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  • Tuesday, May 17, 2005


    OK, Angry Now

    I was stunned by the following email. I'm more than a big fan of freedom of speech. I'm a little fuzzier about commercial speech. If someone is making money on the marketing of a slogan, it's less sacred to me. Certainly a slogan that advocates sexual violence against women is worth speaking to the company about it. (shakes head in disbelief) Just read it, you can decide for yourself whether it's worth taking action on this matter.

    PLEASE NOTE!!!: I typed the phrase "donkey punch" into the Cafe Press catalog and came up with zero entries. Unless I somehow made a mistake, it seems like they have withdrawn the 225 items mentioned below. I still think this is worth reading. If I get additional info I'll post a follow up.

    [UPDATE Weds., 5/18/05: Apparently the "donkey punch" items are "hiding" and are only visible if you do store particular searches. I'm not going to reprint the list of links here but if you'd like to get an email with them, write to: SPAMBUSTING ADDRESS: antiporn_activist(AT)yahoo(DOT)com.]
    Dear Colleagues and Friends,

    You have received this email because you participated
    in a previous action led by the AntiPorn Activist
    Network or one angry girl designs, or because you are
    known for your work to stop violence against women.
    We are sorry to report that we have something new and
    awful to share with you.

    Many of you may be familiar with CafePress, the online
    store that sells shirts, stickers, and buttons
    featuring the artwork and slogans of everyday people.
    Handling the printing, inventory, and shipping while
    extracting a reasonable fee, CafePress is a conduit
    for creative folk with something to share but not much
    of a budget. Sure, sometimes people might submit
    artwork that's simply too offensive to grace a
    t-shirt, but CafePress has its own guidelines to
    screen out the truly hateful stuff.

    But violence against women? Well, apparently
    CafePress has no guidelines for that.

    Recently, we learned of 24 stores within the CafePress
    family that sell a total of 225 products featuring the
    urban slang term "donkey punch." We were blissfully
    unaware of this term, which is not found in Webster's,
    but an internet search of urban slang sources yielded
    the following disturbing definitions:


    "Donkey Punch: The supposed move involves the male
    punching the female in the back of the head or neck
    immediately prior to orgasm. The alleged purpose is to
    cause the muscles around the vagina or anus of the
    female to contract around the male's penis, creating a
    supposedly enhanced orgasm for the male. A variation
    of the practice may be enacted to distract the female,
    allowing for the surprise penetration of the anus. It
    has been speculated the term may refer to the
    surprised female at this point "bucking" like a
    donkey. "

    "Donkey Punch: Banging a girl doggy style and then
    moments before you come, sticking your dick in her
    ass, and then punching her in the back of the head.
    This gives a tremendous sensation, but for it to work
    correctly, the girl must be knocked out so that her
    asshole tightens up. "

    Apparently the element of surprise is key in producing
    the desired effect. In other words, a woman's consent
    to be punched in the head is not requested in advance.

    We have no way to confirm that donkey-punching is
    actually being practiced (since it can cause injury or
    death), but it is certainly being promoted at
    CafePress. Visit their homepage, type in those two
    key words, and you will be confronted with 225
    products ranging from hats ("Give this to your
    girlfriend, and tell her to wear it backwards next
    time you take her to bed") to shirts ("A Donkey Punch
    is the greatest thing invented. Women love it whether
    they want to admit it or not").

    By now, you're probably curious about those
    aforementioned content guidelines. For your
    convenience, we have included them:

    CafePress's General Guidelines for Prohibited Content
    (found at

    * Content that may infringe on the rights of a third
    * Items that make inappropriate use of Nazi symbols
    and glamorize the actions of Hitler.
    * Use of marks that signify hate towards another group
    of people.
    * Hate and/or racist terms.
    * Inappropriate content or nudity that is not
    artistic in nature.
    * Content that exploits images or the likeness of
    * Obscene and vulgar comments and offensive remarks
    that harass, threaten, defame or abuse others such as
    F*** (Ethnic Group).
    * Content that depicts violence, is obscene, abusive,
    fraudulent or threatening such as an image of a murder
    victim, morgue shots, promotion of suicide, etc.
    * Content that glamorizes the use of "hard core"
    illegal substance and drugs such as a person injecting
    a vial of a substance in their body.
    * Material that is generally offensive or in bad
    taste, as determined by

    We reasoned that "donkey punch" merchandise, which
    promotes sexual violence against women, constituted a
    clear violation of several of these guidelines, and
    that these 225 products somehow slipped through the
    cracks. Silly us. One APAN member spoke at length
    with Ryan in Customer Service and Candice in Content,
    expressing concern about the items, and has been
    informed that the company had already reviewed the
    matter and found no policy violations.

    We disagree. We hold the quaint view that a t-shirt
    glorifying the practice of punching a woman at the
    base of her skull to enhance one's orgasm is
    "generally offensive or in bad taste," that it
    "depicts violence," and that it does "signify hate
    towards another group of people." We are hoping you
    feel the same, and will promptly make your views known
    to the confused individuals at CafePress.

    We estimate this action will take about 30 minutes of
    your time. In order for it to be successful, everyone
    receiving this email should participate. Here are
    your marching orders:

    1. Call CafePress toll-free at 1-877-809-1659 between
    7AM and 7PM PST. Ask for Candice in the Legal
    Department. If they won't put you through, her direct
    number is 510-877-1926. If Candice isn't available,
    ask for Maureen or Lindsay. Once you have a live
    human, explain why you are offended by the 225 "donkey
    punch" products currently in CafePress stores. If you
    have bought from the company in the past, mention
    that. Refer specifically to the content guidelines
    and ask the staffer to explain in detail why these
    products do not violate them. If they cannot do this,
    ask to speak to someone who can. Try to keep them on
    the phone as long as you can, but remain polite.
    Conclude by saying that you will refrain from buying
    any CafePress products until the offending items are
    removed, and will encourage others to do the same.
    Promise to follow-up your conversation with an email,
    and request the best email address for this purpose.
    They'll probably give you
    (INTERNATIONAL ACTIVISTS: call Candice directly at
    510-877-1926 or skip ahead to #2)

    2. Write an email to:,,, and (or any other email you were given).
    Summarize your feelings about the "donkey punch"
    merchandise available through CafePress. Include the
    URL from your keyword search. If you spoke with a
    live staffer, summarize your conversation, noting
    whether or not you were satisfied with their
    responses. Refer specifically to the content
    guidelines and ask the email recipient to explain why
    these products do not violate them. Say that you look
    forward to all of these products being withdrawn from
    their website, and that you will postpone any
    potential CafePress purchases until they are
    permanently gone. Request a reply.

    2a. (optional) We have identified a number of
    CafePress clients who sell pro-feminist,
    anti-violence, or pro-gay merchandise. Write them
    emails expressing your concerns and requesting their
    help in convincing the company to withdraw the
    offending products. Don't threaten to boycott them.

    [Note: I'm deleting this list because of spam concerns. Write the address below for more information.]

    3. Circulate this email far and wide, particularly if
    you run an organization, maintain a mailing list, post
    to a blog, or command a small army.

    4. Forward any relevant communication to
    [Spam-buster address follows] [antiporn_activist ATT yahoo DOTT com] so we can keep track of
    our progress. Please DO NOT include this address in
    your communication with CafePress.

    We thank you in advance for your help. Updates will
    be forthcoming as the action gets underway. As
    always, if you wish to be removed from this mailing
    list, please let us know.

    Kind regards,
    AntiPorn Activist Network and one angry girl designs

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