Deseret Digital Media NewsOK publishes content from Deseret Digital Media, which has a network of websites that includes KSL.com, DeseretNews.com and FamilyShare.com.
DODGEVILLE, Wisconsin — A popular retailer unveiled a new T-shirt line this week inspired by a New Jersey mother who wasn’t afraid to challenge gender stereotypes in children’s clothing.
Lisa Ryder’s 9-year-old daughter is crazy about science. Her passions range from oceanography to outer space, and she dreams of someday becoming an astronaut, her mother says.
Last month, Ryder and her daughter were browsing a Lands’ End catalog when they came across what her daughter quickly deemed “the coolest shirt ever” – a “NASA Crew” design in the boys’ section, according to TODAY Moms. Other options included “realistic” prints of planets, the solar system, sharks and dinosaurs — the stuff this girl’s dreams are made of.
The pair quickly poured through the pages to find a similar line in girls’ sizes, but were lost in a sea of sparkles, rhinestones, princesses and puppies. Science, it seemed, had no place in this section of the catalog.
These options didn’t quite cut it for a girl who “has read more books on sharks than I ever knew existed and follows NASA news,” Ryder said.
Frustrated and disappointed, Ryder took to the Lands’ End Facebook page, asking Lands’ End corporate to put an end to gender stereotyping in its products.
“My daughter was very confused,” she wrote. “Lots of her friends that are girls love science, too. Why were there no cool science shirts for girls?”
Ryder noted the company’s use of the word “mighty” to describe clothing meant for boys, while girls’ tees are marketed as “adorable” — unacceptable for the year 2014.
“Simply buying my daughter one of your 'boy shirts' is not the answer because it perpetuates the idea that science is a boy thing that she happens to be participating in,” she wrote. “My daughter is mighty and she loves science. Until you recognize that it’s not only boys that can fit that description, I’m afraid our family will no longer be shopping in your stores.”
Continue reading this story on the...