Glenn Sacks, host of men’s and father’s issues radio talk show His Side, has been leading a campaign the past few weeks against clothing retailers stocking a t-shirt that Sacks argues is hateful toward boys.
The t-shirt, distributed by David and Goliath, shows a picture of a boy fleeing from some airborne rocks with the copy, “Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them!!!”
Sacks first targeted Bon-Macy’s in a December broadcast in which he said,
As the father of an 11 year-old boy this shirt makes my blood boil….degrading boys, insulting them, making our schools a hostile environment for them–we’re not taking it any more.
After a letter and phone campaign, Bon-Macy’s agreed to stop stocking the shirt. So far, Sacks’ campaign against the t-shirt has also convinced California clothing chain Tilly’s and Universal Studios (which owns Dapy’s) to agree not to carry the t-shirt as well.
On his show announcing Universal’s decision, Sacks said,
It really angers me that our boys have to confront this kind of bigotry. It also angers me that we’re telling girls that it?s OK to hate boys. When males insult females we call it ‘woman-hating’ and ‘misogyny.’ When females insult males, apparently it?s OK. No more.
According to David and Goliath, however, the shirts are one of their most popular sellers.
Frankly, I suspect a campaign against a t-shirt is probably not the best way for people to spend their time. On the other hand, it is surprising to see such a t-shirt stocked by mainstream clothing retailers. Obviously you’re always going to be able to order shirts like this over the Internet or find them in novelty t-shirt shops (you can order both “Girls are stupid” and “Boys are stupid” t-shirts here, for example), but I’m surprised a story like Bon-Macy’s would stock such a shirt.
But some of the rhetoric about the t-shirt is a bit silly. For example, here’s Wendy McElroy writing in support of the campaign,
Hate mongering is a lucrative business and the best remedy is to yank away the financial incentive. Boycott both the manufacturers and the distributors of any product that endorses the hatred or abuse of children, male or female. Tell vendors how you feel; ask “sponsors” like Universal Studios if they guarantee their safety of your son while on their premises.
Right, and lets all write to Universal to complain about that last hate-filled Eminem album or protest comedians who tell sexist jokes. Hey, maybe we should be urging libraries to get rid of their copies of Royce Flippin’s classic, Save an Alligator, Shoot a Preppie. Can libraries guarantee the safety of preppies who wonder down the aisle filled with such hate-filled books?
It’s a stupid t-shirt, not the harbinger of an anti-male Reich.
Christmas in a war zone. Wendy McElroy, January 4, 2004.
Universal Studios Pulls ‘Boys are Stupid’ T-shirts in Face of Radio Campaign. Men’s News Daily, January 13, 2004.
Bon-Macy’s Pulls Anti-Boy Shirts as His Side Listeners Flood Store with Calls, E-Mails. Men’s News Daily, December 16, 2003.