Earlier this week, a Rutgers University professor did us all a huge solid when he brought to our attention a Very Special Reminder that once upon a time, Walmart was in the business of crushing little girls’ dreams. The time: 1995. The shirt:
That girl there is Margaret, from the Dennis the Menace comic strip. Margaret, in case you’re unaware, is a boss ass bitch.
She loves books,
She’s a black belt,
And she DGAF what you think about her or her abilites.
Any or none of which may have played into Walmart banning that shirt, featuring Margaret declaring that one day a woman would be PRESIDENT (with an implication that maybe it could even be her), on the grounds that it went against their “family values.”
In 1995 Walmart pulled "Someday a woman will be president" T-shirt from shelves, saying it offended "family values." pic.twitter.com/jqqbmZFMCa— Nick Kapur (@nick_kapur) July 27, 2016
I have to keep reminding myself that this happened in 1995, because my brain keeps trying to translate it to some year that makes more sense, like 1955 or 1965. That would still be upsetting, but at least it generally computes. In 1995, Hillary Clinton was IN THE WHITE HOUSE. We had women (if not enough, at least some) serving at all other levels of government. But a WOMAN? As PRESIDENT? Now, Walmart wouldn’t stand for that. At the time, the designer, a then-70-year-old psychologist name Ann Reuben explained “that promoting females as leaders is still a very threatening concept in this country.” Amazing how somehow, 22 years later, it still seems to be threatening to a lot of Americans.
To their credit, a spokesperson for the company gave a pretty awesome statement when asked:
Wow, it still pains us that we made this mistake 20 years ago. We’re proud of the fact that our country - and our company - has made so much progress in advancing women in the workplace, and in society.