Monday, August 17, 2009

Boot to Woot

I bought a t-shirt from Woot yesterday--a totally impulsive purchase. Today I am regretting not having done my homework about Their t-shirt today is offensive. It features a racist and sexist image, and I have come to realize that this is definitely not a company I want to support. Send me links to blogs and info that speaks out about Woot's bad politics. It seems like a lot of folks have encountered similar critiques with this company.


Anonymous said...

Is this the offending shirt?

If so, can you explain why you're offended by it? Just curious about your thoughts.

Little Ms Whatshertights said...

Yes, that's it and sure, I'll explain. The image conjures troubling narratives of imperialism and colonial domination, both of which are policed and maintained by controlling, restricting, and co-opting women's sexuality and reproductive rights.

The text depicts a western colonial power (France--as evidenced in the term "sacre bleu"; the title of the tee is "One Night in Bangkok" and features a "dark" king seducing and "white" queen-to-be, and this seems (to me) to re-enact the "master" narratives of the dark-skinned native Other wielding power by sexual conquest. The text accompanying the t-shirt image unapologetically makes light of colonization and the sexist, racist, heteronormative (etc.) surveillance that makes this possible.

The last line of the text is as follows: “Oh… I cannot resist you any longer. I am yours. Take me. Do what you will with my square. Treat me like a bishop or a rook, force me into an unnatural L-shaped movement, call me a dirty, savage… Oh! My king!” I find this passage offensive not only because of reproduction of domination/submission narratives in colonial and sexual "conquest," but also because of the "dirty savage" remark. It is a thoughtless reference to a legacy of outright racism (to say the least).