A friend sent a picture of a sign advertising a drink at a bar in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
College bar! I thought. I’m sure it’s awful and tasteless. I was wrong. It’s amazingly offensive.
The sign advertises “Statutory Grape Shots – $3”. Ha Ha. So Funny. Then I looked closer at the illustration underneath. It depicts what I assume is a male “grape” sexually assualting a female “grape”. The male is having a jolly old time. The female – not so much. In fact it looks like she is in a great deal of pain and is struggling to get away. And there is “grape juice” beneath her.
I contacted the bar through their web site, and expressed how offensive the sign was. Not just offensive, but malicious and hateful against women. The bar is in an all-ages music venue. From my perspective, it encourages and belittles violence against women.
Email conversations with the general manager have been cordial, but there is a distinct disconnect between saying “no one else finds it offensive” and “we don’t support violence against women” when they do in fact use violent and hateful imagery to sell drinks.
The bar in question is the Varsity Theater in Baton Rouge (http://www.varsitytheatre.com/). It’s just incredible that the sign has been up for 3 years. Oh and by the way, yes people notice and are also disturbed.
What’s the big deal? Ask a survivor. Read this from the Baton Rouge Sexual Trauma and Awareness Center. Ask why there are countless resources devoted to support survivors of sexual assualt. Ask why these resources are understaffed and underpaid, or all volunteer. Ask why, even now in the 21st century, women are still second-class citizens.