Transport bosses have apologised and removed a poster from the ladies’ toilet at King’s Cross station after it was branded sexist by a furious commuter.
Featured Image VIA
Fleur Bone spotted the poster on the wall of the ladies’ loo, showing a woman in a busy bar, holding a cocktail and singing karaoke next to a man:
Fleur took to Twitter to say the message amounted to slut-shaming, suggesting women who drink too much were at fault for any sexual offences suffered on a night out.
Warnings on either side of the image read:
Having a few drinks? Make sure losing your voice is the only thing you’ll regret tomorrow’ and ‘Stay safe around the railway or you might regret it’.
British Transport Police (BTP) and Network Rail, who produced the poster, apologised for any offence caused, insisting it was intended to reduce alcohol-induced injuries on the railway. Which might be evident from the ‘Stay Safe Around The Railway Or You Might Regret It Part’ at the bottom.
They said the poster did not ‘get the [intended] message across clearly’ (via Metro).
Ms Bone was not having it however, calling the ad ‘sinister’ and saying it could trigger sexual assault victims.
It’s a thing you see, isn’t it: an advert of a woman drinking having a nice time but insinuating it could all go wrong for her and it would all be her fault?
So it pissed me off and I took a picture of it. The tone was quite threatening and, as I said, sort of slut-shaming: as, like, you drink too much you might go home with this guy and probably regret it.
When I saw it and from what it said I assumed it was an advert suggesting women shouldn’t drink too much otherwise they’ll be taken advantage of.
As per usual the onus being put on women to not drink rather than men to not take advantage.
BTP have since suggested it was left up by mistake after bosses realised it could cause offence two years ago. Which I guess makes it pretty surprising that no one complained about it in all that time.
Ms Bone said the ad was targeted at women, as it appeared only in the ladies’ toilets and not on any platforms.
The specific threat is that if you’re a woman, and you dare to drink, and not stay 100% alert all the time, you’re responsible for any harm that befalls you, such as sexual offences.
I think a victim of sexual assault seeing that advert would not feel great. The ad is sinister.
A BTP spokesperson said:
This poster was created as part of a joint awareness campaign with Network Rail for the 2019 Christmas period. The campaign aim was to highlight the dangers of being intoxicated on the railway, as a result of spikes in alcohol-related injuries at this time.
We acknowledge how this could have been otherwise interpreted, and the posters were immediately removed from circulation in December 2019.
The poster at King’s Cross station has now been removed, and we apologise for any offence it caused.
Not sure I’d have taken it that way myself, but I guess I can see how someone would interpret that ad as essentially saying “Don’t have too much fun ladies, you might get raped tonight!”. The fact it was inadvertently kept up for 2 years and didn’t offend/trigger anyone to the point of complaining suggests most women didn’t see a problem with it either. Oh well, Fleur wanted it taken down and now it has been. Mission accomplished!
For the Guardian journalist who wrote an entire article about how Doctor Who is now ‘more offensive than ever’, click HERE. Anyone else think so?