Friday, December 30, 2005

No Money, No Honey

I am in Cincinnati visiting relatives with the family and took the kids shopping at a nearby mall. My neice who just turned fourteen was looking at t-shirts with the snazzy sayings--you know the ones that say things like "Blonde and Smart" etc. Those to me are okay, but her favorite? A t-shirt that said, "No Money, No Honey." I told her that it seemed disrespectful to guys and to women to wear such a shirt and she did not buy it. Should girls or women really be advertising the superficial way they pick a guy? Maybe it is for the best if they do advertise--at least guys know which girls to avoid. Do boys wear obnoxious t-shirts with negative sayings about girls? I haven't seen any but maybe I have just missed out--anyone know boys who wear obnoxious sayings on their t-shirts about girls and if so, what do they say?

Update: Reader Jim sent in this link for the most obnoxious guy t-shirt. I have to agree it is pretty bad but more importantly, would you really want to marry a guy that wore this type of t-shirt to his wedding?


Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

I have seen on the back of a t-shirt "If you can read this, the bitch fell off." Assumedly to be worn while riding a motorcycle. My translation of this would be "I still can't figure out why I don't have a girlfriend." There is something attractive to some people about this type of insult. I think they feel it shows strength -- an ability to accept or reject who they please and move through the world with self-sufficiency.

It sounds sort of whimpery to me. Both the No money, no honey and biker wannabee shirt shout "Don't you just see that I'm so cool I can flaunt convention? Don't you? Huh?"

5:47 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger Nancy said...

I've seen guys wear T-shirts that say "No Fat Chicks," which I think is kind of ugly. Also, as teens seem to be getting heavier, it may be a bit too optimistic.

5:53 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger Steve Skubinna said...

I guess you might count the "Mustache Rides" shirts, which have been around for a long while. I recently saw one in Japan - the words undulated over a very nice set of breasts.

Of course, the Japanese love wearing English phrases, and most of them are hilariously fractured, so my shock at seeing that shirt on a woman was tempered by bemusement at the words making sense.

6:37 PM, December 30, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How would you classify the "Rock out with your cock out" shirts?

8:28 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger ronin1516 said...

if a male nowadays wore a shirt that said something thet school or college administrators decided was demeaning to women or homos, that male would be subjected to a campus hate crime prosecution, and who knows, might even be expelled.
I was threatned by a female prof for having a T-shirt with a nRA logo on it a few years back.

9:10 PM, December 30, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I deserved an award, I thought, the day I was trying to provoke some participation in a composition class. As I waited for someone to respond to a question, my eyes slowly swept the room. They reached a female student who commonly dressed in black with a lot of chains and studs. Her t-shirt du jour read, "I'd rather be mast********." I kept my eyes moving without missing a beat, never let on that I had read it, and only laughed over lunch when I shared that with another instructor. I guess that could be a slam on guys, if she'd rather do it herself.

Hmm--but you asked about guys' shirts. I've seen plenty of references to b******, and the like.

9:30 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger Cousin Pat said...

Dr. Helen, I think you may have been missing out. You should consider yourself lucky for that one, 'cause most of the tees I have seen are tasteless no matter who the target audience. I have quite a roundup of links that I can send you but the links included are highly explicit and offensive to many (and I don't like to post vulgarity or links to vulgarity on other folks' blogs). Pop culture t-shirts are equal opportunity offenders after all...

As for folks getting prosecuted for t-shirts, I remember a certain young man in Atlanta who was suspended from school because he wore a "Pepsi" t-shirt to "Coca-Cola" day. I guess it all has to do with implementation.

In my expereince, folks will usually wear offensive tees that are cleverly phrased or designed so that parents, teachers and administrators don't notice unless they are particularly perceptive (which isn't often) or when someone else complains.

11:16 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger TestSubjectXP said...

Helen, congrats to you for encouraging her to not buy the shirt. The whole reason there is a market for this stuff is because adults allow their children to be that market.

Yes, I've seen boys wearing shirts that are insulting to girls, too. I've seen the "No Fat Chicks" shirt and even one that says, "It's not rape if she blinks twice for yes."

The industry preys on both boys and girls.

12:41 AM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger Jeff with one 'f' said...

Those "No Fat Chicks" shirts have a pretty limited currency, mostly suburban metalheads who can't get a girlfriend.

