You’ve seen a Kain Pepe Clothing (KNPP) shirt on your timeline. If you can’t recall, let us refresh your memory. It’s the local clothing brand making money by selling vagina shirts. They’re not even doing it for a feminist cause like normalizing different types of vaginas, or why partners should give and receive in oral sex, or any other sane reason apart from sexualizing vaginas.
It’s obvious to you, me, and everyone else that KNPP is fucked up—except its owners. For the folks from KKNP, there’s nothing wrong with their brand. Their brand’s name does not translate to eating someone’s vagina anyway. It apparently translates to “eat properly, young kids.”
There is only one appropriate response to that: What the fuck are you talking about, homie?
The online clothing brand defended themselves last Jan. 24 in an official statement on their page. In their now-deleted Facebook post, they voiced out how exasperated they are of having to explain “Kain Pepe’s” concept to the public. “Pepe is a common Filipino nickname for young boys, while kain means to eat,” explains the brand. “The real purpose of the brand name is simply to encourage adolescents and teenagers to eat properly.”
At this point, I’m not sure what I’m more disturbed about. Am I disturbed that they’re making excuses for profiting off women’s bodies? Or am I disturbed that they made the dumbest excuse I’ve ever heard this 2020?
Let us walk you through their array of t-shirt designs. They have multiple designs where there’s straight-up cunnilingus, logo parodies of known porn sites like Fake Taxi and YouPorn, vaginas on what seems to be a cum-filled pizza, and just plain vaginas—on a shirt. They’ve mounted a brand that makes money out of sexualizing women. And they’re not even subtle about it.
Last time I checked, the last “g” in the food groups doesn’t stand for genitalia.
Apparently, they have another reason for that. KNPP’s designs are not vaginas at all, they’re oysters. “Hindi yun part ng katawan ng babae. Oyster yon at alam nyo ba na Oysters can help you lose weight! They are low in calories, low in fat and a good source of protein,” their post reads. “Wag masyadong malaswa ang pag-iisip, okay?”
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The concept of oral sex doesn’t bother me one bit. As an intersectional feminist, I am always down for sex-positivity. Give and receive all you want as long as it is consensual. I have no problem with women being sexual beings. Is cunnilingus on a shirt the main issue? No, it’s how a male-run business profits off of hypersexualized images of women. All of their designs feature women in compromising positions, while men are in a place of power. Double standards galore.
Last Jan. 25, Gabriela Women released a statement on why KNPP’s branding is harmful, especially to women. “Women are not objects of pleasure and satisfaction,” their statement reads. “This shameless advertising and display of merchandise that degrade, objectify and hypersexualize young girls contribute to gender stereotypes that trivialize violence against women and children.”
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KNPP’s mental gymnastics are exhausting to read and combat. Still, it’s important to talk about brands like these. This is not to give them unwarranted attention or to drag them to filth. It’s time to ask questions. Why do people think this is okay? How come this isn’t art? What’s the difference between objectification and empowerment in nudity?
With brands as tone-deaf as KNPP, the least we can do with their 15-minutes of fame is to educate ourselves.