Amazon has been hit with a lot of criticism in recent days for selling T-shirts advocating violence against women. The company has already withdrawn some incredibly offensive T-shirts made by the Solid Gold Bomb company reading, "Keep Calm And Rape On." But as you can see above, they haven't quite finished removing a similarly offensive T-shirt from their US store that reads, "Keep Calm And Hit Her."
A spokesman for Amazon UK told Sky News that all offensive garments, including the rape and violence shirts, have been pulled in the UK: "I can confirm that those items are not available for sale." They added that the shirts were being pulled from all the international sites—while the "rape" one is definitely gone, the "hit" one still is showing up in the US store.
The company sells a lot of stupid novelty T-shirts on Amazon playing off the "Keep Calm And Carry On" phrase, including "Keep Calm And Nurse On," "Keep Calm And Creep On," and "Keep Calm And Tease It." They've put an apology on their website for the offending t-shirts, blaming it on their automated computer process for generating the shirts:
We have been informed of the fact that we were selling an offensive t-shirt primarily in the UK. This has been immediately deleted as it was and had been automatically generated using a scripted computer process running against 100s of thousands of dictionary words.
Any offensive items that are remaining are certainly in the deletion queue and will be removed as soon as the processing is complete. Although we did not in any way deliberately create the offensive t-shirts in question and it was the result of a scripted programming process that was compiled by only one member of our staff, we accept the responsibility of the error and our doing our best to correct the issues at hand.
We're sorry for the ill feeling this has caused! We're doing our best here to fix the problem.
Most Amazon commenters have been less than thrilled with the apology. Southern Aquarium wrote:
I understand these shirts are computer-generated, and thus some don't even make sense. I also have read that there's no human in a screening position at Amazon, to disallow such as this one. That seems incredible to me, despite the extreme automation of our modern world. Amazon, you pride yourself on being a progressive company. Please remove this and all other such shirts which encourage violence against women (and violence against anyone, while you're at it).
Ms. H Vickers wrote:
Amazon actually removed the one inciting people to rape. I'm guessing they decided they wouldn't like the women in their lives raped, but assaulting them with your fists is ok. I used Amazon for almost every birthday present and lots more. Never again. You should all be ashamed.
But at least one person, Harry Barnes, defended the shirts:
Personally, I think you should all lighten up. This t-shirt isn't saying domestic violence is okay, it's just a joke. I laugh at jokes about everything: death, violence, rape etc. Some things in my family are included in the categories I just listed, but I still laugh at jokes. The world is a very depressing place if you can't laugh at a simple t-shirt because you got hit once or your sister did.
Is this a little worse than most shirts? Yes. But you don't have to wear it.