Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Wife-Beaters For Sale
Oh, for crying out loud, people...
BOSTON -- Building 19, a discount store known for its quirky sales circulars, described a package of sleeveless T-shirts as "wife-beaters" in a recent sales flier.THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE CALLED, based on the stereotype that men who beat their wives often wear sleeveless undershirts around the house. (Another citation here.)
NewsCenter 5's Kelley Tuthill reported Tuesday that even store officials admitted that the flier went too far. It upset advocates for domestic violence victims.
"I can't say what I thought. I know what I thought, but I can't say out loud what I thought," Jane Doe Inc. spokeswoman Mary Lauby said.
The flier advertised a three-pack of men's undershirts as "wife-beaters."
"That does, you know, go to numbing and dumbing down and normalizing and suggesting that battering is a normal behavior," Lauby said.
Building 19 spokesman Jerry Ellis took the criticism seriously.
"They were right. It was awful and I am sorry it happened," Ellis said.
E-mails came into the discount store's Hingham headquarters where everyone was apologetic.
"It's a slang expression, a street expression, but we should have known better not to use it. I am supposed to read every word. Sometimes it's busy or I am lazy. We are working on a retraction," Ellis said.
Reminds me of the Washington DC politician who was vilified in public, endlessly, for using the word "niggardly". (In other words, he was slammed not for what he said, but for what people thought he said... thus giving rise to a new trend: the tendency to avoid saying things that can be misconstrued by people with heightened sensibilities and poor vocabularies.)
Speaking of heightened sensibilities and poor vocabularies, I, for one, wouldn't mind hearing what it was that Mary Lauby thought. (Come on, now. Does she really think that more husbands will beat their wives, because they saw the term in a Building 19 flier? Does she think that men will go out in droves to buy sleeveless undershirts, and think that now's the time to finally start beating their wives, now that they're dressed for the occasion?) All we know now is that she can construct a 20-word statement with a 9-word vocabulary.
Sheesh. Get a life, people.
UPDATE: hey, a new reader!