Glasgow nightclub comes under fire for sexist flyers

Last week I received a message about the below flyer.

I found it utterly appalling for a variety of reasons: the objectification of women; the sex industry imagery used; the fact the top image especially resembles the kind of cards you find in phoneboxes (right down to the mobile phone number after the words ‘Booty call us’); the fact that ‘girls go free’ means that women are essentially the product rather than the customer; the terrible fonts… I could go on.

So we kicked up a huge fuss about it on Facebook, Twitter and through emailing them and the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Advertising Standards Authority. They deleted our posts on Facebook (but were happy to leave awful homophobic posts up, just not criticism) and someone was blocked on Twitter (though we don’t know who did that).

I got a couple of weird emails about it, which to be honest encouraged me because they sounded scared. It was time to up the ante even further.

Under immense pressure, the next day they released a new flyer and a (half-hearted apology).

The new flyer is by no means perfect but it’s a hell of a lot better:

To see their apology and the press release, the email I sent and the full apology from the club, go to my blog.

Thanks to everyone who got involved in any way – thank you. Sometimes we win.

Here’s a feminist review of Booty Call

I really want to do more campaigns around nightclubs, particularly sexual harassment and assault in nightclubs, which is disgustingly common. Any thoughts?

In sisterhood, Kate

P.S. This is my first post for Village Aunties – excited!


Why CCTV is not the answer to sexual assault

I’ve heard a lot of talk about CCTV recently, and this really worries me. It more than worries me, it disturbs me.

I am genuinely pleased to hear that the experiences of women are seriously being included in mainstream dialogue, and I am pleased to hear that people are looking for tangible solutions to sexual assault, harassment and rape. I fear, however, that positing CCTV as the answer takes a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to crime, and ignores the very nature of sexual crimes themselves.

The first, and possibly most important thing to note, is that the effectiveness of CCTV is controversial. The effectiveness of CCTV varies wildly, depending on location, number of cameras in place and the types of crimes being filmed. CCTV tends to be successful, for example, in car parks, and does reduce the rate of vehicle related crimes. Where CCTV is dramatically less effective, and why I take such issue with CCTV, is in relation to sexual assault.


An Alternative History of Ass-someone

Once upon a time* there was a young man who was both idealistic and egotistical in the way of many young men. He was blessed with an overblown sense of efficacy and entitlement, and curly golden locks; he was the epitome of white boy privilege.

He joined up with some similar passionately anti-establishment types to try and do something serious about changing the world. He hoped, at the back of his mind, that if it worked, it would probably make him a bit famous in alternative circles, and if he was lucky, gain him the positive attention of lots of the women there. It would be his version of joining a band: make some cool music, maybe create a small space for yourself in history, and get laid. A lot.

So he and his friends started this really excellent movement using technology to expose corruption and evil doings by the powerful. It was so successful that their fame spread like wildfire, and the powerful quickly cracked down on them. It was successful in making these guys into rock stars of the new anti-establishment movements burgeoning around the world.


De-Occupy Glasgow

Cross-posted from Mhairi’s personal blog Random Musings. Long and volatile comments section happening over there. Thanks Mhairi for letting us have this one up here too. Watch comments section here for links to further writing and activism on this issue. — Morag Eyrie.

Update – Open Letter from Glasgow Women’s Activist Forum

I cant honestly say that I was ever that enthused about the “Occupy Movement“.  After seeing a live link up from Occupy Wall Street earlier this month, I did feel a frisson of revolutionary excitement, but it faded by the time that 15th October came round.  It was genuinely amazing and inspiring to hear from an OWS activist live on video link, and when asked what we could do to support them his immediate response was to bring the Occupy movement to wherever we were.  But once the initial rosy glow evaporated, I cant say it was an action which filled me with much enthusiasm.

In Glasgow there was considerable debate within the activist community in the lead up to the global day of action on 15th October.  Should we be supporting the better planned Edinburgh Occupy?  Should we be looking to set up our own Glasgow Occupy?  Or should we be concentrating our activities elsewhere?  In the end the decision was kind of made for us when people unknown to the activist community set up a facebook event which attracted considerable support.  In such circumstances it would have been horribly elitist of us to stand at the edges shouting “Look, you’re doing it all wrong”, we needed to roll up our sleeves and muck in, at least to some extent.

Why I Became a Feminist

I grew up around the outskirts of Glasgow and up until my early to mid twenties I was unaware of feminism. Discovering feminist ideas sent guilt surging through my brain. It was like getting a new lens with which to look not only at my present way of being but all of my past too. I was horrified with the way I had thought, believed and acted previously. As far as I was educated by TV, film, music, books, family and friends, being male meant desiring sex from women. Seeing women as objects of desire rather than human beings but then I didn’t really see humanity in males either.. I was too effeminate and as such I would be called gay or bender and would be beaten up regularly. This was ALWAYS from males, the violence was a way of them reminding me that I do not fit into the masculinity box. I think the fact that I was obviously heterosexual was what made my feminine traits all the more unbearable for these males. I was breaking out of the masculinity box. That box that tells you to be a “hard man”, a “big man” and “take nae shit fae nae wan”. A man should love football and sports, enjoy porn, like drinking and “going on the pull”. Let’s not forget the main important thing, be able to fight.


Sexual Violence and the Justice System


In May 2011, Ken Clarke caused outrage by remarks made in a media interview. When questioned about the tariffs received for rape convictions, he asserted

“A serious rape, with violence and an unwilling woman, the tariff is much longer … Date rape can be as serious as the worst rapes, but date rapes … vary extraordinarily one from another and in the end the judge has to decide on the circumstances.”

Implying that date rape isn’t serious, doesn’t involve violence or an “unwilling woman” is shocking coming from the Justice Secretary.


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