This week the Internet has been abuzz with chatter over a T-shirt depicting two horses having sex with a high-school cheerleader. The shirt was printed by students at Memorial High School in Houston, Texas, and is apparently one of many sexually explicit and often offensive "underground T-shirts" printed each year by students at rival high schools in the area during football season.
The shirt was first sent to Feminist Law Professors
by a concerned parent and soon after, the story was picked up by the women's blog Jezebel. Naturally, the writers at Jezebel were appalled
. But they sure didn't expect the maelstrom that would follow.
Not only did some of Jezebel's own commenters defend the shirt saying things like, "That doesn't look sexist to me, just trying to denigrate some other team the way sports fans do all the time." Even Jezebel's own sister (er, brother?) site Deadspin accused
the site's writers of "circling the wagons" around this issue.
UPDATE: We wrongly accused Deadspin of comparing Jezebel to "Cosmo in first-draft form." That statement was made on With Leather
. Jezebel later posted a roundup of some of the "anti-feminist clichés"
hurled at them by defenders of the shirt.
Perhaps worse than all of that, though, is the fact that some Memorial High School students defended the shirt
, calling it "a joke that's been blown out of proportion."
High school is supposed to be a time for teenagers to try new things and learn about themselves (at least as much as they can before heading off to college where the exploration really begins). Unfortunately, it can also be a time when young women are objectified, and then told that's OK.
What do you think -- is this shirt sexist or just disgusting?