Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I Have Lost My Patience

Recently I read a post, Decency and T-Shirts,  over at Older Eyes concerning the Utah mom that was offended by some T-shirts displayed in the Pac Sun store in Odum, Utah.  (BTW...Older Eyes is such a great blog.  I highly encourage anyone that wants to read thought-provoking, interesting articles to go over there. )

As I was saying...up to the point, I read Bud's article concerning Judy Cox's displeasure with the T-shirts, I knew nothing of the story.  For any of you, that also might be unaware of the details let me catch you up... a mother was shopping with her 18 year old son  in a mall in Odum, UT and passed a window display of t-shirts showing scantily clad women. Odum, UT is a city that is made up in large part by members of the Church of Latter Day Saints members and has some rather stringent laws pertaining to the display of sexually explicit material.  Judy felt the shirts in question violated those local "decency" laws.  After speaking to the store's management, she was told that the display was a corporate decision outside of her control. Then.. she went to the mall management.  They basically told her that they would check into the matter but it would take some time.

Soooo...Judy went back to the store and bought every one of the shirts that she deemed too explicit for a store that caters to young children.  She was quoted as saying "These shirts clearly cross a boundary that is continually being pushed on our children in images on the Internet, television and when our families shop in the mall."  She paid $567.00 for the shirts and says that she plans to return them before the 60 allowable return date policy by Pac Sun.  She hopes that in that time she can work on the policies that allow them to be displayed.  In the mean time, the shirts won't be available to purchase.

Anyway...my post isn't really about whether Judy is being too over-reactionary or too "up tight" or too puritanical as much as it is my dismay at how people have reacted to the story.

After I read Older Eyes article, I Googled the subject and was shocked at the reaction to people to Judy and/or her purchase of the shirts. Overwhelmingly people ranted against her and often gave her implicit directions on "what she could do".  Some of the more imaginative suggestions involved Judy's husband.  Crude, to say the least.

Thought Number One:  Virtuous or Villainous

If you are a comment reader like me, I would be curious if you find as time goes on that more and more the comment sections are full of venom and animosity. It seems for every rational, intelligent point of view there are dozens that are vile.  In response to the offending T-shirts article,  Gawker had hundreds of comments vilifying people of various religions including Mormons, Catholics, and generally Christians.  (one guy called them Christens...which made me think if you are going to insult a group at least spell the group's organization correctly) saying:

Please stop insulting both our intelligences and just say what you mean to say when you throw around the word "family": "White, heteronormative Christian families where women are treated like sexual cattle". This would be both more precise and less subtly offensive to everyone who doesn't fit your rigid, bullshit.

Over at the New York Daily News the very first comment says: The American Taliban are alive and well in Utah. Time to send in the troops.

After reading dozens of comments making the leap that anyone associated with organized religion is a zealot or assume that they stereotypically have only one way of looking at things,  I became more than a little irritated.   I would be hesitant to use the phrase "old fashion" values as it might imply that I am not opened minded regarding current social issues.  I tend to be very liberal by nature, so most things I would be firmly in the "pro" column but I am also Christian. (or Christen as the case may be)

(I only mention this in passing as, I am very respectful  of other people's choices to follow/practice a religion or not.   Who am I to think that my thoughts on the subject are any more accurate that yours?)

Back to the topic at hand...Not every Christian is as easily offended as Judy as far as T-shirts in the mall.  But in her defense.  She didn't rob the store and hold someone at gun point, she bought up the product that she wanted removed.  I admire she followed her conscience.  I am laid back on that sort of thing, I would of just walked on by.  If I had been with my 18 year old we probably would of had a discussion  that was very frank. I wasn't the kind of parent that tried to shield my kids from much. (By the time my kid was 18 I am pretty sure he knew what girl's parts looked like and wouldn't have been caught dead in a trashy t-shirt depicting semi-naked women.)

BUT...Really, when did having a belief system (within the confines of being legal and moral) set people up as being the enemy?  When did having virtues become so abhorrent and vile?

Thought Number Two:  Being KIND is a virtue.

I was looking at various lists of "virtues" in preparation for today's post.  There are numerous sites that have varying lists of supposed virtues.  For a master list of  Virtues, Vices, and Values you can click here.  How handy to have a list to tell you what traits are the good ones to have versus what traits aren't.

All in all, my thought here today is that while I believe in people's right to express their opinions, whatever those opinions would be...WHY can't they be expressed in a kind and mannerly way?  Why does every little incident require animosity and confrontation?

Can't we agree to disagree. OR discuss things in a civil manner?

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babs (beetle) said...

