Dickwolves, Rape Culture, Penny Arcade Fans and Fanatics

Apparently the crazed faceless masses of our dear internet have gone off the deep end about Penny Arcade’s attempts to not feel guilty.

They made a strip, the Sixth Slave, about the ignoble underlying nature of World of Warcraft players, and it somehow became a lightening rod for rape culture. (they followed up with a strip, Breaking It Down, about the lunacy of attributing the comic strip to the promotion of rape, which was then misconstrued as mocking rape victims). Refusing to back down, they proceed to sell a tshirt and pennant featuring a dickwolves mascot and sporty logo.

Here is an interesting summary of the community response, PAX Speakers Withdraw Over Controversy, by Alexander Bevier. I couldn’t resist offering my penny’s worth of thoughts:

If you wish to change the culture, I would encourage you to do the hard thing: and attend these PAX events.
Seek to speak there, and engage the gaming culture, instead of abandoning it to fester.

Best case, by refusing to take part : you will further damage how the PAX artists/businessmen are perceived (and paid) – but only by those who are sensitive to your cause.

I expect PAX will continue to be heavily attended by all those confused young men who are not sensitive to your cause.

Perhaps they just won’t see the connection between “the fantasy world of games” and that modern rape culture you hope to annihilate. They probably won’t see any connection to “mocking those people who wildly misinterpret our jokes as part of an agenda” either. These things may all be connected, but most of the attendees will not see it. Unless you go and explain it to them.

p.s. Wasn’t this whole question of “whether comedians and artists should be persecuted & ostracized for potentially damaging our society through their obscene comedy” already answered by the trials of Lenny Bruce?
this clip seems particularly relevant:


Great breakdown of the overall timeline (many links): http://debacle.tumblr.com/

Fascinating essay from Jerry about his/PennyArcade’s perspective

P.K. Dick’s essay about perspectives that can never meet up

Ms. McEwan’s blog post regarding the comic strip criticisms.
– “One criticism is that rape jokes are triggers for survivors of sexual violence (and/or attempted sexual violence). The other is that rape jokes contribute to a rape culture in which rape is normalized.”
“Someone who is triggered may experience anything from a brief moment of dizziness, to a shortness of breath and a racing pulse, to a full-blown panic attack. … No ‘joke’ is worth triggering someone. Not if you understand what triggering someone really means.”

KirbyBits explanation of the opposing team’s shirt:

Links to explore (a note to self):
RE: Growing Up Geek (noted by a commenter on McEwan’s blog.
Rape Culture 101

Dear 33rdArmy, I won’t be approving your bizarre hate filled comments.
Either you really are a cliche bigot, or you’re baiting. Either way: no interest.
Let’s stick to the discussion and steer clear of the bizarre jerky side effects.

Weird hate-comments remind me of another interesting point of contention, though, which I keep seeing come up:
Why would Mike say he’ll be wearing his Dickwolves shirt around PAX?
Could there POSSIBLY any explanation other than HE TOTALLY ENDORSES THE RAPES?

Actually yes, there is another explanation, and I’m not seeing it offered up.

It is quite possible the artist doesn’t think the shirt is about rape. It is also quite possible he doesn’t see himself as an imposing man that would intimidate any of these folks who emailed him, mentioning that they were hesitant about attending. It’s possible, he sees himself as the perfect example of a man you don’t have to worry about, when you see him wearing the oft-confused Dickwolves shirt.
I’d bet money he thinks the Dickwolves are just some sort imaginary creature he invented, that has been wildly misunderstood. He might even be eager to explain exactly why the shirt isn’t about rape.

Think about it. Why has no one mentioned this? jeez, people.
Just read the final sentence in his explanatory post, “If you want to talk more about it we can chat at PAX.”

18 thoughts on “Dickwolves, Rape Culture, Penny Arcade Fans and Fanatics

  1. Lenny Bruce was arrested multiple times for his obscenity. These guys are simply being called morons. Your trivializing of this does you no credit, nor does your inability to distinguish the two, you fucking moron.

    1. Well, you misread my post, Kade.
      My post was about taking action when you truly want to address a cultural problem.

      Your nitpicky aside is ultimately a strange distraction from this point. You seek to have the Dickwolves situation dismissed as simple, and my post dismissed as trivializing Bruce? huzzawha?

      I mentioned Bruce as an example: of a well known artist who talked about the culture of his times, and was run over by some of his critics. Bruce should be the go-to example, whenever discussing “what comedy is appropriate in our culture,” or “the persecution of comedians.”

