In a battle of the sexes, a spar over who is responsible for washing and doing the laundry is nothing new, but one high-street clothing company sparked a Twitter outcry after a label with sexist washing instructions was seen in a pair of trousers.

Madhouse, a nationwide chain of discount clothing stores was branded ‘shameful’ and ‘outrageous’ by a number of Twitter users after its chauvinist label on a pair of trousers was judged to be below the belt.

The label in a pair of beige chino trousers states the standard washing instructions followed by “Or give it to your woman: It's her job.”

A photo of the label was posted on the popular social network Twitter and as news spread, it wasn't long before it created a national outburst with users calling for the brand to be named and shamed.

The majority of Twitter users were offended by the controversial situation with typical tweets reading; "How dare #Madhouse this is 2012 not 1950's!”

Whilst others found it light-hearted and amusing with particular tweets reading; “I literally cannot see why people are so upset by a bit of humour in some trousers and “Personally, I think the ‘Give it to your woman label’ in the Madhouse trousers is funny, and my girlfriend would laugh about it too. #relax".

A few users were more cynical and decided it was a publicity stunt on the brand’s part – aimed to gain free advertising.

A Madhouse spokesman said: "The chinos in question are manufactured by a jeans brand that we stock but the care instructions on this product were not proofed by our buyers who normally concern themselves with quality, style and price of the products they order […] the wording was not instigated or ordered by Madhouse.

"It is clearly meant as a joke but now it has been pointed out to us it is something we will need to be more careful about in the future."

Holly Combe, from feminism website, The F Word, commented: “It would be effectively ironic and ‘just a joke’ if it weren't for the fact that all too many women do still find that domestic tasks are still considered their job, regardless of the employment status of both partners.

"I think it's a case of the usual double irony, where we have to pretend something is ironic when the undercurrent of the joke actually serves to put us in our place, and persuade us not to offer any critique if we want to be seen to have a sense of humour."

Last month it was reported that Madhouse had gone into administration, putting 700 jobs at risk, although recent reports suggested it has been saved by an unknown buyer.

Madhouse are not the only clothing retailers who have recently come under fire for their controversial t-shirts. Style recently covered the story involving Topman, who were forced to remove lines of t-shirts adorned with sexist slogans.

With multiple cases being reported, it leaves us wondering why the usually easy and enjoyable task of picking out clothing has become a controversial issue causing a battle between the genders. Hilarious as these jibes may be to some, they can potentially have huge implications for the companies selling them, whilst severely offending members of the public.


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