- Cafe Press has been accused of promoting rape culture and encouraging the sexualisation of children
- There are 132 items available in a category called ‘Adult Sex XXX Porn Baby Clothing’
- The online store is selling children’s clothing with slogans such as ‘F**k me like a porn star’, ‘You smell like porn’ and ‘Awesome butt sex’
- The website also sells adult shirt and children’s rash shirt with the slogan ‘No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal’
- Collective Shout has slammed the website for trivialising sexual assault and selling pornographic products made for children
- The campaign movement contacted Cafe Press over a year ago to report the items but they allege no action has been taken
Heather Mcnab for Daily Mail Australia
20:39 EST, 21 November 2014
06:06 EST, 24 November 2014
Online store Cafe Press has come under fire for selling baby clothes with pornographic content and merchandise which activists say promote rape.
The retailer, which specialises in user-customised products and gifts, has items for sale on their website printed with the slogans, ‘You Smell Like Porn,’ ‘F**k me like a porn star,’ ‘Awesome butt sex,’ and ‘Retired XXL porn star,’ among many other similar products.
132 items are available in a category labelled ‘Adult Sex XXX Porn Baby Clothing’, including baby and toddler onesies, shirts, bibs, and blankets.
The site has also been accused of promoting rape culture and trivialising sexual assault, by selling a shirt with the slogan, ‘No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal’.
The slogan, ‘No Means Yes and Yes Means Anal’ was originally used by a sorority at Yale which yelled the saying at a women’s dorm on campus
The slogan was also available on the site printed on a child’s rash shirt, sparking outrage among social media users, and raising concerns about other merchandise which overtly sexualises children.
Collective Shout, a campaign movement against the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls, is calling for consumers to blacklist the website and boycott buying it’s products for Christmas.
Campaign managers Melinda Liszweski and Cailtin Roper said the slogans made light of sexual assault and fuelled the sexualisation of children.
‘Slogans like this make a mockery of sexual assault and undermines the efforts made by society to reinforce that there are boundaries,’ Ms Liszewski said.
‘We’ve been trying to say for a long time that if no consent is given, it’s rape, and this reverses that. More than that, children are not capable of giving consent,’ she said.
132 items are available in a category labelled ‘Adult Sex XXX Porn Baby Clothing’, including baby and toddler onesies, shirts, bibs, and even blankets, as seen above
The retailer, which specialises in user-customised products and gifts, has items for sale on their website printed with the slogans, ‘You smell like porn,’ and ‘F**k me like a porn star’
‘Awesome butt sex,’and ‘Retired XXL porn star,’ are among products available
‘I don’t even know how they place these items under freedom of speech. There are other freedoms that need to be protected including keeping children safe from harm. There is no freedom in fuelling sex towards children.’
The Twitter page for Cafe Press has been bombarded with customers expressing their anger at the products, calling the incident ‘sick’, ‘disgusting’, ‘despicable’, and ‘reckless’, and claiming that the slogans perpetuate rape culture.
‘This is disgusting. How can you justify selling this kind of thing?’ asked one Twitter user.
The site reportedly operates on user-generated content uploaded by individuals, where any member can load designs which is then available on all types of merchandise.
Collective Shout’s Ms Roper said that the organisation had contacted the company nearly two years ago, drawing attention to the inappropriate merchandise, and were told that there was a ‘computer glitch’ that had allowed the products to fall through the cracks.
Despite promising that they would modify the system to ensure that the products were not available for purchase, Cafe Press has allegedly not taken action and has continued to sell items which Ms Roper said take a ‘pornified, pro-rape’ stance.
Collective Shout’s Ms Roper said that the organisation had contacted the company nearly two years ago, drawing attention to the inappropriate merchandise
Despite promising that they would modify the system to ensure that the products were not available for purchase, Cafe Press has allegedly not taken action
These items were available on the website until 2013, when Collective Shout campaigned to have them removed from the store
‘Cafe Press are serial offenders. This not the first time this has happened, and they have known about this issue for a long time,’ Ms Roper said.
‘Every time someone alerts them to the issue, they say that they had no idea, and promise to do something, but have failed repeatedly,’ she said.
Two of Collective Shout’s spokespeople tested the company’s promise a month after it was made, and were able to not only order, but receive in the mail, baby onesies with the slogans ‘SL_T all I need is the U’, and ‘Incest: good thing it’s illegal otherwise everyone and their sister would be doing it.’
At least one item available on Cafe Press with pornographic content was specifically designed for a baby, with a onesie featuring the slogan ‘No, my mommy does not like it in the ass. I’m here, aren’t I?’.
After spotting the ‘No Means Yes’ shirt this week, Ms Roper contacted the company via Twitter to seek immediate action, and was told that ‘like before.. You must contact our content usage department for further assistance.’
Ms Roper and other Twitter users were quick to point out that it was not their responsibility to draw the company’s attention to their own products, and raised the point that the items should not have been created in the first place.
‘Its really clear that Cafe Press either doesn’t care, or has no control over what they actually sell,’ said one Twitter user.
Campaign managers Melinda Liszweski (left) and Caitlin Roper (right) said the slogans made light of sexual assault and fuelled the sexualisation of children
‘Cafe Press are serial offenders. This not the first time this has happened, and they have known about this issue for a long time,’ Ms Roper said
Twitter users were quick to point out that the items should not have been created in the first place
Another user suggested that the website should have a policy that ensures that offensive user content is vetted and removed, which Ms Roper said should be standard practice in a company as large and lucrative as Cafe Press, which has been established for 15 years and has in excess of 13 million members.
‘I think it’s a massive issue using children’s clothing to promote what they would called ‘adult sexual humour’, even though it’s clearly rape ‘humour’,’ Ms Roper said.
‘It’s highly inappropriate, and not just distasteful but entirely unacceptable,’ she said.
‘The ‘No Means Yes’ slogan did not come out of nowhere, it came from fraternities at Yale who stood outside women’s dorms and yelled it at them.’
Ms Roper said that the slogan normalises serious crimes against women and makes it more difficult for people to have empathy for victims and survivors of sexual assault and rape.
‘Imagine being a victim of rape or sexual violence and seeing this slogan,’ Ms Roper said.
‘This is inhumane violence that has been done to you, and other people are seeing it as a punchline.’
Collective Shout will shortly be releasing their annual Christmas blacklist, which details companies that objectify women and sexualise children.
A spokesperson for CafePress told Daily Mail Australia that they had ‘taken action to extensively remove the offensive content’ from their site.
‘Please know that these designs do not reflect the views of CafePress employees and we regret any offense or concern caused by the images in question,’ the spokeswoman said.
‘CafePress is an automated service that allows users to upload merchandise designs into online shops and/or the CafePress marketplace.
‘At times, users may upload designs that others find distasteful or offensive, but are nevertheless consistent with our policies for expressions and content on our website. We encourage our customers to notify us at email@example.com