manufactured outrage

Forever 21 Successfully Used ‘Rapey’ Men’s Shirt to Stir Up Controversy

Hard no on this shirt.
Hard no on this shirt. Photo: Forever 21

Forever 21 is no stranger to outrage, whether it be about fair labor practices or copyright infringement. Today brings a new controversy for the clothing company, over a men’s shirt that says “DON’T SAY MAYBE IF YOU WANT TO SAY NO.” Charming!

Of course, the release of this shirt would’ve gone unremarked upon had the company made it a women’s shirt instead. Context is everything, and as a ladies’ tee it’d be perceived as a comment on how women are societally conditioned to have a hard time saying no. But alas, this is a men’s product, which makes it seem as if it’s an excuse for having a nonconsensual encounter.

And so today’s award for most controversial clothing item of the day goes to Forever 21, which is in good company with brands like Dolce & Gabbana and Urban Outfitters. Congrats, Forever 21, for using justifiable outrage over rape culture to sell more cheap shit.

Update: Forever 21 sent us the following statement.

 “Forever 21 strives to exemplify the highest ethical standards and takes feedback and product concerns very seriously. With regards to the t-shirt in question, upon receiving feedback from our customers, we took immediate action to have it removed from our website.  We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by the product.”

Forever 21 Released ‘Rapey’ Shirt