This once-banned “Woman President” shirt is making a comeback
Hey you guys, remember last Tuesday when Hillary Clinton became the first woman to win the Democratic party’s nomination for President of the United States of America? That was so fun and exciting and the possibly the coolest thing to happen to politics since a black man was elected president eight years ago.
Well not everyone thought Clinton’s nomination was possible. Specifically, one major corporation that let its beliefs be known back in the ’90s.
Rutgers University professor Nick Kapur reminded us that during Bill Clinton’s presidency in 1995, Walmart stores in Arkansas started selling a t-shirt designed by Ann Moliver Ruben — who was the president of Women Are Wonderful Inc., an organization that aimed to empower women.
“Someday a woman will be president,” the shirt read, along with a depiction of the character Margaret from Dennis the Menace.
“Ruben said Sharon Higginbotham, a buyer for women’s clothes at Walmart’s national office in Bentonville, Arkansas, told her the store would not carry the shirt nationwide because the message ‘goes against Walmart’s family values,’” according to an Associated Press story.
Customers were uncomfortable with the feminist message being spread on the shirt. “It was determined the T-shirt was offensive to some people and so the decision was made to pull it from the sales floor.”
And now, at 91-years-old, Higginbotham is beyond thrilled to see the progress we’ve made as a country.
“When my cousin told me when I was 8 years old that a girl could never be president of anything, I became a feminist — that word wasn’t even invented yet,” Higginbotham told Slate in a recent interview.
“I’m grateful that I have reached 91 years and this wonderful Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to fulfill my dream,” she added. “I’m excited.”
One mom believed in the message, so she bought two of the t-shirts and held onto them for 20 years. She and her daughter were finally able to wear them!
Even though Walmart clearly made a huge mistake back then, the company has at least admitted its wrong doing.
Since the story broke, a Walmart spokesperson gave a statement to Jezebel that admits Walmart’s major mistake: “Wow, it still pains us that we made this mistake 20 years ago. We’re proud of the fact that our country – and our company – has made so much progress in advancing women in the workplace, and in society.”
Our country has definitely come a long way, and as a result, so has Walmart. And hey — progress is progress.