J. Crew made a feminist T-shirt for boys, and people are outraged
Feminism is defined as "the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes." Wanting men and women to be treated equally? Doesn't seem very controversial. Yet many people - men and women - hate feminism. In some circles, it's considered a dirty word, representing a polarizing political ideology.
You don't have to surf the Internet long to find anti-feminist screeds. A Google image search for "feminism" brings up delightful memes like "feminism is cancer." Another top result is this fun quote: "Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." To which I say, witchcraft?! I would love to learn witchcraft! Wingardium leviosa!
Anyway, society's taken several positive steps toward gender equality. People are taking stands to guarantee equal pay. There's the success of the Women's March and the #MeToo movement, which aims to stop sexual harassment and sexual assault. And public figures like Megan Markle and Justin Trudeau have proudly declared themselves feminists. Maybe the next generation won't think feminism a dirty word.
Clothing company J. Crew is the latest to embrace the movement, debuting a graphic feminist T-shirt for boys. It's a pink tee with the statement "I am a feminist too!" emblazoned across the front. The caption says "Start em young," and 10% of the proceeds go to Girl UP, a United Nations organization that supports girls in developing countries.
You'd think most shoppers would be down for encouraging the youth to support gender equality. However, several Instagram users were outraged, and posted angry comments. Here's a sample:
"Feminism is disgusting."
"Modern feminism, as it exists in the mainstream today, isn’t about ‘equality’ - it’s about hating men (“the patriarchy”), telling boys they have to repress their ‘toxic masculinity’, and propagating the BS/debunked myth of the wage gap..."
“Pretty gross pushing this on unknowing children rather then letting them decide for themselves their views as they age.”
“Pure indoctrination. Never spending a dime on JCrew product again.”
“Pushing political ideologies on children is wrong. Teach them to be free thinkers who critically analyze the world around them and explore what ideas they agree and disagree with.”
Well, I suppose the debate about feminism will rage on, and on, and on. Personally, I understand the objection to kids wearing T-shirts that support a political ideology. When you see kids wearing a T-shirt supporting a political candidate - like Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton - it's not hard to cringe. After all, how much about political issues do they really understand?
However, the definition of feminism is pretty simple; that men and women should be treated equally. Most kids would understand that concept, right? If not, just get a Wonder Woman T-shirt. She's pretty cool.