September 2nd, 2011
J.C. Penney pulls sexist T-shirt after uproar
When people caught wind of a sexist T-shirt for girls at J. C. Penney, they jumped onto social media and fired.
The result: a stink big enough to force a major corporation into action in what seemed like record time.
The shirt, which reads “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me,” was lambasted on blogs like the Huffington Post, Jezebel and the Village Voice.
“In case your little lady-brain can’t quite fathom the point,” Jezebel wrote sarcastically, “The page itself is titled ‘Girls 7-16 Too Pretty to do Homework’ and the product description asks, ‘Who has time for homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out?’”
The blog outrage inspired readers to take their plight to Twitter and to set up a petition on Change.org.
Before the petition even reached its signature goal, J. C. Penney pulled the offending product—just a few hours after the first blog post on the shirt.
“We agree that the ‘Too pretty’ t-shirt doesn’t deliver an appropriate message, and we have immediately discontinued its sale,” J. C. Penney replied to one angry patron on its Facebook page. “We would like to apologize to not only yourself but to all of our customers and are taking action to ensure that we continue to uphold the integrity of our merchandise that they have come to expect.”
J. C. Penney spokesperson Kate Coultas told the Village Voice that somebody might even get fired for putting the shirt online.
“One of the reasons we’re so outraged is that this is not what we stand for. We’ve facilitated over $100 million [in donations] over the past 10 years to support after school programs in local communities. That’s a key important message for us,” she told the Voice.
However, the Internet isn’t done being angry just yet.
Angry comments continue to cover J. C. Penney’s Facebook page. And some blogs have found more to be mad about.
Jezebel has uncovered a second sexist shirt targeted at young girls. It reads “My best subjects: boys, shopping, music, dancing.”
Already, this new shirt has prompted a barrage of offended tweets. We’ll see what happens next.