(Wednesday, October 30)
(Wednesday, October 30)– “Autumn is perfect for date rape.”
The petition, launched on the afternoon of October 23, urged e-commerce site Etsy.com to stop vendor “fyourt” from selling t-shirts with messages of sexual violence, including rape, incest and elder abuse.
Within three hours of the petition launch, nearly 3,000 signatures had been added. By Wednesday evening, Etsy removed several of the t-shirts in question — but not all.
In a statement to RH Reality Check, Etsy stated about the t-shirts in question: ““[t]hese items have been flagged, and our Trust & Safety team is investigating. They will remove any listings that violate our prohibited items policy, which specifies that items or listings that promote, support or glorify acts of violence or harm towards self or others are not allowed.”
Finally, 24 hours later — with the petition reaching nearly 6,000 signatures — the rape-related t-shirts were removed from the site. After four days, the shop was removed from Etsy.
The petition, while aiming to shut down the store, was also a way to change the conversation about rape. “We’ve been using social media to encourage our supporters to take a stand against these t-shirts and against sexual violence,” said Katherine Hull, VP of communications for RAINN, quoted in an article for RH Reality Check. “This is another example of the fact that we need to show that sexual violence has no place in our society.”
As of press time, RAINN has not received a formal response from Etsy. The petition reached nearly 7,000 signatures.