Just Say No to Slutstuff

Kudos to everyone who complains about what Susan Estrich calls “slutwear.”

“In” or not, no store should sell clothing designed to make little girls look like hookers. Ever.

Captain Ed has an excellent and comprehensive post on this (from which the earlier link was cribbed, in fact). I’ll add but one thing to it, which is that the problem isn’t limited to clothing to teens or pre-teens or even age 6 and up.

Two cases in point, though I could provide many more.

1) When our daughter Katie, now four, was two and needed new dress-up shoes, I took her shopping. The only dressy shoes available in the chain store I chose had inappropriately high heels and seemed to me to be designed to look sexy. Aware that I am an Old Fogy, I spoke to another parent in the aisle about it and she shared my opinion. We didn’t buy any shoes that day. (To be fair, another branch of the same store had appropriate shoes on sale, and I usually find fine — and rather sturdy — shoes at this particular chain store, so perhaps this was an anomaly.)

2) A few weeks back, I took the kids for new warm-weather playwear. Shorts and t-shirts; nothing fancy. No problem equipping the boys, but a substantial percentage of the girls’ shirts available in size 4 were hookerwear. Slutstuff. Not just a table or two, but table after table. I expressed frustration there, too, but got glares from another customer. (Perhaps this is a penny-pinching mom who figures that if her daughter grows up to be a hooker, she won’t be asked to pay for either her college tuition or a wedding?)

Which leads me to my final point. Pre-schoolers don’t pick their own clothes. The stores are at fault here, but there apparently is a market for this stuff. That market is us, folks, by which I mean parents, mostly, and we need to have more decency.

By the way, the first store was Sears; the second, Target. We’ve been back to Sears with good results. It will be a while before we try Target again.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.