Bumper’s sexist slogan sparks controversy
Members of Fem Soc complained in order to get the sign taken down
Bumper, on Hardman Street, is famous in Liverpool for it’s witty above-the-door signs but has seen controversy today over its latest attempt at humour.
At midday today, a member of Feminist Society spotted Bumper’s slogan of the day. The usually witty jokes ae made below the club’s sign can often be found across social media, but today it caused anger amongst many who deemed it sexist.
The sign reads, “No Shirt? Men – No Service. Women – Free Drinks!”
Maggie Matic, a committee member of Feminist Society as LGB representative said:
“Jokes like this may seem like harmless banter. But jokes like this quietly reinforce the idea that women are to be seen and not heard, that women’s bodies are objects, to be looked at. Objects that are there for the taking. That this is the ultimate value that women hold – their value as sex objects. It is these ideologies that underlie our violent and pernicious rape culture.
“Given the widely documented problem that Universities in the UK and America are having with campus sexism and sexual violence, it is extremely worrying that jokes like this, jokes that tell people it is okay to speak, think and joke about women in this way, are emblazoned at the entrance to a popular student bar in our city.”
One member of femsoc contacted the Liverpool council and another messaged Bumper’s facebook page directly in order to get the sexist sign taken down. Some also took to Twitter in order to alert Bumper of their sign.
@TheBumper Your signs are usually funny but this last one is plain sexist.
— ZebraCat (@CommunismCatz) June 18, 2016
Bumper, since then, have responded with an apology and have agreed to take the sign down:
Rio Matchett, a member of Femsoc and the person who posted the picture of the sign onto the university’s feminist society discussion page, sparking an outcry of disgust, said:
“It’s really awesome to see a positive response from the company to feminist activism – they didn’t make excuses, just apologised and took practical action. It’s important to call out sexism, but also important to respect that it’s often ignorant rather than malicious, and an apology should, for me, mean all is forgiven.
“It was amazing to receive such support from fem soc – everyone was polite, complained in an appropriate way and it was dealt with so quickly. It’s so important to show that activism – on a small or large scale – does and can make a real world difference.”
Nevertheless, Rio still received backlash for her protests, and was told to “get a sense of humour” by a Twitter user. She told the Tab, “A sign is just a sign, sure, but it’s symptomatic of a culture which needs to change.”