From Jaime Rothbard, creator of the Shehugger:
12 reasons to turn wifebeaters into Shehuggers:
1. Get the conversation started
It’s likely that most people don’t mean any harm when they use the word wifebeater to describe a shirt. Maybe they’ve never stopped to examine the language they’re using. Or maybe they think it’s funny to say wifebeater. Or…
2. Place the conversation within a cultural context
I created Shehugger to increase awareness and inspire action to address a cultural problem without making individuals feel personally attacked. What would happen if we stopped saying “wifebeater” and began saying “Shehugger” instead?
3. Inspiring awareness can transform
I’m using Shehugger to make connections between how people speak, think and act. 1 in 4 women in the U.S. have experienced violence from their boyfriends, male lovers and spouses. On a global scale, the figure jumps to 1 in 3 women. Inspiring awareness is about finding positive ways to collectively problem-solve.
4. Use laughter to break down barriers
I know. This shirt I’m calling a Shehugger is a bit goofy looking. But I want to show you that it’s possible to talk about a serious issue without taking ourselves too seriously. For more on that, be sure to watch the “demo video”, Hug Life.
5. Project the Positive
Instead of showing you pictures of the problem, Shehugger points your awareness in the direction of a movement that promotes healthy, violence-free relationships. And it makes you think more about hugging, so that’s pretty good too.
6. “I am not a violent person, so I don’t see how this applies to me.”
One of the challenges we come across in this work is that people think that by being nonviolent, they are doing enough. Each of us has a stake in making the world a safer and better place for other folks. Wearing a Shehugger is a way to leverage your role as a good guy
7. Increase linkages within the movement
A key objective of Shehugger is to connect communities with the organizations that exist to serve them. In over 16 years of experience working to promote awareness, I’ve observed that shelters, organizations and often the movement itself is often alienated from the rest of society. With Shehugger, we’re creating a way for people to directly impact survivors and advocates by sending Hugs to their local domestic violence shelter and advocacy groups.
8. Boost other awareness campaigns
I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I want to contribute to and amplify the hard work that’s currently being done. To announce the debut of Shehugger, we raised over $7,000 and are donating 150 Shehuggers nationwide to local and national campaigns to use in their own awareness-raising work as they “see fit”.
9. Take note
When you start wearing or calling the shirt a Shehugger, what happens? Hmmmm…that’s interesting. I’d like to hear about that!
10. So you can help advocacy be more effective
Shehugger is harnessing social media to create a platform where you can share your experiences of talking about and wearing your Shehugger. We also collaborate widely with other groups and activists. You can read about their experiences on our blog.
11. Send a message that builds a movement
The tagline for Shehugger is taking violence out of fashion: in how we look at ourselves, how we interact within relationships, and how we collectively see our culture. What I love about Shehugger is that it can mean different things to different people, but the overriding message is about valuing women.
12. I don’t want to compete with life-saving organizations for ever-scare grant money
With the economic recession and the brutal budget cuts that have followed, the service-providing community has taken a huge it. All of the proceeds from Shehugger sales help provide a stable mechanism for funding Public Spectacle, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that raises awareness about critical societal issues, including domestic and dating violence.