Let’s not forget in these crazy times of Internet censorship that the moral crusaders haven’t given up roaming our streets, fighting the good fight, and trying censor anything that doesn’t coincide with what they think is acceptable.

The Australian Childhood Foundation is demanding retail fashion chain Jay Jays withdraw their line of Little Losers clothing, claiming they send the wrong message to impressionable tweens and teens.

The shirts which are a play on the Mr Men characters, feature slogans such as Miss Bitch, Mr Asshole, Mr Well Hung, Miss Floozy and Mr Drunk.

Jay Jays Little Losers clothes: To ban or not to ban?

“This (label) is being promoted as cool and trendy but also promotes unhealthy identities,” Dr Tucci said. “The company has to take responsibility, as people are influenced by a trend. These messages are powerful if they (are) popular.”

But are Jay Jays really marketing their products to ‘tweens.’ The company uses female and male models that are clearly teenagers (some possibly in their early twentys) and the store advertisers in magazines read by teenagers and young adults. There is no evidence to suggest they are in fact marketing to tweens.

Australian Women Online is also calling for Jay Jays to “do the right thing” and pull the t-shirts from sale.

Clothing manufacturers will try to convince us that they are just reflecting cultural trends and the time honoured tradition of teenage rebellion. But what they are really doing is exploiting deviant behaviours for profit.

I think Dr Sara Fine sums up the attitudes of those expressing their outrage here best in her 1996 article, How the Mind of a Censor Works – The Psychology of Censorship. She writes:

Censorship is more strongly motivated by the fear of losing control over children than a concern for their moral development, and books which portray young people who defy parental values may especially outrage authoritarian personalities.

One has to ask those who support such a ban: Why not just restrict your own kids from wearing them? Why discipline other peoples children when their parents are quite capable themselves of making the appropriate decision for their family?

– Mr Can Decide for Himself

Update 15/01/2008: I’ve been asked whether I personally think the shirts are obscene, lewd, lame, unGodly etc. I think the joke is a little tired and I don’t find them to be funny. Does that mean I should try and restrict others from wearing them? Hell no. Plenty of people think they are great and those people have every right to be able to walk into a Jay Jays store and buy one, two or six.