I don't know why people are so hateful now. I have read some pretty nasty and unnecessary comments myself and it astounds me that so much hatred is around. The internet, and possibly the anonymity, certainly brings it out in a lot of people.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I have no problem with anyone who puts their money where their mouth is. If she wants to spend $600 on t-shirts, more power to her. But she should keep them, not return them later for a refund. That's just playing hypocritical games. It's like this case we had in Canada a few years ago. A postal worker objected to delivering lesbigay material (magazines/newspapers) sent through Canada Post. The employer said it is part of the job, which it was, and the worker must do it. Nothing illegal about lesbigay publications. The postal carrier quit their job rather than deliver the material. Of course I see nothing wrong with lesbigay materials and was probably a subscriber myself (LOL) but I applaud the postal carrier for having the courage of their convictions. So few people do. They just want to moan and whine and bitch and complain provided it costs them nothing to do so and just hurts other people.

Cheryl P. said...

I agree Babs. And it seems that some of the worst bashing is on subjects that aren't particularly controversial. Why are people calling this woman horrible names and throwing all types of religious groups under the bus over one woman's objection to smutty T-shirts. I couldn't help but think when so many comments said hateful things about churches in general that was unnecessary given it's one woman's point of view.

Cheryl P. said...

I am so with you, Debra. I think you make a good point about her keeping the shirts. But more so on the idea of her taking action...especially since her actions weren't rude or harmful to others. I always am shocked at people such as the postal worker that have such a closed minded attitudes but it's their prerogative to think in any fashion they want as long at they aren't infringing on others rights. Good for him to quit and let someone else deliver the mail.

Of course, I would look at things differently as in the case of the Westboro Church hate-mongers that disrupt funerals of the gay and lesbian soldiers because they take a stand that stomps all over other people's freedoms. They are definitely infringing on the right of the families to honor their loved ones.

Linda R. said...

Cheryl, I love this post. Very well said. You have hit so many nails on the head with this. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinions, belief (or lack of) and should not expect to be disrespected because of them. That is of course that they express their opinons, beliefs or lack of in an appropriate manner and not as an attack themselves. Mother Teresa was a wise woman!

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you, Linda. I feel like over the last few years, every difference of opinion becomes increasingly hostile. What happened to intelligent debate? I love that Mother Teresa quote. Wouldn't if be nice if more people loved it as well?

Dexter Klemperer said...

Yes, the disrespect is getting rather extreme these days. I remember many years ago when a company sent out an email coupon to all of its customers and unfortunately included everyone's email in the "To" address. So people would use "Reply all" and send responses to everyone on the list. After getting hundreds of emails I took it upon myself to do a "reply all" with: "would you idiots please stop using reply all."
I continued to get hate emails for a couple of months. But I learned a valuable lesson in that there are live human beings on the other end of those messages and I'm not nearly as awesome as I think I am.

Cheryl P. said...

Given your wit and humor...I bet you are as awesome as you think you are.
I was just over at another posts talking with someone about how people need to lighten up. He suggested that maybe we need to put emoticons on every thought we type of the Internet, that we think might be misconstrued. (I knew he was joking even though he did comment with a :D

I guess your coworkers didn't get the subtle humor of your email, but hate mail seems extreme. Too late now but you could of sent back a reply all.

OK..I take it back...you're not an idiot. You're a hater. }:^)

Robyn Engel said...

I applaud Judy. She did nothing illegal, hurt nobody, and acted on behalf of female best interests.

People are so hateful nowadays, I think, because they are hurting. If only they'd turn their pain into love and not venom, what a utopia we'd live in.

Didn't mean to sound so sappy, but the kind of hate I see all over the social media has, at least once, brought me tears. I fully agree, Cheryl.


Cheryl said...

The question I was left asking myself was how in hell did this make national news? After reading your buddy's post and finding the answer to that question, I'm less bothered by the hue and cry of every Tom, Dick, and Harriet than I am about this woman putting herself in the limelight by contacting those two organizations. One is a Latter Day Saints group that begins by talking about the devastating affects of pornography then shifts its focus to addiction. I'm not sure what one has to do with the other since addiction defines an illness that manifests itself in more ways than I can count. The other has a mission statement that's so convoluted, I'm not even sure what their goal is except to blame everything but poor parental guidance for the immoral and amoral behaviors of their children.

This is just an example of the continual nonsense bred by a society in which everyone with access to the internet feels its their right to chime in on discussion they know nothing about. The anonymity afforded by social media has lead to people believing they can behave in rude and ugly ways behind the safety of their glowy boxes. Karma's gonna be a bitch for those who hold those beliefs.

