Next have decided they could flog young girls tshirts based on their interest in music.
Next didn't make a great choice, though. They came up with this:
Marie Nixon has been talking to the Newcastle Chronicle about how awful this is:
“It made me absolutely furious, it is a T-shirt little girls aged three to 16 and by the time I was 15 I was in a band.Yep, there has been a weak attempt at 'perhaps the phrase means the person is part of the structure of support underpinning the band from a business point of view'. Because band accountants would definitely wear a glitter 'with the band' tshirt.
“Emma reminded me that when we often used to turn up to gigs guys used to say ‘are you with the band’, it used to really annoy us that girls often get treated like accessories and that people can’t see them in fact as the creative ones.
“Some people might say it is just a T-shirt but it is an important issue, there is a drip drip drip of negativity that undermines a woman’s self belief.”
Marie also pointed out that ‘I’m with the band’ is the title of a famous 2005 novel by Pamela Des Barres - a former rock ‘n’ roll groupie.
She added: “The term Next have used on the T-shirt is synonymous with groupiesism which is arguably a culture of sexual explotation.
“I know there has been some suggestion that the phrase could mean they are managing the band or are producing the band but when I managed bands that would never be a phrase used by me or about me so I don’t accept that.”
I can't think of a single manager I've ever met who would wear describe themselves as being "with the band". Quite a few might say "the band's with me", but not the other way round.
Next's response is a shrug:
A series of tweets sent from the company’s official account read: “The T-shirt will remain on sale as there are only a few weeks left till the end of the season.Good to know that Next don't have a whiteboard with the words 'sexist tees' written at the top, I suppose.
“But we will take on board your comments for future designs.”
A spokesman added: “It certainly wasn’t our intention to produce something that might be perceived as sexist, so we apologise for any offence caused.”