Sunday, 21 September 2014

School Shoes - Follow Up

A few weeks ago I wrote this post about school shoes

While I was away last week someone from Clarks replied to my daughter's letter.  

I asked my daughter what she thought of the letter and this is what she had to say.

I don't know why they called me Ms Bray when I told them I'm 10 years old.  They didn't read my letter properly because they said thank you for your email - I didn't send an email. They didn't answer any of my questions and they made pointless excuses. The boys get durability and the girls get style - it makes me angry! I don't want to buy shoes there any more. 

I'd like to add that it was also disappointing for me to read the letter from Clarks. I was particularly irritated by the mention of 'gender equality and individuality'. Let's think for a moment about what gender equality might look like - would it mean identical boys' and girls' shoes? No, of course not. It would mean shoes that are equally fit for purpose. Different children like different things, and so you'd expect a wide range of styles. BUT, the following features:

whether the shoes are suitable for physical activity (can you climb trees, play footie?)
whether the shoes are waterproof (when it rains are your socks guaranteed to get soaked?) 

should NOT depend on the gender of the child. This is not equality. And attempts to fudge things by referencing 'individuality' won't wash with this generation of Mighty Girls.

1 comment:

  1. It's really poor that they mentioned an email when it was a letter etc.. You could call to complain and/or ask to see their research. How they choose they parents and children, how many of them there are and if questions are worded differently for girls/boys.

    Very frustrating. I couldn't believe their comment about gender equality either.