A sexist clothing label recently caught the attention of a politician who works for an equality commission, and she decided to point out exactly what was wrong with its misogynistic message. However, a distributor that sells clothing bearing the offensive label has refused to apologize for perpetuating gender stereotypes.
According to the Daily Mail, Italian politician Federica Mazzoni recently shared the above Facebook photo of the sexist clothing label. Underneath the usual clothing care instructions, the tag reads, “Or give it to your mum – it’s her job!” Mazzoni works for the equality commission at the legislative assembly in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, so she decided to use the label as a teachable moment.
At the beginning of a lengthy Facebook post about the sexist clothing tag, Mazzoni pointed out that it can also be seen as mocking a father’s intelligence.
“Doing the washing is not the mother’s job, fathers are also capable of turning a simple knob,” she wrote. “Obviously it wasn’t enough for the company to provide all the necessary useful information, it felt the need to have its say, by perpetuating a sexist message about mothers and women, which is also insulting for men and fathers.”
“It suggests women have no other skills than staying at home and that of turning a knob to 30… In a mirror image, it insults men as if they were not capable of doing a simple wash.”
A friend discovered the label on a cardigan that she purchased for son. As you can see, it was produced by the Shoeshine clothing label. Instead of apologizing for the sexist message, a spokesman for Shoeshine distributor Unipersonale responded by saying that the tag was meant to be a joke.
“There is no kind of sexist irony,” the spokesman said. “It’s just a simple joke aimed at teenagers who are our target.”
However, in many families mothers and fathers both do the laundry. There are also teens out there who don’t have mothers at all.
This isn’t the first time a sexist message has appeared on a clothing label. According to the Huffington Post, a 2012 Madhouse tag featured similar laundry “instructions” that read, “Or give it your woman – it’s her job.”
— Emma Barnett (@Emmabarnett) March 5, 2012
Then there are the companies that don’t bother hiding misogynist messages on the labels inside their clothing — they proudly display them for all the world to see. Last year, the Inquisitr reported on a clothing store that was selling T-shirts bearing the words, “It’s not rape. It’s a snuggle with a struggle.”
“It’s not rape it’s a snuggle with a struggle”… Just in case you were fooled into thinking gender equality is real pic.twitter.com/D7ikSrAKsj
— Yamcha (@Loki_IsOnFire) September 23, 2014
Do you think the washing instructions on the Shoeshine clothing label are sexist and offensive, or do you agree with the Unipersonale spokesperson that they’re just a harmless joke?
[Image credit: Frederica Mazzoni]