Target: Brian C. Cornell, CEO of Target Corporation
Goal: Stop selling offensive shirt for women that has “trophy” written across the chest.
A shirt was released for young women with one word on it: trophy. Target has the shirt for sale both online and in the store for $12.99 and it needs to be removed immediately. This shirt makes a mockery out of years of inequality where women were taken as evidence of a victory to be shown off as items instead of people.
This shirt may not be meant to be taken seriously, but the truth is that these sorts of shirts being sold off to impressionable teens can change how they think of themselves as they are surrounded by shirts messages them up with one word, and not a word that speaks to their brain or character but their looks. This is just one among many in a long line of one-word women’s clothing products that play to women as pretty items over people.
Target is calling the trophy shirt part of a bridal line with other shirts such as “Mrs.” and “Bride” available, and they claim support in the stores despite large internet outcry against the line. Men are offered no similar line sporting the words “Groom,” “Mr.” or “Trophy.”
Numerous people worked on and reviewed the shirt in order for it to reach the shelves, and no one stopped and considered the negative impact of selling a shirt that allows young women to advertise themselves as a prize, as less than a person.
This may be just one shirt, but there are thousands with similar messages that are promoting ideas of female inequality and perpetuating rape culture by allowing those who look at women to see them as something besides people. Target needs to set an example by stopping the sale of this shirt and making similar ones in the future that bring down the worth of young women.
Dear Brian C. Cornell,
Your store released a shirt for adult and teen women that advertises them as a trophy. This is a word that implies something that is won and taken as a show of victory. Around the world women in areas of war are still taken and treated as trophies, and a long history of women being seen as less then human is being perpetuated by this sort of attire.
This is a message that goes right to the heart of rape culture, a culture that is focused around the idea that men are taught women are less than people. Seeing their peers in this kind of light removes the person from the equation when it comes to sexual violence.
People may say it’s just one shirt, but it really isn’t. Thousands of girls could buy this shirt, and ones like it, from your store and others. This shirt was reviewed and designed by people within a culture who have it ingrained in their minds that labeling women with words like “trophy” is normal and acceptable.
By removing the trophy shirt from the shelves and no longer producing women’s clothes similar to it, your company can show that this is not the message they want young people to receive. Help end inequality by producing clothes meant to advertise women as people and not as things.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jonathan McIntosh