      You are misinformed about the scope of the Dickwolves backlash, if you think a-little-name-calling is all that has happened. Aside from the death threats directed at the artist’s family, and aside from the damage to business and public image, the situation has become an interesting lightening rod for dis-cuss-ion (of male/female video game culture, of the subtleties of support in a so-called rape culture, and of artistic and business-minded responsibility).

      Just wanted to point out how much you fucking fuckity fucked it up.

  2. Pulling out of PAX isn’t about changing the culture, it’s about feedback for Holkins and Krahulik. If, after the dickwolves segment of the whole sorry episode, those two had done something to address the basic issues and made people feel like “they get it”, I doubt there’d be the same pullouts. Guests would arrive and feel like, even if there were Dickwolf t-shirts in attendance, the organizers themselves had their backs.

    A large part of PA’s mis-steps over this have their extremely aggressive cluelessness about what has people so angry about it. It’s not that they don’t understand, it’s that the Team Dickwolf thing was a violent assertion of how they don’t (and wont’) understand. They could have headed off much of the furor if Holkin’s response had been posted much earlier and been followed up with some conversations with people like Leigh Alexander, who is sympathetic to them but can clearly articulate how they’re making things worse for themselves.

    1. Cool,Justin,
      your comment is what I was looking for I guess. 🙂

      A) I really thought the speakers were either: pulling out to go someplace where the atmosphere wasn’t as hostile, or pulling out to seek personal press. Honestly hadn’t considered the third option until you spelled it out (that it was a direct message to the organizers). Whoops!

      Still, I hope my point makes sense. If they really seek to share “coping strategies and tactics” to the underrepresented and abused members of the gaming community – they should be going to PAX. Further, they should announce to the organizers that they demand a timeslot to present their session. Hell, they shouldn’t be allowed to run away! They should!!! (i’m escalating into sarcasm here)

      – This leads into another line that really bothers me in Bevier’s original article. I can’t stand it when people demand specific actions from an artist, especially to make amends for a wrong the artists doesn’t feel they committed (specifically, demanding the artists go to MenCanStopRape.org).

      Who is this speaker to demand anything? I think this is why I couldn’t see pulling out as a direct message for Jerry and Mike – it is the sort of strange action I would never engage in with an artist. (there’s some tricky waters here, differentiating between expo organizers, businessmen, and artists. but still).

      However, I’ve run into Mr. Elrod at various SIG meetings and classes in Portland, and think he’s an interesting and very smart admirable dude. That’s really why I felt the need to post something. And why I was confused by the whole approach he’s taking. Thanks for explaining it a little.

    2. B) Howeverrr there is also a separate point, which really bothers me about your comment.

      Penny Arcade’s critics maintain that “the Dickwolf had become a symbol; a metaphor for mocking those sensitive to rape culture.” Well, nobody seems to be championing the counterpoint – that the Dickwolf is actually a symbol of “reading too much into jokes!” This is why the shirts were created!

      It’s not that the artists don’t get it, it’s that they refuse to apologize. They refuse to acknowledge this alternate interpretation, because it’s wildly off-point. The dickwolf is an imaginary mythical beast. By apologizing for the contribution that this one-note mythical beast may have made to rape culture – they would be agreeing that their work contributes to rape culture. They would have to cautious to avoid this misinterpretation in all of their future strips, even though they don’t agree with this interpretation in the first place.

      It is lunacy to demand such special considerations of notoriously foulmouthed boundary-pushing comedians.

      I’m guessing I won’t make a dent with this presentation of the opposing viewpoint. … here’s an attempt at analogy:

      It’d be like demanding Lenny Bruce make amends for the way his “meaning of obscenity” routine (youtube’d above) has contributed to rape culture (note: it offhandedly mentions rape with connection to strippers). Well he’s dead, so maybe you make this demand of the business men who sell DVDs or CDs full of lenny bruce’s routines.

      If his reps had the gall to release a tshirt emblazoned with JFK’s head and the phrase “sons of bitches against TEAM MOTHERFUCKERS” Would you then claim that such a shirt has made JFK’s head into a symbol of rape culture?

      That’s be weird, right? Can you see how misguided your claims would be to the people representing the comedian?

      1. “Well, nobody seems to be championing the counterpoint – that the Dickwolf is actually a symbol of “reading too much into jokes!” This is why the shirts were created!”

