A jewelry billboard referencing violence against young girls is sparking controversy in North Carolina. Even Chelsea Clinton has had something to say about the ad, calling this brand of intended joke “never funny.”
The Spicer Greene Jewelers billboard near Asheville states, “Sometimes, it’s OK to throw rocks at girls.” The “rocks” in this case are referring to diamonds. However, the problem with the line is that it also references throwing rocks at young women, a not-uncommon bullying tactic young boys make against young girls.
According to the Cut, local residents are protesting the sign, saying that the joke makes light of real violence and misogyny against women. Protest photos posted by one attendee reveals signs saying such slogans as “I love jewels!! Not ‘rocks’ thrown ‘at’ me!!” and “Violence Against Women is Not OK!”
Online, even famous people like Clinton are pointing out how the ad sends a harmful message.
Talking about hitting girls is never funny. Ever. https://t.co/cvtxykutis— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) March 24, 2017
Protesting Spicer Greene Jewelers and their misogynistic "Sometimes it's OK to throw rocks at girls" billboard. pic.twitter.com/McyoiYjvz3— Alli Marshall (@alli_marshall) March 26, 2017
Spicer Greene Jewelers, for its part, has been taking the protests seriously. In an official Facebook post, the store stated that they “do not condone violence of any kind toward any being” and that they “are humble enough to realize when we make a mistake and humble enough to realize the context in which we are speaking.”
The Cut later confirmed from co-owner Eva Michelle Spicer that 10 percent of Sunday sales were donated to a domestic violence shelter. She also claimed the idea originated from her aunt and grandmother during Thanksgiving dinner and wasn’t meant as an attack on women by any means.
To whom we have offended with our recent billboard, please accept our apologies. We do not condone violence of any kind…Posted by Spicer Greene Jewelers on Thursday, March 23, 2017
This isn’t the first time North Carolina has been hit with a billboard controversy. Earlier this year, one billboard stated that “real men provide” and “real women appreciate it.” The ad was also protested.