“Had this same book not had the four explicit patterns in it, it would still be on display in our stores as planned,” Michaels said.
The retailer apologized for throwing the books in the trash and said it had ordered additional copies to sell on its website with the disclaimer “Warning: Contains adult language.”
The company said it would no longer discard books.
Ms. Rohr, 36, learned cross-stitch from her mother as a child. In a recent interview, she said the idea for the book, which was published in 2019, rose from her outrage over what she saw as affronts to women’s rights during the Trump presidency.
The book includes patterns that use the same four-letter word to tell you what to do with internalized misogyny, or how feminist to be. “Women don’t owe you shit,” reads another. Curse-free designs include slogans like “Smash the patriarchy,” “Cats not catcalls” with an outline of a cat, and “Carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man.” Other patterns include phrases that gained political notoriety during the Trump years: “Resist,” “Nasty woman” and “Bad Hombre.”
Michaels said it ordered the book after it was sent samples of some of the pages, none of which contained the offending word.
Ms. Rohr, who has a robust online following, said the book is also sold online by Target, Barnes & Noble, and by independent sellers in Australia and the United Kingdom. She was excited when told it would be featured at Michaels, she said. “Having a national craft chain would have been a very big deal for me,” she said.
“Of course, Michaels is a company that can have whatever standards they want,” Ms. Rohr said. “I think what resonated with a lot of people is that it’s Women’s History Month and feminist books are being showcased, unless it’s one someone objects to and is thrown in the garbage.”