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Dublin: -1 °C Monday 18 November, 2019
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London retailer's chino trousers joins list of 'sexist' clothes

Men’s retailer in hot water over trouser’s washing label instructing “Give it to your woman”.

Image: @EmmaBarnett via Twitter

FASHION RETAILER MADHOUSE has become the latest retailer to be criticised for selling items that have been dubbed demeaning.

Earlier this week, Urban Outfitters was bashed by Dublin City Councillor Naoise Ó Muirí for selling t-shirts and hats featuring “Irish yoga” – an image of a person on their hands and knees being sick- and hats reading “Kiss me. I’m drunk or Irish, or whatever.”

Madhouse, a London discount retailer sparked controversy on Twitter under the hashtags #Madhouse and #sexisttrousers  when it emerged that they were selling beige chinos with the label’s washing instructions stating to ‘Give it to your woman’. One tweeter (@mslulurose) said:

However other tweeters such as Susan Longhurst (@SuzLong21) didn’t see a problem:

The Telegraph reported that Madhouse released a statement saying that the chinos in question are manufactured by another jeans brand and that the care instructions on this product were not proofed by their own buyers. The statement said:

The first Madhouse was aware of the care instruction on this product was today. The wording was not instigated or ordered by Madhouse. The wording is clearly meant as a joke but now it has been pointed out to us it is something we will need to be more careful about in the future.

Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor of The Telegraph who tweeted the first picture of the label, pointed out that it was not the first incident where the power of Twitter embarrassed companies to apologise for such gaffes. Last year Topman was in hot water when The Guardian reported on t-shirts which featured slogans that compared women to dogs . There was also another t-shirt which featured a checklist of excuses which bear resemblance to those often used to justify domestic violence.  Topman were forced to apologise and remove the range of t-shirts from the shelves after Twitter users, bloggers and domestic violence groups dubbed them sexist.

In 2011, American retail chains JC Penney and Forever 21 were denounced for selling girls t-shirts with slogans that perpetuate a stereotype of women. Forever 21 began offering for sale a shirt for girls with the slogan “Allergic to Algebra.”  JC Penney offered similar girls’ shirts with the slogan “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.” Subsequent to a media uproar JC Penney pulled their product.

Some argue that these campaigns against slogan t-shirts is taking feminism too far. Writing about the Topman t-shirt scandal Brendan O’ Neill’s article in the The Telegraph questioned “Why are feminists getting their knickers in a twist about Topman T-shirts?”

What do think – is the criticism of the Madhouse clothing label is justified?


Poll Results:

No (858)
Yes (283)
I don't know (28)



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