The T-shirt reads: "It only cost me $50,000 to stop my wife from shopping at Zappos.com." The promise: Buy this T-shirt for $50,000 and Zappos.com, the online shoe store, will permanently disable your wife's account.
I laughed, anyway. It's a clever marketing stunt.
But naturally the charges of sexism and gender stereotypes rang through the blogosphere, including calls for Zappos to remove the offensive page or change it into some muddied attempt at inclusion. To Zappos' credit, the promotion is still up on its site unchanged.
Where is everyone's sense of humor? Several sites reported the $50,000 T-shirt stunt as straight news. People the world over think Americans have no sense of parody, and the reaction to this sort of thing proves them right. Read through the disclaimers on the page. It's so obviously a spoof it hardly merits comment.
Still, for you serious types out there:
Disclaimer 3: Some people like to shop because they like nice things. Some people like to shop because they want to be fashionable. And some people like to shop because they like to shop. We like all these people and will generally help them in any way possible. However, we can be bought for a price to make the shopping stop.
Get it? Ha ha ha! LOL. Or whatever.
Me? I like it when a company makes me laugh. And bland, safe, politically correct marketing isn't likely to win my notice. But this was zesty fun. I'm a chick who loves cute shoes and yet I find myself wholly un-oppressed by the stereotype. In fact, I might go buy some shoes now, just to exert my feminist right to spend my own money on anything I want, be it electronic gizmos or super cute Mary-Jane T-strap pumps. Good job, Zappos!
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