Okay, so let's just get this out of the way right now. I think football is BORING. I attended & graduated from The Ohio State University, have lived in Columbus, OH my entire life, but I don't give a hoot about OSU football. It's great if you love it, but I get very tired of all the craziness surrounding the OSU football team. Or really, any football team in general. I'm all for going to sporting events & getting into it, or cheering your favorite team on as you watch on tv, but the atmosphere surrounding OSU football is just too much for me.
That said, I know a lot of people, family members included, love OSU football. It means a lot to them, and they sincerely love to cheer on the team, year after year. They hate that I never have any idea what the game schedule is & call while they're watching the game. They think it's weird that I find blue & yellow to be a gorgeous color combination. They love it, they look forward to it, and overall, I think it's really awesome that no matter where you go, in any airport, if you yell out "O-H!" there's a really high chance that someone will yell back "I-O!"
But when I saw this, I almost burst a blood vessel in my brain from pure rage:
If you see this and laugh, well, don't tell me because I will come at you like Jack the Ripper. This is beyond awful. This is EVIL. This is making light of one of the most horrific vaguely sports-related crimes I've ever heard of, and I will not stand for it. Not for one goddamned second. And do you want to know why? Good. Because I'm going to tell you.
1) THIS IS MAKING LIGHT OF THE ABUSE OF CHILDREN. Say that to anyone who thinks it's "just a joke" or that it's just "getting back" at the Penn Staters who made shirts about last year's OSU scandal, which I still don't entirely understand, except that I am 100000000% positive that it didn't involve destroying children through systematic rape & cover up, so it's not even on the same planet as far as sports-related crimes. One is ignoring the rules for dumb shit like trading a jersey for tattoos, the other can destroy a person for the rest of their life. So, not related. Joking about child abuse is NOT FUNNY. N-O-T F-U-N-N-Y. That whole situation makes me so sick & sad that I have literally lost sleep and cried in public places thinking about it. So no, I do not think that this is at all appropriate.
2) THIS IS MAKING LIGHT OF RAPE. I am SO SICK of people (generally men) thinking that rape is something they can josh around with (Daniel Tosh around with?) in a lighthearted manner. Really? When it's your mother, your grandmother, your sister, your cousin, your daughter, will you think it's funny to hear someone joke about it? If not, then STOP JOKING ABOUT IT NOW. I have been lucky enough to be spared this personal hell, but I know more than one person who has not. And for them, and for all who have had to endure not only the act itself, but the callous nature of a society that thinks it's not a big enough deal to not make shitty "college humor" reference t-shirts out of the violation, I AM DISGUSTED AND FULL OF RAGE. If you don't get it, read this paragraph until you do. Or go talk to some real-life rape victims and see how this has forever changed their lives. And not in a magical, wow life is amazing kind of way.
3) THIS IS USING VICTIMS AS A PUNCHLINE. You know what's not funny? THIS. Would you dare go to the scene of a car accident & mock the way the bleeding, lifeless bodies look? No? THEN YOU SHOULDN'T THINK THIS SHIRT IS FUNNY. It's taking a crime that is already marginalized & making it into fodder for cheap laughs. That's insane. INSANE. Would you go down to the hospital & point & laugh at the sick & their families, as they fight to carry on? Would you trip them, shove them, pull out their tubes, all in the name of "hijinks" or "hilarity"? No, you wouldn't, because that sounds awful. But that is EXACTLY what this shirt is doing. "Ha ha ha ha ha! I'd rather be "raped" (as if that's really a bad thing, amirite?) than root for my college's football rival! So funny!" If you agreed with any of that, let me know so I can punch you so hard you go back in time & never exist.
4) THIS IS MISOGYNY. You don't think so? Well my friend, it is. Because if men had to learn how to protect themselves from the threat of rape, it wouldn't be a joke. But all women are taught that they have to do everything in their power to "prevent" themselves from being raped. Think about that. Why do girls walk in pairs or groups, whether it's to the bathroom, home from a party, around an unfamiliar block? To prevent rape. That's right. It's constantly *our job* to keep rapists away from us. And if we fail, and we are raped? Well, you know, we did wear a sexy dress/drink too much/walk alone in the dark/have breasts/consent to sexual behavior up to but not including sex itself/have sex with anyone other than the man in front of you now/etc. So we're really partially to blame. BULLSHIT. You know who carries 1000000000000000000000000% of the blame here? THE RAPIST. Until we start teaching men & boys, that rape is NEVER an option, I'm going to insist that not enough is being done. And I refuse to find humor in anything that implies that rape isn't really a big deal.
I could go on. I really could. But frankly I'm getting so upset that I need to step away. Also I feel obligated to point out that this shirt is NOT LICENSED OSU GEAR. The school itself has nothing to do with it. Some asshole somewhere does, and I swear I'm going to find that person, make them stop, & make them apologize. Which isn't enough, but it's about as much as I can do without the ability to control everything everywhere at all times. So onward & upward with my goal. And the next time you hear or see someone making light of this situation, or any situation involving any of the reasons I pointed out, please don't be silent. Too many good people stand back, letting the jerks win. Please don't let that happen here.
If you so choose, here's my petition trying to block this shirt from existence. Take a second to help, and pass it along if you could. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
*Quick update/note: to any of my friends or family who might read this, I should have been more clear. In NO WAY DO I THINK ANYONE I CARE ABOUT SAW THIS SHIRT AND LAUGHED. It hurts me that something I know many hold dear, for good reasons, are being lumped in with some "fans" who think this is funny. This shirt makes loyal OSU fans, my friends & family included, as well as OSU look awful, and that upsets me as well.Just because OSU football doesn't matter to me doesn't mean I'm not very proud to be an OSU grad. My deepest & most sincere apologies if anyone thought for even a second that was my reaction.