Belfast Telegraph

Someone needs to have a word with Topman

By Jane Graham

Sometimes words fail me.

How to describe an entire department of Topman buyers who thought it was a good idea to have a T-shirt sporting a list of excuses for domestic violence on their shop floor?

The T-shirt in question, which Topman have assured the public, is 'light-hearted', has the words 'I'm so sorry but ..' followed by a list of hilarious and crazy options like 'You provoked me' 'I was drunk' and 'I hate you' in a multiple choice stylee.

Another T-shirt which has 'provoked' complaints (women are so touchy!) bears the legend 'Nice new girlfriend - which breed is she?', thus making a modern, witty comparison between women and dogs.

What kind of idiot saw those designs and thought, aha, this will speak to the young men of today, this is exactly the kind of thing we all say behind closed doors and laugh about in the pub?

And where better to place this item than just one floor below Topshop, where our customer's girlfriends are milling about! The T-shirts have now been withdrawn, with Topman officially saying that while the items 'carried no serious meaning' (um.. yes they did!) they didn't want to offend customers.

But it makes me feel queasy that someone thought these unpleasant, misogynist slogans were an acceptable and 'light-hearted' representation of the way men speak and think about women. Am I really out of the loop here, or are the vast majority of young guys a hell of a lot nicer than that? I really hope so.

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