April 1 2017
Earlier this week, a single student at Gonzaga University complained on Twitter that a children’s T-shirt sold in a campus shop “perpetuates rape culture.”
In less than an hour, the university responded, removing T-shirt from its shelves and deciding to no longer sell it.
The T-shirt showed Gonzaga’s mascot, Spike the Bulldog, along with the words, “Boys Will Be Boys.”
After the initial Tweet, a second student also took umbrage with the T-shirt, writing, “Yeah get this toxic masculinity out of here we have enough on campus already.”
Gonzaga is playing in the Final Four on Saturday, and administrators wanted “to be focused on that and not distracted by a little T-shirt,” said Mary Joan Hahn, a spokesperson for the university.
“We’re aware that seemingly simple statements can sometimes be interpreted to insinuate unintended meanings, and when sensitivities are expressed, we take those concerns seriously. … We respect everybody, and we want our apparel to reflect that,” Hahn said.
By deadline, the student who complained did not respond to an interview request from Heat Street. Her bio on Twitter says, “Intersectional feminist theory & chill.” Since the shirt was pulled, she has made her account private.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.