A cafe in New Zealand is embroiled in a controversy after a sign displayed outside the restaurant was interpreted as encouraging domestic violence.
Eiffel en Eden in Auckland, New Zealand, seemed to think it was getting into the Valentine’s Day spirit when it updated the chalkboard just outside its door to read, “On Valentine’s Day open the car door for her. After Valentine’s Day open the car boot for her.” However, many people have instead commented on the lack of romance in the message — which refers to opening a car’s trunk — and have even pointed out that it is violent.
After so much effort to raise awareness of New Zealand's terrible violence against women a slow clap and a jaw drop for the most tone deaf, unfunny sign in Auckland outside Eiffel en Eden on Dominion Road. pic.twitter.com/k6TtxyxI4h
— Ana Samways (@AnaSamways) February 13, 2019
One Twitter user posted a photo of the sign saying that it is “tone deaf” after New Zealand’s continued efforts to raise awareness about the high rate of violence against women, whereas others have called the wording “revolting” and “disgusting.”
The manager of the restaurant, Henry Gough, told the New Zealand Herald that the message wasn’t intended to be interpreted in that way. Instead, Gough said that the message referred to men helping women put groceries in the car trunk and reinforced that it wouldn’t be removed.
“It is romantic, Valentine’s Day, [helping] with the chores at home,” he told the local news outlet. “There are a few people interpreting it [as domestic violence], but we never intended it that way. We had good intentions.”
Impact, an Australian organization dedicated to helping women and children flee from dangerous domestic situations, begs to differ.
“Does anyone find this sign in the least bit funny?” the organization asked. “Relationship violence is not a joke.”
Those who are defending the possibility that the restaurant had good intentions are still acknowledging that the message should have been erased as soon as the controversy began, especially considering the cafe’s history of questionably misogynistic messages.
Except groceries aren't mentioned. In the context of of opening the car door, the double entendre of open the boot must be completely intentional, otherwise where is the joke? It's not like the don't try to take the piss. pic.twitter.com/EdI50elnar
— Darryl Jellyman (@DazJellyman) February 13, 2019
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