Judy Cox and her 18-year-old son were shopping this past weekend at the University Mall in Orem, Utah (just about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City) when the pair walked past a display of T-shirts at the chain store Pac-Sun. Judy was so offended by the tees, which featured pictures of scantily clad models, that she complained to a store manager. But when the only response she got was basically a shrug and referral to a corporate office, she did the only thing she could think to do to have the shirts removed: Buy them all.
Yep, Judy laid out $567 to rid the store of its 19 "offending" tees. She says she plans to return them later, toward the end of the chain store's 60-day return period, but not before she makes her opinion known that the "shirts clearly cross a boundary that is continually being pushed on our children in images on the Internet, television, and when our families shop in the mall," as she explained in an email to the AP.
All right, I get it. She's a very conservative mom who lives in a very conservative, religious community where most of the townspeople are members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints. These tees aren't their cup of tea. But is buying and hiding something you don't approve of really best way to handle something like this? Especially as a parent.
Seems like the more logical solution to Judy's gripe with the shirts would have been to walk away and use the experience as an opportunity to have a tough conversation with her son. To talk about maybe not only how immoral she believes the scantily clad and provocatively posed women on the shirts are, but also how the images completely exploit and reduce women to nothing more than sex objects. And how she hopes her son sees and respects women as much more than that.
Because ultimately, these tees aren't really going anywhere. Well, maybe the Orem city code -- which prohibits anyone from putting "explicit sexual material" on public display -- will prevent them from being on display, but even then, so what? Won't her son and other kids in the community eventually see similar images in another way? And wouldn't it be preferable to have discussed and understood them in a constructive way -- instead of just being sheltered from them? Kids learn nothing from their parents ducking and hiding from difficult conversations. Or you know, laying down their hard-earned cash to do away with apparel they take issue with.
What do you think about what this mother did? How have you addressed similar things with your teen?