Cheryl P. said...

As of late, I am thinking the world need far more sentimentality. I didn't take your comment as sounding sappy at all. I think you sound like a truly nice person with some convictions. YAY for Robyn!!!

Cheryl P. said...

I am continually amazed at the tripe that makes the news. The morning pseudo news shows use the words "what's trending" every other minute. If we really wanted to see what's trending as opposed to hearing some substantive news items, wouldn't we just tune into Youtube or Enews' website.

I purposely steered away from Judy's personal opinions as my post was about the abhorrent overreaction by the general commenters that are so very rude. I agree if Judy really wanted to drive her point home she wouldn't return the shirts.

I will have to check out the two groups she has contacted. As I am not familiar with LDS I wouldn't know their views on anything really.

I think the Internet could give people the access for healthy debate on topics but when I view any of the major newspapers or newsvine type of sites...it's anything but healthy debate.

I don't see how saying Judy needs to go home and #$%^ her husband adds to the discussion in any positive way...which is what prompted my post. What is wrong with people that they feel the need to lash out?

You are so RIGHT...people believe that can drop every social propriety and hide behind their anonymity. BUT...I think we are seeing more and more of this uninhibited behavior in public as well. People are just getting so rude in how they express opposition to things. Are we getting to the point that we all just say "%*#@ you and the other person goes "NO... &$%# you!

Jo-Anne said...

What can I say, let me think for a moment, well yes I think there are a lot of people who leave rude and nasty comments and I don't get why they feel they have to do so. I do not think I have ever left a nasty comment that is just not me, but then I am a nice kind person, ok I try to be a nice kind person I might fail at times but at least I try. As for the woman buying all the t shirts she found offensive is she can afford to do so then so be it, I think she was being over sensitive and yes I have seen t shirts that I thought were too rude, and offensive but I just chose to not look and read such shirts.

meleahrebeccah said...

"Both sides should probably stand back and reflect before charging ahead. I tend to agree that some people take everything so literal."


Lady Jewels Diva said...

I think it comes down to control, which I deal with on a daily basis.

We hate being told what we can and can't do, can and can't wear, can and can't say etc, so to me, this woman didn't like what she was seeing, bought them all so no one else would buy them because of HER principles. She was, in part, forcing her beliefs onto other people by preventing them from buying tshirts. She was taking away other people's rights to buy or walk past that tshirt.

That is probably why so many got so angry, we're sick to death of being controlled and in turn they probably went to far with what they said. But anger can do that to you and some people just want to get a rise out of you anyway.

Utah is also the state with all the polygamist families that have featured on tv shows like Dr Phil, so I'd say that tshirts with half naked women on them are the LEAST of their problems.

Lady Jewels Diva said...

Great pics again as usual, you had sessions with Freud huh!

oldereyes said...

When I did the reading for my post, I intentionally avoided reading the more virulent comments, partly because my daughter is LDS and I didn't want to read the mean spirited things people said. Last year, one of my grandaughter Savy's best friends told her they couldn't be friends any more because she was Mormon. At five freakin' years old. It's really hard for me to imagine a God sitting "up there" saying, "Now that's what I was talkin' about when I said Love Thy Neighbor." If the nastiness of the comment sections was only internet trolls and confined to the internet, I suppose it wouldn't be so bad. But I think it's becoming more a part of the way we deal with each other in general because so much of the younger generation's lives seem to take place online. Just look at our politics.

Thanks for the pingback, by the way.

lisleman said...

You asked "when did having a belief system (within the confines of being legal and
moral) set people up as being the enemy? When did having virtues become
so abhorrent and vile?" - my answer - when the internet opened up and became widespread enough to include all the haters out there.
I was commenting on a blog (funny if it was this one but I don't think so) that our easy digital communication allows us to act online the way we often in our cars. Cursing and cussing the other drivers and feeling righteous about it.

Chickens Consigliere said...

Great post, Cheryl, and interesting subject. I think the location is something to consider. In NYC that kind of display might be nothing out of the ordinary but in Utah things are obviously different. I don't know...I think if you take action, then you open yourself up for attention, good and bad, so you better have the strength of your convictions inside you to deal with it. Seems as though she does. Me? I agree there is probably too much made of sex-really what is the big deal that our society has to be saturated with sexual imagery? That said, it wouldn't have been offensive enough for me to take action.

babs (beetle) said...

I think people attack churches, because of the restrictions it puts on their lives. We live in a "If it feels good, do it" world now, so they will attack any establishment that attempts to deny them their freedom to do whatever makes them feel good. It may be only one persons opinion, but it gives them an excuse to throw insults and attack the church. I may sound like an old fogey, but I hate the direction this world is heading.

