sex

How would you explain why someone wears a sexist t-shirt to a child?

It’s what this dad had to do.

You’re single right? Wait, before you answer that let me deal with a few things. No, I do not think you’re single because you were sitting with two other guys – to me you just looked like three friends hanging out – no issue there. No, it’s not because I saw you checking your carefully groomed stubble in the camera of your phone – that just makes you vain, not single.

It was your shirt. It’s as simple as that. A shirt with a naked-from-the-waist-up Kate Moss smoking a cigarette in bed plastered on the front of it; a shirt that just oozes class, a kind of ‘Aren’t I the kid of guy you’re looking for?’ sort of tee. Never mind the fact that I was out to dinner with my four-year-old daughter at the time that you sauntered in. The fact that you were wearing something that I would have to explain to her was the least of my concerns. My first concern was you and your view of women.

"It was your shirt. It’s as simple as that. A shirt with a naked-from-the-waist-up Kate Moss smoking a cigarette in bed plastered on the front of it." (Image via Ebay)

‘Objectification’ is a term that gets a lot of use these days, and like most terms that get a lot of use, its meaning can get watered down over time. But then there are guys like you that seem to sum up the word neater than, well your fancy stubble that you were so busy checking out. And I know you’re probably thinking to yourself that it’s just a shirt, some attempt to push some invisible boundary and be daring, but I’m wondering if you’d dare to wear that shirt to visit your grandma, or to meet your girlfriend’s parents for the first time – oh wait, scratch that, you’re single right?

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You wearing that shirt out in public, whether you’d admit it or not, was a statement of how you see women: to you they are no more than the exterior that you set your lingering gaze on, there to be viewed and enjoyed as passive objects via a one-way looking glass where you act as judge of those that fit in and those that don’t (of course you are perfect so you can put a naked Kate Moss on your shirt as a gauge of the kind of ‘hot’ you’re after).

"You wearing that shirt out in public, whether you’d admit it or not, was a statement of how you see women: to you they are no more than the exterior that you set your lingering gaze on."

There’s no need for intellect in your view of things – in fact there can’t be because you’ve clearly demonstrated your lack of intelligent thought. I can hear you now telling me to relax and trying to convince me that she’s a symbol of female empowerment and a fashion icon or something like that. Or worse, that it’s just a shirt. But here’s the thing - it’s not ‘fashion’ or ‘art’ or anything like that in this context. When partial nudity is fashion it’s in a fashion mag, or on a runway, and your shirt is not just a shirt when it’s emblazoned on your chest for my daughter to see.

The chances of you wearing a shirt like that and receiving anything more than an eye roll and a huff of contempt from the females you’re trying so desperately to attract are remote to say the least. You’d almost be better off with a shirt showing a picture of Kyle Sandilands on it and the caption, ‘Everything I learnt about women I learnt from this guy’ than what you decided to wear to a family restaurant tonight.

What’s just as bad is your view of what it means to be male. It’s so warped that you believe hegemonic masculinity is not only ironically cool but also ultimately acceptable. Never mind the young lady who had to serve you, or the mother with her daughter behind you, or the countless others in the restaurant at the time. You just didn’t get it. Even now you probably still don’t. So, yeah, you’re single right?

Do you find these sorts of t-shirts offensive? How would you explain it to your child if they saw one?

Like this? Try these:

"A letter to my pre-pregger boobs. I'm so sorry."
The anonymous letter this mum received is cowardly, spiteful and downright nasty.