These Ghostbusters' shirts for little girls are depressingly sexist
Are you a longtime fan of Ghostbusters? Did you see it this summer despite the warnings that Kristen Wiig's boobs and Leslie Jones' uterus would ruin your childhood? If you did, you probably liked it, so why not buy your kids some branded clothing to celebrate? After all, if you have your geeky bona fides, you know that a flashy tee is the nerd way to signal your fandom to others.
Well, you might run into a spot of trouble at Old Navy, purveyor of fine OK fast fashion, assuming you're shopping for a little girl. The popular purveyor of flimsy, ill-fitting tanks and capris has two separate versions of a Ghostbusters T-shirt on offer, and the one for girls has us rolling our eyes.
If you head into an Old Navy — or better yet, use its website, because Old Navy is one of those stores that manages to be crowded even on a Tuesday at 11 a.m. — you'll find you can purchase a toddler boy's tee for $6:
Or a girl's tee for a dollar more (yay, pink tax!), which really puts those little preschoolers in their place:
Sorry, girls, you're not a real ghostbuster yet. You're still in training. Shoulda been born with a penis if you wanted the job.
In the grand scope of global issues, what goes on a T-shirt really isn't that high on the list. It isn't even really rage-inducing. It's just tiring. By now the cycle of "take a thing that girls like as is, make it pink, and dumb it down" has been churning for so long that it's commonplace.
Even when people call it out, like they did when Target erased Leia from a scene so it could plaster it on a T-shirt and market it to boys (who are well-known to spontaneously combust when there's a gross girl on their clothing) or when Hasbro switched the gender on a freaking velociraptor to make it more male palatable, the cycle just repeats ad nauseam.
So now, here we are again, with a movie that was inexplicably controversial because it had substantially more vaginas in it than its forebear, making sure boys don't feel weird about wearing merch from it, even if little girls get to be almost included in a movie that actually had ladies in it. Progress!
And speaking of which, why oh why do we still have separate boys' and girls' sections for toddler clothing? Have you met a toddler? Have you ever seen a toddler in real life or even on TV? Hell, have you ever even had a toddler described to you? They are all essentially shaped the same: round little belly, pokey little limbs. There is literally no reason to differentiate. Why not just toss it all on one big rack or merge shop pages under the heading "toddlers" and let parents and their kids pick and choose?
We'd probably see a lot less pearl clutching every time a little dude popped a tutu on for soccer practice, and retailers could practice looking less stupid if they didn't feel they had to design two of everything to accommodate little kids who care more about not letting their food touch than they do about cooties or gender norms. Best of all, you could cut the time you spend trying to not breathe in the body odor of the apparently permanent residents that clot up the clothing-strewn hellscape of Old Navy on a Tuesday morning in half.