American Greeting Card Letter

Menstuff provides a copy of the original letter sent to American Greeting Cards' CEO. You may use it as a template for your own letter. To date, (June 12, 2005) here has been no response.

March 3, 2005

Zev Weiss, CEO
1 American Road
Cleveland, OH 44144

Re: American Greetings Card #3449413

Dear Mr. Weiss:

Last month, while looking at Valentine's Day cards at my local Eckerd Drugs, I came across an American Greetings card (categorized as an anytime card) that greatly troubled me. The card, which is part of the just my style collection and was displayed for sale under the caption we're talkin funny, shows what appears to be (and, clearly, is intended to be) a male voodoo doll with dozens of pins stuck in the crotch. The printed message inside the card reads: "Me?! Sick of Men? Why do you ask?" Attempting to make humor of such sexual sadism is itself "sick" ...and depraved. Would American Greetings similarly offer for sale a card reading "Me?! Sick of Women? Why do you ask?" and depicting a female voodoo doll with pins stuck in the crotch? The odious male-bashing that the complained-of "greeting card" promotes and perpetuates gratuitously blights our culture, while effectively conveying the message that domestic violence -- including sexual violence -- committed by women against men is not only acceptable, but is amusing. How can such a perverse "greeting card" be reconciled with American Greetings' "Mission Statement," which proclaims that American Greetings strives to "adhere to the highest standards of moral and ethical conduct"? How does such a perverse "greeting card" serve to "...enrich the quality of life" in the communities in which it is sold? A few years ago, ABC's investigative news program 20/20, in examining the issue of domestic violence committed by women against men, pointed out that approximately 800,000 cases of such violence are reported annually in the United States (the actual incidence likely being far greater) and further pointed out that many of the women who commit crimes of domestic violence against men fail to appreciate the wrongfulness of their conduct. In no small measure, those crimes, as well as the horrific acts of physical and sexual abuse visited upon helpless male detainees at Abu Ghraib, are attributable to wanton, male-bashing sexism, which the complained-of card clearly promotes. (As testified to at court martial proceedings, according to her own admission, Private Lynndie England was "just having fun." How sad it is that American Greetings shares her utterly depraved sense of humor.)

I urge American Greetings to stop producing "greeting cards" that invite, or condone, acts of physical or sexual violence against men. Although I have no intention of purchasing any American Greetings cards in the future unless the complained-of card is discontinued, the extent of consumer reaction should be of only incidental importance. Distilled to its essence, the issue is plainly one of right and wrong. In response to my complaint about the aforementioned card, the District Manager for Eckerd Drugs personally contacted me and assured me that the cards would be immediately removed. And, they were. I commend Eckerd for its swift and unhesitating action. Ultimately, however, it is not Eckerd but rather American Greetings that must find its moral compass and act as a responsible corporate citizen. I earnestly hope that American Greetings, like Eckerd, chooses to do the right thing.

Thank you. I look forward to your reply.

(Your name and address)

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