In what seems to be a shocking trend, another popular retailer has produced an offensive shirt. Forever 21 recently sold a shirt that had a rape-rationalizing message, stating, “Don’t Say Maybe if You Want to Say No”.
The shirt is problematic in modern rape culture; rapists often say that he/she was “asking for it” or even “he/she said they wanted to have sex”. The shirt and its phrasing suggest the latter.
The popular international retailer has been criticized for their odd choice of words on their graphic t-shirts. To add insult to injury, the shirt was sold in the men’s section for $19.90 and directly sold from Forever 21 and not one of their outside designers or retailers.
While some took the shirt’s message to be an obvious reference to rape rationalizing, others simply saw the shirt’s saying as a reference to indecisiveness. If the shirt had been sold in the women’s section many might have seen the message as such.
Forever 21 has a large amount of graphic shirts, many of which have very clichéd sayings, “free-spirited” sayings, and simple trendy sayings.
This is not the first time the chain has been in the news for controversy. Like many other fast fashion retailers Forever 21 has come under fire for the sweatshop like conditions their clothes are made from, copying high-end designers’ designs, and other problematic graphic t-shirt sayings. In 2011, they sold an “Allergic to Algebra” shirt in the women's section.
At the time this article was published, there is no official statement or apology on their official Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook page. Although no statement has been released on whether or not the shirt has been pulled from their stores, it has been pulled from their website.