posted by biffa at 1:15 AM on February 6, 2004


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