Dear close personal students/customers,
I am writing this letter to let you know I'm sorry for any upset that I may have caused you by my post of the Slave/Master shirts on the social media. Apparently I included the hashtag #thuglife mixed in with all my #valentinesgifts #loveislove and other hashtags that I had posted on many other posts. I often just copy and paste them from one post to the next. If you have been to my store or know me, none of this was intended to hurt or offend anyone and I feel horrible that it was taken in that way. Generally when I put #thuglife, (which I interpret to be some sort of gangster lifestyle of rapper type people that have some sort of "code" of right and wrong) I am posting it ironically. To be funny.
As for the Love/Slave shirts... These were popular in the 1970's and were sold in places like Spencers Gifts and the back of comic books (the photo is from one of those ads). They were intended as a weird sexy type gift for couples that enjoyed exotic consensual role play scenarios similar to those in the 50 shades or Grey book.
I've been busy with Valentine's Day at the store, since that is my sole form of income and it's kind of a busy time for romantics... So, when I had different Oberlin students from the Grape coming in to try to interview me regarding these things, I asked if we could talk about it later in the week. It seemed that the #thuglife tag really upset a lot of people and although I did eventually have time to respond to a couple of the students, in explaining the kooky 70's shirts and how I used #thuglife ironically, I wanted to make sure everybody knew I didn't mean to upset anybody.
I didn't intend to have anything but a funny lighthearted post that people would think was amusing.
This morning I had a moment, after all the Valentine's Day rush to try to put this all together in my addled middle aged head, since although I did chat and email briefly with some students, I was never told the exact reason that everybody was upset... My guess is that in this unpleasant political time where people of all races, religions, and sexes are being marginalized right and left that having the accidental ironic tag of #thuglife on a post of shirts that people didn't realize were a weird consensual sex thing from the 70's landed wrong.
I love you college kids/customers and want you to know that I work extremely hard to make sure that my store is a safe space for everybody.
I'm sorry that my post offended and upset anybody.
I will try harder in the future to be more careful when I post things, but I have to admit that I am only human and may make mistakes.
Apologetically yours, Ratsy