Thursday, September 1, 2011

JC Penney isn't the only one who doesn't think girls can do homework

Today the Internets were abuzz with this gem of a tee shirt from JC Penney: I'm too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me.

My brother even sent me a link about it.

Then I read a post about it at Scary Mommy, so worth your click-through to see the designs of her alternative tee options.

And a post from Mom 101, Sexism is complicated. Now excuse me while I put on some Alanis and feed my cats.

And then the post from Uppercase Woman with an awesome, but unfortuantely unprintable title for my "family friendly" blog.

And finally I found Stark Raving Mad Mommy's post, which also included a nice list of 8 other equally appalling tees.

Then I read a lot of self-congratulatory tweets about the power of social media, as it appears JC Penney is no longer going to sell the shirt.

But why stop with Penney's stupid shirt? It is really a victory that this misguided shirt was removed from their shelves because a bunch of moms complained and told them they were appalled? Wouldn't the real victory be if we lived in a world where JC Penney never even thought to make such an offensive shirt in the first place?

This shirt is just one example of offensive marketing towards girls, the list goes on and on. In fact, I posted a list of three offenders back in June. Not to mention my continual distaste for Skechers marketing "shape-ups" sneakers to girls as young as seven.

And a quick look today at Forever21's site shows that a girl doesn't need a brother to do her homework, the family dog should be able to do it just fine. Or at least better than a girl.

Removing one offensive shirt from JC Penney's clothing line isn't going to change the larger issue of gender stereotypes. But supporting the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood - an organization which addresses these issues as well as the sexualization of children in the media and the prevalence of advertising in schools - now that, well, it just might make a difference.

What do you think? What's the best way to make a real difference?


Lisa (this litttle piggy) said...

You probably heard me cursing over in your town when I saw this tweeted.

Kerri said...

This is why I tend to like plain clothing. Stupid sayings written by stupid people.

Anna said...

@Lisa I thought I heard something....

@Kerri, couldn't agree more. We should make a shirt with that saying!

Kristin said...

The sexy girl/pretty is better than smart thing/shopping earns A! stuff is ridiculous. Totally agreed. But, I'm going to stick up for the dog and girl T. I wouldn't buy it (being a teacher and all), but I don't think it's particularly sexist since "The dog ate my homework" play on situation is old as - well - homework and dogs. It's still a stupid t-shirt, of course.

I would go into a whole bunch of stuff about how parents often do kids' homework, but that would start me off on a whole different subject. I wonder if that would sell on a t-shirt? "My Mom says, "Thanks for the A!"

Mel said...

You bring up such a valid point about how not selling one t-shirt isn't going to stop people from thinking this way. I personally can't stand all those tshirts with saying because most of them are encouraging laziness and disrespect. I don't have the answer on how to make the real difference except to model how smart girls can be and encourage our girls to dream and work towards making their dreams their reality.

Anna ~ Random Handprints said...

@Kristin - I don't think the girl and the dog tee is so bad either, just wanted to illustrate there are a lot of other stupid tees out there, to go all crazy on the Penney's shirt is such a drop in the bucket (in my opinion) of a much (much!) bigger issue.

and now if you'll excuse me, I gotta go do my kids' homework.. (excellent point, by the way)

Jill said...

I'm reading through all these now. Love the different perspectives. Honestly, I didn't think much about it bc of that magnet, and the Sketchers shoes, and the Abercrombie padded bathing suits, and well, bc Kim Kardashian is on the cover of People Magazine. I think it is a struggle to raise girls amidst all the awful marketing but things could be way worse, the way they are in the majority of other countries around the world or how things were even 30 years ago. There will always be the ignorant and the enlightened.

Kelley said...

How awful! This is the first I am hearing about that stupid shirt. I am all for a commercial free childhood. What is the problem with people????

melissa said...

like another one of your commenters. i buy plain clothes for my kids now because i find these t-shirts to be ridiculous and degrading. i said in my post that i wrote on the same subject...the whole thing is just another thing to cause drama and it annoyed me.
great post!!

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