Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Do you find this 'Gold Digging' t-shirt, sexist?

Because it seems the majority of the blogosphere and twitterverse believe it is. Here's why.

Do you find this 'Gold Digging' t-shirt, sexist?

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Photo courtesy of Nike.com
Photo courtesy of Nike.com

Perception is everything. And if you haven't heard the latest controversy shrouding a sports apparel company, allow us to enlighten you.

Nike, the official outfitter of the 2012 London Olympics, apparently overstepped a contentious gender boundary by distributing the following product: A basic black or gray t-shirt with the phrase "Gold Digging" marked across the front of the tee in bright gold coloring. There are several points that make the shirt offensive, one being that it's only available in women's sizes, which from a marketing and selling standpoint makes sense because if we were to honestly question this product, what dude would walk around in this t-shirt, let alone a self-respecting woman?

Evidently, the phrase "gold digger" and its implications bring multiple stereotypes to mind, namely scantily-clad women walking around some bar, honing in on invisible, dollar signs hovering above the heads of potential "sugar daddies." The term oftentimes involves a backhanded, premeditated method of gaining a goal, or in most cases- a potential mate. Nothing about the phrase attributes the grueling hard work of female Olympic athletes, or female athletes in general.

Some consumers have expressed their disapproval of the product, which is available for $24.99 at Nordstrom and Footlocker. One user found the shirt's message so repulsive that he/she left the following comment under the product description on Nordstrom's site:

Is Nike's 'Gold Digging' t-shirt sexist?
I am a woman and yes, I find it offensive
 
  13 (15.7%)
I am a woman and no, it is not
 
  23 (27.7%)
I am a man and yes, I find it offensive
 
  8 (9.6%)
I am a man and no, it is not
 
  39 (47.0%)
Total votes = 83

"Why are you selling this shirt? The message is disgusting, disgraceful, degrading and extremely disrespectful. If it's all in good fun, why isn't the shirt available in men's sizes? I frequently shop at Nordstrom but will take my business elsewhere. I do not want my daughters to think this is acceptable."

This isn't Nike's first offense this summer, let alone this month. Just last week, the apparel company distributed t-shirts to the U.S. women's soccer team after its gold-medal victory over Japan which read, "Greatness Has Been Found." The backlash was unprecedented, with the New York Times' Ben Rothenberg tweeting, "'Greatness has been found,' but not humility. Gross."

So what are your thoughts on this shirt? Do you find it offensive? Vote in our poll!

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About this blog
Reach Esther at elee@philly.com.

Esther Lee Philly.com
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