A & F Crosses Line?Feb 04, 2008
So, officials dropped charges against the manager of an Abercrombie and Fitch store in Virginia Beach. Some residents had complained that posters in the store were offensive, and a local police officer arrested the manager for not complying with requests to remove the pictures. Silly, silly parents who want their children to be able to go to the mall without having sex shoved in their faces . . . what were they thinking? The situation reopens the debate about what is "obscene" and what is "free speech." A & F defeners were quick to call anyone who finds the posters offensive "Puritans," etc. Of course, none of them have a clue about what obscenity is or how it is legally defined; simply start throwing around "free speech" and watch public officials dive for cover.
Honestly, I haven't seen the posters nor do I plan to. I can't afford A & F on my non-profit salary and frankly find most of their stuff looks like garbage anyway. Typical Americans who waste a ton of money on a label just to fit in. That said, it seems that the sexualization of the culture, and in particular our kids, has no end in sight. Whether or not these signs were obscene misses the point. The culture is emersed in sex — from Victoria's Secret to A & F to Desperate Housewives to the "Sex Workers Show" at William and Mary and on and on. Anyone who complains is immediately labeled "puritan" and worse. Those who find any of it objectionable usually end up shrinking away or just giving in.
Congratulations to A & F, another round to you. I'm sure you are very proud of yourselves.