— -- An 8-year-old English girl who called out a major retailer as “sexist” for its lack of dinosaur-themed shoes for girls has inspired a new hashtag: #Inmyshoes.
Since tweeting a letter to shoe company Clarks written by her daughter Sophia, mom Jane Trow's Twitter feed has been inundated from both women and men in science-related fields with photos of the shoes they wear to work.
Despite the shoes' being sold at the Clarks U.K. website as "boys’ styles featuring our fun Stomposaurus character," the British shoe retailer and manufacturer said the store staff mistakenly told the girl the shoes were solely for boys.
“Clarks are sorry to hear that Sophia was informed these shoes aren’t suitable for girls," the company said in a statement. "The Stomposaurus range can safely be worn by all children. We have a long and established heritage of designing shoes which offer style, comfort, fit, durability and quality, and offer a wide range of children’s shoes to meet their varied tastes and needs.
"We are also developing a broader range of unisex styles which will be available from Autumn/Winter this year. We provide training to staff to ensure customers are made fully aware of our range of suitable styles.”
The family has not responded to ABC News' request for comment.
Clarks is far from the first retailer to be accused of selling merchandise perceived by some to be sexist. In 2013, Children's Place pulled a shirt off the shelves after social media erupted in protest. The shirt in question showed a checklist of “my best subjects” with three of four subjects — shopping, music and dancing — checked, with the words, “well, nobody’s perfect” under “math.”
And in 2011, JCPenney pulled a controversial shirt from its website. The girls’ shirt read: “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me.”
A Change.org petition put up a notice with the message: “Stop selling clothing with sexist messages for girls.”
Other companies seem to be getting the message that marketing dinosaurs, fossils and other science-related interests exclusively to little boys isn't going to cut it. A Barbie book that depicted her as an engineer needing help from male colleagues drew outrage.
A brand marketing executive said the book had been reworked since its original publishing, and added, "this specific story doesn’t reflect the Brand’s vision for what Barbie stands for."