When Target created a new T-shirt for women, emblazoned with the word “Trophy,” the company thought it would be “a fun wink.”
What they didn’t expect was accusations that it was sexist and perpetuating rape culture, identifying women as objects to be owned and then discarded. But that’s what some people are saying, on Twitter and a Change.org petition that’s pressuring Target to remove the top from its stores.
For its part, Target said it’s part of a collection of engagement and wedding shirts; other tops in the collection say “Team Bride, “Mrs.,” and “Bride,” according to Huffington Post.
But the company is still apologizing to the offended across every media outlet available to them, CBS News added.
People aren’t placated by these explanations and apologies, and their criticism is pretty serious. A woman identified only as Amanda R. started the anti-Trophy T-shirt petition in June when she saw the offending garment in the juniors section of a store in Wisconsin.
She said the T-shirt identifies women as “objects, not humans, to be used for men’s pleasure,” USA Today reported. Her petition has hundreds of signatures.
“The word trophy should not refer to any person, man or woman, because we are not THINGS- we are human beings. Labeling any person as a ‘Trophy’ is demeaning their humanity and objectifying them as a tangible object that can be bought, used, and disposed of.”
Hey @target I'm in the men's section and don't see a Trophy shirt here why is that— Amanda Nelson (@ImAmandaNelson) July 18, 2015
For a company that promotes equal rights, you would expect @Target to refuse to sell a shirt that says "trophy" to young women.— Sarah Grace |-/ (@MeetingSarah) May 25, 2015
Target's new 'trophy wife' shirt. One day I hope they make a 'don't need a man to know i'm important' shirt. pic.twitter.com/KoUH5zhX7S— Jenn Bates (@KWCHJenn) July 22, 2015
But for others, like social entrepreneur and pet advocate Wendy Diamond, the label isn’t offensive at all, but can be construed as a compliment.
“I have many girlfriends who are single that are human rights activists, lawyers, teachers, and doctors who I would call ‘trophies’ because I believe men would be so lucky to know them,” she said.
Target has one thing going against it — the company has already come under fire for being sexist before, when an Ohio mom became miffed when she saw different displays for “Building Sets” and “Girls’ Building Sets,” in her local store.
Back to Amanda R. and her beef.
“Corporate responsibility begins within their own stores… dozens of people approved this shirt before it hit store shelves, and THAT is a problem. The fact that no one at Target had the judgment to see this as demeaning and objectifying shows their ignorance to their own female market.”
So what do you think? Do you think the Trophy t-shirt is offensive, sexist, or perpetuates rape culture? Or do you agree with the company, and take a more light-hearted view of the top? Let us know in the comments.
[Photo Courtesy Twitter]