Next time you pop into J. Crew in search of a chambray button-down or a striped skirt, expect to come across something a little different: a political statement.
The brand recently dropped a T-shirt for boys that read, “I am a feminist too.” ($30; jcrew.com) and some supporters of the clothing company—which has previously created items for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign—are really not happy. It was created in collaboration with Prinkshop, an “activist-minded” brand that supports the message of gender equality. With the sale of each shirt, 10 percent of the proceeds will benefit Girls Up, an organization that works with the United Nations to support girls globally.
After the promotional image of the shirt hit Instagram, followers flooded the comments with messages of support and also anger. Specifically, it’s fueled a debate over whether brands should take a stance on politics, and whether children should be involved.
Those offended by the shirt wrote in with comments like, “Let CHILDREN be,” “Very much dislike,” and “NOPE.” Others decided to no longer support the brand, sharing, “You’re pathetic! No more shopping with J. Crew for me!”
On the other hand, fans of the shirt championed it, asking for more. “I love this! It’s important to bring children into the conversation. It’s not about power. It’s not about assigning political ideologies to children. It’s about human rights—for men. For women. For children … without gender expectations … it starts at birth,” one user wrote, with another adding, “I will start buying your clothes. You have WON over a customer!!”
So far, the shirt is sold-out in sizes 2 and 3.