Riot Kitty said...

I was blown away that this made the news at all, let alone the reaction to it. She made a capitalist decision that I respect more than, say, throwing a rock at the display window.

I don't know why some people are so venomous. I'm guessing it's because they have very little control over some other shitty aspect of their lives (bad job, bad relationships, who knows) and now they (along with everyone else) have a venue to publicly post whatever the fuck they want. Creepy, in a way.

Speaking of venom, I wonder how many of these so-called Christians (or Christens, haha!) have ever read anything Jesus said to the disciples. There's so much hate there that it's positively un-Christian IMHO.

Trina said...

People tend to be crude and overreact to everything online. More to power to that woman and he beliefs. I'm sure Pac-sun appreciated the sale and the publicity.
I don't believe in anything so strongly that I ever argue with people about their beliefs. I like to hear their thoughts and I take it all in with a grain of salt.

Wolfbernz said...

Hi Cheryl,
When my kids were coming up I never really sheltered them. I always thought if they saw things or had questions that they deserved an answer. I do agree with the woman's thought, some things are just getting too graphic. Unfortunately her simple act of buying a few shirts really doesn't make that huge an impact on what the kids are already seeing.
I do think people should be more pleasant online. There is a large amount of negativity in the comments of many news articles. People tend to comment before they think about what they're saying.

Cheryl P. said...

You did yourself a huge favor because, I did read a lot of the comments and was greatly irritated. Oddly, enough, most of the nastiness referred to Christians instead of specific religions. There were minimal digs specifically against the Mormons. (or if there were, I had quit reading the comments by that point.)
When I was younger one of my best friends was a Mormon and I came to respect their values of service and dedication to family. I think that religion is greatly misunderstood. But then after reading some of the comments, I think Christianity is misunderstood to some extent, Do people think we (meaning me) are the same type of person as the Bible beater that condemns everyone to hell for the slightest infraction? Or that there aren't Christians that allow for philosophies that aren't based on intolerance?

That is a sad story about Savy's friend. That girl's parents are setting up their sweet child to be narrow minded and exclusionary. What a shame. I hope Savy wasn't terribly hurt by that.

It isn't just the Internet hatefulness that has me irritated. I think there seems to be a current wave of intolerance and rudeness sweeping through our society. Yes, it is especially visible in our government. So much back biting and blame being tossed around.

Cheryl P. said...

You are most likely right that the Internet fueled this type of behavior.
That is such an interesting correlation between the safety of being in the car and saying whatever you please versus the anonymity of the computer.

I wonder though...do the people realize that when they call the driver that just cut them off a %^&#%$ moron, that driver will never hear it BUT the person that they just called a %^&#%$ moron on the Internet may indeed be the reader and be hurt by it. Things said online aren't private..it goes out to thousands of people. (well it could...maybe not if it's confined to my blog)

Cheryl P. said...

You and I seem to be on very similar trains of thoughts on most things. Yes, I think in Odum things are different. Even the fact that there are laws prohibiting the display of sexual imagery wouldn't apply to a lot of places.

And, yes, in every instance there are cameras nearby. I don't think anyone should be naive to the fact that anything they do might be caught on camera. So if someone is going to take a stand for or against something they better be willing to take the heat.

I wouldn't of taken action short of not wanting to do business with Pac Sun. Seems like a sleezy line of merchandise for a store catering to teens...but as you say it isn't that big of deal to me. I don't have to shop there. Had those same shirts been in the Spencer's Gifts store, no one would of thought twice about them.

Cheryl P. said...

Yes, it is interesting that the purchase of a line of shirts elicited such vile reactions. You would swear Judy stood out front with a sign saying God hates Pac Sun. She bought a bunch of shirts which seems pretty much her right.

Some one else brought up that point that maybe some of these commenters are using the Internet to lash out due to control issues. Maybe they need to take Crabby Pants' place on the couch and talk to Freud about where their anger is coming from. Yes, I agree Creepy isn't it.

Don't most religions of any type...Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, even pagan religions practice love and tolerance? Yes, Christen's (or Christian's) are supposed to be loving thy neighbor and thine enemies. Some one didn't get the memo.

Cheryl P. said...

You and me both. I love to hear about other people's beliefs. I can always gain some insight and think about new perspectives. I can't imagine fighting with someone over their faith. It's their faith to be had. And as you said...I don't have to agree with them.

I would love to know if this publicity is a good thing for Pac Sun or a bad thing.
I would nearly think they are trying to make peace with Judy so she shuts up.

