OFFENSIVE T-SHIRT PULLED

Catalyst October Issue 2005

A woman shopping at an Elder-Beerman department store (a division of Bon-Ton Stores) in Ohio notified the Catholic League of a T-shirt that she found inappropriate. She snapped a picture of the shirt and sent it along to us. We thought it crossed the line as well. The shirt reads “Who can resist a catholic girl,” with the words encircled by Rosary beads.

We wrote a letter to Steven Mason, Chairman of Elder-Beerman Stores Corp., informing him that the shirt makes a sexual innuendo about Catholic girls at the same time as it trivializes a devotion to the Mother of God. We requested that he pull the shirt from his stores and informed him that after the Anti-Defamation League objected to a T-shirt sold at Urban Outfitters that was sprinkled with dollar signs and read “Everybody Loves a Jewish Girl,” the retailer realized its error and ceased sale of the item.

What is also troubling about the T-shirt in question is that those who purchase it are doubtless almost exclusively Catholic girls. Why even nominal Catholics would want to slam the Blessed Virgin and make themselves look like tramps is beyond us.

On September 19, we received a letter from The Bon-Ton Department Stores saying, “As of today, all Elder-Beerman and Bon-Ton stores will be pulling the T-shirts mentioned in your letter off the sales floor. It is never our intent to offend our customers.”

We commend Bon-Ton for making this decision.


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Written by Bill