NYC Graffiti on Billboard: “Gee, I Wonder Why Women Get Raped.”

Via Waylon Lewis
on Aug 8, 2009
get elephant's newsletter

Is objectification stylish, fun…or dangerous?

Eighth in a series:

1. Club4Climate.

2. Ben Taylor.

3. 3Oh!3

4. 303.

5. Naked American Apparel.

6. Naked yoga.

7. Nearly naked yoga.

american apparel naked

This one, of an American Apparel ad in NYC, comes via Nerve.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


22 Responses to “NYC Graffiti on Billboard: “Gee, I Wonder Why Women Get Raped.””

  1. swati jr* says:

    this is enough to make me never by American Apparel ever again. extremely distasteful.

  2. gwenbell says:

    #9 for your sad list. Helmut Lang for Barneys:

  3. The graffiti was added on after. I took the graffiti to be critical of the ad.

    I'm a fan of AA's walk the talk (eco, made in USA) and styles. I'm not a fan of objectification, which does seem to be a part of some—not all—of their ads. Obvioiusly, Dov (founder of AA) gets a lot of hell. I would defend him, for most part, by saying at least he's wide open about who he is. I would include the above ad in the "not healthy for society" department. Click over to this for more on what the company does right (check out the ads)

  4. swati jr* says:

    ohhh. glad to know the graffiti was added afterward. not that i'm a big fan of AA's ads, but that was just too much!

  5. Sara Davison says:

    I read an article that American Apparel ads are meant to look like amature porn–thus the basis of the appeal, & all of these dirty bedroomroom/bathroom settings. I think this add is pretty distasteful and does not make me want to purchase my leggings from AA. It's just a little over the top for me, and not very classy.

    Also, I don't like the comment about women & rape–what does a provocative picture of a woman have to do w/ RAPE? I mean the sex is implied, but the raping? Scary! Obviously something needed to be commented on, but too bad no one w/ brains AND balls climbed up there w/ a can of spray paint.

  6. […] unending encouragement of our yogarific readers, we’ve come to regret that American Apparel represents (and treats) women in a consistently sexualized manner. Given their widespread rep, the unending […]

  7. […] yoga give you the perfect bod’? And other stories on the infiltration of materialism into the […]

  8. azzutaluna says:

    So men can go around with their shirts off in public, wearing speedos and who knows what but we don't hear this argument about men, do we? Why is that? Because men are the rapists. BUT, supposing you are a heterosexual man, and you go out in a part of cutoffs and no shirt and a guy grabs your junk? NOOOOOWWWW it's not so funny anymore, is it? I agree the ad is sleazy, but that doesn't mean she deserves to be raped. That's neanderthal thinking, and a kick to the balls of anyone who went along with it! If anything, if people saw this sort of thing everywhere, all the time, we would become desensitized to it. Chocolate cake is a decadent treat, but if you eat it every day every meal it becomes ho hum.
    Rape is about violence, not sex, people. Educate yourselves. This disappoints me. I had high hopes for this 'zine.

  9. Andrew Armiger says:

    Objectifying women as a society can (easily/naturally?) lead to objectifying women as individuals, perhaps?

  10. Lauren says:

    I am so disgusted with American Apparel and their outrageously objectifying ads. I refuse to shop at their stores. And I'm seriously considering spray painting over any of their billboards that I come across here in SF if I can reach them. shhhhh. 😉

  11. Kara N says:

    It's unclear why anyone would tout this company as being a great example of "eco, made in USA," and all the other values for which you admire it, when it's an utter failure of a company. It would make more sense to promote a company with the values you admire that isn't running itself into the ground in a burning heap of flames. Dov has the business acumen of a blueberry scone. He's just flat out daft.

  12. elephantjournal says:

    Uh, wow, I don't think you're getting where we're coming from. We're not saying this is right or justifying it. I think the graffiti-er is coming from a feminist perspective (I found this story on feministing and others sites)…saying something about how the portrayal of women as headless objects of sexual desire does lead to men thinking of women as headless objects of sexual desire.

  13. candicegarrett says:

    I agree that the ad comes off from the feminist perspective.

  14. ya.c53 says:

    Заказ может быть отправлен в любую точку Российской Федерации. Во всех случаях, прежде чем выслать заказ, наш представитель свяжется с Вами для подтверждения заказа.

  15. You made some first rate points there. I appeared on the web for the issue and located most individuals will go together with with your website.

  16. Great site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get responses from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Many thanks!

  17. Sara says:

    Rape is an issue men need to deal with. Its a power trip and should be recognized within the male community as a problem men need to address and help other men with.

  18. KBT says:

    Agreed. I don't see how these billboards could contribute in any way. I believe it's probably the other way around. Instinct leads to creating these billboards and parents need to teach their MALE children how to behave, not teach their female children to be terrified of men and dress in muumuus.

  19. Kevin says:

    Why write an article that is merely links to other articles? Was there a point of some sort here?

  20. Kisevene says:

    Сегодня я представлю Вам сайт, который сам постоянно посещаю по одной простой причине. Тут есть очень полезная информация, например:
    чехол для планшета 10.1. Вы не пожалеете, что побывали тут.

  21. Charles says:

    I think saying rape is about violence, not about sex is naive. Rape is about sexual violence, not just any old violence. Examining the sexual, behavioral and evolutionary biology and psychology of humans is something worth discussing if we’re to find ways to reduce rape. This goes to the roots of our species.