        And this is the nub of why the Team Dickwolf part of the whole thing is the real problem. PA and their pennies responded to people offended by a rape joke by making a rapist their mascot and building a fictitious team around it. They branded themselves as rapists. Their response to offending rape victims and their supporters was to double down. “oh, the comic strip offended you? Well do you feel about TEAM DICKWOLF?” Team Dickwolf said “learn to take a joke” expressly by embracing the rape culture that the original Shakesville post identified–which is to say, making a joke of rape and the reactions of rape victims, and minimizing their experience.

        If the offended were reading too much into the comic strip (and I think they were), they weren’t reading too much into the Team Dickwolf effort.

        “They refuse to acknowledge this alternate interpretation, because it’s wildly off-point. By apologizing for the contribution that this one-note mythical beast may have made to rape culture – they would be agreeing that their work contributes to rape culture.”

        There’s saying “we disagree that this strip contributes to rape culture, now that we’ve spent some time understanding what’s meant by that term.” And then there’s creating Team Dickwolf. They don’t have to accept the criticism as true in order to not be total assholes about being criticized.

        “I’m guessing I won’t make a dent with this presentation of the opposing viewpoint.”

        Don’t poison the well. I’m making every effort to understand all sides here.

        “It is lunacy to demand such special considerations of notoriously foulmouthed boundary-pushing comedians.”

        Why is it lunacy? When the next rape joke comes up in a strip, Jerry and Mike can go ahead and publish it, and accept the ensuing shitstorm if it happens. Unlike Lenny Bruce, there’s no censorship issue here. They’re not facing arrest and jailtime if they publish another rape joke. But just like they have the freedom to make rape jokes, others have the freedom to criticize them.

        Mike has discussed in one of his PAX TV episodes how they don’t do drug humour at all because of Mike’s triggers on the topic of drugs (he actually discusses the mechanism of triggers quite well, without using the word). So there’s already one topic on which the sensitivities of some prevent them from using it, or at least using it in certain ways. They’ve done strips mocking Gabe’s medications, but won’t do strips with junkies. Why is it lunacy to imagine that, if they get sensitized to the effect that Team Dickwolves had, they might look at the next rape joke and do a quick gut check, asking themselves “is this actually a joke worth making, or are we just being assholes to rape victims?”

        1. (uh, and I guess I should warn that I’m going to drop some gross imagery here? not clear on the “potential triggers warning” etiquette)

          B2) Regarding team dickwolf (tshirts,pennants):
          I agree this is the key issue. I can’t claim to know the exact intent of the creators, and it makes me nervous to defend an unknown quantity. But, I do think they need defending.

          I see a very likely explanation of the shirts/pennants here, and hope you will consider it.

          The divisive shirt was not even close to being “team RAPE,” with a cartoon of bleeding genitals- seeking to cause direct damage to PA’s traumatized critics. Though, I believe you’re saying it was in the same ballpark. Yes?
          (btw, If that was the shirt, I would not bother defending PA).

          Well, consider this: the divisive shirt was something else entirely. It was much closer to being “team IMAGINARY creature,” with a cartoony creature’s head, seeking to let PA’s fans show their support of interpreting foul mouthed comics how they choose. I assure you the imaginary dickwolf is not a rapist by nature, in it’s natural habitat it is just a carefree wolf many large dicks.

          You note that critics decided the head of this imaginary creature was a symbol of rape in their eyes, and they’d made this clear. But making this claim his doesn’t instantly make it so!
          A thousand people can choose to misinterpret the art, but a thousand people can’t tell the artist that the angry mob’s interpretation has now become the only way to interpret the work.

          Does this make sense? (stop me now if this isn’t a valid lay out an argument).

          it’s scary to see someone take a stand against the demands of caring people. These caring people mostly just want to protect a psychologically damaged minority.
          I was unaware of the movement until all this happened, and the more I read the more I hope the movement enjoys success in destabilizing the rape supporting culture they perceive. But I don’t agree with the movement’s tactic to redefine (or limit) the work of artists or comedians.
          I think it’s really awful to say that ANY artistic work is a problem that needs to be fixed, because of effects it may or may not have on “society.”

          If you want to protect trauma survivors, tell them which art and comedy to avoid.
          If you want to destabilize a culture that may cause trauma in the future, don’t tell artists or comedians what they can or cannot do. Art is off limits!

