This retailer’s sexist email about meeting the parents receives massive backlash online

Source: Facebook
Source: Facebook

The holidays are a time of gift-giving, celebration and, to be honest, rampant anxiety about possibly having to meet your special someone's parents. 

So the British retailer Joy thought it was only helping when it sent out an email to its subscribers about how to dress when you're going to be meeting the parents for possibly the first time. You know, perhaps you want a cute dress, or a blouse to impress your prospective parents-in-law.

"Show your boyfriend's mum you're the girl to take care of her little prince in beautiful dresses that scream marriage material," the email reads. "Knee length skirts exude class while respectable necklines mean Father-in-Law won't have a heart attack when you lean across the table for a second helping of roast potatoes." 

Right. OK. 

Source: Giphy

On Joy's own Facebook page, women have started to post their own rebuttals to the email, noting that this advice is not only entirely outdated... 

...but also some sexist bullshit. 

"Since when did you think this kind of crass, everyday sexism was a legit way to market yourself to women?" Ceri Smith wrote on Joy's Facebook page. "This isn't the 1950s and women wear your clothing to look smart at work, not bag a man to get married." 

"If I'd wanted something to look after I would have bought a puppy," Lianne Hare also wrote on Joy's Facebook page. "Try to refrain from blasting out your 1950s heteronormative advertising for 2017. You might win a few more customers." 

"Also, if anyone's partners dad is oggling [sic] their boobs over dinner, punch him square in the nose and take that meal to go," Hare, now our hero, concluded. 

In a statement to Huffington Post U.K., Joy said that its email was really a failed attempt at satire. 

"Over the years, our tone has often been tongue in cheek, much to the entertainment of many of our customers," the statement read. "However, we understand that we missed the mark with our terminology and apologize deeply to all our customers that feel offended as this was not our intent." 

Still though, who'd ever want to be the "girl" to take care of a "little prince"? What makes a dress scream "marriage material" anyway? We hope we never find out. 

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Rachel Lubitz

Rachel is a senior Style writer at Mic. She previously worked for The Washington Post's Style section for more than three years. Feel free to contact her at rachel@mic.com.

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