A woman has called out online clothing shops’ gender options in a viral twitter thread, claiming that she has been made to choose “male or female” before entering certain websites or signing up to brand newsletters.
Ellen Rose Ford addressed her tweet to all online clothing stores, explaining that they were only limiting their revenue by adopting measures such as these, which imply that women aren’t supposed to purchase items from men’s sections and vice versa.
And, as some people in the replies pointed out, it excludes those who identify in non-binary terms.
“Dear online clothing stores, if you make me choose male or female before entering your store or signing up for your newsletter, you are cutting yourself off from revenue from ppl like me [sic],” Ford’s tweet begins.
“I shop on both sides,” she added, suggesting that shops abolish male and female sections altogether, writing: “I don’t need your style suggestions”.
Ford continued by arguing that the concept of dividing clothes by gender is fundamentally flawed, given that the average person probably owns clothing “with both feminine and masculine attributes”.
She used the example of brands selling men’s jeans to women and branding them “boyfriend jeans”, claiming that these often cost more than they would if women were to simply purchase similar jeans directly from the menswear section.
Ford’s tweet garnered hundreds of replies from people supporting her argument, generating 2,600 likes and more than 300 retweets.
“Couldn’t have said it better myself,” one person wrote.
“I tried emailing a skateboard company once to ask that they remove the gender options from their website,” another added.
“They didn’t care. It just struck me as odd that you can’t buy something without declaring your gender. They don’t tend to ask for income level or education.”
Ford’s statement comes after the fashion industry has seen a rise in gender-neutral clothing on the catwalk and beyond.
In addition to the advent of a number of unisex labels, such as Wildfang and Radimo, major high street retailers, including Zara and H&M, have launched gender-neutral clothing lines in recent years in a bid to appeal to a wider consumer base.