          … I acknowledge that I’m disagreeing with a whole movement there. oof.
          I’ll keep exploring this aspect of the movement, and how much freedom should reasonably be sacrificed in the battle between human culture and animal nature.

          Just hope I’m making sense.
          (it’d also be neat if I didn’t come off soundng like a monster. but. I consider myself an artist too. hmmf.)

          1. “Just hope I’m making sense.”

            You’re making tons of sense. If Jerry and Mike had thought this through as much as you, they wouldn’t be in the trouble they’re in now.

            “The divisive shirt was not even close to being “team RAPE,” with a cartoon of bleeding genitals- seeking to cause direct damage to PA’s traumatized critics. Though, I believe you’re saying it was in the same ballpark. Yes?”

            Yes, it was in the ballpark. Dickwolves were created as nightmare rapists. This is why I find the original strip unobjectionable–it uses rape as a yardstick of horror, as an extreme end of the spectrum of horror. Someone else pointed out that the slaves are raped to sleep, meaning that this utterly horrible thing is the *least* horrible thing to happen to them–it’s actually a break in their “hell unending”. The whole joke of the second panel is the extremity of their suffering.

            “You note that critics decided the head of this imaginary creature was a symbol of rape in their eyes, and they’d made this clear. But making this claim his doesn’t instantly make it so!”

            I do understand that the team shirt and pennant were intended as a show of support for PA at a point that they felt unfairly criticized. It’s not like they got up one day and decided to brand themselves Team Rapist.

            Consider the Confederate flag, which has been in the news before because some group of black people in the South observed that it’s offensive to them, flying from the top of the statehouse that’s supposed to represent them. The predictable response is always that the flag means only the good parts of their southern heritage–mint juleps on the porch, southern hospitality, etc. Black southerners respond that, to them, it means the KKK, Jim Crow laws, the Civil War, and ultimately slavery.

            When the Confederate flag was created, it wasn’t intended to mean those things. But I wouldn’t try to tell a black southerner that his interpretation is unjustified or disconnected from reality. Symbols take part of their meaning from how they’re used and how they’re received over time. The swastika is thousands of years old, and is still a sacred symbol in several eastern religions; but you’d crazy to tell a Jew not to be offended if you hung one from your house.

            However the dickwolves started, they were reasonably received as a symbol of rape. Whatever they do in their natural habitat, their existence in the PA universe is as rapist slavemasters.

            “I think it’s really awful to say that ANY artistic work is a problem that needs to be fixed, because of effects it may or may not have on ‘society.’”

            I understand that this is your underlying concern, and I’m very sympathetic to it. If Jerry and Mike decide “okay, no more rape jokes”, they’ll have taken the wrong lesson from the whole ugly episode.

            I guess I view this as a “marketplace of ideas” issue, rather than a censorship issue, and it’s worthwhile to see it fought out, even in this way. You yourself said that before this, you weren’t aware of rape culture and the particular concerns of this group; now you are, and while you’re not burning your PA t-shirts, you’re much more knowledgeable about the world now. That’s an excellent result, as is the fact that there’s a lot of blog posts up now explaining to others what the basic issue is from a perspective that a lot of gamers previously didn’t even see.

            What I’d like to see Jerry and Mike do is come to the same understanding that you have, that there’s a real conflict here between artistic expression and the concerns of parts of their audience (parts of their audience that they’d like to see more of in video game culture generally and PAX specifically). If the opportunity for another “sixth slave” strip comes up, I think they should take it. I’m sure Lenny Bruce understood exactly how offensive he was, and felt that he was, in part, using that offensiveness for artistic purposes. Part of the issue with PA’s defence is that they haven’t reached Lenny Bruce levels of understanding; they’re currently stuck in the Andrew Dice Clay mindset of “fuck you if you’re offended”.

            Put another way, I’d like to see Jerry and Mike decide that the next rape joke is worth the price in reader outrage, rather than act like outrage is never justified.

            “Art is off limits!”

            And here we hit my pet peeve. I went through art school, and at the end was deeply depressed that there seemed to be a pedestal-ization of art that insulated it from criticism. Crappy art, sensationalist art, superficially-profound-but-really-just-superficial art… it seemed the worst sin in the world was to stand up and say “that art sucks”.

            I think art is made more valuable by being submitted to the marketplace of ideas, by engaging critics and being fought over by the viewers. Art that survives that process is much more likely to be good art. Art that’s placed behind glass and never gets judged is sterile and dead.

