October 22, 2004
I’ve always been a big fan of ArtApart.com’s custom T-shirt service but I can’t use it any more because they refuse to print the word “fuck”.
This is billed as a “family friendly” policy. Let me note that I loathe this kind of mealy-mouthed euphemism more than the actual restriction. Whose family are they protecting? My husband and mom swear quite a bit, so it can’t be mine. I doubt their insurance company lets their workers’ wives and kids wander around the shop floor either, so the offspring of Portland’s screenprinters are probably safe from direct exposure to my foul language. Maybe at best this is a worker protection policy — but since some worker had to screen my design and send me email telling me that they were rejecting it, at best it’s a partial worker protection policy. ArtApart should probably check with an employment lawyer about the consequences of well-meant but unequal protection, especially if (as I suspect) the worker who read my nefarious order was of a different gender than the one who is being “protected” from having to print the F-bomb. And apparently “f–k” is the only word that they ban — so go right ahead and order a T-shirt that says “shitforbrains cocksucker”, they don’t have a policy on that. And they apparently will print “f*ck” or some other slightly disguised version of the famous fricative — which, unless their workers are mentally challenged or illiterate (in which case they won’t suffer any harm anyway), is hardly less damaging of their tender sensibilities.
Of course they have they right to refuse business for any reason, and I have the right to take my business to another vendor. I’d just like it if they made their policy clear before I wasted time trying to give them money for a service they do not in fact provide.