What’s Wrong With This Poster?
This is how the Old Angel pub in Nottingham are advertising their Valentines’ Day event:
Die Die My Darling
(With a picture of a skeleton holding a glass up to a woman. Through the glass we see the skull of the woman.)
Bag A Slag, Grab A Hag
Alternative Speed Dating Friday 14th February 7pm
£1 + Free Shots for Girls Taking Part
A friend pointed this out to me last week. Initially I was torn between laughing at it – how could someone be so fucking stupid, and being angry – how could anyone be so blithely misogynistic. It’s bothered me ever since. It could be easy to dismiss this as ‘just a joke’, which is exactly what The Old Angel Twitter feed is saying. They seem to be slightly put out that some folk consider this not to be a joke. If it’s a joke, then explain it so that we can all have a good laugh.
Often Ranty has a good list of The Old Angel’s defensive replies: http://oftenranty.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/old-angel-nottingham-valentines-day-event-potential-trigger-warning-for-language/. There’s a rather nice alternative poster by @Fuz_Wuz
Without that explanation (and possibly even with it), this poster reads reads to me like an invitation to rape and kill drunk bitches.
Let’s go line by line and find the jokes
Die Die My Darling
This is the title of the event. It certainly does suggest an ‘alternative speed dating’ – an event for murderers and prospective victims. The romance makes you want to cry. And with the picture… drink enough and you’ll see what someone’s really like inside. They’re bones – already dead, masquerading as real people. So you can do whatever you like to them. Like belittle them, abuse them, kill them. How loving, I suppose we could be calling for ‘the little death’ but the picture rather deflates that hope (as does the dripping-blood font choice).
Bag A Slag, Grab A Hag
It’s not exactly “find a suitable partner whom you can cherish” is it? At best this establishes that women who participate in speed dating are sexually promiscuous and ugly. I can only imagine how keen I would be to attend and be judged this way. It’s such a cruel dismissal of the individual and the choices we make as well as those that are forced upon us. It’s the same tiresome sexism of judging female promiscuity as ‘slags’ and yet encouraging men for identical behaviour.
It also has terrifying connotations of hunting women and taking them without their consent. Presumably this is because as hunter-gatherers this is entirely within our male right. Women are no more than prizes to be displayed and boasted about. It perplexes me why we would denigrate someone as a slag or a hag and yet still regard them as a prize… where is the male target of this poster’s self-esteem and self-respect?
This Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for those with zero self-esteem to present themselves for the use of unloving predatory males. Fantastic.
Free Shots for Girls Taking Part
Marvellous – should anyone still feel that they are welcome at this event they can be plied with drink for free. Hardly a responsible attitude. I know people are still frequently confused by the idea that once inebriated we still have the right to consent, that being drunk does not equal consent. Why aren’t the men getting free shots – is it more important that they retain their critical faculties so they can better judge the slags and hags? Or is more important that those suffering the sheer hatred of the event as advertised can blind themselves to the intended outcome of the night?
Oh, That’s The Joke
I see – a Valentine’s event where there is no love. Got it.
I can’t understand who would be attracted to this event other than some complete bastard with no love for themself or anyone else. The poster reads like an advert for date rape, or what we call rape. Laced with contempt and hatred for women this is just a disgusting poster. The attitudes it supports could be considered outdated, but they have always been loathsome attitudes.
It just makes me wonder what the fuck is wrong with some people. I sincerely hope The Old Angel will withdraw it and apologise for being tasteless and stupid, but that seems unlikely since the poster’s designer is a “massive feminist” – I think that’s clear from the poster. Hopefully no one will go to this and the joke will succeed in having a nice empty pub on Valentine’s Day.
I wonder how Pieminster might feel about supplying their pies to a pub with posters like this.
Update Almost as soon as I’d posted this a brief interview has appeared on the Nottingham Evening Post website. Sadly the poster designer just comes across as terribly naive, it’s all just a bit of fun.