Güd, a sub-brand of Burt's Bee's, has released a new sexy lotion. How do we know it's sexy? Because there's a little autumn leaflet on the label that reads, "A sexy moisturizer that leaves you feeling sexy and moisturized." Oh, cool. Thanks for the clarification! While being sexily moisturized is great and all, there's a little problem with how the company seems to quantify and conceptualize what "sexy" is. The label also reads, "Soak in the moisturizing seductiveness of shea butter... And let the catcalling commence." Uh. What?
Smooth your epidermis so that men on the street shout sexist things at you! Moisturize until you feel uncomfortable traveling alone in public because strangers are making creepy comments! Catcalling is not a compliment, nor is it some diagnostic for one's attractiveness. It's street harassment, plain and simple. And, as Hollaback! puts it:
Street harassment is a form of sexual harassment that takes place in public spaces. At its core is a power dynamic that constantly reminds historically subordinated groups (women and LGBTQ folks, for example) of their vulnerability to assault in public spaces. Further, it reinforces the ubiquitous sexual objectification of these groups in everyday life.
Street harassment... is an expression of the interlocking and overlapping oppressions we face and it functions as a means to silence our voices and "keep us in our place."
It's fairly safe to assume that if someone were to say, "Hey, rub this vanilla bean extract on your limbs and torso; it will cause people to street harass you," no one in the world would do so. Upset that the packaging legitimizes the myth that women enjoy street harassment and/or "ask for it," Hollaback! created a Change.org petition.
In response, güd offered a classic "we're sorry if anyone was offended" apology (never goes out of style!) on its Facebook page:
We apologize if the wording on our Vanilla Flame Body Butter packaging offended anyone. güd, from Burt's Bees, in no way encourages gender-based harassment and the objectification of women. güd is a brand built on positivity. Our products are designed to make women feel good on the inside and out. We want women everywhere to be able to enjoy amazing smelling natural personal care products that will leave them smiling, not attracting undesirable and disrespectful attention. This product will only be on shelves while supplies last.
Women should be encouraged to sexily moisturize (if that's what they're into) in order to feel confident, happy and good about themselves, not to attract male attention — and especially not if that male attention takes the form of unwanted harassment.
"Burt's Bees 'Let The Catcalling Commence' Label Seems Like A Great Reason To Not Buy Their New Lotion" [HuffPo]
Image via Facebook.