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WTF!!! Birthday card for 13 year olds

(18 Posts)
KRITIQ Wed 12-Dec-12 14:46:45

Yes Merry Lindor, the positive "take away" in my mind from this was that there WERE so many who found the card unacceptable and I'm not sure that would have happened even 5 years ago.

Been speaking with LOTS of colleagues just this week about things related to sexualisation of children/gender stereotyping/sexual bullying/etc., and I think (hope?) something of a critical mass is forming, which has to start with people talking about something, sharing concerns and then working out something to do about it.

Ah, but really interesting how the story became "embellished" as it spread. There's an account in Susan Faludi's Backlash (which is now 22 years old!) of a pre-internet days newspaper article - something like that women over 30 were more likely to get hit by a bus than married (can't remember exactly!), which was then picked up, republished, embellished, spread further and was frequently referred to as "hard evidence" in the late 80's of things like the dangers of feminism and how modern women were all saddos, etc. I'll betcha people remember the story, but not that it was later completely debunked.

This reminded me of that - only instead of unfolding over a year, it all happened over a weekend! Yikes!

TrillsCarolsOutOfTune Wed 12-Dec-12 08:28:57

Oh good, MmeL is here already.

MerryLindor Wed 12-Dec-12 08:19:12

Yes, I agree and share your misgivings. I was actually at work and tweeting between calls, but even if I had been sitting in front of the PC for hours, there is no way that I could have controlled the story.

I don't even know which retweet was the one that was responsible for it going viral.

Even publications such as DM and Huff Post haven't corrected their story as to how it got spread, and I have heard a radio presenter simply add details (which then get repeated as facts). He said that it was found by an American, at the airport in UK, as she searched for a birthday card for her niece.

It should be a warning to anyone using Twitter that once you put something out there, you cannot recall it.

As it is, it got people talking about inappropriate content, and the sexualisation of children so it is not all bad.

KRITIQ Wed 12-Dec-12 00:49:02

Ah, so it was YOU! grin

I know Hallmark are a mahoosive multi-national, plenty of funds and good lawyers so I don't think they'll seriously suffer from the PR fallout related to this. To be fair, genuinely doubt they had any idea this was produced 15 years ago by a company they subsequently took over, so couldn't really be held responsible for an old copy lingering all this time in a newsagent's shop. What made me wince a bit though was how quickly this "went viral," and what the impact of something similar might be say on a small company or a charity, where "the wrong end of the stick," spreads like wildfire.

I noticed you put everyone straight as soon as you cottoned on, but I wonder if other folks who forwarded the story did. I tend to think there will be stronger memories of the card and its links to Hallmark, rather than the explanation that follows.

That's kind of a footnote issue - the card was awful and as I said above, I think it's a positive that people generally I think are more aware of how such "humour" serves to help normalise child abuse. It's just the way it progressed via Twitter that makes me feel really nervous about the downsides of social media.

MerryLindor Tue 11-Dec-12 20:00:27


This card was found by a twitter friend of mine and tweeted to me. It was RTed by someone and then the whole world went nuts.

To clear a few things up - it was absolutely genuine and not photoshopped or altered in any way, it was not found by an American author (no matter what Huff Post and DM may have written) and when Hallmark heard about it, they apologised right away.

Anyway, if you are interested, here is the full story.

Darkesteyes Fri 07-Dec-12 22:29:00

I saw this on Twitter too. Bastards.
WTF is it with these card companies. This and what was discovered at Cards Galore last week by another MNer on this board.

richardsimmonstanktop Fri 07-Dec-12 19:08:10

I also posted it on FB and one of my most 'macho' male friends has shared it and also 'liked' Pink Stinks! So I'm with KRITIQ saying that the silver lining is that we're discussing it and WHY it's such a negative message.

Kalemu Fri 07-Dec-12 18:59:02

Well, that's a good sign! I reposted it on facebook too and I'm positively impressed that none of my unconfessed misogynist friends has said anything or made any joke about it. They must be scared grin

Wait a minute, they probably just have me blocked! Bastards!! hmm

AnnieLobeseder Fri 07-Dec-12 18:54:21

No, not a conspiracy at all! confused But it certainly has evoked one of the strongest reactions to a viral I've ever seen among my friends.

Kalemu Fri 07-Dec-12 18:52:54

AnnieLobeseder are you suggesting it was a conspiracy? ;) I saw it on fb from a friend too

AnnieLobeseder Fri 07-Dec-12 18:50:42

It's all over Facebook, and not only on my feminist pages - everyone is posting it and all are equally horrified. I'm slightly encouraged that everyone is reacting so strongly to it, but how on god's green earth did it get out there in the first place.

KRITIQ Fri 07-Dec-12 18:49:27

It looks like Arnold Barton is a dormant company - last accounts were 0. The company was acquired by Hallmark at some point. Have a look at Hallmark's Twitter Feed. They say it was produced by Arnold Barton before they acquired the company and is 15 years old. To be fair, if this is the case, it could be an old card that's been sitting at the back of a shelf in a dusty corner shop for a long time that someone found.

Not unrelated, I saw the first episode of Father Ted last weekend when I was staying in a hotel - circa 1995, and there was a scene where Father Jack remembers a visit to a girls' school where he was letching over the students. I don't think that would be included in even a comedy programme today.

The fact that so many folks now ARE calling out examples like this is actually quite a positive thing I think.

DoingItOntheRoofTopWithSanta Fri 07-Dec-12 18:48:44

Oh my god. Are people actually that fucking horrible? To tell a 13 year old girl that when she is 14 she will hopefully have some value as her tits will be bigger?

Fucking assholes. What sick fuck wrote that? And approved it?

Kalemu Fri 07-Dec-12 18:46:56

I'm glad they've done something. Thanks for the info ladies!

WidowWadman Fri 07-Dec-12 18:42:50

Apparently AB are part of Hallmark though, and it's genuine

WidowWadman Fri 07-Dec-12 18:34:59

It's not Hallmark, but Arnold Barton, if you look at the card properly.

If it's a photoshop, it's a very skilled one.

DoingItOntheRoofTopWithSanta Fri 07-Dec-12 18:23:50

I don't believe that's real must be a photshop deal. Hallmark are a "family" company, they'd never make that

Kalemu Fri 07-Dec-12 17:58:24

Just saw this and I can't believe it!! :O It reads:

"You're 13 today! If you had a rich boyfriend he'd give you diamonds and rubies. Well, maybe next year when you've bigger boobies."

See original here:

Let's tell Hallmark what we think! @hallmarkuk

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