10th September 2010
If you really want to be obvious you can wear a t-shirt with text on the front. This reduces the ambiguity of the message. A t-shirt that says 'Female Body Inspector' or 'Amateur Gynaecologist' may just as well say 'I'm quite partial to date raping you'. A t-shirt that reads 'Porn st★r' may just as well say 'Targ☉t'.
A simple solution
If you're buying a gift for someone and you're thinking about a novelty t-shirt try to consider whether the joke works as well on a t-shirt as it does in a racy email.
I once received a gift from my new girlfriend at the time. She knew I had a big hang up about Marijuana use but I'd also made a comment about how the letter 'J' was my favourite letter. She found a t-shirt that had a smiley face with a joint hanging out of it's mouth that read 'Have a nice J'. I figured at the time that she had just not thought it through, although in hindsight I realise she was probably a sociopath. I stopped wearing this shirt outside because the oddest people would walk up to me and comment loudly and politically about my excellent choice.
The next one was a promotional t-shirt. My grandmother got her hands on a free shirt that had an enormous drill on the front of it and read 'I've got a powerful tool'. Out of the ten grandchildren (six of them male) she chose me to gift it to. Being that she is one of the dozen or so women to have actually seem my genitals (albeit when I was aged two) I could choose to see this as a flattering comment but the message it sends as a piece of clothing is closer to 'I AM a powerful tool'.
The final one was a tricky one. It took me a while to twig as to the implications. I enjoy Family Guy and one of my favourite moments was when I first realised it was an adult show with blow job jokes.
She'll pretty much have to.
The problem is that I was so excited that the shirt had a joke I loved on it that I failed to realise that the message I was sending was, "I am a chauvinist and I like to control women" and that's something that, ironically, I'd prefer to keep close to my chest.