Say thank you to Gloria Steinem

gloria-steinem-lands-endLand’s End — of the canvas boat bags and boring-ass clothes — interviewed icon Gloria Steinem for its recent catalog and immediately heard from a certain type anxious to ignore history.

(I particularly like this Chicago Tribune headline.)

So I guess I’ll have to continue my lifelong boycott of all those bags and clothes. Oh-well. Oh, and here’s a petition, if you wanna.


10 responses to “Say thank you to Gloria Steinem

  1. “It was never our intention to raise a divisive political or religious issue….”

    The social disconnect necessary to assume that an infamous celebrity connected to a polarizing issue could be exploited to help reverse the ongoing profit losses at Land’s End…during one of the most volatile and divisive election cycles in recent history…is just astounding. It’s hard to believe there wasn’t at least one American in that meeting that didn’t at least mention the possibility of potential backlash. And then dumping it? Another shrewd move. If you’re not prepared to narrow your customer base, don’t pick sides in what has been one of the most divisive…and unsettled…political and religious issues in American history.

    It appears the new CEO brought with her a talent for cultural missteps developed at Dolce&Gabbana.

    • I had a slightly different reaction: The entirety of Steinem’s life has been focused to her reproductive freedom work. I cannot figure that out.

      • I’m not sure I understand your comment.

        But for CEO Federica Marchionni to intentionally align her company with a liberal American social movement and then trash it…immediately…when social conservatives voice objection? That doesn’t reflect the kind of business acumen one would look for in a CEO. Especially a CEO recruited to turn the tide against lackluster sales. Especially a CEO accountable to a diverse group of stockholders more interested in potential profit loss than politics.

        Now…Marchionni has succeeded in pissing off everybody, (even you), and has given herself no way out. She’s branded herself an evil feminist to social conservatives, and as an cowardly and amoral opportunist to social progressives…and as an inept businessperson to her stockholders.

        That’s quite an accomplishment for someone who describes herself as fearless, capable of working with different cultures and mind-sets, whose vision is to evolve Land’s End into a global lifestyle brand. (Glamour)

        • I guess I’m surprised that the opponents of this interview seemed to focus particularly on Steinem’s work to guarantee abortions. But I agree that whoever is advising Land’s End is a chowderhead. I mean, c’mon…

          • Perceptions about Steinem’s career and her influence are going to be shaped more by ideology than actuality. She’s a symbol. An icon. A mannequin for window dressers like Marchionni.

            Marchionni’s problem is she’s not listening to anybody but herself. I wonder how long the beleaguered Land’s End will keep listening to her.

            • She’s an icon for women’s rights. The people who were in opposition to her, back in the day some 40+ years ago wanted to keep women barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen, and mostly silent. Her life’s work should not be objectionable in 2016. To focus on her pro-choice views alone in this instance, is an excuse for a minority to push their anti-prochoice agenda. It is not related to the content of the interview, as I understand it. Cutting out an interview on women’s equality is anti-women. We have no idea which models in the catalog, or executives in the company, are pro-choice and who are not. Statistics say, most are pro-choice and some have had abortions. This goes for most other businesses. Maybe they should just boycott all companies who employ pro-choice women. See how that goes. Sheesh! Lands End should have stood up for women and not given in to them.

              • I think Steinem’s (debatable) place in history was overshadowed by the fact that Marchionni raised the specter of the ERA and pledged to donate portions of sales from the exploitation of said specter to one of Steinem’s ERA projects. That’s activism.

                Marchionni should have just slapped some clothes on her, taken some pictures, put in a few captions about how nice looking, comfortable and affordable they are and moved on to the Phyllis Schlafly project.

                Or she should have featured some actual legends. She could have penned a nice article on how much more comfortable Mary Harris Jones (the Mother Jones) would have been in Lands’ End gear when organizing miners and advocating for child labor laws. (Steinem would approve, being on the board of the Democratic Socialists of America and all…where all the young women go to meet boys.)

                Or she could have focused on Lorna Whittelsey, the first woman superstar in competitive sailing. A direct connection to Lands’ End roots.

                Instead…she chose to embroil her company in a divisive social issue and then ran away at the first sign of (what should have been) a totally predictable backlash. She could have made bank off this had she stood her ground. Think Chick fil A. Think Hobby Lobby.

                I’m beginning to think conservative backlash itself wasn’t the main reason for scrubbing Steinem from their marketing scheme. I think shareholder response…particularly minority shareholder response…inspired that move. Land’s End stock value has declined significantly over the last 12 months. (From over $54 dollars a share to less than $25 dollars a share.) The combined business acumen of majority shareholder Crazy Eddie Lampert, (who singlehandedly destroyed the 100 plus year legacy of Sears), and Marchionni may be just the excuse minority shareholders need to dump stock, take their losses and move on. But not without demanding some sort of tourniquet be employed first.

  2. I bought quite a bit from them over the years, mostly for the kids when they were young. I contacted them, told them what I think of this, and requested I be removed from their mailing list. I’m so sick of anti-prochoice people pushing their beliefs in ways that effect the rest of us.

  3. Hard to believe Gloria Steinem is over 80!

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