The following is a letter composed by CREDO Action, in order to send your friends so that they can sign it and STOP JC Penney and Forever 21 from selling these sexist and limiting shirts to our girls. “Allergic to Algebra” and “I’m too pretty to do homework” are messages that are detrimental to their development. Girls feel enough pressure as it is to be pretty and sexy, they don’t also need to feel pressure to dumb down their natural abilities — their intelligence. This kind of merchandise is offensive, repulsive, and irresponsible. We should all stand up and act to shut them down, or at least cease this kind of marketing that is geared for girls — and succeeds in defining their potential, limiting their self-image, and subscribing to sexism.
Please cut and paste this letter and send it to your friends — moms and dads alike. Get young girls involved also. They should learn to act against this kind of sexism now — while still young. They should become acutely aware of how our society is structured in terms of defining the roles they will assume in life — and they can and should resist them in pursuit of their own desires and objectives.
Subject: Stop JC Penney and Forever 21 from putting more sexist clothing on their shelves
Just yesterday, retailer Forever 21 began offering for sale a shirt for girls emblazoned with the slogan “Allergic to Algebra.” And a few weeks ago, JC Penney offered similar girls’ shirts with the slogan “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.”
Sexist slogans like these play into and perpetuate the offensive stereotype that women are innately bad at math or that being pretty is more important than being smart. By selling these shirts, the stores give their implicit support of these efforts to convince girls that, to be stylish and fit in, they must be bad at math or less interested than boys in academic achievement.
After backlash from outraged customers, the both shirts were pulled from the shelves and online stores. But how did the sexist shirts get there in the first place? Clearly, something is totally broken within the corporate culture of these retailers. There is no effective review process for the clothing sold at JC Penney and Forever 21 if offensive clothing that demeans young girls makes it to their shelves.
Tell the CEOs of JC Penny and Forever 21 that you will hold them accountable for the clothing that is sold in their stores. Demand they make a public commitment to keep sexist clothing for girls from making it to their shelves in the future.