Meanwhile, things like "Boys are Smelly" are selling to an army of AMerican girls:

"Happy Bunny" stuff is even more popular. I rad an interview withe the creator of such slogans as, "Boys Lie and Kind of Stink" and "It's All About Me. Deal with It.", Jim Benton, and he said point blank that making fun of boys was admirable but it was never ok to make fun of girls, period.

2:48 AM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger jw said...

There are more misadnrous T's than misogynous T's. Plus, guys can be kicked out of school for wearing a T-shirt which insults females. Females on the other hand are protected in their right to wear whatever they want; at least at most schools.

Mind you, there are now grade school teachers who take bad behavior seriously and are kicking girls out for boy-bashing. That might well extend at some time in the future to the colleges and universities.

4:10 AM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger Julian Morrison said...

Why do they do it? I don't believe in any of the ususal variants of "they don't know any better, poor dears", such as blaming advertising or on popular culture. I reckon these teeshirts are more of a sort of "anti-peacock display", with the meaning "back off, I'm not ready yet", an antidote to the prevailing belief that teenage = gagging for it, when in fact most of them (of both sexes) want to go slow.

4:49 AM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger BobH said...

From what I have seen, most hard-core bikers, including biker broads, take pride in being offensive. It's part of the culture. The only time I've ever seen the T-shirt about the bitch falling off, the woman with him had a T-shirt that read "And I'm the bitch" on the back. Neither of them was what I would consider conventionally attractive.

The worst T-shirt I ever saw was on a woman at a country bar. The front said "Practice safe sex" and the back said "Go fuck yourself". I never saw her at that bar again after I mentioned the shirt to one of the bouncers.

The most truthful shirt I ever saw was on a very nice looking woman at another bar. The front said "I crave attention" and the rear said "Just not yours". She was the most indiscriminantly friendly person I have ever met, not loose, just friendly.

9:44 AM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger Edward Willett said...

A fellow I was in a production of "Twelfth Night" with recently wore a T-shirt with the slogan, "I Lie to Women." When I mentioned to him my wife's reaction to that slogan--"What a jerk!"--he was quite upset at her for "judging" him.

What ever happened to, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression?"

12:07 PM, December 31, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The T in question doesn't convey a gender-specific message. Boy dogs chase sticks too. Are the assumptive comments encouraged by the inclusion of a female in the picture, or the fact that the wearer is male? And what does the general reaction say about us observers and our conditioned reflexes?

Wonder if there's more on the back.

1:37 PM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger pst314 said...

I once saw "Daddy's Lil Thug" and "Daddy's Lil Ho" on display at at t-shirt vendor. Sort of his-and-hers "I am utter scum" advertisements.

2:19 PM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger Helen said...

auld pharte,

You know, you are right, there is no specific gender mentioned but it seems in poor taste to wear to a wedding.

4:31 PM, December 31, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Helen,

I think a lot of the messages I see on clothing are obnoxious, so I have absolutely no trouble agreeing with your basic point. And it seems timely to wish you a Happy New Year!

5:38 PM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger AmericanWoman said...

I doubt he wore it to the wedding, but surely they could have picked a more appropriate picture for their announcement?

Something tells me they live in a trailer park.

7:43 PM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

Wow! Not that you're bigoted or anything, americanwoman. Sorry that poverty doesn't meet with your approval.

1:07 AM, January 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has always been my considered belief that "talking" clothes are in poor taste. Good for you for making your niece think twice about buying the tshirt!

There are a couple of tshirts I will wear with words on them - but mostly for working out. One is the Army tshirt I got when my son graduated from Basic. The other is my Blackfive tshirt because Matt is a friend and the words are minimal.

My favorite (that I own but don't wear) is the Big Windy Unit tshirt that says "At 3000 Dollars An Hour We're The Most Expensive Hookers In the World". For those who don't know, Big Windy is an Army Chinook Unit - they are commonly referred to as "hookers" because they hook big loads under the helicopters to transport them.

While I love the slogan and it makes me laugh - I realize that too many people just wouldn't understand the joke...

1:37 PM, January 01, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...


I also wear really t-shirts with slogans at times--I don't purchase them for myself but have inherited them from various friends or relatives. Nothing awful-just stuff like "Co-Ed Naked LaCross" on an old shirt from Yale of my husband's. I just wear these shirts because they are clean but often people look at them or wonder what they mean. I kind of do also--there is no Naked co-ed Lacross team at Yale--it's just a joke.

