GREENWICH VILLAGE — Magnets emblazoned with the phrase "Prose Before Hoes" are sparking controversy at the Strand Book Store, with employees calling the message "offensive."
The $3.95 gray and white magnets — featuring a literary riff on the frat boy phrase "Bros Before Hoes" — drew ire from some of the Village bookstore's workers after they hit the shelves last week.
The magnets were designed in-house by Studio Strand, according to the store's website.
In response, a group of eight Strand employees emailed a letter of protest to shop owners Fred Bass and Nancy Bass Wyden and manager Eddie Sutton on Monday evening, asking that the magnets be removed.
"There are people among your staff who find your recent magnet, 'Prose Before Hoes,' offensive, and in violation of our accepted standards of decorum at the Strand," said the email, which was signed "Concerned Strand Workers." "It is an insult to our customers and members of our staff."
Olivia Rosane, a bookseller at the store, said she wrote the letter with seven of her co-workers. She called the magnets "hurtful."
"The saying puts all women into the position of sluts — it's just derogatory," Rosane told DNAinfo New York. "Jokes have power, and when you're just repeating an obvious stupid joke to make a quick buck at the expense of women, then that’s just lazy and unnecessary."
Strand management did not immediately respond to requests for comment.