Sexist 13th birthday card for girls

That's teaching 'em young, Arnold Barton! (Via Tom Coates Twitter)


    1. The grammar’s not wrong.  You’ve = you have.  Thus, “When you have bigger boobies”.  We just don’t use “you’ve” that way in the US.  The card, of course, is from the UK where that’s a perfectly normal usage.  If that irks you, you should consider getting some perspective.  The message is a terrible message for 13 year-olds (the materialistic sexism more than the use of the word “boobies” honestly), but the grammar is fine.

      1. Lighten up, I was making a joke on my Grammar Nazi-ism. And I’m from the UK, that wasn’t the grammar that irked me. The “you will” makes no sense given the participle of the previous line. “You will…” what? Give YOURSELF rubies in appreciation of your boobies?

        Were I being really pedantic, I’d have words to say about the meter as well, but the fun’s gone out of this now.

        Edit: Maybe the generally poor writing goes some way to explain why the card was still in inventory 15 years after it was last produced. It’s obviously a crappy rip-off of Purple Ronnie, which was very popular at the time.

        1. “you will have a rich boyfriend,” obviously. it’s confusing because the subjunctive clause* in the previous sentence is its own stand-alone sentence and thus draws your attention. the use of “you will” is nonetheless correct and unambiguous.

          *: “subjunctive clause” probably isn’t exactly the right term. whatever. i’m american.

          1. You’re right, I re-read it and the grammar’s fine. I think I overcompensated when I first read it and mentally re-jigged the first line without considering the remainder. I guess it’s similar to double-negatives.

            I think we can all agree it’s a shit card.

          2.  Judging from British television, at least, I think that’s usually said as “you will have done” or something similar, rather than just “you will”.

    1. So, I gather this is an OOP collector’s item, then?

      Still incredible that several somebodies with paying jobs thought this was a perfectly okay card for some sadistic dipshit to spend money on, whether or not there was an intended recipient. Yeah, I know shit like this happens all the time.  I still can’t help being appalled and incredulous.

      1. Here’s what’s sad about this card to me:  all those kids and parents who see a social advantage in big ‘boobies’, and buy their kids implants.  The implants make reading a mammogram that much harder in trying to detect early stage breast cancer, a disease that’s striking women at increasingly younger ages.

        Most women opt for silicone.  It feels more natural, it’s softer and more pliable.

    2. What heartfelt regret and beautiful phrasing! Some of that’s going in every card I give.

      Good for many occasions: “We are as surprised and horrified as anyone else to have discovered that there are still copies in circulation.”

    1. Boobies are funny. For years, nothing… Then BAM. Then more years of nothing, then BAM! That’s nature for you though, and everyone has a body…

      The ring-and-boyfriend stuff however, suggest it’s OK to sexually and financially manipulate people and that doing so should be used to add meaning of the recipient’s life. All in all, looks like a great way to ruin a 13 year-old girl’s views on healthy companionship… (Not to mention the message that any 14 year-old boys without diamonds in their pockets should expect to die alone…)

      1.  “…the message that any 14 year-old boys without diamonds in their pockets should expect to die alone…”

        Thanks for noticing that.  However, as a once-14-year-old boy who has never had diamonds in his pockets (and who was never smooth or good-looking enough to make up for it), I’ve come to realize that the “expect to die alone” part is, all too often, not hyperbole.

        The card is far more insulting to girls than it is to boys.

  1. When I first scrolled past the headline i thought it said “Sexiest Birthdaty Card…” and I was thinking “WTF?”

    It all makes more sense now. It’s not just sexist, it also might bring up some body image issues.

    1.  In the case of tween and teen girls (or really girls and women in general), body image issue-inducing and sexist are far from mutually exclusive.

  2. Nontroversy as explained in the article linked to above in the Telegraph:

    “The card has not been produced for over 15 years and would never pass our own strict guidelines of taste and appropriateness. We would like to assure all our customers that we will do everything in our power to track down remaining copies.”

    So someone had deadstock & put it up for sale in 2012?

    1.  what I find most surprising is that apparently Hallmark have strict guidelines of taste and appropriateness.
      I’ve yet to see one of their “humorous” cards that doesn’t make we cringe!

  3. Are we sure that there’s not some clever twist inside that turns the sexist exterior on its head? Maybe?

    I’ve never seen a “humorous” card that didn’t normally do that.

    1. Please feel free to name anything at all that could be written on the inside that would nullify the outside.

      1. …good thing you don’t put up with d-bags who try to buy you with trinkets; stay cool!


        … and next year, when you meet those boobs,
        notify the authorities on the ‘net–
        it’s a series of tubes!

      2.  … and we were glad to hear you enjoy your summer job with the local sea bird hatchery and rehabitation project. 
        P.S. At what age do their feet turn blue? 

    1. The best sexy is sexy that is not self aware. And the size of a woman’s breasts or a man’s penis has nothing to do with sexy.