2:29 PM, January 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL - oh yeah I can see that tshirt getting some real looks! One that I would love to have, but probably will never get, I heard about from a woman whose son is an Army Weapons Specialist (the unit that defuses bombs and the like). From what I remember it says...

Army Weapons Specialist - If you see me running, try to keep up.

That one I would wear - what a hoot.

10:52 AM, January 02, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend of mine has a t-shirt, meant as a self-depricating joke, that says "Chicks Hate Me". He used to wear it to parties, it was usually a hit.

10:20 AM, January 03, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in government human services - one of the major parts of my job is trying to get people on welfare employed. I had a guy come in for an appointment with me to determine why he wasn't having any luck, and I had to talk to him about his choice of apparel.

His T-shirt said, in gigantic white letters on a black background, "Shut Up Stupid Bitch".

3:21 PM, January 03, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

anonymous 3:21<

Yes, that would really get you the job...what are some people thinking?

3:37 PM, January 03, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually got complaints from coworkers about that guy - I should point out that my industry, at least in Oregon anyway, is staffed at the worker level by about 80% women. I sent him through one of the work-search classes after that, and when he came in with the same shirt on, the lady running it tossed him out without a word, with my full support.

6:12 PM, January 03, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

edward willett, I've also seen the "I Lie to Women" shirt, or something similar, like "I Make Girls Cry." This, for me, falls into the "thanks for the warning" category, as I assume many girls shirts do for guys, like ones that say "spoiled" or "I cheat on my boyfriend" or what have you. I've never understood the willingness to publically advertise such things, but self-applied caution lables are certainly considerate.

8:00 PM, January 04, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to see some obnoxious guy t-shirts, stop by any Hollister store.

"Not you, the pretty one" is probably the mildest one.

12:04 PM, January 06, 2006  
Blogger Don-Alan Rekow said...

I just ran across this blog about 10 months later but wanted to post this anyway. It may seem disrespectful to guys or to gals to have such a saying as "No Money, No Honey" on their t-shirt but it is the flat out truth. I personally have seen it over and over in real life not just in t-shirt snazzy quips. It doesn't have to be a lot of money either that deserves the "No Honey" treatment. The statement "No Money" brings into our minds oodles and oodles of money and then it may seem superficial that is what your niece is advertising for but the reality is that if she married a guy and he stopped providing, How long would she stick around? This subject is important. So important that I have written a fre-ebook entitled "No Money? Sorry, No Honey! It is More Than Just a Matter of Money" You are welcome to download it at . Thanks for bringing the subject up. I will look back here now and then for other interesting topics.
Your friend,
Don-Alan Rekow
Speaker, Author, Publisher

4:57 PM, October 04, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Helen,
I ran across your site after I saw "no money, no honey" in a picture and decided to google the phrase. While the statement does come off very demeaning and such I believe it actually originates from lyrics in a song by Beck. That doesn't make the statement any less critical but at least sheds a little more light on it. I saw another shirt similar to this a few years ago. It read "I hate myself and I want to die." That is a song title from the band Nirvana. To bad I can't find a shirt that say "Are you Experienced?". Of course that would probably be taken the wrong way too but hopefully the Hendrix fans would appreciate it.

4:59 AM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Serket said...

I think it is sad when guys and girls say mean things about eachother. As for the engagement picture, it looks like the girl is about 10 years younger than the guy. Perhaps she ignores the insults because she is proud to be with someone who is so much older than her.

12:40 PM, January 29, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

You guys are offended by a humorous t-shirt? Give me a break!

This PC country we live in needs to grow a sense of humor, and a sense of justice too.

You complain about the shirts that some of us wear ("Mustache Rides for a Dime"), and then proceed to put your cheerleader daughters in gym shorts they wear everywhere with stuff like "Princess" or "Spoiled Brat" on them. To make it worse, your daughter leaves the house to go to the mall in these and you complain cause someone is reading her ass.....

If you don't like it, don't read it!

I am a professional. I am a biker. I am a man. I refuse to be politically correct because the Puritan is coming out of you.

Not everyone wants to be as tight with a sense of humor as you do, and if you had one you might laugh too.

3:51 PM, September 07, 2007  
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