Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wal-Mart Strikes Again

As if we need additional reasons to hate WalMart, here’s a good one. And it’s a shame, too, I was starting to hate WalMart less due to their “going green initiative...”


Thanks to one of yesterday's Feministing posts, I learned of this product:




Here is a reaction letter I wrote to Wal-Mart. I encourage you all to do the same:

To Whom It May Concern,

I recently noticed a product you are selling in the junior department at which I was appalled. I am referring to a pair of girls’ underwear that reads, “Who needs credit cards…” written across the vagina. Upon immediate reading, I took this underwear to imply that young girls should prostitute themselves for cash. Although I am sure this is not the message you intended to portray when promoting this item, based on Wal-Mart’s high standard of family values and all, marketing these underwear sends a message of girls bodies as commodities. It promulgates the erroneous notion that all girls have to offer is their bodies, oh and sex. Especially since this message was written on the crotch region, I immediately took it to imply that Wal-Mart believes girls’ biggest asset is in between their legs. Not only does this promote the sexualization of children but also the idea that girls and women should use their sexuality to acquire things.

If you do not yet see the severity of this issue, I encourage you to pretend this phrase was written on a pair of boys’ boxers. Could you ever imagine, “Who needs credit cards” written over the crotch where the boy’s penis is intended to be? Although this product would be equally as unacceptable if it were marketed towards boys, it would also never happen.

Sexually charged clothing for junior girls (and boys) is unacceptable and until this item is pulled from Wal-Mart, I will refrain from shopping at Wal-Mart again. I will also make everyone I can aware of this atrocious product.

Concerned Consumer,
Galina

(Ok, so what, i lied about the "concerned consumer" part. But Wal-Mart responds better to the business model and my feedback may have more weight if they believe they'd lose a costumer rather than if i notified them that i don't shop at Wal-Mart to begin with...)

5 comments:

Fidelbogen said...

" ... marketing these underwear sends a message of girls bodies as commodities. It promulgates the erroneous notion that all girls have to offer is their bodies, oh and sex. Especially since this message was written on the crotch region, I immediately took it to imply that Wal-Mart believes girls’ biggest asset is in between their legs."

I think there are two ways of looking at this. You can choose to believe that Wal-Mart is "sending a message", or you can choose to believe that Wal-Mart is recieving a message.

They stock their merchandise on the strength of informed marketing decisions, with the idea that the stuff they're selling will in fact...SELL.

That's recieving a message.

They would not be vending the vulgarities in question if there were not ultimately a market for vulgarity somewhere "out yonder".

And I am enough of a realist to know that the female capacity for vulgarity (among certain demographic sectors anyway) is quite sufficient to fuel the market. (Certain young girls might even view such lingerie as "empowering", in a crass, adolescent rebellion sort of way!)

Women are far, far, far from being innocent lambs. . .

Still, when all's said and done, vulgar is vulgar! And I think the world could do with a heap less vulgarity all around.

Bonfire of the Vulgarities, anyone?

The feminist angle doesn't enter my thinking whatsoever: I just don't like vulgarity!

So, attacking the problem at the merchandising end of the loop is really not such a bad idea. Whatever saps the energy of the chicken/egg cycle is effort well budgeted. Kill the chicken, smash the egg - it's all good!

So, do keep on writin' them-thar letters! ;)

Feminist Gal said...

Fidelbogen,
I almost agree with you... wow, weird... And i don't either think that Wal-Mart is intentionally "sending a message."
I do, however, think they are perpetuating and disseminating it - which is what i said in the first place ;)

To me the vulgarity isn't the issue, it's the message that comes across through the product.

Fidelbogen said...

". . .the vulgarity isn't the issue, it's the message that comes across through the product."

Absolutely. And a vulgar message it is!

Yes, the allusion to credit cards fosters an underlying cultural pathology vis a vis "consumption" and "materialism". (And to be sure, the sexual element imparts to the dagger a supplementary twist!)

Now, if there is anything I dislike more than vulgarity, it's materialism. And when you add vulgarity to materialism, you get vulgar materialism, which is a whole 'nother realm of nausea unto itself.

But anybody with eyes can see that our civilization is awash with psychic toxin and choking on its own vomit, eh. . .?

sirbarrett said...

Good letter.

GottabeMe said...

I wrote Wal Mart about this too. How insulting, in so many ways...I can't even list them all here. But for Wal Mart, which refuses to stock/supply the Morning After Pill, to sell merchandise that supports the message that young girls can/should trade themselves sexually for money/materian goods, is so hypocritical I almost had smoke coming out of my ears!