A recent Instagram post of J. Crew’s feminist t-shirt for boys has made quite the splash since it was posted last week—some have praised it for its progressive message while some parents are up in arms about kids wearing what they believe to be politically-charged apparel.
So, here’s the backstory: J. Crew and Prinkshop have a t-shirt collab collection for kids. If you haven’t heard of Prinkshop, they sell clothing for causes. The swanky design collab collection includes shirts with phrases like “I am a feminist too,” “Jane of all trades” and, “You see a girl I see the future” on them. On Instagram, J. Crew posted a photo of a little boy modeling its “I am a feminist too” t-shirt with the caption, “Start ‘em young.” The reaction to it online has been overwhelming since.
Critics took to IG to not only offer their opinions of the shirt, but feminism, too. One Instagrammer commented (on feminism), “The vast majority of its supporters don’t critically think about or research the ideas beyond a slogan, and are not interested in the facts.” Another wrote, “These children are too young to know what these words mean. Your children are meant to be kids, not to be your political billboard.”
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Feminism, simply defined, is the belief that women are equal and deserve to be treated as such. This means women deserve Equal Pay, Equal Rights, Equal Respect. To promote lasting change, we believe men must be part of the gender parity discussion and that boys must be shown, from a young age, that girls are their equal. We created this campaign to encourage the "Wear What You Care About" model to spark these conversations about feminism and women's rights. Thank you @jcrew J.Crew for collaborating with us on this campaign. For every I AM A FEMINIST TOO t-shirt sold, prinkshop donates $5 to Girl Up.
But the comments weren’t all about the negative side of the t’s slogan. One commenter wrote, “Thank you for this! So many awful messages on clothing that sexualizes little and tells little boys that masculinity and manhood is disobedience and physicality.” Another Instagrammer commented, “This is so great! It is beyond crazy that people are upset with this shirt when feminism simply means equal rights. Children should be taught to love and respect all people regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.”
With every purchase of J. Crew’s “I am a feminist too” t-shirt will go to Girl Up, the U.N. foundation dedicated to empowering adolescent girls worldwide. Whether you’re on one side or another of the debate the shirt itself, it looks like this shirt is here to stay—at least until it sells out.
Featured photo: Prinkshop via Instagram