For those of you who may not have heard, Lands End decided to feature a different "icon" every season to appear as a model on their website and in their catalogs. Gloria Steinem is a prominent American feminist, activist, and author. She appeared as the first guest in the icon series. Pretty great, right? Or maybe not for some.
Some anti-feminist and anti-choice people protested the selection of Steinem as an icon, and threatened boycotts. Lands End caved, and pulled the feature.
Jill goes on to describe the backlash:
"The response to the apology has been fierce, and although there is no way for me to gauge whether the company has lost more customers because of the original article or the ensuing backlash, damage to their reputation is assured. The company’s liberal “if you’re not satisfied for any reason” policy is leading to mass returns. Their Facebook page has become a rallying point for angry women feeling their trust (and consumer dollars) have been betrayed.Read her full blog here.
Women and girls are routinely socialized that their rights are acceptable – as long as they do not offend or make anyone else uncomfortable. Our existence is regularly constrained by the possibility we might make someone feel bad, or horny, or angry, or threatened. It has broad and sweeping ramifications in terms of violence against women, educational attainment, workplace equity, the provision of medical care, basic bodily autonomy… virtually every part of our lives."
Do you have Lands End clothing in your home? Are you unhappy with their decision to remove Steinem from their website and materials? If so, you can do something about it. Take a stand!