Peter Alexander withdraws 'boys will be boys' jumper following complaints

Melissa Buttigieg
News Reporter

Pyjama king Peter Alexander has pulled a “Boys will be Boys” child’s jumper from its stores, following backlash from parents saying the slogan had sexist connotations.

Melbourne mother Bridie Harris noticed the boys’ grey pyjama top while out shopping last week and took to social media to complain.

Boy won’t be boys. Boys will be held accountable for their actions,” she wrote on the Peter Alexander Sleepwear Facebook page on Wednesday last week.

“I hate to see an Australian store, who makes such great pjs, put such a sexist statement on a t-shirt intended for young boys (sic). Excusing boys of their behaviour is not a step in the right direction. It’s 2018.”

Pyjama king Peter Alexander has pulled a “Boys will be Boys” child’s jumper from stores, following backlash from parents saying the slogan had sexist connotations. Source: ‎Bridie Harris‎ / Facebook

She said the slogan set up a culture that allows men “to get away with stuff” because of their gender.

“It gives them an excuse for inappropriate behaviour. If a girl hurts someone or does something, you never hear someone that says girls will be girls,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“As kids, I get it’s little tiny things, like rough play, but it sets up for a culture where they can get way with anything. I thought it was a long-resolved discussion.”

Ms Harris’ views were echoed by many other parents on social media, who agreed the child’s sweatshirt also struck them as offensive.

One woman called the PJ top “cringe worthy”, while another said she was “so disappointed that this is something that PA would promote for children”.

A Melbourne mother complained about the boys tops, saying the slogan sets up a culture that excuses men for their behaviour. Source: Facebook

However, many accused Ms Harris of being overly sensitive and did not see a problem with the top.

“Omg why get rid of it! There is nothing wrong with a old saying, if you don’t like it don’t buy it,” one wrote.

Another mother expressed her disappointment she could not buy the tops for her boys.

“I would like to buy the ‘Boys will be boys’ pj’s. I have 2 boys and would like them to know that’s its ok to be boys (sic),” she wrote.

Another commented: “The pajamas don’t say, ‘I’m a boy, I’ll go punch another boy or harass someone and that is okay because I am a boy’.”

The tops have now been removed from Peter Alexander Sleepwear stores. Source: Peter Alexander online store

Boys WILL be boys…! Making boys feel like they can’t be boys anymore because, apparently it’s part of rape culture and they all turn into murderers and rapists anyway (sic),” one man added.

A Peter Alexander Sleepwear spokesperson responded to thread on Wednesday, confirming the brand’s decision to remove the item from its stores.  

“Hi Bridie. I  just wanted to update you and again thank you for taking the time to get in touch with us and bringing this to our attention,” the post began.

“We do not tolerate the behaviour that is being associated with this slogan. In the light of your feedback, we have decided to withdraw this item from sale.”

Peter Alexander Sleepwear has been contacted for comment.