Last week, the retailer J.Crew released a cute, rose-coloured t-shirt for boys with the slogan I am a feminist too.
Not only is it an adorable item that lets little boys embrace gender equality early on, but 10% of the proceeds of each shirt go to Girl Up, a United Nations foundation that supports girls growing up in developing countries around the world.
Whats not to like?
Lots, according to the angry commenters on J.Crews Instagram post who feel that gender equality is a wildly inappropriate ideology to push on children.
I scrolled the Instagram comments so you dont have to. Heres a selection from some seriously p*ssed off shoppers:
Whether you like it or not. The word feminist has changed from equality to hate speach [sic] and anti-men. If your children are to wear this, I feel sorry for them, because you are giving them a political meaning of a new form of Nazism. You know its true.
Feminism has nothing to do with equality. Its liberal propaganda to convince ignorant liberal women that they are oppressed.[I] used to work for you guys and have been a happy customer for a long time. I dont believe in boycotts, but very disappointed you are preaching politics on social.
Good Lord, these children are too young to know what these words mean. Your children are meant to be kids, not be your political billboard.
Christians follow Christ and feminist[s] follow communism.
I have young grandsons and there is no way I would put a shirt on them with this political statement. I want them to grow up to be manly men and men of God. Thank goodness we have them in Christian schools to “teach em young”. You are making a mistake with this shirt. I have been a dedicated customer and will now have to think twice about doing business with you. Why do you want to destroy your relationship with your customers?
And my personal favourite:
Judy, we are losing real men in this country. We have men that dress like women, wear tight clothes, no nothing about working with there [sic] hands. And the truth is a lot of young men are facing a masculinity crisis, we need more men that are portrayed as strong father figures and providers and less portrayed as feminine. We need to bring back the mans man, and John Waynes of this country. So yall Ill keep the USA and yall can keep the change!!
The debate also manages to cover Trump, Make America Great Again hats, vaginas, what happens when you lose your business, and the existence of god.
There are many, many positive and supportive comments about the t-shirt and its message on J.Crews post, from people of all ages. One mother posted that the brand had earned themselves a family of new customers.
The fact that an image of a little boy wearing a t-shirt that supports gender equality is proving controversial just indicates how far we still have to go in changing societal attitudes around feminism and sexism.
A feminist is someone who supports the social, economic and political equality of the sexes.
We should all teach our kids about the importance of respect, tolerance and justice, and that the rights of women, LGBTQ+ people and people of colour still need fighting for. We should all be feminists.
Hats off to J.Crew for their super cute t-shirt that supports the basic human rights of women around the world.
You can buy it here.