Purchasing gifts to present fathers on Father’s Day is a tradition that dates back to the origins of the holiday approximately a century ago. While the holiday itself wasn’t officially signed into law until 1972, those gifts have been seen as a small way to acknowledge the efforts of an individual’s father.
One of the more controversial gifts being offered for the holiday this year is from Old Navy clothing stores. An ad for a t-shirt depicts a man wearing a gray shirt that has “It’s Father’s Day” written on the front. While nothing would appear to be upsetting about the phrase, the presentation of it is what has people criticizing the company.
While the first and third words are printed in white, only three letters from the word “father” are in white. Those happen to be H, E and R. Thus, those individuals not looking closely at the shirt may only see the phrase, “It’s Her Day.”
To compound the aggravation of critics, between the first two words is the word “really” in very small type. Therefore, their anger is based on the fact that a shirt being offered in honor of Father’s Day is actually more of an endorsement of mothers, since the shirt effectively states, “It’s Really Her Day.”
The main reason for the torrent of criticism the company is receiving is because of the belief that it discounts the impact that men have on the raising of children. A number of individuals took to social media to express their displeasure, with some indicating that they would permanently boycott the store in response to the t-shirt.
Old Navy had been advertising the shirt on its website prior to the uproar. Soon afterward, those looking to purchase it were informed that the webpage in question was “Experiencing Technical Difficulties.” While there’s no indication if and when the page will return, critics have cited this as an example of the company realizing its error.
This isn’t the first time the company has been involved in a controversy. Last December, they were selling a shirt that prominently featured the words, “Young Aspiring Artist.” However, each of the shirts had the word artist crossed out and replaced with occupations such as “president” or “astronaut.”
That upset artists, who stated that the company was essentially telling the world that their work isn’t important. Some noted the irony of the fact that an artist was required to design the shirt in the first place.
That furor was followed on April 29, when a simple tweet that offered customers a 30 percent discount to celebrate the company’s “Thank You Event” was attacked. The reason this time was that the photo of the couple with a child, all wearing Old Navy clothing, happened to be an interracial family.
Critics in this case stated that the company was promoting miscegenation and that it would soon be endorsing gender neutral bathrooms and pedophilia.