An Indonesian sportswear manufacturer has apologized – sort of – for printing washing instructions on their garments with the instructions “Give this to your woman. It’s her job,” The BBC is reporting.
In an almost karmic case of bad timing, news of the washing instructions came on International Women’s Day (March 8) – a day that celebrates admiration and respect for women, as well as their achievements beyond the laundry room.
Indonesian clothing manufacturer Salvo Sports printed the washing instructions on shirts for the football (soccer) team Pusamania Borneo. It’s not clear, as of this post, if the instructions appear on any other clothes manufactured by the company.
— Viola | भिओला (@veeola) March 6, 2015
A little bit of work still needed wrt equality Salvo Sports Indonesia pic.twitter.com/7OYqgDACL3
— Nick Gribble (@EnnRrrGee) March 8, 2015
The company has issued an apology, according to New York Daily News; and here, “apology” means “a statement that just made things worse.”
“The message is simply instead of washing it in the wrong way, you might as well give it to a lady because they are more capable.”
Happy womans day! “Washing instructions: Give this shirt to a woman. It’s her job,” Salvo Tshirt Indonesia (BBC) Damage control worse!
— Odette Herbert (@HOHOH) March 8, 2015
The clothes manufacturer insists that no disrespect was intended.
“We apologize profusely for any misinterpretations. There is no intention to humiliate women.”
Indonesia has a long way to go with respect to women’s rights, according to Al Jazeera America. Female police recruits are subject to humiliating virginity tests; in some areas, women and girls are required by law to wear the hijab (the traditional Muslim head covering); and in other places, women are forbidden from dancing.
Needless to say, the notion that washing clothes is a woman’s job is in some ways embedded in Indonesian culture.
This is not the first time a company has offended its customers by failing to think things through. Earlier this month, according to a report by the Inquisitr report, Starbucks managed to offend both its Turkish and its Armenian customers (two nations that have some bad blood between them, to say the least) in one poorly-thought-out marketing campaign that showed women in Armenian garb dancing under the star-and-crescent of the Turkish flag.
As of this post, Pusamania Borneo, the Indonesian football team whose clothes contained the offensive label, has not commented on the controversy.
[Image courtesy of: Etsy]