Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Err, What the Hell Topman?

I saw this t shirt posted on twitter earlier, currently available in Topman, and I feel a little sick. Below is the email I've sent to customer services. Remember how us bloggers got on to Mac for the Rodarte collection? Maybe you might want to send them a little email yourself (and feel free to post it in the comments/link me to your blog post if you do)

Dear Topman,

Hello! I'm not a man, in fact I'm a fairly plucky young woman, but I just thought I'd drop you a line to tell you how utterly offensive and degrading I find this t-shirt. No doubt you'll think I'm humourless and uncool (I'm not) but I'd really like to know what on earth made you think this was an acceptable, appropriate or even vaguely amusing slogan to allow.
Many of your customers are young, impressionable men - t-shirts like this add to the idea that a woman is an object. In fact, you're barely even bothering to consider a girlfriend an object here - more like a piece of cattle that's been acquired from the market or a dog that you'd keep under the table and feed the scraps to. We could take it broader maybe - have you thought about the fact that this is, in part, condoning the sex trafficking industry? That there are women who are very much bought and sold like cattle, who are viewed almost as something to be bred, not as individuals with their own rights, thoughts and opinions?

My hope is that you will a)respond to my email and explain yourselves, b)pull this stock from your shelves asap and c)donate any revenue from sales of this t-shirt to an appropriate charity such as Refuge or Women's Aid.

I (and my readers) hope to hear back from you soon,

Emily Birkinshaw,

You can get in touch with them here 

After I sent this, I also saw this one:

UPDATE: Topman have pulled both t shirts. However, still get in touch, let them know how you feel and badger them for a charitable donation.


  1. Looks like they think rape is ok too

  2. Oh dear god, what in the world were they thinking? We've had an influx over here in the US with bad t-shirts (especially for young girls!) and there's been quite the outrage over it. Sigh.

  3. How did this get through the net? Topman must be moronic on every level, from designer to management. Disgusting. It makes you wonder if they are just trying to stir up some controversy for free publicity. If I see anyone wearing this, I have the right to kick them in the balls, no?

  4. The second one is worse than the first one... Connotations of rape and violence? Lovely, Topman, lovely.

  5. Well done, I'm glad the shirts were pulled! It's ridiculous really, I honestly wonder who gets hired in these companies..

  6. O my god these are disgraceful, so glad they've have pulled them, well done for doing your bit xxx

  7. Dear Topman,

    I am contacting you with regard to these t-shirts:[207186|207183]&noOfRefinements=1

    I would like to know what exactly you think you are playing at by creating and stocking clothes with pro-rape, misogynist slogans on them. Do you condone rape and misogyny? Are you hoping to attract rapists and misogynists as customers? By creating and selling these products you are helping to create and condone a cultural hatred of women. You are espousing a misogynistic view of women as animals, as meat, as beings of no worth except sexual worth. The slogan "nice new girlfriend, what breed is she?" smacks of racism as well as sexism.

    I'd like to know exactly what your aims were in creating these shirts - either Topman is an organisation of unbelievable stupidity, or an organisation which views women as too stupid to notice or speak out against the kind of smug, lazy and blatant woman-hating which is evident in these products (and doubtless many more that you sell).

    In a reasonable world, I'd expect not only an explanation from Topman, but also a public apology and a hefty donation of Topman's profits to rape crisis and sex trafficking charities. What action Topman will actually take remains to be seen - as little as possible I'd wager.

    Yours sincerely,


  8. That second one is way worse but glad to hear they have stopped selling them. I have a sense of humour but some things go far.

  9. Wow, just.. wow. I'm so glad they were pulled.

  10. These have caused so much bad press for topman and I just odn't understand how tops like this got put into production.. I mean didn't anyone stand up and say that's not a good idea?
    & I understand, kinda, why they thought this was funny but its just too far and a little worrying really :/

  11. Wow I just found your blog and I want to say well done! I actually feel physically sick, particularly about the second one. I cannot believe that a mainstream company like Topman would display such shocking misogynist slogans let alone pro-rape. It's just proof of the sorry state the Western world is in now!
    On a lighter note I love your blog, will definitely be coming back :-)

  12. My boyfriend saw these T-Shirts just, and was like 'Id never buy that, let alone walk around in public wearing it!
    Its out of order!



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