Rules Update and Admin Notice

First of all, I’ve added a new section to the Discussion Rules about what to do if you’re told to check your privilege. Just a reminder, folks, this blog is an anti-oppression blog and while it’s okay to disagree with what’s said, if you’re told that your comment comes from a privileged POV saying “no it doesn’t!” (however politely) is not acceptable.

Also, comment threads are not the place to ask questions or comment about the Discussion Rules. Period. If you have a question, you can contact me with it. I may or may not answer. But if you try to argue the merits of the rules on the board, your comment will be deleted (hopefully before it gets posted… damn Spam Karma) and I will heavily consider banning you.

Spam Related Issues

Apparently I’ve had a batch of comments (I’m not sure how many) be marked as spam and therefore not published. I also found out that a group of comments that I approved somehow got unapproved and two of them ended up in the spam bin (which would have been deleted except that I checked because of the comment eating problem).

If you find that your comment doesn’t show up after a day, please at least e-mail me to let me know. I have no idea yet how widespread this issue is, or if it means I should seek another anti-spam tool besides Spam Karma.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

Looking for Guest Bloggers

Okay, this semester is completely brutal and I’m not sure when I’m going to have time to get back to blogging for more than a entry at a time. So, I’m putting out a call for guest bloggers starting in December.

Ideally I’m looking for people who have the time to post twice or three times a week. I want longtime readers who have a good sense of what the site is about so that their posts will mesh with what we’re about. If you have your own blog, you’re more than welcome to cross post.

If you’re interested, please get in touch with me here. Thanks!

On the Alas Controversy

I would just like to inform my readership that, after careful consideration, I have decided to remove the link to Alas, a Blog and remove my postings there from when I guest posted.

Ultimately I have done this because I am against companies such as the one that bought This is both because it purchased his domain specifically to use his popularity to artificially inflate the rankings of its clientele in search engines as well as because his clientele includes mainstream pornography that is blatantly anti-woman.

I feel that if I leave my material up there and continue to link to him, then I am being complicit in my silence. The company was attracted to amptoons because of its readership — they wanted to use the popularity of his site to their advantage. If the part of the readership who is against companies like these stands by and does nothing, then what message is being sent? That these practices are okay, and even profitable.

I do not think the practices are okay, and I do not want them to be profitable. And so I am doing the only thing I can — removing my content and my support of the site.

Link Category Mess

My “More Feminists” category is too large, but I haven’t been able to find a good way to categorize the ones there in a useful way. I’ve been considering separating out “Sex positive Feminists” and “Radical Feminists”, but I’m somewhat afraid of opening that can of worms. I dunno.

For those of you familiar with the feminist blogs I link (and those of you who check ’em out in response to this post), what do y’all think? Do you have any ideas for further categories? If you’re on my blogroll (no matter your category), can you think of a section that you’d like to see (and perhaps be put in)?

Any and all advice is appreciated.

WordPress 2.0.4

I just upgraded to the newest WP, I’ve also chosen to not continue the use of the image authentication problem because a significant amount of spam was still coming through. If you have any problems with this new version, please let me know.

Update: This blog now uses an anti-spam program called Bad Behavior. It is aggressively anti-spam and therefore may result in some false positives. We advise you to read about What to do when Bad Behavior blocks you (or your friends) before posting. If you believe that this has happened to your comment (rather than it being rejected for moderation), please contact tekanji using the link on the sidebar.

What does your t-shirt say? (now with MORE dumb t-shirts!)

With the popularity and availability of screen printing and selling t-shirts over the internet, seems like everybody’s got some idea, phrase or illustration they want to market in t-shirt form. So for anywhere from $7-25 bucks, you get to wear not only a piece of clothing but something that says something to everyone else. It’s what you want other people to read or notice or learn about. For that moment, whether it’s a wayward glance on the subway or the start-up of a conversation in line from a deep gaze, the t-shirt and its modern storytelling (oh, lets say in the past couple years) reveals another form of violent backlash and aggression by men to women.

The t-shirt: It’s about half-way between a bumper sticker and a tattoo. With a bumper sticker you face a limited landscape where simple text is the main projection and chances are you don’t see the person whose politics are being espoused unless you drive up and give them a good stare-down. With tattoos, you don’t know what you’re getting because it’s a tattoo. Some people hide them, other display, some mix and match. Now, with a classic t-shirt with illustration/text on the chest area, you’ve got something that says “this is what I think, this is what I think is cute/funny/cool.”

