by Lisa Gray

On a recent trip, I saw this T-shirt worn by a man between the ages of, I'm guessing, 17-23. (See No. 1)

And so there is no wonder why there are so many of us out there carrying signs like this: (See No. 2)

I have been lucky enough to grow up always feeling and believing that anything is possible for me. This is not to say that I haven't experienced my own gender inequalities. I have my own stories of embarrassment and shame for staying silent when the conversations took a turn toward the sexist worst. Particularly when I was a young 20-something new teacher who needed to get along with a predominantly male faculty, I would either try to infuse some girl-power humor or ... leave.

But when I saw that T-shirt, I just couldn't believe it. I had thought we had evolved. I have been reading the news. I know the war on women's health care is on, but the times are bad Bad BAD when sentiments reach the T-shirt industry ... because it means it is selling, which means the trouble is deeper than I thought.

For so long, I have worked under the notion that these ideas begin in the home. My husband is crucial in how my daughter will expect to be treated by other men and how my son will treat women. Apparently, this is not the case in every home.

And so I wonder, where are the parents of this world and what exactly are they doing? Or is it that the forces of our culture overpower what begins in the home?

There is much that parents can't control and what their almost-adult sons wear is only the tip of that iceberg. But something just isn't right. That this T-shirt was made is one problem, but that it tickled what is clearly a warped funny bone is a different beast entirely.

In the end, we have to own it. We have become idle, complacent, and my personal favorite ... busy.

Until this shirt (and all the ugliness that goes with it) is erased from this world, I am suggesting to the company that they make a 2 for 1 special. Any man who buys such a T- shirt will receive a free T-shirt for the woman in his life. (See No. 3)

I say fight fire with fire.

Lisa Gray lives in Winona and blogs at

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