My grandmother once predicted that I would become a Republican once I started making money.

I laughed so hard and told her, “Gramma, I can’t be a Republican. I love abortion too much.”

She said, “Just watch.”

Well, it’s a decade later. I am far from a Republican, but I am big on personal accountability. That’s why the story of a Creighton University basketball fan drew my attention. Do you know what happened?

A restaurant printed a bunch of shirts that read, “We are not responsible for lost or stolen virginity.”

Some kid wore one of those shirts to a basketball game.

The internet exploded.

Apparently, the restaurant owner has regrets. (No shit!) The school is embarrassed. And, if it hasn’t happened by the time this post hits the wire, the kid will probably be outed.

I don’t like using the internet to shame people (or companies) because, let’s be honest, shame doesn’t work. And when you use the internet to shame someone in a passive-aggressive way, it makes the whole online experience a lot less fun.

But I do wonder why a restaurant owner thinks “stealing virginity” is a legitimate marketing campaign. I work with marketing and HR professionals in the restaurant industry. There’s a reason you’ve heard of those restaurants, and you’re only hearing of Blue Jay Bar & Grill right now.

I don’t know why this young man thought wearing t-shirt was a good idea, either. Unless he doesn’t speak English and is under the age of 18, he is fully responsible for being a moron.

And I’m not sure why one of the tens of thousands of adults in this basketball arena didn’t pull that kid aside and say, “Get the hell out of here. Don’t come back until you learn how to dress yourself.”

In fact, I’m mad at everyone sitting next to this kid. We’ve become the kind of country where we feign righteous indignation on the internet, but we don’t hold anyone accountable for poor choices and bad decisions. Banks fail. Politicians lie. People get raped. We run to the internet and talk about awareness and advocacy as if it means something.

Blue Jay Bar & Grill has an opportunity to fix its mistake, I suppose. The dumbass kid who wore this shirt has an opportunity to apologize and grow from this experience. But if you ever see a kid wearing a t-shirt that advocates violence against women, I hope you say something before it escalates on the internet.

I’m no Republican, but attitudes and behaviors are changed through action and not through lectures and posts on Facebook.

[/end lecture on my blog]


  1. Very interesting post Laurie. It causes me to reflect back on some of my own choices and the possible offensiveness caused. In 1993 I “modified” my HS marching band fundraiser shirt by tracing a coat hanger on the front with a sharpie and writing one word under the base – CHOICE. I took full responsibility for it even being under 18 at the time. I knew my shirt was potentially offensive to many; in fact I was banking on it – had no one noticed it wouldn’t have been worth it. My intention was to press a button.

    If I had it to do over again at that place in time I’d likely do it exactly the same (except maybe removing the drawn in “blood trails” which I admit at the time was pushing it beyond into bad taste). I do recall being told that I could be told to turn it inside out or put on a jacket, but I was certainly never told to go home. Without a doubt in my mind I would never get away with that today. And if I was a parent I often wonder if I would have allowed me to go to school wearing it. Not only have the times changed in 20 years, but I have as well.

  2. while I believe your blog post and indignation over the shirt is overly sensitive, lacking any kind of insight into reality and completely over the top in its logic I am more put off by your comment about loving abortion too much.

    you are reviled by the shirt but laugh about loving abortion? so, to you a joke which elicits a laugh from yourself about loving abortion is okay but a non-descript shirt about drinking and losing/stealing virginity is not funny at all.

    abortion is funny but a shirt about drinking and virginity loss is a complete outrage and needs to be confronted and stamped out by any adult at the basketball game.

    you are taking this story way too seriously and missing the boat if one thing (abortion) can be funny but the other (a statement on a college kid’s shirt) is an outrage to you.

  3. Personal accountability, Laurie?
    Are you able to take that which you seek to dish out?
    Will you accept being the kid if I would like to pull you aside and say “what on Earth were you thinking when you used such an utterly awful and callous expression? Presumably you are a professional writer and, if not, then you are at the least a responsible grown-up blogger – what were you about using such an ugly, foul expression?”
    What say you, Laurie?

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