Let’s start off with the good, shall we?
I like Kohl’s. I’d have to say 95% of our clothing comes from there. They’re affordable, have a great selection for me and my kids and I love their Kohl’s Cash. In fact, I have $50 in Kohl’s Cash to spend this week because I’ve gone shopping there 2x this past week.
Unfortunately, when I was at our local Kohl’s a few days ago to get clothing for my boys, I ran across something I found inappropriate in the boys section:
And when I say “boys section” you can see that it’s in the size 4-7 for boys.
Two different t-shirts promoting Call of Duty.
I went back tonight to double check that I wasn’t losing my mind because I tweeted out to them asking them to pull those shirts off the floor. I know, a bit of a stretch considering all of the money they’d lose even if it were the right thing to do.
I even spoke to the cashier about it saying I knew it had nothing to do with her, but that Kohl’s had made a poor choice marketing that brand to boys.
Now, let’s be clear, the shirts are S-L (and probably XL) in the boys section, so it could go up to a 14 yr old boy size. Do you KNOW what age Call of Duty is marketed to? The audience of “M”. I’m sorry, but my 9 yo doesn’t fall into that age range. He’s a Medium and I’d probably say 7-8 year olds wear the Small.
Here are some facts about Call of Duty. It’s Rated M so that means it’s for people 17+. Here’s WHY it received that rating:
- Intense Violence
- Strong Language
- Suggestive Themes
- Use of Drugs
- Blood and Gore
Now, will a t-shirt cause violence? Obviously not. Is the shirt in and of itself “bad”? No. It can’t actually DO anything to cause someone to be violent.
What I believe it does is a number of things.
First of all, it’s another way to numb kids to things around them. Heck if they start wearing the apparel and any other gear, when they can get the game, they’ll already have in their mind a “coolness” to it.
Second, it gets their minds pointed to this game. Yes, it’s out there, it’s available everywhere, but at Kohl’s? No. The shirts are sold along with Angry Bird, Star Wars and Batman t-shirts. In a way, it lumps them together. Let’s just say for the record, Call of Duty is no Angry Birds. Not even close.
Third, I wonder who even thought that this would even be ok. Who’s choosing what goes on these shirts? Do they not have common sense to say, “Hey lets print these on MEN’S shirts not ones for boys”? How did this make it through the idea phase? Are there no parents on the team that approves the products they sell? And if there are, are they too numb to it as well?
I wonder how the people on the Board of Kohl’s Cares feels about this. On their home page it says this, “When it comes to kids, Kohl's cares.” What if, for their Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program, the winner showed up to accept their award in this t-shirt? You think they’d be impressed or do you think they’d question their own judgment on who they chose? No a t-shirt doesn’t make a person. I’m just trying to get a point across.
Oh, and this is a soap box issue for me! Always has been. It has nothing to do with what’s happened this past week. Ask my daughter who’s 21. She’ll tell you this kind of stuff being fed to our kids as “ok” is something I’m 100% against.
I’m only one mom. I can’t force Kohl’s to take a double take at what they’ve done and admit they’ve made a poor choice, but what I can do is ask parents NOT to buy those tshirts. Get Lego Ninjago, Angry Birds, etc but not Call of Duty. Please don’t get your young son thinking that Call of Duty is a game he should be interested in. Not now. Not at this age. Please?
I will now step off my box. At least until I get upset again.