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Target: Stop putting sexist jokes on children's t-shirts.

This petition had 13,106 supporters

While clothes shopping for my three sons at Target, I came across the boys' t-shirt pictured above. It depicts a chimp wearing headphones and is captioned, "Is my sister done talking yet?"

It's supposed to be funny. It's supposed to be a joke. But it's not.

The "joke" here relies on an old, sexist stereotype that girls and women talk too much. It draws shamelessly upon the misogynist idea that what girls and women have to say isn't even worthy of male attention. Better to drown out female voices than hear them out.

Target, I'm female, so judging by this t-shirt, you may not want to hear me talking about this -- but we need to talk. And you need to listen, so take the headphones off.

Here's my concern. This kind of stereotype is harmful to boys and girls alike. Little boys shouldn't be taught that girls' voices are unimportant, or that it's acceptable and funny to ignore them. And little girls shouldn't be faced with the microaggression of brothers and peers wearing shirts like this.

This may seem like a small thing. Some people will read this and say, "It's just a t-shirt. Learn to take a joke." But in a culture in which women's and girls' voices are devalued, their ideas and interests trivialized as less important than boys' and men's, why would any responsible retailer sell this?

I am asking Target to remove this shirt from its stores now. And, more importantly, I'm asking for Target to adopt a policy of screening t-shirts for sexist content, and to decline to stock anything that perpetuates misogyny. The retailer has committed to desegregating its toy aisles and children's home goods, so how about putting an end to anti-girl rhetoric in boys' apparel, too?


Rebecca Hains
Salem State University 
Author of The Princess Problem 

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