How One Activist Spent $400 to Get a Sexist T-Shirt Off the Streets of Cleveland

How One Activist Spent $400 to Get a Sexist T-Shirt Off the Streets of Cleveland

Amid the delegates, special guests, journalists, and protestors on the streets outside Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena this week, you'll find a lot of people hawking spirited campaign merchandise. Think "Make America Great Again" hats, "Donald Fucking Trump" tees, and "Hot Chicks for Donald Trump" buttons. There are also, as you'd expect, people selling anti-Clinton gear, like pins that read "Hillary's Lies Matter."

More disturbing, however, are the vendors who took this opportunity to sell goods that aren’t just anti-Clinton but also anti-women. Some merchandise has belittled Clinton to the nagging-wife trope, with messages like, "Life's a Bitch, Don't Vote for One." Others, like the button that read, "KFC Hillary Special: 2 Fat Thighs, 2 Small Breasts…Left Wing," reduced her to her appearance. But the worst missive of all of the ones on display both minimized Clinton to a sexual object and perpetuated violence toward women.

That message came in the form of a T-shirt that read, "Hillary Sucks, but Not Like Monica" on the front and "Trump That Bitch" on the back. The man selling the shirt also took the liberty of screaming the phrase until his voice went hoarse.

I had seen him a few times throughout the week, and then, last night, he was — poof — gone. In the spot where he had tried only the night before to sell me one of these shirts stood a woman: Sarah Wellington, of the activist group We Will Not Be Silent, who was holding a sign that read "Imagine the End of Misogyny."

Wellington had grown tired of hearing the man yell such a disturbing sentiment again and again — and she confronted him. She said she paid him $400 for all his T-shirts and sent him home early for the day. Wellington then showed me the T-shirts in her bag and told me she considered ripping them up in front of the crowd to make a statement against this kind of ugly rhetoric.

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Photo Credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images