Student slams fashion brand Boohoo for offering sexist discount during World Cup
A student has slammed clothing retailer Boohoo for offering women a discount while men watch the World Cup games claiming it’s ‘ sexist ’.
Fuming Rebecca Lees, 27, claims the offer from the online store makes lazy assumptions about gender and suggests all women like to shop while men like to watch football.
The Cambridge PhD student, who is now boycotting the company, said she received two emails offering a 25% and 20% discount for women during the England v Tunisia and England v Panama games respectively.
One email said: "He’s watching the football again. It’s your perfect excuse to shop’ while another said ‘feeling second best? Put yourself first and shop while he watches the footy."
Rebecca says she has been left disappointed by the emails and is determined not to buy anything else from the site until the site ‘commits to change’.
A spokesperson for Boohoo apologised for any offence caused and said the company continues to focus on promoting gender equality within all its ranges.
Rebecca, from Cambridge, said: “As a regular shopper I often get emails from Boohoo.
“On the day of the England v Tunisia game and again during the Panama game these adverts dropped into my inbox.
“They told me I could get a 20% discount if I shopped during the football match.
"The first one actually came before the game started and you had to log on to the website at kick-off time to get the discount code. The second one came as the Panama game kicked off.
“I was annoyed about it because it resorts to lazy gender stereotypes that assumes men are all into football and women are shopaholics.
“It also implies that their female customers will all be heterosexual and it ignores the fact that some customers could be fans of football themselves.
“I didn’t actually see the emails until later because I was busy watching the game.
“I find it offensive. It represents a very narrow perspective of women’s and men’s experiences.
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“I know there are plenty of women who like shopping and men who like football but Boohoo doesn’t need to reinforce these stereotypes.
“I would describe it as sexist. They’re seeking to profit off a stereotype that says women are superficial and ought to spend more money on clothes and accessories.
“Where are the discount codes for men? I would say that anything that says women are one way and men the other is sexist.”
Rebecca said it was made worse by the fact the retailer launched their gender neutral clothing range in the same week in a bid to celebrate diversity.
Rebecca, who is researching gender and the ancient world for her PhD, said: “It was a particular kick in the teeth because the email came in the same week that they actually launched their gender neutral clothing range with profits going to LGBT charities.
“I’m totally behind the concept of the gender neutral line but I think it comes across as a bit tokenistic especially as it happened in the same week that they’re resorting to tired old stereotypes that reinforce gender binary and heterosexuality as the norm.”
Rebecca said she complained to Boohoo on social media after the first England game on June 18 but received another discount code during the second England game on Sunday so complained again and claims she has yet to receive a response from them.
Rebecca said: “It’s part of their corporate responsibility.
“If you’re in the public eye and the media and have some influence in terms of how society perceives things like gender and sexual orientation you have a social responsibility.
“I would like to see them commit to a business philosophy of gender mainstreaming and when they’re coming up with their marketing strategies check what they’re doing.
“I’ve been shopping with them for about five years and must have spent hundreds of pounds but until there’s a response and a commitment to change I won’t give them any more of my money.”
A spokesperson for Boohoo said: "At Boohoo customer satisfaction is our utmost priority. Gender equality and diversity is extremely important to us and we are sorry that this particular marketing communication has caused offence, this was not intended.
"We continue to focus on promoting gender equality within our ranges, as evidenced by our recent #loveislove collection, and we will ensure that going forward this is reflected within our campaigns."
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