According to the article, the objection boils down to some issues in anatomical iconography:
The Resistance says the new image “has a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute,” Mark Dice, founder of the group, said in a news release.
There are so many things one might say. For now, I’ll limit my comments to one observation: images of nude women with their legs spread have a complex history in which, for a few hundred years, they were most strongly associated with Christian visual culture.
This is not to say that every such image is Christian; it’s not even to say that any such image must be understood as Christian. It is to say that context and semantic scope are relevant factors in determining whether an image is harmful or harmless. Sometimes, a mermaid is just a mermaid, and sometimes a siren is just a song.
For a number of reasons, most of them poor, art historians refer to most European art and architecture of approximately the 10th to 12th centuries as “Romansque”. One of the relatively common sculptural themes on church buildings in this intensely Christian culture was precisely the theme in question. Examples abound especially in Anglo-Norman territories. (I first learned of them while studying Romanesque art and architecture in western France).
The Sheela na Gig is but one category of these “Romanesque Sexual Grotesques” and Answers.com’s article on that topic gives a helpful overview of the range of possible meanings. The nutshell version is that the recent rise in neo-pagan reinterpretation of past evidence has made the First Goddess / Earth Mother interpretation fashionable. However, the preponderance of textual and artifactual evidence supports the view that Christian artists used this imagery, and Christian viewers interpreted this imagery, as a warning about the risks (including possible damnation) that a misuse of sexuality might entail.
Indeed, the very act of walking through the entry of a Gothic church has long been understood as interpretable by way of analogy to passage through procreative organs into a womb, from which the worshiper or pilgrim is then reborn. Symbolizing spiritual renewal through graphic allusions to the birth canal is also a factor in Christian painting, as in El Greco’s The Burial of Count Orgaz.
Overt sexual imagery continued to appear in Christian art through the late medieval and early modern periods, most famously around the year AD1500 in The Garden of Earthly Delights by that conservative, curmudgeonly, brilliantly imaginative old scold, Jerome Bosch:
The point is that the relationship between sexual imagery and Christian culture has always been complex. Bowdlerizing this complexity in order to avoid addressing some of the more challenging physical and social aspects of human experience was one of the more enduring contributions not of Christendom, nor even of Puritanism (which was duly earthy in matters reproductive), but of Anglo-American Victorianism.
Walsh offers the story behind the old/new logo:
[T]hat initial logo design is explained in the book “Pour Your Heart into It : How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time,” written by company founder Howard Schultz:
“[Creative partner Terry Heckler] poured [sic] over old marine books until he came up with a logo based on an old sixteenth-century Norse woodcut: a two-tailed mermaid, or siren, encircled by the store’s original name, Starbucks Coffee, Tea, and Spice. That early siren, bare-breasted and Rubenesque, was supposed to be as seductive as coffee itself.”
So Mark Dice has chosen this mons veneris upon which to wage pitched battle. One word of advice: while you’re objecting to harmless nautical imagery, be sure to burn all those copies of Homer’s Odyssey. You wouldn’t want the children to read anything Queen Victoria might consider naughty.