            But that’s just my somewhat neurotic opinion after suffering from pretentious art school teachers for four years.

          2. super cool, Justin. Much delicious food for thought. 🙂
            greatly appreciate your taking the time to post all this.

          3. Happy to take part in a conversation about this that gets past just explaining the basic problem over and over 🙂

  3. In case it’s not clear, perhaps we should also mention that Lenny Bruce was pardoned, and that his conviction is now considered a travesty.

    I would also like to point out that this was not just obscenity, it was satire. I think that a joke such as “9 out of 10 people enjoy gang rape” is an example of dark humor that marginalizes the act. Satire is a more complex instruction that is critical of the behavior being satirized, and thus does not marginalize the act.

    I think everyone should go to PAX though. As Mike and Jerry first said, PAX is not about this disagreement, PAX is about celebrating video games and video game culture, and pulling out of PAX because you disagree with the comic, or with the way PA handled their response doesn’t help anything. You miss out on a great event, and others miss out on your presence. It’s just a total loss.

      1. I think I totally dig what you’re saying, Andy.
        Was a little afraid to to comment at first, because I’m sketchy on the lines between satire, obscenity, and dark jokes. All in all, i think a lot of good may have come out of the whole debacle. (guess we’ll see, after PAX next comes and goes).

        Though I wish fans and critics would discuss this among themselves, and leave the original artists alone. I can see that context and intent are damned important to the discussion, but I’m nervous about the idea of demanding either (or anything really) of the creators.

        I love HP Lovecraft’s stories. But I don’t really need him to stop being a racist, or explain his intentions with any story. Not gonna happen. (because he’s sooooo dead) (…or so the Germans would have us believe).

        I think all these discussions have convinced me not to pursue obtaining a Dickwolves t-shirt any further.Makes me sad that having one is seen like having some nazi flatware. Do you throw it out? Do you wear it proud and argue that it’s not about rape? hmmf.

        Wish an alternate shirt/statement could be worked up, as a more powerful support of Penny Arcade. Perhaps something focusing more on the sixth slave himself, with a message more of “uh, help?”
        or. “can you spare a minute?”.
        or “will no one listen to my online cries?”.
        or “the sixth slave won’t sleep tonight”
        or, simply, “what do you see?”

        … something to focus on the wacky irony that this strip was already mocking online players for being ignoble. It mocks this snobby wolf-like beast who doesn’t have time to really do anything meaningful for a downtrodden human being.

        will no one save the sixth slave? I’m tempted to pull The Prisoner (Number 6) into it and go all nutty with numerology.

        Or to go to shakespeare town and have it say something pretentious like:
        “is this a 5 pointed dagger I see before me?”

        but. meh.

  4. I would like say this is very unfortunate and unfair to Dick Wolf – who has spent his life working hard, bringing America the finest hour-long police procedural.

    I don’t know if Dick Wolf has raped anyone. I don’t know if anyone has committed rape while waving around a Dick Wolf flag or wearing a Dick Wolf sweater. I’m not a gamer and I don’t read the Penny Arcade. But I did read this blog post. As far as I’m concerned, Dick Wolf is now synonymous to the promotion of rape culture, like Swastika to the murder of Jews and the confederate flag to the oppression of the blacks.

    Dick Wolf needs to stop hiding behind his money be sensitive to my sensitivity about rape.

    I would like to see a sign, dated, notarized letter from Dick Wolf, something like:

    I, Dick Wolf, the producer of the popular TV show Law and Order, for the record, state that I don’t need to commit, promote, nor condone violent rape against anything or anyone, especially women – in order to prove that I’m a healthy, adult man.

    Come on Dick Wolf, it’s the least you can do! Everybody knows you find rape entertaining! Anyway, don’t forget to tune-in tonight for my favorite show – Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, only on NBC!

  5. I sympathize with the desire to see cartoon and T-shirt as something cool and ridiculous and just absurd. I sympathize with Mike and other guys from seeing it from an artistic and comedic lens. But making it a hill to die on and sell merch was completely unjustifiable and has made it very difficult for anyone to defend Penny Arcade’s actions.

    I was reading another blog on this issue, sadly cannot remember which one, but it compared the DIckwolf cartoon to one Gary Larson (of Far Side fame) draw in the 80’s, and is quite tame now. A housewife is leaning out a window encouraging her dog, Fifi, to run as fast as he can to the doggie door she’s barricaded. And that was the joke, but Larson received hate mail from animal lovers for years about that one, throw away, ridiculous joke. The Fate of Fifi was terribly upsetting to them.

