Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them! controversy
"Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them!" is a slogan on a T-shirt by Florida clothing company David and Goliath. The slogan is printed next to a cartoon image of a boy running away from five stones flying in his direction. People magazine ran a story on the T-shirt.
In December 2003, radio-host and fathers' rights activist Glenn Sacks started a campaign against the T-shirts, on the grounds of misandry. This raised national attention and led to the removal of the shirts from several thousand retail outlets.
The T-shirt was designed by company founder Todd Goldman, who started David and Goliath in 1999 with "Boys are Smelly" T-shirts. It now features clothes with a variety of slogans, such as "Boys tell lies, poke them in the eyes!" or "The stupid factory, where boys are made". "Boys are stupid ..." has evolved into a successful object for merchandise, which includes all types of clothes, mugs, key chains, posters and other items. In 2005 Goldman published a book with the same title.
Los Angeles based radio host and father's rights activist Glenn Sacks initiated a campaign against the T-shirts in 2003. He claimed that they were part of a general societal mood that stigmatizes and victimizes boys. The company says that the shirts are not meant to encourage violence. According to Goldman, the controversy boosted sales of the t-shirt.
Helen Grieco, executive director of the National Organization for Women discounted the issue as unimportant and depicted Sacks as hypocritical, alleging he publicizes anti-women views in his radio broadcasts. Others, like San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jane Ganahl ridiculed Sacks' efforts in an article saying, "shut up and get a life, already". Ganahl argued that the T-shirts are perceived as harmless fun by children and that sexism against women is a far more widespread and substantial problem in United States' society.
Glenn Sacks responded to criticism of the campaign, asserting that the criticism was dismissive of the feelings of boys and that the idea that boys should laugh at the joke at their expense creates a "double bind" for boys.
Response from retailers
In Canada, the complaints by the Canadian Children's Rights Council resulted in numerous major retail chain stores stopping their sales of the merchandise. The Bay, Canada's oldest retailer and one of the largest retailers in Canada, was persuaded by the Canadian Children's Rights Council not only to discontinue selling the merchandise, but to not purchase anything in the future from the company manufacturing the T-shirts and merchandise.
- "Guy Trouble: Boys Are Stupid gear has some folks teed off, but creator Todd Goldman is cashing in". People. 2005-06-06.
- Crary, D (2004-01-30). "'Stores pull "Boys Are Stupid" merchandise'". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- Goldman, Todd (2005). Boys Are Stupid, Throw Rocks at Them!. Workman Publishing Company. ISBN 0-7611-3593-6.
- Sacks, G (2004-03-04). Final Update "Final Update - Glenn Sacks campaign blog against "Boys are stupid..."". Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- Binks, G (2004-05-29). "The mean T-shirt: From the Stupid Factory". The National Post.
- "Anti-Boy T-Shirts Get Boost from Boycott". Reuters, via The Washington Post. February 29, 2004. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
- Cangelosi, P (2004-03-31). "Bashing boys is, like, not OK". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- Ganahl, J (2004-02-22). "Will you please shut up and get a life, already? Critics targeting anti-boy T-shirts must have something better to do than take political correctness to new depths of inanity". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- Sacks, G (2004-02-04). "Why I Launched the Campaign Against "Boys are Stupid" Products". Los Angeles Daily News.
- "Retailers pull 'Boys are Stupid' products". NBC News reprint of Associated Press article. 2004-01-29. Retrieved 2014-04-10.