absolute foolishness.

Dov Charney–for those of you who have been living under a rock–is the CEO of American Apparel, a California-based fashion line. Dov is no stranger to controversy. However, the quote in the above ad,  taken from an interview with  McGill University student, is inexcusable:

Women initiate most domestic violence, yet out of a thousand cases of domestic violence, maybe one is involving a man.  And this has made a victim of culture out of women.”


So what you’re telling me is, my friends, relatives, and countless other women who have experienced domestic violence did so because they somehow “deserved it?”

It’s been said that this is most likely a fake ad, but the actual quote is very real; it was taken from a  2004 interview with the American Apparel CEO.  And the quote itself is what angers me the most.  His statistic is not only untrue, but it discounts the stories of women all over the world who have been beaten, raped, and yes, killed by the men who claimed to love them.

I showed this quote to a male friend of mine. His response? “Tell Dov Charney about Nova Henry.”

From United Press International:

A woman found slain in a Chicago townhouse, identified as the mother of NBA player Eddy Curry’s son, was trying to escape an abusive boyfriend, her family says.


Nova Henry, 24, and her 9-month-old daughter Ava were found shot to death Saturday by Henry’s mother, Yolan Henry, who told Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune her daughter had just moved to the South Loop condominium to escape an ex-boyfriend against whom Nova Henry had taken out an order of protection.  Read the rest of the article here

Clearly, this is in’t the only example of a woman who tried to escape an abusive boyfriend or spouse. But if tangible examples aren’t enough, you’ve gotta use raw facts and data:

1 in 4: The number of women raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or dating partner/acquaintance at some time in their lifetime. (for men: 7.6 out of 100)

1.3 Million: The number of women physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. (for men: 835,000)

20: The percentage of nonfatal violence against women committed by an intimate partner. (for men: 3)

33: The percentage of female murder victims who were killed by an intimate. (for male murder victims: 4%)

1,247: The number of women killed by an intimate partner in 2000. (for men: 440)

There is plenty of statistics to debunk Dov’s bullshit, and if I were to lay them all out in this post, we’d be here all day. But one thing is clear: Dov Charney, aside from being a completely asshole, cares nothing about the lives of women, and what is sadder, may not even care to know.

From Womanist Musings:

Charney is using his position as a male of privilege to reinforce this destructive message.   There has been ample evidence of his hatred of women and the only question that remains is what we are going to do about it.   Obviously we cannot hope to change his mind, such misogynists  men rarely come to an understanding of the ways in which their behaviour is not only reductive but dangerous.  If he cannot be taught to respect women, he can still be brought to heel by a boycott of his stores.  What human decency he did not learn in socialization can be force fed through economic sanctions.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. The best thing to do now is to boycott American Apparel. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown out of the brand nor the sleezy soft-core ad campaign. But I think we can take it one step further with a boycott and start to let our younger sisters know about this foolishness. American Apparel is, after all, a fashion line that is marketed to Generation Y and older teens as well.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, go here for information on resources, support, and other services.

H/T: Womanist Musings