When you think of a Ph.D., you may imagine the amount of time, hard work, student loans and research it takes to earn one. Perhaps you imagine the celebration at the culmination of that academic journey, when a student puts on the robes and accepts the coveted diploma. Or maybe you're a costume designer and imagine a Ph.D. outfit looks like a short-short skirt with a plunging bust line.
The "Delicious Women's Phd Darling Sexy Costume," available on Amazon for $50, has set off a maelstrom of perfectly crafted reviews from shoppers who don't appreciate having the concept of a women earning a Ph.D. distilled down into yet another sexy-lady costume. The costume comes with a fake diploma, a cap and a gold stole to go with the super-short, tight-fitting blue robe that zips up the front. You'll have to provide your own matching stilettos.
Reviews have ranged from men complaining about the lack of a male version of the costume to people describing it as disparaging and sexist and calling for it to be removed from Amazon. Most of the Amazon reviewers, however, took the opportunity to go all Tuscan Whole Milk on the product.
Quite a few of the reviews appear to come from women who've already earned their Ph.D.s or women who are current Ph.D. candidates. Dr. NO writes, "...this makes my scholarship on feminist hermeneutics in digital humanities and information science look HOT."
Reviewer ajohns1290 writes, "As a lady Ph.D. student, let me say how much of a relief it is to see them accurately describe what we wear every day. I don't care if it isn't proper PPE, how else will we find husbands if not for our degree in sexy? Bravo to Delicious costumes for supporting women's education in letting us know that we're only as smart as our skirts are short."
Not everyone delivered a mere one or two-star review. J. Wilson gave it five stars and had this to say: "A lot of disparaging comments here but, as someone with a Ph.D. in Applied Daaaaayum-Gurl, this was perfect for my graduation."
However, some reviewers have complaints about glaring design flaws that have nothing to do with the amount of cleavage on display. "Sleeves are too short & have no stripes. Costume does not feature a hood. This is a 'sexy BA' at best," writes Alyssa Picard.
This isn't the first time a product on Amazon has been skewered for being sexist. A line of back in 2012. Indeed, if you scroll through the "Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed" section on the Ph.D. costume page, you'll notice "Bic Cristal For Her Ball Pen" on the list. These two products were misguidedly meant for each other. At least we can thank them for generating some highly entertaining reviews.