I'm still a little bitter over the months I spent making $9 an hour clearing out their dressing rooms, but I have to credit the ethically exploitative, generically-trendhumping corporate paradox that is American Apparel for its ceaseless bloggy news flow. Just last week, the company ran a New York Times ad advocating the sort of immigration reforms that would make life easier for the folks that weave and sew those gym tees and hoodies our generation so loves. Then on Monday, the company officially listed itself on the American Stock Exchange, finally subjecting its financial results to the scrutiny of public shareholders who will no doubt at some point wonder if that whole "living wage" idea was such a smart one. Monday's announcement came on the heels of about a year the company spent trading opaquely under the name Endeavor Acquisition as a so-called "backdoor" listing, which reminded us of another "backdoor" thing about the company: that fucking billboard. We recently heard from the guy — yeah, guy! — who claims to have defaced it earlier this year. His letter is probably the best Christmas gift a bunch of whores like us could have gotten, not least because he admits he has a "lot to learn." Don't we all.
A friend just forwarded the american apparel story link and said: "dude, you're efamous...kind of". I was totally amazed and happy that such a debate was sparked by my humble offering.
First off, i'm not a graf writer. Honestly, I was just reacting to the constantly degrading images of women that AA creates. That ad in particular - headless, bent over, composed so that the focus was irrefutable... I went home, grabbed some spraypaint, took the train back and waited until 4am to climb the scaffolding.
Now that i've read all of the comments and reactions posted on jezebel, i feel regret at having chosen the word "get". The people who mentioned "are" as a better choice of wording were right. I struggled with the thought of leaving such an open-to-interpretation message, but eventually just decided to go with my gut-reaction and get the hell down from there.
It was horrifying to read that some people interpreted it as "women deserve to be raped" or that i was probably some uneducated/ignorant/misogynistic graf writer promoting my justification....(geez, talk about a stereotype!) I also took offense to the comments that suggested i need to re-evaluate my concept of feminism... duh! of course i agree that women should be able to dress as they please and not have to worry about others interpretation. That said, i couldn't let this advert slide by without a protest. This wasn't a run of the mill ad by some faceless corporation. This was Dov Charney's "art" and ideology.
I'll be the first to admit that i have a lot to learn. I'm not much of an academic, and have only recently started reading books which address gender, feminist theories, body image... i have my own (imperfect) ideas and reactions to the world around me and accept that i am going to make mistakes, and grow as i learn more...
As an act of civil disobedience/direct action, i believe that this form of protest was effective(if only momentarily) in that it caused AA economic damage(well over $10,000.), inspired an open discussion on many levels and was a learning experience for all.
I don't mean to ramble on and on, so i'll just end this by saying thank you for bringing this topic/discussion onto your website. In the future, i will take greater precautions to be more clear in my meaning...