Outcry over "offensive rape chic T-shirts"

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Melbourne, Jan 23 (ANI): Retail chain Roger David has defended itself after it was criticised for the sale of T-shirts depicting naked and bound women.

The new fashion line titled Blood Is The New Black has attracted the agony of feminist, which they have decried as offensive "rape chic".

One shows two near-naked women with a strap covering their eyes, and the other, based on a picture by American photographer Dan Monick, shows a young woman in a distressed and dishevelled state with a gag imprinted with the word Hollywood across her mouth.

Melinda Tankard Reist, author of Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls, has caused an internet storm with her blog highlighting these shirts and other offensive T-shirts, including one which says: "It's not rape if you yell surprise!".

"It's another example of making abuse fashionable," the Daily Telegraph quoted Tankard Reist as saying.

"We're seeing a rise in rape chic, violence against women being deemed as a fashion statement for men.

"You wouldn't get away with this with other groups in society, if this was some kind of a racial statement," Tankard Reist added.

Other feminist bloggers have joined her protest, with a Facebook site set up to protest against the shirt attracting more than 1000 members and an online petition of protest gaining 600 signatures in an hour.

"These T-shirts reinforce the message that girls are there for sexual gratification and sexual amusement. I really think that's a very dangerous and harmful message," Tankard Reist said.

The retailer defended the T-shirts in a statement on Facebook, saying Blood Is The New Black gave artists a chance to display their work.

"Art is meant to inspire and educate, and the meaning and interpretation is left in the hands of the viewer - we are here to inspire ideas, not mediate or control them," the statement said. (ANI)

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