Hostility or parody? The evolution of fashion…
Out of Melbourne, Australia comes a new fashion line called ‘Blood Is The New Black’ by retailer ‘Roger David.’ To say the line is causing overt controversy would be an understatement. Since arriving in stores, the T shirt line which visually depicts images of women in supposed demeaning ways and as objects of sexual gratification has caused world wide dissent. Not bad for a stodgy fashion retailer looking to lift its game…
Reports the Daily Telegraph:
RETAIL chain Roger David has defended its decision to sell T-shirts depicting naked and bound women which feminists have decried as offensive “rape chic”.
One shows two near-naked women with a strap covering their eyes, and the other, based on a picture by American photographer Dan Monick, shows a young woman in a distressed and dishevelled state with a gag imprinted with the word Hollywood across her mouth.
So here’s the question. Should a fashion line be allowed to show what it perceives to be freedom of creative will and expression or be bound to what is politically and socially correct. After all, how would a fashion line like Calvin Klein go down if it suddenly started depicting strapping young black men wearing his traditional underwear and the following message under those sweaty muscles- “From the slave fields to the hood- you can always look good?”
Continues the report;
Melinda Tankard Reist, author of Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualization of Girls, has caused an internet storm with her blog highlighting these shirts and other offensive T-shirts, including one which says: “It’s not rape if you yell surprise!”.
“It’s another example of making abuse fashionable,” Ms Tankard Reist said yesterday.
“We’re seeing a rise in rape chic, violence against women being deemed as a fashion statement for men.
“You wouldn’t get away with this with other groups in society, if this was some kind of a racial statement.”
Which begs the question. How do other females feel about the idea of being objectified as sex toys for mens gratifications? Assuming that the suggestion of such ideas is offensive…
Other feminist bloggers have joined her protest, with a Facebook site set up to protest against the shirt attracting more than 1000 members and an online petition of protest gaining 600 signatures in an hour.
“These T-shirts reinforce the message that girls are there for sexual gratification and sexual amusement. I really think that’s a very dangerous and harmful message.”
Of course not everyone feels the same way. Others like the retailer themselves feel artists should be allowed to express what they deem to be noteworthy. Of course that may be a healthy attitude towards art, but then again doesn’t this beg the bigger question at what point does the artist have to accept responsibility for the responses, and potential outrage and induced hate or further misunderstanding potentially perpetuated by their art? After all a Danish cartoonists depiction of Mohamed unsettled many Muslims world wide, and led to various violent confrontations.
In any event if you want to bring attention to your line we can’t help but advocate that you find the most potentially vilified images in society and make them your motto, who knows maybe next week- Roger David may want to make pedophilia chic?