T-shirts are often used as message boards to post your funny statements but at times, these tend to become offending. Here are examples of five such t-shirts which can be termed as sexist or demeaning towards women.
1. Best Subject’ T-shirt from The Children’s Place
This t-shirt by The Children’s Place, which has received a great deal of controversy lately, lists a checklist for a girl’s best subjects and checks off shopping, music and dance, leaving math unchecked with the words “Well nobody’s perfect” in the end.
The shirt clearly states that math is not for girls and plays into sexist notions. The children’s Place, which operates from 1,111 stores across North America, eventually pulled the shirt from shelves after making the following announcement on Facebook:
We take feedback from our customers very seriously. It has come to our attention that some of you view our Best Subjects T shirt as insensitive towards girls and women. This was not our intent. There are countless women in all walks of life who excel in math, including our very own CEO. We have pulled this product from our stores and we want to express our apologies to anyone we may have offended.
One of the FB users wrote, “I am a high school teacher and see how these ideas really affect some student’s confidence. I’m very glad the shirt was removed and I hope in the future they produce things that are more empowering.”
2. Allergic to Algebra by Forever 21
Like The Children’s Place, Forever 21 also launched a t-shirt with the line “Allergic to Algebra”, which continues to play on the stereotype that girls and numbers just don’t mix.
3. Too Pretty for Homework from J.C. Penney
Not only are girls terrible at math, but they are “Too Pretty for Homework”, says a t-shirt from J.C. Penney. The t-shirt with the punch line, “Too Pretty for Homework, so my brother has to do it for me” is for the age group 7-16, that is the school going girls and the product description asks, “Who has time for homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out?” It explicitly associates intelligence with being a boy, and looking pretty with being a girl. This clearly sends a wrong message that schoolwork is boy stuff!
It was eventually pulled from shelves, following criticism in 2011, with the following apology from the company:
J.C. Penney is committed to being America’s destination for great style and great value for the whole family. We agree that the “Too pretty” t-shirt does not deliver an appropriate message, and we have immediately discontinued its sale. Our merchandise is intended to appeal to a broad customer base, not to offend them. We would like to apologize to our customers and are taking action to ensure that we continue to uphold the integrity of our merchandise that they have come to expect.
4. Need a Hero from Marvel
This pair of shirts from Marvel, the comic book publisher, plays on the damsel in distress stereotype girls are confronted with all the time. The boys shirt encourages boys to be a hero for the girls who are in desperate need of one.
5. Eat Less’ by Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters has yanked a controversial T-shirt off its website following Internet-fueled backlash from critics who complained that the V-neck encouraged eating disorders among young women.
The offending item is a gray V-neck with the phrase “Eat Less” scrawled across the front.
The shirt was modeled on the funky fashion purveyor’s website by a rail-thin brunette model in a hiked-up miniskirt.
The blogosphere has expressed outrage over the shirt, with one blogger calling it “tasteless” and alleging that it promoted an unhealthy dietary message.
Urban Outfitters has not yet commented about the controversy and is still apparently selling the shirt in its stores, according to New York Magazine.