      That said, the last thing a 13 year old girl should equate is breast size in ratio to a rich husband who will give her diamonds for said breast size. A 13 year old girl should feel free to not even think about marriage. She may never want it. And our culture shouldn’t make her a whore in the process.

      One last thing. It’s ironic that fashion models are held up as the standards of feminine beauty (some become very successful and wealthy) but there’s no there, there, if you get my drift. Our society sends out impossible standards and mixed signals to girls and women. Girls need to know they’re not to be judged like cattle. I can’t believe we’re still having this discussion in the 21st century.

        1.  Hard to miss the reference with Christopher Guest’s face plastered there. So,….? It’s sexist.

        1. I meant people who aren’t constantly thinking about how their appearances are getting attention all the time. People who are naturally funny, intelligent, caring, etc. and not “parading” are sexy. They can also be self-assured, but not necessarily.
          That’s creepy?

  4. Sure, it’s terrible. But this is the most interesting hallmark card I have ever seen. I’m glad they will remove it and re-attain perfect blandness.

  5. eh, it’s the other side of the “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them” shirt.

    cue public outrage and “debate,” while the manufacturer laughs all the way to the bank. (okay, maybe it didn’t quite work this time, but it did for the shirt.)

    they don’t care. this is one of probably dozens of ideas an over-worked and bitter designer threw against the wall to see if it would stick. or maybe the designer really thought he was just being hip and edgy. maybe the company premeditated the potential outrage, maybe it just snuck through the cracks. does it really matter?

    1. does it really matter?

      If you don’t think that promoting body dysmorphia and breasts as income-generating assets to 13 year-old girls matters, I really hope that you have no opportunities to have contact with any 13 year-old girls.

      1. sorry, i misspoke. of course it matters. it’s just when someone is making money by destroying society, it’s very hard to fight back.

        the “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them” shirt kerfuffle is very instructive. sure, there was some vapid and non-constructive level of discourse, some pundits punded, and yes, the shirts were removed from many stores, but the overall sales increased dramatically.

        a better way to say it would be: what can one do about it, that would matter? it’s like even thinking about stuff like this in terms of morality is a category error; we already know that the producers are amoral.

        edit: actually, that’s not quite true. i think what i really meant was “does it matter why they’re selling it?” it’s just disheartening to see a moral response to actions of amoral agents.

        1. i remember seeing a “girls are stupid, throw rocks at them” shirt maybe in the early 2000’s, yet i don’t recall any controversy over that…….i have not heard of a “boys” or the controversy.

          1. That was the shirt Romney was wearing? j/k, he only ACTUALLY threw rocks at girls as a 10 year old, and told his friends to do it too.

            The boys are stupid shirt predated the girls are stupid shirt and the controversy rated a wikipedia page.

    2. “eh, it’s the other side of the “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them” shirt.”

      Well, that sure makes either of them not harmful and sexist.

  6. There are levels upon levels of creepiness. Note that “next year” the girl can begin trading her sexual attributes to older and richer men for material goods.

    When she is 14.

  7. That card manages to be offensive no matter what age is used, and even takes the time to add sexism against men to season the base of egregious sexism against women….it deserves some sort of prize for hitting Bingo in one fell swoop like that.

  8.  I would so get this for my daughter when she turns 13. We’d have a good laugh, and it could spark some interesting discussions.

    Seriously folks, I understand the anger and righteous indignation, but we need to get to the place where something like this isn’t even worth anger. It’s 2012, and while I’m not particularly into the hipster irony thing, I’d make an exception here. And kids get irony.

    I could see how a card like this could be dangerous in the hands of a Neanderthal family, but for normal, right-thinking people it could be powerful. If you like to see things as “us vs them,” don’t get angry with the enemy: make fun of them. It works better.  

    Now, if I can just talk my daughter into a 50’s housewife party for her 10th, it’ll be a blast….

    1. I’d be cautious about generalizing about everyone else based on yourself and your kid. Or even generalizing about your kid. If I had a dime for every time I heard a parent (or every time I heard one of my own parents) confidently telling people all about how it is in our family, or how *their* kid will act while the kid just kind of recognizes this is not a fight worth having, or makes some kind of hostile but subtle facial expression… man… I’d buy me some bigger boobies so I could get a rich boyfriend.

      1. Actually, I’d contend there’s a high degree of congruity within a given culture (on a large scale) in the views of folks who haven’t been corrupted by excessive privilege, fucked up by religion, deprived of education, steeped in bigotry or whatever.

        But yeah, that term has been employed many a time as quite the dog-whistling soundbite, I’m sure; as a string of words it’s not a real good look…

        It’d be nice if there was a term that normal, right-thinking people could employ to refer to themselves without feeling embarrassed… I guess it’ll always invoke the spectre of moral majoritarians and their ilk.

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