Lands’ End clothing company recently featured an interview with feminist icon, Gloria Steinem, as part of its “Legend Series.” The “Legend Series” features people “who have made a difference in both their respective industries and the world at large.” After a multitude of backlash from the pro-fetus brigade, Lands’ End caved, and pulled the interview. Lands’ End issued a statement on their Facebook page:
Some customers were troubled and concerned that we featured an interview with Gloria Steinem in a recent catalog. Lands’ End is committed to providing our loyal customers and their families with stylish, affordable, well-made clothing. We greatly respect and appreciate the passion people have for our brand. It was never our intention to raise a divisive political or religious issue, so when some of our customers saw the recent promotion that way, we heard them. We sincerely apologize for any offense.
Let’s start with the backlash. A Catholic school in Missouri has changed vendors for their uniforms. Tolton Catholic High School sent a letter home to parents stating they would no longer use Lands’ End for uniforms because the company featured an interview with Gloria Steinem. From the letter:
We believe unequivocally that all life is sacred, from conception until natural death. It would be contrary to our school’s very identity to support a company who celebrates the work of someone so opposed to our beliefs. (source)
As a lapsed Catholic who attended parochial schools until age fifteen, I get it. Abortion is considered a sin in the Catholic church, as opposed to child molesting, which is just…you know…a reason to relocate Monsignor to a warmer climate. So protect a fetus, but throw altar boys to the wolves. Okay then.
But there’s something very interesting happening on Lands’ End’s Facebook page. For example:
Equality of women isn’t worth defending Land’s End? For SHAME. Half your customers are likely women. Women have buying power, too. This woman has no interest in purchasing from cowardly apologists.
Caving to the demands of mysogynistic, anti-choice zealots is certainly no way to retain my business. Based on your unfortunate, fear-induced decision to distance yourself from Ms. Gloria Steinem, I will now exercise MY right to choose, and purchase my clothing from a more socially-progressive retailer.
I’m done Lands’ End. I am also a loyal customer. NO MORE!! Pro choice is just that, whatever a woman’s personal choice, I support her. Unlike your “loyal anti-abortion” customers, I support a woman’s right to choose, whatever her choice. Since money talks, I will take a walk. SEE YA!! Next stop, your website to delete my account. I am thoroughly disgusted by your weak stand on ALL women’s rights.
Hmm. It seems that, at least on Facebook, Lands’ End customers (or former customers) are rather peeved that the company pulled the interview. Which begs the question: Other than a Catholic school, and conservative anti-choicers, who’s pitching a fit about the Gloria Steinem interview? Well, these people:
Might as well feature Ted Bundy.
Proaborts are mad at Lands’ End. Let’s thank them for taking down the ad featuring this rabid pro-abort feminist.
Still can’t figure out why you think a 80 year old woman who wears a tee shirt celebrating abortion is a good face for your brand — especially among the young people you so hope to attract — polls consistently show people age 18-29 are more anti-choice than their elders. Maybe your new CEO should move from New York to Wisconsin — she might meet some people who actually buy the clothes Land’s End sells. Unfortunately, my family won’t be among them as we are done with Land’s End.
Between the anger from pro-choice folks, and the anger from pro-fetus folks, Lands’ End has a PR disaster on their hands. One group is pissed the interview with Gloria Steinem was pulled, while the other group is pissed Lands’ End ever featured her in the first place. Given I shop at L. L. Bean, I don’t really have a preppy pony in this race, but yeah, I do, because I’m pro-choice, and a feminist, and I just can’t support any company that caves to rabid anti-choicers.
I’m with Gloria.