You may or may not have heard that Target was selling a maternity t-shirt with the slogan “An epidural is in my near future.” It was being marketed like a Chinese fortune cookie saying and came in a little Chinese food takeout box. I was appalled when I found out about it (on Feb. 9) and immediately wrote a letter to Target expressing my outrage over the irresponsibility of promoting such a shirt.
Here’s a copy of my letter:
To whom it may concern:
I was appalled to discover that Target is selling maternity shirts with the message “An epidural is in my near future.”
What kind of message does this send?? It perpetuates the myth that childbirth is this awful experience that should be feared and is only manageable by being drugged. It certainly doesn’t empower women to learn about natural birthing options.
For a company that believes in community involvement, I think it’s irresponsible to sell a shirt with a message that does not promote self- education. There are many risks involved with getting an epidural (for both the mother and the baby) and many women (if properly educated) could give birth naturally, med-free the way we were intended.
I hope that you will consider removing this shirt from your inventory and instead consider selling shirts to women with a positive, empowering message.
Thank you for your time.
Amy (last name deleted)
Today I got a response back from them…
Dear Amy (last name deleted),
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about the epidural maternity t-shirt sold on www.target.com.
This t-shirt is no longer available on our Web site at www.target.com. This product was sold briefly on Target.com in our Red Hot Shop. All products on the Red Hot Shop are only available for a limited time or while quantities last.
We apologize for any offense or disappointment this t-shirt may have caused and will make your comments available to our Web site buyers and executives.
Thanks for shopping with us. I hope you’ll visit us again soon at Target.
Target Guest Relations
A friend also received an e-mail back but her’s said the shirts have been removed from the stores as well as the Target Web site. Yay!!
I was so glad to hear that they’ve gotten rid of the shirts and so quickly too. It’s frustrating to me that the epidural rate is so high in this country (80% last I heard) and most women think nothing of having one. They don’t weigh the risks or seek out alternative means to deal with the pain/discomfort. I’m certainly not saying that epidurals don’t have their place or that nobody should have one, but I think one should educate one’s self before taking on the risks that are involved in receiving one and not get it just because that’s what “everybody” does.
Anyway, kudos to Target for listening to the women who voiced their opinion. And kudos to all of the women who took a stand on this. It might seem like small potatoes to some, but if women can unite on an issue such as this and make a difference, they can use their power to bring about change elsewhere too.