Old Navy removes sexist ‘Father’s Day’ shirt from shelves

gap3After more than a week of social media outcry concerning a misguided Father’s Day t-shirt, retailer Old Navy has finally pulled the item from its shelves.  News of the removal was first reported by the National At-Home Dad Network.

Last month, Old Navy unveiled a men’s shirt with bold letters proclaiming “It’s Father’s Day”; creative use of alternate colors and one small, additional word revealed its true message:  “It’s Really Her Day.”

oldnavy2Consumers everywhere have demanded a response from Old Navy, but so far it has remained markedly quiet.  Attempts to reach an Old Navy spokesperson have gone unanswered.

Late last year, Old Navy unveiled a controversial children’s shirt proclaiming “Young Aspiring Artist,” whose last word crossed out in favor of “Astronaut” and “President.”  The shirt sent a strong message to artists that their profession wasn’t respectable, and under pressure from consumers everywhere, the shirt was eventually pulled from shelves.

At that time, Old Navy issued a statement concerning the controversy, but this time around it has remained silent.

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Keeping baby safe at home involves everyone

You may have noticed the wonderful and much needed t-shirt now available from the fine folks at the National At-Home Dad Network.

American Baby magazine apparently has not.

Once again we turn to a misguided ABM headline that reads, “The number every mom should know.”americanbabyagain

The blurb talks about the importance of knowing the phone number of the national poison control center, and having it readily available. This wasn’t a case of a headline alone speaking to the mom, the story fortifies it by imploring mom to program that number into everyone’s cell phone – dad’s too, because not only is parenting evidently beyond his scope, so is technology.

This forced snub is another example American Baby magazine – and much of the mom-obsessed media – simply not speaking to dads. The powerful role the media plays in our culture then spills into our psyche and eventually into marketing, where so many unfairly assume that dad plays the part of babysitter when mom isn’t around.

Marketing personnel love playing into mom’s ego as the lead parent, a brutal, old fashioned assumption that she must carry the cash and handle all the shopping because dad is at work.

That notion may have been valid many decades ago, but we all know that’s not true today.

If by chance ABM is reading along here, don’t sit at the next editorial meeting and decide to make a gratuitous “for dads” section a permanent feature of your publication.

Instead, try doing something you’ve clearly never done before: talk to dads.

You’ll be a stronger magazine for it, because we know a few American babies who happen to have dads, and those men deeply care about the safety of their children, too.