Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Tesco slammed over 'sexist' T-shirt

A controversial T-shirt sold by Tesco hangs on a washing line in Cambridge

Supermarket giant Tesco is under fire for selling a T-shirt with a logo which critics said "promoted voyeurism".

Women's groups said the shirt - which showed silhouettes of women in the sights of binoculars beneath the slogan "Bird Watching" - was "objectionable" and Tesco's decision to sell it "deeply concerning".

Tesco said the £6 own-brand shirt, which was on sale in shops and on the internet, was a "humorous item" which was no longer available.

"This T-shirt is objectionable on so many levels," said Anna van Heeswijk, campaigns manager for lobby organisation Object.

"It promotes voyeurism, dehumanises females into sex objects and uses sexist language to refer to women as 'birds'. These messages about women are worrying."

Object said it had previously criticised Tesco for selling and displaying "degrading and pornographic lads' mags".

Somali Cerise, prevention manager for the End Violence Against Women coalition, added: "It is deeply concerning that a major high-street retailer such as Tesco sells products that perpetuate the sexualisation of women.

"Our research shows that sexual harassment of young women is commonplace. Products like these T-shirts create a culture of acceptance and normalisation of sexual harassment.

"We are calling on Tesco to take a more responsible and ethical stance to what it sells, rather than send out messages that it is acceptable for men to leer at and ogle women."

Tesco, which also offers a "Sid the Sexist" T-shirt on the internet, said no offence had been intended. It said: "The T-shirt, which was intended as a humorous item of casual wear, was on clearance and is no longer on sale."

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