Sexist Superhero Clothing: Target, Walmart and DC Comics Under Fire for Sexist Children's Apparel
Target and Walmart have come under fire for selling sexist superhero clothing to children and conveying the message that only boys can be superheroes.
Walmart and DC Comics were criticized for selling t-shirts that proclaim that girls can be "trained" to marry a hero.
A blogger by the name of PJ posted a picture of the male version of the DC Comics licensed shirts, which reads "Training to Be Batman," and the female version, which says "Training to Be Batman's Wife."
In response to public backlash over the shirts, DC Comics issued a statement, saying "We understand that the messages on certain t-shirts are offensive. We agree. Our company is committed to empowering boys and girls, men and women, through our characters and stories. Accordingly, we are taking a look at our licensing and product design process to ensure that all our consumer products reflect our core values and philosophy," reports Jezebel.
Similarly, a mother shopping in Ontario spotted a pair of Superman pajamas for toddlers at Target Canada that conveyed the same sexist message.
The boys outfit boasts "Future Man of Steel," while a pink outfit for girls states "I Only Date Heroes."
After Christine Logel, a University of Waterloo psychology professor noticed the PJs, she shared a picture of the onesies on Twitter. It then went viral after it was retweeted by her colleague Aimée Morrison, who is a new media studies professor at the same university.
"I'm tired of seeing these messages everywhere," Logel told CTV News.
She said that, when she reported the disturbing outfit to Target employees, the assistant store manager responded by saying the clothing was "cute."
"It seems kind of ridiculous to talk about who an infant girl is going to date," said Morrison.
"It's not like the boys' onesie said 'I'm going to date supergirl some day,' and the girls' said 'I'm going to date superboy someday'," she added. "When you put the two together, it actually says a lot about how we socialize boys and girls to think of what their future holds for them, where they get their power in the world."
Most respondants on social media agreed that the clothes promoted gender stereotyping.
As a result, Target released a statement saying it "strives to treat all our guests with respect, and it is never our intent to offend anyone ... We appreciate the feedback we've received and will continue to listen to our guests to ensure we offer merchandise that appeals to, and reflects, our diverse guest population."