Sexist label in trousers cause a stir

sexistFrom the Telegraph 06/03/12:

Some sexist 'jokes' can be funny. Others are just offensive and we shouldn't succumb to societal pressure to laugh for the sake of it[.]

This weekend, as I attempted to tidy to my house, I happened to notice the label inside my boyfriend’s trousers – which he had strewn across the floor of our bedroom.

Upon picking them up, to throw them firmly onto ‘his chair’, (my weekly way of telling him that he needs to put his clothes away), this large white label happened to catch my eye.

While you were rifling through his pockets you mean, looking for evidence of his infidelity? :p

As expected, it detailed what temperature the trousers should be washed at.

Oh, so you were going to wash them for him then? ( :p x 2 )

But then, I noticed, stiched [sic] in capital letters no less, the usually inoffensive washing instructions tag, offered a rather less appropriate cleaning option: “OR - GIVE IT TO YOUR WOMAN, IT’S HER JOB”.

sexist trousers

Ouch. Buckle your chin strap – this is gonna be bad!  Thinking smile

I initially wondered if this was nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt. It got people talking about Madhouse at least – I thought they were a furniture store!

[T]his crass message stitched onto the label in these cheap chinos from Madhouse, genuinely took me aback.

There was no attempt at wit, and unlike the Topman t-shirts, which offended so many with their brazen slogans to be worn across young men’s chests - this was a hidden message – or rather an order, intended to encourage women to reassume their once their ‘proper place’ (in the home) and young men to maintain the expectations of their grandfathers.

I see Madhouse blamed the incident on one of their suppliers which they failed to spot when proofing. They apologised via twitter by issuing a lukewarm (read insincere) and grammatically incorrect apology. Don’t you just love the modern world?

"If we had noticed the label the items would never of [sic] been put in our stores. A mistake was made and we apologise for this,"

I understand the outrage here (no, really, I do) but whatever really happened, hasn’t society’s reaction showed the world has moved on?


  1. Marsh of the Merseyside Skeptics Society has an excellent talk called "Bad PR" where he talks about the effect of marketing on news coverage today. He has a rule of thumb that if the name of a company gets dropped into a story between about paragraphs 6 and 9 it's probable that they're behind it. It's always seemed plausible to me.

    I suspect your initial reaction is probably spot on.

  2. Stephen - good to see you're still about! :-)

    Sometimes I worry about being such a cynical sod all of the time, but maybe that cynicism is justified...

  3. Well, if this was made in the 60s, then it would have been funny and witty. Times change and brands must learn sexism should not be used in making business in any way.

  4. 'thelegalstop' - I have deleted and reposted your comment WITHOUT the link. Your other comments you've left on other posts have been deleted.

    If I can refer to your comment, I would suggest that you "must learn that [spamming] should not be used in making business in any way".

    You can keep on spamming me, but rest assured I'll keep on deleting these 'comments' as quickly as you post them. No hard feelings! ;-)


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