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People Are Pissed This Store Is Selling Mugs Calling Sons ‘Heroes’ And Daughters ‘Babes’

Putting together my baby shower registry was eye-opening—and a bit disturbing. Instead of worrying about which bottles were the easiest to clean, I started worrying about how ridiculously gendered much of the merchandise was. Having a girl? Here’s your Disney Princess wardrobe. Having a boy? Try this onesie that says “lock up your daughters.”

What happened to just letting kids expand discover what makes them happy? Why do we keep projecting our twisted ideas of gender onto them?

That’s the question Paula Espener asked when she shared an image of two coffee mugs on Twitter. One mug, lined pink on the inside, reads “DAUGHTER, PRINCESS, BABE” while the other, lined blue, reads “SON, FRIEND, HERO.”

sexist mugs

What a delightful message to spread to our children. Please do better,” Espener tweeted at Clintons, the popular UK stationery and gift store that carries the mugs. She also included the hashtag #everydaysexism. 

Espener’s tweet went viral, with users commenting on how the mugs promoted outdated notions about gender, especially for women.

“Are you saying that I can only be a Princess and not a hero? Because that isn’t my job description. #firefighter” wrote one Twitter user calling attention to the skewed message.

Others noticed the inherent creepiness of sexualizing young girls by referring to them as “babe.”

Some users offered suggestions on how the mugs could be fixed by adding different descriptions that focus on achievement and intellect.

Clintons responded to Espener apologizing for offending her.

However, saying sorry for offending someone is not the same as owning up and taking responsibility—something Twitter users were quick to point out.

Instead of issuing lame apologies, Clintons needs to do better when selecting merchandise—because being a “hero” isn’t just for boys.