Cheryl P. said...

Yes, you and I have that in common. I treated my kids as thinking and reasoning human beings and never tried to shelter them. I felt like they needed to be able to recognize the both the good and the bad about the world around them (of course in the context to whatever age they were). I do think the world has pushed overt sexuality toward kids too young to understand it but, as you say, buying up a bunch of shirts isn't going to matter one little bit. If I were the parent of a young person today, I would use instances like that as a conversation starter.

In Judy's case her child is 18. Shouldn't they of already had lots of discussions on sex and the objectifying of women?

Cheryl P. said...

I don't think of you as an old fogey in the slightest. But if you are then I am too. I not only hate the direction we are heading...it scares the hell out of me.

lisleman said...

Well first off we should agree that many of these tasteless haters don't do much thinking. I suspect a few may wish discomfort/pain on the target of their comment. I've first noticed these rude comments on youtube years ago. I consider youtube a great internet feature/service but maturity is not that common over there. Just wondering do the sites with rude comments require a login before commenting? I notice many started using FB logins.

Lady Jewels Diva said...

Yes, so many men suffer from that! lol

Pickleope said...

Civility? On the internet!?! How dare you have reasonable dreams like that. You silly Christen, you. I'm surprised you read the comments. I can't do it. I can barely read the comments on my own blog. What amazes me about the comments sections is that no matter how far removed the article is from politics is how quickly the comments devolve into bashing one side or the other.
As for the offended mother, while I don't agree with her campaign to shelter her adult child by filling her house with said offensive shirts, I think her solution is kind of clever. She has convictions and is living her truth in a way that doesn't hurt anyone.

Cheryl P. said...

I am a comment junkie. (as junkies go...it's rather a benign addiction... not usually associated with homelessness, going broke or landing in jail) I read all the comments on blogs because they are super entertaining. I wouldn't miss reading all the comments on your blog.

You are so right about most comment sections going right for political digs. Bad weather? It's those narrow minded Rep./Dem. fault that the polar vortex is here. Damn them!!

That is exactly where I am on the mother's spending spree...I don't agree that she needs to campaign for her 18 year old. Even if she is thinking she is protecting the "ideal" of reducing sexism for children in general buying out the T-shirts in one Pac Sun won't eliminate all those TV shows that have young teens acting and looking like 25 year olds. ....BUT I admire that she took a stand to act on her convictions. As a chronic "not getting involved" kind of person, I have to give it to her that she did something. Doing nothing is so much easier.

Cheryl P. said...

I think the majority of the newspapers are still anonymous but some such as the Washington Post require a registration but allow the registrant to have a user name. While online their comment would appear anonymous the newspaper has a record of who they are. (Do they have to be honest on the registration as to who they are, I don't know.)

Wendy said...

"I think people lash out, both online and in public, because they're frightened for themselves and their children-". I very much agree with that sentence. They lash out because they feel stymied to create a better response. And yet, it is the better response we need in our society, a response that would deal with the 'madness' that is evident everywhere we look.

meleahrebeccah said...

"if you find as time goes on that more and more the comment sections are full of venom and animosity." -- yes. especially on sites like YouTube.

I don't think what Judy did was out of line either. She didn't like the shirts and she did what she thought was best - without harming anyone. All the haters really need to CALM THE FUCK DOWN already. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and feelings - but there is NO REASON to get nasty about it.

Also - I probably would have bought and WORE the offensive tshirt - just because I think stuff like that is funny.

Wendy said...

Gosh, this could easily be a thesis paper response! Where oh where to begin? Or rather, to end. First off, I am often confused by the whole 'religion' issue. I have many many many (did i mention many?) friends who have no religious persuasion, and are offended by much of the things that happen in society today. I too read Bud's blog but thought, well, at least here is a woman who feels a need to take a stand AND does something. What she did was not originally unoffensive. Perhaps fruitless, ultimately, but not offensive. Yet, it is the collective action of small actions that can and will ultimately make a difference in what is happening in our society. I have honestly seen FAR far more offensive t-shirts than this one. Sigh. Yet, if no one bought the shirts, the shirts would not be made. THAT is the true issue of it all. Like much that happens in society that perhaps offends many of us, it is getting to the real issue that matters to me. Why the shirts? Why do they sell? Is it purely to be offensive/rebellious, or something more indicative of society morals and/or breakdown.? Political theory, just like psychology theory, is filled with the conflicting ideas of what makes for a good society. What society do we want to have, here, now,today, in the society where we live? This woman is asking this question with her behaviour.
As for the comments, I totally agree with you that comments, yes even disagreeing comments, can always be expressed in a kind mannerly way, not with animosity and confrontation. Thankfully, I am a quick skimming reader, and if I read an article and then the comments and they are full of @#%$ kind of stuff, then I skim to next one. In 'real 'life, one meets people all the time who convey equally unconvincing pointless comments. Real issues in society require deep thought and deep considering. Not off the cuff @#$% type of remarks. There is a Compelling need for those of us who are concerned about where society is heading to seriously meet and to discuss what makes for a good society, and how to achieve it. Unfortunately, so much of the internet is not about that , even though as a mode of conversation, it is a wonderful vehicle for it.
You really went all out with the pictures this time, Cheryl. Love the angel/demon ones. The virtues are ones to live by, including kindness, even if no one else you meet lives by them. And the picture in the forest conveys just a hint of St. Augustine's famous line- Lord, make me chaste- but not yet! Well-done!

