This prompt is based upon a news story about a person wearing a controversial t-shirt at a university sports game, created by a local sports bar.
“It was pretty much towards the end of the game when things were getting pretty exciting,” said fourth-year medical student Erin Avondet, who spotted the T-shirt. “I spotted it and at first I was just totally taken aback, just completely shocked. I didn’t know how to comprehend it.”
The shirt reads “We are not responsible for lost or stolen virginity!” which appears below the Blue Jay Bar logo.
“The big thing I perceived was the use of the word stolen. That obviously implies it’s just being taken away from you without your permission,” Avondet said.
Avondet posted the picture online and it has been shared thousands of times. She said many people share her disapproval of the message.
“There are so many people that are victims of rape, and I think having that open conversation, starting that conversation is important,” Avondet said.
The prompt was to write about a situation where your character is outraged about an insensitive t-shirt, garment, or situation. Discussing the prompt, we realized that there are layers here in writing such a character driven moment. There are times when a person is offended by something but must constrain their response due to social norms. We can’t throttle everyone we don’t agree with, and protect freedom of speech while promoting responsible behavior.