Now, I could give a shit what people wear on their t-shirts, skin, cars or whatnot. If you want to wear a tattoo with the Pythagorean theorem, great. A t-shirt with all species of marine life? Even better. But lately there have been a growing number of people and companies cashing in on misogynist, homophobic, and racist “humor” meant to be funny or worse yet, rebellious and gutsy. In other words, while what Ariel Levy calls “Raunch Culture” oppresses women (and men) through hegemony by co-opting sexual degradation and objectification as liberation and empowerment, for men, the passive-aggressive sexual aggression to women whether in t-shirt form with something like this or in street harassment with “cat-calls” and lewd sexual gestures, the patriarchy of men’s control and power over women is reinforced yet again.

So when a man wears a shirt that reads “If you’re already this close, why don’t you just suck my dick?” what are we to make of this? Is this just crude and typical guy humor? No, I don’t think so. Men, women, everybody engages in stupid, crude humor but when it becomes an immediate projection of sexual aggression similar to street harassment, that’s not funny, witty, rebellious or charming. It serves no purpose other than for men to exert their patriarchal bullshit sense of physical and sexual power over women. This is essentially delusional and idiotic men from the normalized pornographic culture that says treating women like you would a doormat, a sexual object of no humanity or worth, likes being treated like this. In many ways, such shirts become mental Viagras, immediately creating this impressive yet ultimately fleeting and hallow masculinity for men to be crude and somehow held unaccountable for the words on the shirt. “Hey, I didn’t say anything, you read it sugah.” In other words, its what they’re thinking, what they believe, what they think is appropriate and an acceptable way to talk to people, namely women.

But this isn’t just for gender issues and men’s sexual aggression against women. Just as in any areas of patriarchy you find sexist oppression, there are elements of racism through stereotypes. Can you start to sense who these shirts are marketed towards? A very specific demographic, isn’t it? And where there are issues of racism and discrimination are often the general glorifications of physical violence as well as generally being “rebellious” by deliberately being insensitive and “un-PC.” As a culture, we don’t encourage sensitivity. With how stigmatized Politically Correct has become, the cool thing isn’t to use a respectful words, its cool to go around with the “I don’t care who I offend” Eminem/Carmelo Anthony/Avril Lavigne/Ozzie Guillen type attitude that operates under the guise of being raw, real, and unfiltered.

Warming Up: For Exhibit A we have the obvious offender in Urban Outfitters. You’ll remember that they carried the infamous “Ghettopoly” board game a while back so these people aren’t very bright. Anyways, they chime in with some fratty type humor with these losers. “Down with panties and “Let’s make a dirty movie.” hahahah awesome shirt, Brad! Dude those panties will drop real quick when these chicks see it! Idiot.

Head on over to the women’s section of print t-shirts and you find….nothing remotely like what they got at men’s. Surprise? The only t-shirt I could find objectionable was one that just had the first names of famous supermodels which was just blah. This presents an interesting situation. Sexual aggression becomes extremely gendered because it’s a man only thing to street harass, to wear crude sexually charged t-shirts. In that sense, it becomes a sort of unearned gender male privilege to not be subject to sexual harassment or the visual filth of these types of t-shirts. But even so, as you’ll see below, there are a few t-shirts geared towards women to essentially “wear t-shirts like a man”/”have sex like a man”/engage in raunch culture.

Now we’re jumping straight into the icy water with this group. Presenting, the people of Santorum over at T-Shirt Hell.

Let’s see, where to start? How about “Ladies don’t spit” or the aforementioned “If you’re already this close, why don’t you just suck my dick?” or how about “Thousands of my potential children died on your daughter’s face last night”. Obviously these folks are going straight for the jugular with flat out offensive material under the guise of being funny, over-the-top and “we’ll say anything, fuck the FCC!” (raises fist).

How about
“I like my women like I like my coffee (ground and in the freezer).”

”If this is on your floor tomorrow…WE TOTALLY FUCKED (now go make me some breakfast, bitch)”

”Pirates do it for the booty.”