Cheryl P. said...

Lisleman mentioned the Youtube comments as well. As much as I read comments, I have never bothered to read comments on Youtube. HMMM maybe that's a good thing. It might just tick me off.

That is so my point...people need to NOT be so nasty. Can people disagree without being going totally ape shit.

I would of laughed if you bought one considering it was naked women in stupid poses. The one with the sexy pose in underwear but wearing sports socks strikes me as more than odd. I wouldn't be particularly offended by the shirts and I would of kept walking. Really my only concern is that Pac Sun caters to the preteen set and I don't get how that line of shirts is their demographic. But it wouldn't of led me to take it up with anyone. I will say that I often find humor in things that others might not.

Cheryl P. said...

It would take multiple thesis (what is the plural of thesis, Wendy?) to hash over the cultural evolution that has brought us to this time where discussing our thoughts has become hyper antagonistic and the secondary point where people jump to everything needing to be blamed onto something else.

I don't get the multiple commenters on Gawker that felt the need to say that Christians were uptight and trying to foist their morals on other people. I would assume that religious people of any variety (Christian or not) or people that don't espouse any religion at all would/could have a value system that wouldn't support the widespread availability of sexual images to young children.

I doubt that her actions of buying up the shirts has any real impact but you make a great point...if other people stood up as Judy did....ripples can turn into waves. I think it was admirable on her part that she carried through on something she deemed important. (esp. given that it was not rude or harmful) I am absolutely sure that if my 18 year old son (Kiddo #2) and I saw those shirts (of course in 1993 things were a bit different) Kiddo #2 and I would of been talking about it. He is really funny by nature so there might of been some laughing involved. There definitely wouldn't of been a store "intervention". I have more than a little disdain for Pac Sun to choose that product line and then try to market to the preteen set but my overall way to handle stores I dislike is to not shop there.

I think you hit upon part of my irritation in the line "Unfortunately, so much of the internet is not about that , even though
as a mode of conversation, it is a wonderful vehicle for it." YES, the Internet allows a forum for us all to share ideas and converse. Not necessarily agree but debate and share ideas but we waste it saying vile things about people.

Wendy said...

Well, it would take theses. Did you take Latin too? In fact, it has generated volumes of theses in the academic world, and still, little changes. And I think it will only change with one small action, done by one person, that accumulates into a changing wave. I so agree with you that there has been a quantum leap of cultural revolution in the last fifty years. As for the shirt itself, I too would not have purchased them all, but since I always had an open-forum discussion with my lads, it would have generated quite a conversation! They could , and did, ask me anything. Sometimes I was blushing inside while answering but really, I consider that the best way to maintain parent integrity. I don't want to waste the value of the internet to express pointless and all too often vile rambling. I want to read clear and well thought out pondering on constructive ideas, which is why I often post a rather serious comment to your fun and often hilarious postings. I think well-done and constructive humour can often speak way more to addressing issues than a thesis! Which is why I so value your blog, your constructive thoughts and oh yes, Miss Crabby Pants too, of course ( don't want HER upset with me).

Cheryl P. said...

No Latin studies for me. I took French which as it turns out would only come in handy in parts of Canada or France. Neither place I have been to as of yet.
I, too would of been open in discussing almost anything with my children but they always seemed to be ahead of the curve on trends and pop culture (as these types of shirts are an example of) and I firmly believe both my daughter and son would of thought those shirts were "beneath" them in terms of ever wearing something that vulgar. Our conversation in regards to a trashy T might of been along the lines of "who in the world would pay good money for that piece of crap?" We aren't anything if not articulate...haha

But...yes...there wouldn't be anything off limits in terms of discussions at our house.