    HOWEVER…if Larson had instead decided to make “dog-smashing” T-shirts and distribute them and unwittingly associate himself with dog-killers everywhere, and receive tweets from #teamdogkiller and Michael Vick, who are willing to stand by his side…that’s not a message that he himself hates dog killing and is in fact against it. And I’m sorry to guys if it hurts their fees fees to do so, but until you say that yes, you are 100% unequivocally against rape in a serious tone, people (especially rape survivors) might suspect otherwise and speculate on their blogs. The fact that Mike said nothing about some of his “fans” behavior, stalking and harassing and death/rape threating women, is extremely damning, and the fact that the only thing that got him to post anything about it was his family being threatened is even more damning.

    George Carlin said he could make rape funny…just imagine Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd. That doesn’t mean you need to make the T-shirt.

    1. my problem with your point: The penny arcade strip wasn’t about rape, it was about the sixth slave’s entire life being of no interest to a gamer. (nor does the Dickwolves shirt mention rape – certainly does not directly attack rape victims in the way your “dog-smashing” example would attack animal lovers).

      C) The key difference here is that “hurting a dog” was in fact Larson’s punchline.
      If a random group demanded an apology because Larson drew some random nails in the corner of the boarded up doggy door, and they felt these were clearly a symbol of “rape nails” should Larson be asked to apologize for his misinterpreted art? What if he really didn’t know how to reply to that because it was so far off-point from his punchline?
      Well, what if he went out of his way to immediately make some followup art anyway, in which he maintained that he hated rape and that his art should never be seen as a casual endorsement of rape- would that be enough? (clearly no).

      If 2 months later, when the whole “nailed it” incident had pretty died off, would be wrong to sell a shirt to his fans that read “it’s just a little nail”? I don’t think so. But if the critics came back, I’d be glad he took the shirt down. case closed?

      * I think the PA boys kept quiet because they’re initial apology (the followup “breaking it down” strip) failed so completely, despite being heartfelt.

      You say they never responded as 100% against rape? But in fact they responded quite quickly by putting in the hours to make their very next work of art a direct apology and refutation.

      Instead of this art being accepted in any way, they found themselves in deeper water – because the second strip was now being misinterpreted as worse than the first. thus – silent treatment.

    2. So,

      D) I kinda think the dickwolves shirt release is the ONLY potential misstep worth discussing at this point.
      Wouldn’t say I think the shirt is cool (I can’t wear it to work, or in polite company – because it says DICK on it). I think it was wise to kill it off, since it became the third piece of their art to be misinterpreted (into a symbol of rape support, no less). I’m very curious why they chose to announce it that day in that way, but that doesn’t mean I can only imagine the worst! Who knows why they made it?

      Were they continuing to get shit from critics, via email? or did they think their critics had stopped reading, so they could breath a sigh of relief and sell something for those fans who supported their side of the painful argument (those who wanted dickwolf drawn explicitly, the month before at PAX)? Did they just want something for nerds to wear because it was football season, and this seemed like a uniquely PA animal mascot? Based on their lack of debate, I really doubt they WANTED to stir up more debate.

      I’d bet that mike was pretty bitter that his art had been turned into something so ugly. I think the Dickwolves shirt is clearly saying “Penny Arcade is for people who like dicks and fantasy.” Maybe they even talked it over and decided it would mostly be seen as a random weird character, and fly under the radar (like the old “team view askew” hockey jerseys, which feature a clown in lingerie, from their movie Vulgar about a man being raped while in clown makeup).

      But you describe it as “a hill to die on,” so please let me know if you have the scoop here. I’m projecting, so I’m guessing you are also projecting your interpretation (of why they chose to sell the shirt). I think there’s too much bad projecting going around, but, if you have some facts, quotes, or links, please let me know!

      I really don’t want to defend anyone who is seeks to sell pro-rape merch!

      * Again, you have to admit the cartoon wolf head and sporty logo’d name of the fictional beast are ambiguous items. They even function as something funny, for someone who has no context. Whatever they hoped for this shirt, you have to admit it wasn’t “Thanks for supporting ‘Team Rape’ in our modern culture.”

      It is astonishingly wrong to choose to interpret the shirt as “fuck you if you’re a rape victim” or “Please consider me a rapist because I am wearing this shirt.”

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