SECAUCUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Secaucus, N.J.-based Children’s Place retailer has stopped selling a T-shirt that has sparked complaints of sexism.
The girls’ shirts say “My best subjects” at the top and had checks in boxes next to shopping, music and dancing.
But the box next to math was blank. Underneath, it said, “Well, nobody’s perfect,” in parentheses along with a heart.
The shirt sparked complaints from a Facebook user, who posted a photo of the shirt and a note on Sunday.
“NOT cute, Children’s Place. This is not 1953,” Rebecca Kenton wrote. “Stop making it fashionable for girls to be dumb. Parents are sick of this garbage.”
The photo received dozens of comments agreeing that the T-shirt was an example of misogyny.
“Stuff like this isn’t ‘cute’ or ‘fun’ and perpetuates ridiculous gender bias. My pre-teen girl loves Minecraft and Star Wars. She would never give a shirt like this a second look,” one man wrote. “Honestly, give designing shirts that challenge the world a try and see what happens.”
“This t-shirt sends a materialistic message dissuading girls who may enjoy math, and ingrains a distaste for science, computer science, engineering and other math-based fields by extension,” a woman wrote. “You may argue, the girls for whom this t-shirt is intended aren’t old enough to care; but I contend that messages are more powerful when the audience is young, and once a message is implanted, it’s hard to reverse the negative associations.”
On Monday, the retailer announced that it was pulling the T-shirt from its shelves.
“We take feedback from our customers seriously,” the retailer tweeted. “We pulled the tshirt from our stores and express apologies to anyone we may have offended.”
The controversy brought back memories of a similar dust-up more than two decades ago. In July 1992, Mattel was embroiled in controversy for its “Teen Talk Barbie Doll,” which declared that “math class is tough” in one of its 270 spoken phrases. The company announced a few months later that the doll would no longer say the phrase.
The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc. has about 1,100 stores.
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