You can't have missed the recent online furore about sexist school shoes.
It started with one mum's Facebook post – which went viral – about Clarks school shoes for girls being of inferior quality to boys' shoes, and ended with politicians wading into the debate and calling for an end to sexist clothing lines for kids.
The Guardian reports:
'Clarks are withdrawing a school shoe for girls called “Dolly Babe” after it provoked accusations of sexism, especially as the equivalent version for boys is called “Leader”. Both shoes are made from black leather, but the Dolly Babe has the added cloying detail of a pink insole printed with hearts, while the version for boys – which remains on sale – has a football detail.'
Dolly Babe? Give me strength. Happily, according to the Independent, Clarks has apologised for causing offence:
'Clarks said in a statement that the Dolly Babe range is ”an old and discontinued line, with only remaining stock being sold through our stores”. “We are working hard to ensure our ranges reflect our gender-neutral ethos,” Clarks said. “We apologise for any unintended offence caused.”'
They're still being sold in some retailers such as John Lewis* but the name now reads "Mary Jane"
As a mum of sons and a daughter, this totally twists my melons, so I'm glad to see retailers slowly wising up to the fact that parents don't appreciate this sort of discrimination when it comes to dressing our kids. Maybe this will set the pace for other retailers to follow. Here's hoping.
We'd love to hear your views on this story. Do you find it difficult to find clothing and footwear for kids that doesn't have a sexist agenda? Would you like to see more unisex ranges for children? What ranges do you love for their unisex and gender-neutral designs and slogans? Or have you bought the Dolly Babe shoes and do you think this is an unwarranted fuss? Leave us a comment here or come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page.