This is probably more of a rant than anything else, so just bare with me. David and I have limited shopping options where we live and the closest store in walking distance is Walmart (which also has the most options for baby stuff). So we have, on occasion, walked to the Walmart to pick up a few small items that we might realize we need.
On such an evening this past week we went to Walmart to pick up a baby item and as we were walking out we saw some Batman t-shirts in the women’s section of the store. I find this exciting because not only were there Batman t-shirts, they were not bright pink or some other altered version.
Then on one of the shirts we noticed a sticker that stated “The Boyfriend Tee”. We both just stood there kind of staring because we really could not understand what it meant. There were a number of reasons that we could think to label something like that and all of them felt kind of sexist or condescending.
Shirt Belongs to Your Boyfriend
So, one of the first thoughts is that the idea is that the shirt is one that would belong to your boyfriend that you would wear. This can be seen sometimes with dress shirts that are called the boyfriend shirt because supposedly it is tailored more like a men’s shirt, thus the boyfriend shirt.
This is kind of problematic to begin with, but with the a comic-based t-shirt I feel like there is another level of issues present. Specifically the idea that something like Batman is “for boys” and therefore this shirt would normally belong to a girl’s boyfriend not to her.
Shirt Helps You Get a Boyfriend
Another option is that the t-shirt is designed to help you get a boyfriend. This follows the same underlying premise as the previous option: that a Batman t-shirt would only be for a boy and that a girl wearing it is an anomaly.
The other piece that this presents is the thought that a girl wants to catch a guy and by wearing this shirt it will help you catch said guy. The very idea is ridiculous because first off why should I spend money on clothing if it is not something I would like? The idea that you would use a Batman t-shirt to catch a guy also plays in to the whole fake geek girl scenario. It just seems so condescending.
Wear Shirt for Boyfriend
The other option is that you get this shirt to wear for your boyfriend. This kind of combines the first two premises because the idea is that it is something that a guy would like and it is why you are wearing it. You already have the boyfriend so it is not about getting one, but you are still buying it for the guy.
I don’t know if I even understand this one completely because why wouldn’t you just buy the shirt for your boyfriend to wear, instead of for you to wear for your boyfriend? Again it falls under the idea that your boyfriend is a geek and you are not, but you want to show interest in something they like. It really falls under the whole fake geek girl syndrome that people believe in.
In conclusion my only response is just WHY?! The whole thing is so ridiculous and that it is a sticker that got added to the shirt as a way to promote makes it even worse. Someone thought of this idea as a way to market a t-shirt. I guess the big thing is that the whole idea is just extremely disappointing.