Over 12,000 Women Think Target Missed The Mark With Its “Trophy” Shirts

Target has landed itself in hot water over a T-shirt printed with the word "Trophy." The $12.99 shirt, which is still available on Target's website, spurred a Change.org petition, entitled "Stop Selling Sexist 'Trophy' Shirt That Demeans & Objectifies Women," which currently has over 12,400 names (the goal is 15,000 supporters). Although the petition was created a month ago, it's racked up 10,000 supporters in the past day alone. The petition's founder, A.R. from Wisconsin, wrote a lengthy rundown of the shirt's offensiveness: "...[L]ast week, I was appalled after walking into my local Target to find this 'TROPHY' shirt proudly displayed in the junior girls department...dozens of people approved this shirt before it hit store shelves, and THAT is a problem." Beyond sexist trophy wife connotations, the petition claims the shirts perpetuate rape culture on college campuses and beyond. "What's worse is that the use of the word when referring to women encourages a rape culture where women are merely objects, not humans, to be used for men's pleasure," A.R. continues in the petition. "A large part of the studies done with college campus rapes found that the attackers often took a 'trophy' from their victim, be it a pair of panties, bra, photograph, or even video, to later revel in their 'victory.'" The controversial design is from a series of wedding and engagement shirts produced by the big-box retailer, sold alongside "Team Bride" and "Mrs." designs in the women's and plus-size departments. In December, the retailer got in trouble — and spurred a Change.org petition that accrued 16,436 signatures — because ads for its Annie-themed collection featured white models, while the film starred Quvenzhané Wallis in the titular role. "It is never our intention to offend anyone and we always appreciate receiving feedback from our guests," says a Target representative of the Trophy T-shirt. "These shirts are intended as a fun wink and we have received an overwhelmingly positive response from our guests." There's nothing particularly offensive about hungover bachelorette brigades donning "Team Bride" tops at boozy brunches, but it's a bit hard to see the "fun wink" of likening oneself to a trophy wife (or anything you display on your mantel).