Monday, June 18, 2012

JC Penney Stands Tall Against Homophobia

[Note: This item just arrived unsolicited via email. It seems to be a fine example of “The Tenor of the Times” being shaped by “The Winds of Change.” Is this something we need to address with anxious concern and anger, or something we, perhaps, ought to take in stride, and let pass?]
Last month, JCPenney was the focus of homophobic outrage and organized boycotts after it featured a lesbian couple in its Mother’s Day catalog. So for Father's Day, how did the company respond? With the following:

"First pals: What makes Dad so cool? He's the swim coach, tent maker, 
best friend, bike fixer and hug giver -- all rolled into one. Or two."
This isn't the first time JCPenney has been attacked by anti-gay groups. When JCPenney hired Ellen DeGeneres earlier this year as a spokesperson, the so-called One Million Moms (OMM) –– a front group for the homophobic American Family Association –– condemned the retailer for hurting family values. But instead of caving in to the pressure, JCPenney went a step farther, and included real-life mothers Wendi and Maggie in its Mother’s Day catalog. 
This month, it sent out its Father's Day catalog, with real-life fathers Todd and Cooper playing with their two kids. 
Once again, the American Family Association and One Million Moms are pushing back hard and calling for a Father's Day boycott of the retailer for being one of the first major companies to feature same-sex families in national advertising.
JCPenney needs to hear from us now, because it has given in to One Million Moms before. Just last year, JCPenney pulled an ad OMM deemed offensive. If JCPenney were to aquiesce again, it would be a huge blow to the LGBT community.
For too long, advertisers have sought to fit all families into the mold of "one mom, one dad, two kids and a dog". Indeed, our families come in all shapes and sizes, and advertisers are watching what happens with JCPenney closely –– will the public embrace ads with diverse families, or will anti-gay groups win and push "non-traditional" families back out the door? It's up to us to decide.


We are being urged to send words of support and encouragement to JC Penney for their brave, bold initiative, but they would probably have to accept contrary opinions as well.
I have not tested the links, but assuming they work, I’d be interested to hear what you have  done or intend to do about this –– if anything.
Also, what do you think of the tone in which this message is written? Do you feel it is, perhaps, calculated to elicit –– sympathy? –– understanding? –– guilt? –– or possibly just controversy calculated to gain attention based on the adage “There is no such thing as bad publicity?”
Do you see this item as cynical? –– manipulative? –– sincere? –– proof of Socialist plot to weaken our moral fiber? –– Good for business? –– bad for business?
Do tell.
~ FreeThinke


  1. Cynical. I just keep going. It's their store and their money, so they can do what they want with it.

    I also don't pay attention to professional outrage groups, even those I may share sympathies with.

  2. Hi, SilverFiddle! Yes. I can't stand "professional outrage" either. It's a "vexation to the spirit."

    Apparently, however, even in light of recent reports that only a mere 2% of the population "identifies itself as gay" there must be a considerable market share of potential profits to go after, or they wouldn't bother producing quasi-provocative stunts like these.

    OR, maybe the CEO of Penney's is a closeted homosexual -- or has a gay child?

    Yanevvacantell! ;-)

    ~ FT

  3. Was there a similar pattern during the Civil Rights Movement? I honestly don't recall.

    If same-sex folks want to be treated "like everyone else," why do they have to be so audacious? They don't seem very inclined now to "live and let live." They want more, more, more.

  4. Manipulative. Name-calling tactic ("homophobia" is a bogus accusation.)

    I might consider writing them but they only allow you to sign their "thank you" message. No place to spout off.

    I'd boycott them but since I never shop there anyway any more it would be rather a meaningless gesture.

  5. I think it's probably both cynical AND manipulative, myself, but even so, it is a "cause" that needs to be acknowledged and dealt with more with kindness and understanding than vehement antipathy. But that's just what I happen to think. I would never dare say everyone has to agree with me or be damned.

    I don't like the pugnacious "In-Your-Face" approach to ANY issue.

    To be fair to Penney's the picture I have shared here hardly looks in any way suggestive, obscene or threatening. The problem with it is that it's probably not strictly true. It looks to me more like a posed, dramatized idealization –– ut-up job –– than anything candid and spontaneous.

    I'm glad you tried to reach Penney's, Connie. However, I am sorry -–– but my no means surprised –– that, apparently, opposing views are not accepted. That's a tactic typical of the left -- their determination to deny, screen out and annihilate all opposition to their "righteous designs."

    AOW, the Civil Rights Movement was the most damnably destructive series of events on our soil since the atrocity we are supposed to call The War between the States. I was 12 years old when the Warren Court gave the country is marching orders and enforced them at the point of a gun.

    I have sympathy for blacks, but I will never get over feeling very very sorry they were ever brought here in the first place. One terribly wrong thing begets an endless chain of woe and destruction.

    I doubt if things will ever be made really right. How could they be given the awful truth about Human Nature?

    As he late Rodney King said so pathetically, "Why can't we all just get along together?"

    Only God knows he answer to that.

    ~ FreeThinke

  6. Well given their previous experience with similar ads, it is undoubtedly effective with the market segment they are after, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it.

    In a circular, I'd probably have just flipped past it without reading or noticing it, I tend to ignore advertising other than the information I am looking for...product/price and make rational practical decisions when shopping. Calling my attention to it... It's a bit in your face.

    I own a Jeep Wrangler because I live in the mountains, drive on dirt roads, and get a lot of snow... it has the highest ground clearance, best 4WD performance on the market, that's why I bought it, not because of some pretty picture of bikini clad women and buff men camping in Yosemite.

    On the other hand my wife is Madison Avenue's dream girl and we sometimes conflict on the necessity of a purchase based solely on advertising. Her response was neutral and she is more conservative than I from a religious perspective. Frankly, I think, other than perhaps in some parts of the bible belt, the image has lost its shock value. The verbal message however is purely political.


  7. I see it as an opportunity for hysteria about a socialist plot .

    Saying this has anything to do with socialism is beyond dumb.

  8. Akshully, gay rights was part of the platform of the American Communist Party way back when, Ducky.

  9. Virtually all "revolutionary"-style insurgencies against the status quo stem from Marxist-Communist-Socialist "cells."

    Stirring up trouble in the name of a so-called Righteous Cause is the way Marxists operate.

    Who else would use such tactics?

    Have you not read about Gramsci, The Frankfurt School, and The New York Intellectuals?

    ~ FreeThinke

  10. Yes, Connie, and these people don't care a fig for homosexuals, blacks, women, cripples, mental retards or any other marginal "victim" groups. All they care about is USING these unfortunates to gain political leverage.

    ~ FT



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