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Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them! controversy

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"Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them!" is a slogan on a T-shirt (WP) by Florida clothing company David and Goliath. The slogan is printed next to a cartoon image of a boy running away from five stones flying in his direction. People magazine ran a story on the T-shirt.[1]

In December 2003, radio-host and "fathers' rights activist" Glenn Sacks started a campaign against the T-shirts, on the grounds of misandry. This raised national attention and led to the removal of the shirts from several thousand retail outlets.[2]


The T-shirt was designed by company founder Todd Goldman, who started David and Goliath in 1999 with "Boys are Smelly" T-shirts. It now features clothes with a variety of slogans, such as "Boys tell lies, poke them in the eyes!" or "The stupid factory, where boys are made". "Boys are stupid ..." has evolved into a successful object for merchandise, which includes all types of clothes, mugs, key chains, posters and other items. In 2005 Goldman published a book with the same title.[3]

Controversy and campaignEdit

Wikipedia:Los Angeles based radio host and father's rights activist Glenn Sacks initiated a campaign against the T-shirts in 2003. He claimed that they were part of a general societal mood that stigmatizes and victimizes boys.[4] The company says that the shirts are not meant to encourage violence.[5]

The campaign against the line received support from several men's rights (WP) groups, such as the Wikipedia:National Coalition of Free Men, but also from groups with broader agendas, such as the Wikipedia:Southern Poverty Law Center,[6] and other talk show hosts including Wikipedia:Laura Schlessinger,[4] Wikipedia:Marc Germain and Wikipedia:Al Rantel.Template:Cn The campaign led to the removal of the shirts by several retailers, including Wikipedia:Bon-Macy's, and Wikipedia:Claire's, a total of more than 3,000 retail outlets.Template:Cn The slogan has also been criticized by Wikipedia:Bernard Goldberg in his book, Wikipedia:100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, where Todd Goldman, the shirts' creator, was listed as number 97.Template:Cn

Helen Grieco, executive director of the National Organization for Women (WP) discounted the issue as unimportant and depicted Sacks as hypocritical, alleging he publicizes anti-women views in his radio broadcasts.[7] Others, like Wikipedia:San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jane Ganahl ridiculed Sacks' efforts in an article saying, "shut up and get a life, already".[8] Ganahl argued that the T-shirts are perceived as harmless fun by children and that sexism against women is a far more widespread and substantial problem in United States' society.

Glenn Sacks responded to criticism of the campaign, asserting that the criticism was dismissive of the feelings of boys and that the idea that boys should laugh at the joke at their expense creates a "Wikipedia:double bind" for boys.[9]

Response from retailersEdit

In Canada, the complaints by the Wikipedia:Canadian Children's Rights Council resulted in numerous major retail chain stores stopping their sales of the merchandise.[5] Wikipedia:The Bay, Canada's oldest retailer and one of the largest retailers in Canada, was persuaded by the Canadian Children's Rights Council not only to discontinue selling the merchandise, but to not purchase anything in the future from the company manufacturing the T-shirts and merchandise.

See also Edit


  1. "Guy Trouble: Boys Are Stupid gear has some folks teed off, but creator Todd Goldman is cashing in". People. 2005-06-06.,,20147751,00.html. 
  2. Crary, D (2004-01-30). "'Stores pull "Boys Are Stupid" merchandise'". Wikipedia:The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  3. Goldman, Todd (2005). "Boys Are Stupid, Throw Rocks at Them!". Workman Publishing Company. Template:Citation/identifier. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sacks, G (2004-03-04). Final Update "Final Update - Glenn Sacks campaign blog against "Boys are stupid..."". Final Update. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Binks, G (2004-05-29). "The mean T-shirt: From the Stupid Factory". Wikipedia:The National Post. 
  6. Williams, D (2004-01-23). "Clothing Designer Misses Point of 'Girl Power'". 
  7. Cangelosi, P (2004-03-31). "Bashing boys is, like, not OK". Wikipedia:The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  8. Ganahl, J (2004-02-22). "Will you please shut up and get a life, already? Critics targeting anti-boy T-shirts must have something better to do than take political correctness to new depths of inanity". Wikipedia:San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  9. Sacks, G (2004-02-04). "Why I Launched the Campaign Against "Boys are Stupid" Products". Wikipedia:Los Angeles Daily News. 

External linksEdit

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