On January 6, 2010, HANES dropped Charlie Sheen as their advertising star. Yeah HANES! I am going to stock up on tighty-whities just to show my support for your decision to ditch the disordered wife-beater who has a history of disgraces against women. This deserves attention as the message seems clear: threaten or abuse your wife, and it’s over for you in the underwear department. Yes, forget the shirt men, you now have far more to lose, finally.

At first glance, it appears that an American company has finally jumped up and taken care of women indirectly, and in an obvious way. It takes a lot for a company to cut someone loose based on public opinion, but lets not forget, in this case, women do a great deal of the buying, so, in the guise of support for women and women’s rights, what is really underneath the underwear here, is a different kind of surprise.

HANES is protecting their relationship with women (ie~their money) by “sort of” rejecting Sheen. Their soft rejection still manages to create the impression that they are in full support of women, and completely intolerant of abusers, yet this may not be so clear cut.

It has been reported that Matt Hall, spokesman for HANES said they were pulling the ads for themselves, and also for Mr. Sheen due to the publicity, and apparently, there will be print ads running in the spring with Sheen appearing in them. Hmm. My dream was that the company rejected a man who harms and threatens women on that fact alone, but that isn’t what they did--after all, they hired him WITH a history of problems with women, amongst other things (he has been involved with HANES for approximately two years). Many women seem to take joy in buying socks and underwear for their men (sigh), so HANES appeared to play to the purchaser of their products to keep their undies clean and their wallets sweet, but it’s all an illusion.

Maybe I really shouldn’t care why they pulled Sheen from an ad campaign; after all, they have still managed to deliver a message of intolerance that many will simply accept at face value, and it generates conversation and shows that someone has a backbone on this subject, but, I don’t know, it kind of bugs me that dropping Mr. Nasty Pants Sheen was more to do with HANES protecting their money and the public’s perception of them, than it was to do with their humanity and support for women.

Perhaps putting it into contrast would help. Take NIKE, for example, who recently gave Tiger Woods a big, fat, juicy, wet kiss of approval as this quote captured from ESPN News, Reuters, and The Associated Press reveals:

Nike Chairman and co-founder Phil Knight said on December 14th, 2009, that his company is committed to its relationship with Tiger Woods...Knight said “the company's relationship with its most famous client isn't going to change...I think he's been really great," Knight said in the interview published Monday. "When his career is over, you'll look back on these indiscretions as a minor blip, but the media is making a big deal out of it right now."

Yes, please, Tiger, JUST DO IT. What's the minor blip of a few thousand mistresses anyway? Thanks to NIKE, and a special thanks to Phil Knight, who have managed to dirty an already dirty man. Women, family, truth, and commitment don’t matter much to the company, nor to the man who runs things, but don't you forget, Mr. Knight, that after women shop for those undies, we stop off in the shoe department.

NIKE’s coddling of Tiger Woods is disgraceful and typical. Their reaction to the mistreatment of women makes HANES look pretty good in comparison, but cheap support from a big company like HANES, or patriarchal NIKE-thinking isn’t enough. Women, especially, should boycott both companies until they get it right, until they hear that we expect more than lip service.

Author's Bio: 

Teagin Maddox is a Certified Life Coach, Certified Relationship Coach, and the Exclusive Expert on Domestic Violence and Destructive Relationships at SelfGrowth.com. She provides analysis and interpretation of high conflict/destructive relationship cases in the media-from a unique perspective and delivers powerfully effective communication strategies that help women recognize, avoid, and recover from destructive relationships. Teagin also teaches dating safety, awareness, and success programs. Visit her at www.TeaginMaddox.com for more info.

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