”Save a horse, ride a cowboy.”

”Soldiers need hummers. Please support the cause.”

”Everything is bigger in Texas.”

”I’m ready for a female president [to sit on my cock]”

Or, if you saunter over to the idiots at how about some t-shirts poking fun and celebrating the rape cases involving famous celebrities? Free Kobe. Free R.Kelly. Or if mass-murder is your calling, how about Charles Manson?

If those aren’t to your liking, the “Anti-PC” “Anti-establishment” band-wagon is gathering steam. The conservative case here with these t-shirts is essentially that the world has gone soft and that actually having and respectfully recognizing difference, different likes and preferences and lifestyles and cultures is a bad thing.

”I Hate The Environment.” Real witty.

Don’t like the spirit of America, I mean, “illegal immigrants” coming to the US? How about this shirt. How about some more latino stereotypes?

Remember those Burger King and Jack In The Box commercials celebrating macho meat-eating men? Now this.

How does the old saying go? “To not know is bad, to not want to know is worse”? Disturbing to see how that motto doesn’t resonate anymore.

Remember how I was talking about Raunch Culture being celebrated and normalized? Kinda like how that Pussycat Dolls “Dontcha” song is so popular?

“I taught your boyfriend that thing you like.”

”I taught your girlfriend that thing you like.”

Women pressured to make out with other women at parties? Girls Gone Wild normalization, anyone? In comes this bs.

Or how about jokes about rape or even child-rape, or those who are pro-choice?

T-Shirt Hell obviously creates a majority of the crap you’ve seen thus far. They’re fully aware of how offensive this is, but for the sake of the almighty dollar (and from what I imagine to be a crappy sense of rebellion and ego) they produce this shit at the expense of women and inevitably, men.

Even with all this, I mean god it’s just a t-shirt isn’t it? Obviously these people aren’t being serious. It’s just a joke. You’re taking this too seriously.

It is a t-shirt. So just as long as you put it on a t-shirt means its free from hate-spewing, sexism, racism, homophobia? If we’re going to be critical of oppressive legislation, the media, the tv shows we watch, the movies we buy, the music we listen to…why not the t-shirts that we see day-to-day?

What can I do? Seems like these crazies aren’t going to listen to reason so what’s the point of arguing. Aren’t you just promoting their website and giving more attention to them?

It’s true, I am giving attention to these websites and so I’ll try to offer some alternatives in the process.

A. You can write them to protest their garbage with something along the lines of: –

Urban Outfitters –

YQue –

One Horse Shy –

B. Spend your money elsewhere. There are plenty of great people out there making anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-sexist, conscious, responsible t-shirts that don’t pull Andrew Dice Clay shtick and actually have something meaningful, original and funny to say. is one famous for their “I will not love you long time” t-shirts. I know there are more out there…let’s hear everybody’s favorite t-shirt joint 🙂

###UPDATE: Hey everybody! Found some more dumb t-shirts.

Dirty Shirty is a real piece of crap. Basically, this whole gimmick is trying to cash in on the Christina Aguilera drrty bit (which the video itself, I know to some has potentially redemptive qualities if you take it as a satirical piece criticizing the double-standards of sex, gender and music) and the idea that women who participate in Raunch Culture are then more attractive as women. Look at the shirts for men and women, many (6) of the t-shirts for women loudly display “DIRTY” while for men, only 3 do. For men, we have some frat-type humor t-shirts. That is where in comes in with this t-shirt in the men’s section: Because men think with their dicks, dude. You know, and those women always think with their hearts.

Summer Vacation

My dad’s coming into Tokyo today, and tomorrow I’m off to meet him for a fun-filled week of doing anything except for thinking about Japanese. I may have to speak it to get around in some places, or read it to go anywhere on the JR Line (you’d think Tokyo trains would have English, like Okazaki and Nagoya do, but nope, all kanji), but I assure you there will be no thinking of the Japanese. At all.

Anyway, what that means is that I’m gone until July 2. I won’t be able to reply to comments or make new posts (I know, how sad!) but Ariel and Jeff will be here to hold down the fort. Luke may pop in if he gets inspired too (*hinthint*). When I come back, I’ll be guest blogging over at Alas (for July and August, how cool am I) but everything will be x-posted here.

See y’all July 2!