In the grand scheme of things, one t-shirt is not a big deal. But a.it is unnecessary, which is really what rantotheweek is about. (Kind of why they are merely rants and not full-blown polemics or diatribes, and are far from reasoned arguments). And b.the grand scheme is made up of lots of little things that no one stopped.
MomEtc. commented on my last post:
Unfortunately we are up against aparents in our Yahoo group who are defending this shirt because they really don't see the message in it and how ugly it is. I'm trying to gently explain it to them....that adoption is not "hip", nor "cool" nor some "fad". Hopefully they can understand that. If not, I am going to let them know how adoptees are reacting to the shirt to try to bring them around.
I'm surprised that any aparents would defend it. So here's what I need to know:
How would aparents defend this tshirt?
Someone asked after my Imus post whether I was opposed to censorship, still for freedom of speech. I most certainly am. But I don't think everyone deserves the privileged venue of a network radio show. And I think had they let it go on long enough, the market probably would have taken care of Imus. The firing just expedited the process, and brought even more positive attention to the young women of Rutgers's basketball team and their power.
This t-shirt, too, could just be taken care of by the market. It probably isn't funny enough to sell, and would probably have disappeared on its own. When Signals/Wireless pulled their "Up for adoption" adult t-shirt, it probably didn't have a huge impact. It wasn't funny; it probably wouldn't have sold. But what they were probably thinking was "You know, like puppies," which has its own enormous problems. They needed to be reminded: "No, like people." And they apologized.
This shirt isn't any different from Entertainment Weekly comments and other popular culture references to celebrity adoption. And we ourselves have made celebrity adoption jokes here at home. If they/we can say it, why can't UO?
UO probably won't pull it and won't apologize -- they've proudly offended much larger segments of the world population -- arguably targetting whole nations and entire races before. (As Swerl notes in the comments, they have also pulled offensive t-shirts before.)
There. Have I gotten the defense right?
And: Am I wrong in thinking my kids would be bothered by this?
Is that part of the defense that a response to this is "overly sensitive"?
I really don't get that. It seems to me that parenting requires us to be ever-sensitive.
As Swerl said, "If we can't get some action on this, we're losers."