Over 12,000 people have signed the petition created by a woman from Wisconsin, titled, “Stop Selling Sexist ‘Trophy’ Shirt That Demeans Women.” Wisconsin Women’s Network Chair Katherine Dellenbach stated, “I think it sends a message that young girls have limited options. I think it sends the message that young girls don’t have the ability to dream past what object they can be. When I think of trophy, I think of trophy wife.”
The petition states, in part:
The word “Trophy” is described in the English language as “any THING taken in war, hunting, competition, etc., especially when preserved as a memento; spoil, prize, or award- anything serving as a token or evidence of victory, valor, skill, etc.”
I wish I could reference this as a piece of history, or just some story line in the latest Mad Max movie- that this practice no longer exists, but the truth is that millions of women and young girls are taken as “trophies” every year in war, sex trafficking, slavery, and rape. The perpetrators see women as “things” that are bought, sold, traded, and ‘won’ through force where they are then beaten, abused, tortured, raped, and murdered for the sole purpose of ‘victory.’ The word trophy should not refer to any person, man or woman, because we are not THINGS- we are human beings. Labeling any person as a “Trophy” is demeaning their humanity and objectifying them as a tangible object that can be bought, used, and disposed of.
What’s worse is that the use of the word when referring to women encourages a rape culture where women are merely objects, not humans, to be used for men’s pleasure…
I wish I could say this was a mistake- that it was overlooked by someone along the way, but the truth is that dozens of people approved this shirt before it hit store shelves, and THAT is a problem. The fact that no one at Target had the judgment to see this as demeaning and objectifying shows their ignorance to their own female market…
This shirt hinders progress made by thousands of advocates before us. It says that, despite being ‘equal’ on paper, we are still viewed as ‘things,’ and Target wants to profit off of that.
In June, Target came under fire for giving two different labels for an aisle featuring building sets for children; one read “building sets,” and the other read “girls’ building sets.”