Victoria A. sent along this ad for Cafe Press:

Okay, okay, I know it’s just Cafe Press and anyone can make anything on Cafe Press and, heck, these undies probably come in both variations… but even so!

I mean really! Can we just think a second before we make an ad that includes a pair of men’s underwear that say “Loved by…” and a pair of women’s that say “Property of…”? I mean, can we just NOT do that when women actually are the legal property of men in some places and were at one point in history in many?

It’s not a joke. Women who, by virtue of being owned by someone, could not own property themselves; could not vote or enter into contracts; women whose children were taken away if they separated; who, when raped, deserved no compensation because she belonged to a man who, not incidentally, DID deserve compensation because his property had been tarnished. Can we, like, just not make this ad quite this way? Please?

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, with Myra Marx Ferree. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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