Remove Offensive T-Shirts from Markhams Stores

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Markhams, a men's fashion chain store is currently stocking T-shirts that promote the exploitation of women and sexual immorality. Ironically, Markham supports the White Ribbon "Act Against Abuse" Campaign. Most startling, however, is their complete lack of recognition that these T-shirts contribute to the very mind-set the Act Against Abuse campaign claims to be fighting against.

We were forwarded the following letter from a concerned Capetonian:

When browsing in your Kenilworth Centre store earlier this week, I was appalled at the overtly sexual messages on some of the t-shirts. The ones that stood out were, "I recycle girls" (using the green recycling logo, [see the shirt here]), "I'm looking for a meaningful one night stand" and the shirt which has a picture of a boy and a girl with a heart on the girls chest and a heart on the boys groin. The wording reads, "True love".

These messages are neither funny nor cheeky. They communicate a corrupt amorality that is not based on Truth. 'One night stands', treating women as objects and confusing love with lust does not bring lasting pleasure or satisfaction. Furthermore, reinforcing these messages to men only dulls our consciences to what real love is. When you remove God's good gift of sex from monogamous lifelong marriage there is no gain, only loss.

The messages on these t-shirts are offensive to my wife, as they would be to any woman. Neither do I want my young son to be bombarded by this perverse sexuality. By selling these T-shirts, you are also contributing to a sexualized culture where my daughter is objectified for sexual predators who think this view of sex is normal.

I also find it bizarre that you have obviously given no thought to the effect these messages have on men themselves. As a men's fashion chain, you should be urging men to take responsibility for their relationships rather than egging them on to promiscuity and the objectification of women.

These t-shirt messages are destructive for our whole community.

As a well-known South African brand, your responsibility stretches beyond the profit margin. Our country already has unacceptably high rates of HIV/AIDS, child sexual abuse and rape. By stocking this merchandise you are complicit in these evils. I implore you to remove these t-shirts from your stores and stop pandering to the lowest common denominator.

Please reply and let me know what action you plan to take in regards to this matter.

Sincerely
Scott

After complaining to Tamlyn Triegaardt, Operations Manager at the Markham Head Office, he received a reply apologising for offending him, yet with no indication that they would remove the offensive T-shirts.

During a further follow-up phone call, Tamlyn responed that "that [he] should get ready, because they won't be taking the shirts out of the stores and that as summer warmed up, there would be more of the same coming to a Markham near you." Scott has since responded further, noting that their correspondence will be online for others to see and make comment.

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Africa Christian Action
PO Box 23632
Claremont
7735 Cape Town
South Africa
Tel: 021-689 4481
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Web: www.christianaction.org.za

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa info@christianaction.org.za - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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