“Is it still rape if you kill her first?” According to a bar in Glasgow, Scotland, this is a totally normal joke quiz question.
When political blogger Matthew Vickery went to Glasgow’s Radio bar for a pub quiz, he wasn’t expecting to be confronted with rape jokes, homophobia, and quiz questions like “Stephen Hawking is the biggest/most expensive vegetable, true or false?” But when he tried to point out that this kind of comment was unacceptable, the response was that the organizer “didn’t give a f**k if people are offended,” and that he’d “continue to make his quiz rapey.”
Vickery posted an account of the quiz to his blog, urging readers to complain to the bar’s Twitter and Facebook page, and explaining that it was “not just a matter of being offended.”
By making jokes about the killing and rape of women, by finding this funny and ‘banter,’ only serves to encourage the routine everyday sexism and harassment women face every day. Brushing off rape jokes as ‘funny’ serves only to discourage many women from reporting harassment against them.
The response was so strong that the bar locked its Facebook page from further comments, reportedly deleting hundreds of angry messages. Some pointed out that making rape jokes in Radio bar was particularly disgusting in the light of a recent high-profile rape case, as the crime took place in the same neighborhood.
@RadioandNude By making rape, homophobia and violence against women a joke, you are unwittingly condoning behavior like this.
— red-sheik (@MissRedSheik) July 31, 2013
@RadioandNude are disgusting, boycott.
— Kirsten Hogg (@kirsten_17987) July 30, 2013
For those familiar with the Glasgow bar scene, it may not come as a surprise that Radio is owned by the G1 Group, who recently came under fire for featuring a one-way mirror in the women’s bathroom of one of their clubs. When the Daily Dot covered this story in May, the G1 Group was still issuing official press releases to the effect that charging customers to peep into the women’s bathroom was “a design feature created as a bit of fun.” Apparently, they haven’t learned their lesson, because the response sent back to the original blogger’s complaint was not enormously sympathetic:
The quiz was meant in the upmost humour and all questions are specifically designed to shock for comic effect… these views are not my own and were written to shine light on the misojinistic [sic] views of society in a comical context.
No, I’m not 100 percent sure what “meant in the upmost humour” means either. However, the bright side is that after the first blog post went viral and people began pelting the bar’s Twitter feed and Facebook page with complaints, the G1 Group has decided to withdraw the quiz night and all public advertising.
Vickery’s response? “Nice statement, but it will not fool anyone.”
Photo via Radio Bar/Facebook