link via @ autumn-and-gomorrah
Feminist activist Shelby Knox has launched a girlcott of Urban Outfitters, saying the company is producing sexist and degrading clothing. Knox cites two T-shirts in particular, one that reads “Eat Less” (a healthy slogan in a country in which 65% of women between the ages of 25 and 45 suffer from an eating disorder) and another that says, “Fathers, it’s up to you to protect your daughter’s virginity!”
If you don’t find the pro-ana shirt or the girls-you’re-dad’s-property slogan offensive, there’s still plenty about the company to despise. Urban Outfitters’ President Richard Hayne gives bundles of money to the Republican Party and to anti-gay, Prop 8-defender Senator Richard Santorum. UO has printed t-shirts featuring a Palestinian boy with an AK-47 and the word “victimized,” which, regardless of your position in regards to Israel, is an example of the blatant commodification and cheapening of a deeply tragic conflict. Years earlier, the company made T-shirts reading “Everybody Loves A Jewish Girl” surrounded by dollar signs and shopping bags.
If that doesn’t do it for you, consider the classy “Ghettopoly,” which is a sort of Monopoly based on “ghetto” stereotypes and features properties like Smitty’s XXX Peep Show and Tyron’s Gun Shop, figures of “Malcum X” (intentionally misspelled), and game cards that read “you got yo whole neighborhood addicted to crack. Collect $50.” Black clergymen have boycotted the game, unfortunately to no effect.
If that’s not your racial stereotype of choice, Urban Outfitters comes to the rescue with a “Chinese Man” Halloween costume. No? How about a tee with “Poverty Sucks” scrawled in gold glitter? Charming, no? And if all that doesn’t do it for you, there’s always good ol’ fashioned union-busting, which UO resorted to at a Swedish store.
The company is, in a word, loathsome. How many girlcotts will it take to prevent it from making more blatantly sexist, racist, classist, prejudiced products? Let’s make this one stick — add your voice to the girlcott on Facebook (already at over 700 members), and sign this petition to tell Urban Outfitters to pull its latest line of insulting t-shirts.