Earlier this week, Target stores in Australia removed Grand Theft Auto V from its shelves in response to a petition on Change.org. The petition’s author described it as “a game that encourages players to murder women for entertainment.”
The incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill them to proceed or get ‘health’ points – and now Target are stocking it and promoting it for your Xmas stocking.
The petition is still below it’s requisite 50,000 signatures, but Target appeased the signatories anyway and distanced itself from GTA V. Unfortunately for both, Australia’s own trollerific gaming community has responded in kind.
Two different counter-petitions were launched following the ban. The first one calls for the removal of the Twilight fan fiction otherwise known as Fifty Shades of Grey, and the second denounces Target’s “violent name and aggressive logo.” Both have already amassed thousands of signatures.
Concerning commercialized erotica:
If target is willing to ban GTA V because a few people complained about issues WITHIN the game (which already has an R18+ rating), then it is necessary to ban the novel “Fifty Shades of Grey”, as we feel that WITHIN the book, men are portrayed in a way that gives women unrealistic expectations of us when it comes to intimate relations. This can lead to many men being the subject of scrutiny and embarrasment in real life, which is unacceptable as it can lead to depression and low self-confidence. Which in turn can cause people to become violent and enraged.
On the dangerous nature of Target’s titular branding:
The Target name and logo is offensive and promotes violence within the community by encouraging people to aim at and shoot things. It is a gross violation of our visual right not to be accosted by their inflammatory and aggressive marketing technique.
As you’d expect, both petitions are hilariously trolltastic at first glance, but they also pinpoint significant inconsistencies with what Target will and will not sell. Either way, posts like these are bound to attract an array of internet commentary, which is the gift that keeps on giving.
This bit responding to the petition asking Target to change its name is my favorite so far:
Personally I find ‘Target Baby’ far more insidious with its clear message to shoot arrows at babies, but since there is no existing petition for that, I will sign this petition again.
Target, please thing (sic) of the community at large and change your name and logo at once. Our children are impressionable.
I love you, internet.