As for the expression of ideas on the Internet. I, too am interested in thought out, intelligent ideas expressed and am not overly fussy how the points are conveyed. They could be funny, serious,...in the form of cartoons, poems, songs...whatever but not rude and not mean spirited.

Thank you Wendy for the kind comments. I do like to use some humor to make my point and not everyone "gets" it. I (and Crabby Pants) so very, VERY much appreciate your insights. Crabby Pants would never be upset with you.

AletaObrien said...

Religion is an easy target, sadly. I'm also more liberal and find that I enjoy the more liberal thinking of the Episcopal Church (often coined as "Catholic Light" because the services are very similar, but the priest can get married and have children and women can become priests).

Anyway... I think the woman went a little nutty to buy all those shirts. I'm not disagreeing with her feeling that kids just don't need to see that kind of stuff and malls are the "hang out" places these days. But I also wouldn't have spent that kind of money, return or not.

As for the ugly commenters, dime a dozen when it comes to hot topics such as religion and politics. I'm just glad my blog is fairly "quietly known" because I wouldn't have wanted any negative comments about baptism. Lol.

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Cheryl P. said...

I also belong to a denomination known for it's liberal views. I try to steer away from specifics in terms of religion because it's so easy to offend people. It's difficult to convey to people that I am open to hear and discuss whatever their faith or lack of faith is about. On this post though part of my aggravation was the the most vile of the comments were directed at Judy because she is Mormon and/or Christian. (or Christen...as the case may be)

I am not the type to get all stirred up over such things as a window display but I would of thought it was in poor taste on Pac Suns part. I am fairly sick, of these teeny bopper stores pushing slutty or overly sexualized clothes to the 13 or 14 year old customer base. I personally, wouldn't act on it. I certainly wouldn't give them my money.

I am sending you a direct email shortly with a couple of thoughts that I won't post here.

abeerfortheshower said...

Back when we were in high school, one of our friends' (Yes, we both have all the same friends, and we've all known each other since elementary school) mother called the police during the high school stage performance of Guys and Dolls because there was a scene where all of the guys were pretending to kiss all of the girls while doing some crazy dancing. She got wildly offended and called it child indecency, and called the police DURING the performance. Yes, we gave him a ton of crap for it. No, nothing happened with the police. She wasn't a religious nut who lived in the 1800s and valued sexual cattle. She was just a bit uptight and a lot more conservative in her values.

What I'm saying is, and to reiterate your point, it's easy to vilify people when we don't know them. Especially when it comes to the mishmashing of politics and religion, there's never any common ground. It's always two extremes. Oh, she's a liberal? Then she's a baby killing hippie who hates men. Oh, she's conservative? Then she's a Bible-thumping granny who's stuck in the stone age and hates her own gender. Why is there never any middle ground with this stuff?

Like you, I'm a "Christen" who leans a little more toward liberal with my politics and thinking. In other words, I'm a baby killing, Bible-thumping hippie granny who's trapped in the stone age and hates men AND women. :)

Cheryl P. said...

As up tight "Christens" go...you are very, very funny...and while I doubt that you are a BKBTHG who's trapped in the stone age and hates men and women (how about transgenders...any problems with them?) I absolutely agree with you. People seem to be very comfortable at putting labels on others based on inaccurate assumptions. As an older, white, raised in the South, Christian woman...stereotypes would not work in my favor.

Which brings me to...what the hell was wrong with that woman that would call DURING a performance especially given the fact she was talking about pretend kissing? Was her kid normal??? Bet, he never brought girlfriends home to make out with.

Ya know...your comment brings up an interesting point. A lot of the comments inferred that the Utah woman was an uptight narrow minded person trying to foist her religious values on the store/mall/community...but her reaction might not been based entirely on her faith. It might be she is an overly protective mother that is hyper sensitive to the current trend of baring it all.

I would of loved it, if any of the news reporters would of asked the 18 year old son for a comment. Was he embarrassed? Did he agree with her way of handling of it? Is he currently begging her to let him keep the shirts?

Cheryl P. said...

Now that I sent that...I hope I didn't offend your friend or his up tight mother. I am blaming it on my shock that someone would so over react to pretend kissing.

abeerfortheshower said...

Ha! That doesn't offend any of us in the slightest. You know the old saying, you have to love your parents but that doesn't mean you have to like them? That would probably describe his relationship with his mom.

We all had the same reaction as you. Why the hell would someone think that was indecent? They were all just pretending. No real kissing was going on in the slightest (I guess that's a testament to the realness of the 'pretending').

Our buddy is quite normal, which is all to our surprise. In my experience, kids who grow up in ultra-religious houses like that end up rebelling to the other polar extreme.

