Fangirls Make a Difference With Offensive Ad Copy

Congratulations to the Fantastic Fangirls for making a small but significant difference when it came to a superhero t-shirt store online. The store had for sale a “Girls Rule” shirt, cut to fit females, featuring old-style illustrations of Marvel superheroes. However, the ad copy that went with the shirt was clearly aimed at men.

… this cream colored, woman’s T-Shirt features purposely faded images of your favorite female Marvel comic book characters! Well, they’re your favorite, but your girlfriend (or sister) will actually be wearing the tshirt! HUZZAH! Hmmm… Can’t decide which Marvel Super-heroine I wish to add to my fantasy harem first.

And it goes on from there, speculating on what kind of girlfriend the female characters shown would be. Sigrid Ellis takes apart the ad text in full, demonstrating just how offensive it was:

It goes without saying that the only purpose of girlfriends in this context is sexual. No conversation, intellectual challenge, humor, or mutual support is conceivable. … use her as a prop to hold up your jerk-off material.

But Sigrid did more than just sound off about this stupidity. She sent an email to the company expressing her opinion and asking about their intentions. While they didn’t answer her, they did change the ad copy to acknowledge the female customer. And they did the same on more than half of their other female-aimed t-shirts.

Next, I think they need to examine their Wonder Woman line, which includes such copy as “it covers up more of your busom than Diana Prince’s”, “Wonder Woman posing but not shaking it at all”, and “the Invisible Jet being ridden bareback! Yes, the Jet is naked!” While some still have … let’s say, less than enlightened descriptions, and while they may have made the edits just to avoid bad press, it was refreshing to see the positive change made.

3 Responses to “Fangirls Make a Difference With Offensive Ad Copy”

  1. John Jakala Says:

    I think I’m most offended that the ad copy is so stunningly stupid. The original text for the “Girls Rule” shirt was astoundingly bad, but there’s still plenty on the site that reads like they rounded up random message board commenters to create the copy. Take for example this gem from the “Wonder Woman Juniors Light Blue Invisible Jet T-Shirt” description:

    “Here’s a light blue Wonder Woman Junior Womens sized T-Shirt featuring Wonder Woman exuding feminine confidence in her stance, as well as Wonder Woman riding atop her trusty Invisible Jet. Now, if only Wonder Woman had an invisible opinion. HAH! Just kiddding, ladies. You’re beautiful. All of you. You’re ALL BEAUTIFUL!”

    Ha ha ha ha, women expect men to take their opinions seriously! Hilarious!! Don’t they know that men only judge women based on their physical attractiveness?

    I think the sloppiness of misspelling “kidding” is what really gives it that amateurish message board comment feel.

  2. Caroline Says:

    Thanks for taking notice! I want to add (as Sigrid says in her article) that Sarah Kuhn of Alert Nerd was the one who first noticed the copy. So it’s a group effort!

    Though I have to say, after watching the Super Bowl, it’s enlightening/depressing that it’s not just small-time Internet retailers that seem to have this attitude about women consumers.

  3. Johanna Says:

    I know, the Super Bowl ads were such throwbacks! And seeing otherwise intelligent people trying to justify their anti-woman stances by saying “well, it’s targeted marketing”… oh, is that the new codeword for hate?




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