Imagine going to the store to buy clothes for your kids when you see a t-shirt in the boy’s department that reads ‘It’s not rape, It’s a snuggle with a struggle.’ Writer Karen Kunawicz says that’s what happened to her.
Kunawicz was shopping at the SM Supermall in the Philippines. She was so disgusted she took a photo of the t-shirt and posted it on her Facebook page on Sept. 22, and then it went viral. I don’t know if the t-shirts have made it to any stores in the U.S., but the fact that such a piece of clothing exists is unbelievable.
The issue got the attention of the head honchos at the SM Corporate offices in Manila. They pulled the t-shirt off the shelves and issued a statement. Company officials did not apologize, but said “We do not tolerate such action. SM does not support such irresponsible and malicious acts that mock important and sensitive social issues….”
I’ve covered dozens of rape stories as a reporter. I’ve been in several courtrooms when the victims had to face their attackers. I know many women and children today who live with the terrible experience of being sexually assaulted.
Did you know that one in 5 women in the U.S. have been raped, and 78 percent of female rape victims were first raped before they were 25-years-old? Those are the facts from the Centers for Disease Control. Also, 2 percent of men have been sexually assaulted.
Now that the SM Corporate bosses have removed the nasty t-shirts from their stores, I hope they replace the t-shirts with ones with strong messages that bring awareness to the issue. How about ones that read “No means No” or “This is NOT asking For It.”
It’s a start, don’t you think?