If that 18 year old is anything like our friend, he was probably mortified and just rolling his eyes, like, "Oh mom, what did you get yourself into?"

meleahrebeccah said...

"Can people disagree without being going totally ape shit." - seriously

Cheryl P. said...

Haha...I guess your high school theater dept. really knew how to put realism into their acting.

Let's hope the 18 year old rolled his eyes because if he covered his eyes and whined to his mommy that he saw a picture of a dirty girl...he's a lost cause.

BTW...I think it is awesome that you have all remained friends for such a long period of time.

lisleman said...

Cheryl you a great job of keeping this comment section going. I'm a bit envious. However that's not why I'm leaving another comment here. Another blogger created a photoshop picture gift for me. She used photoshop and I know you enjoy creating funny pictures so I thought you should check out her blog. Maybe you could share one of your many comments over there.

Cheryl P. said...

Thank you for the heads up. I do enjoy playing around with Photoshop and similar image manipulation software programs. I definitely will go visit the link you sent. That sounds like a nice thing for her to do sending you a gift.

Margaret said...

Why does every little incident require animosity and confrontation? Because that's the only to get attention. And ratings. Because to do otherwise would be "boring". The truth is also boring. And so is being even-keeled, civil, nice, fair, common sensical, etc...

Cat said...

I guess my thought, I didn't agree the t-shirts were that particularly bad, (but then I tend to be laid back about the human body...), but I thought the woman quite literally put her money where her mouth was. She did something about her beliefs. So, all things being equal, I say, go get 'em, sister! And I am so sorry that so many feel that her standing up for her ideals was something to snarl at... Cat

Cheryl P. said...

Yeah, everyone wants to get noticed...well except me...I want to blend into the wallpaper. If invisibility cloaks were real, I'd buy one....so I can try to be nice and no one will notice. I wish this trend of being contrary would go away and people started wanting to play nice with each other.

Cheryl P. said...

I don't think the t-shirts are particularly bad either...although, I think they don't necessarily need to be in a store that markets to the pre-teen set. Even with that in play, I wouldn't personally made an issue out of it. I wouldn't get riled about a window display in a store.

If I still had teens in the house, I would take it up with them as to their purchasing anything that I just consider crass. The glory of dealing with a 13 or 14 year old is that Mom still has some control. The mom in question was shopping with an 18 year old. I think by that age, he needs to make his own decisions. My children were living on college campuses at that age so I had to trust that they were capable of choosing their clothing.

I am totally on board with your stand. I admire that she took a stand for what she believed. I appreciate that she was willing to do something for an ideal she feels strongly about...especially sense it was not hurtful or harmful to anyone else. I find the fault with the rude people that attacked her verbally in very vile ways.

Nita said...

I think that a part of the problem with so many rude and hateful comments is that those who make such comments feel that the anonymity the internet gives them is carte blanche to say whatever comes into their rather narrow minds. Would the shirts have offended me, probably not. But that doesn't mean I think they would be appropriate in a store window, when young children walk the halls of a mall. I say kudo's to the woman for doing what she felt needed to be done and hopefully when the store has to make that large refund their corporate offices will take notice and make a change.

Cheryl P. said...

Hi Nita!! Yes, I agree that people thing those avatar and screen names allow them to say anything they please. I can't help but think that more thought should be given to the person they are aiming their attack at. If I were Judy Cox, I would of been upset at some of the more vile comments. BUT then I could be rather thin-skinned if someone was attacking me personally as opposed to attaching a point of view I espoused.

You and I agree on the matter at hand. I am not a big fan of the shirts but wouldn't of personally taken a stand on the subject with the store or mall....but I, too say kudos to her for following through with something she felt strongly about.

Linda R. said...

Cheryl, I am sorry to have missed this post. I was all caught up in the 30M2DoW. I'm so sorry to hear about your sweet Carmen. She resembles my Rosie whom I lost last November to cancer. He was 16. They are so precious to us, and so often people make cruel remarks without thinking how we hear them, and how much they hurt, when we are already hurting.

I'm sending a big hug to you. I know how it feels. :(

Cheryl P. said...

She does look like your Rosie. I think we compared them at one point quite a while ago.
It's terribly sad, isn't it when our dear pets get sick? I have Carmen on some medication that has shown some promise in keeping cancer from spreading. She is becoming very slow but she is still eating and wanting attention. SOOO for now we are just taking things as they come.
Thank you for the hug..it is much appreciated and returned to you as well.

Nita said...

That they do, or maybe it is that they just don't think, or don't care that their words will hurt another person.