Harvey Nichols, a luxury department store in the United Kingdom, has come under fire for an ad that many people are claiming to be sexist and inappropriate.
Writer Rob McGibbon first noticed the large poster which encouraged men to enter the London store and go down to the basement level to continue shopping.
“Great men go down,” the poster suggested. McGibbon swiftly took a picture of the sign that he deemed offensive and uploaded it to social media. “I have asked @HarveyNichols to take down its lewd & offensive poster,” he wrote. “The anti-sexism debate must work both ways. It’s not the double entendre that irks me, it’s the double standard and casual hypocrisy. