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T-Shirt Saying Angers Anti-Rape Group

December 26, 1990

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A Dorothy Parker pun has angered members of an anti-rape group who say the remark printed on T-shirts lacks sensitivity for those ″working in the sex industry.″

″You can lead a horticulture but you cannot make her think,″ was printed on a $15 shirt to benefit the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and The Benedum Center.

″It is insulting to women who earn or have earned their living as prostitutes, implying that they are unintelligent, unthinking, unappreciative of culture,″ said a recent letter signed by 24 members of Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.

″It wasn’t our intention, and I don’t think it was Dorothy Parker’s intention, to insult prostitutes,″ said Holly Van Dine, the trust’s marketing director. She said the quip ″shouldn’t be taken literally.″

Parker, a poet-writer who died in 1967, ″was lacking in consciousness for people working in the sex industry,″ said Anita Mallinger, who signed the letter. ″There are women in professional positions in this city who have worked as prostitutes.″

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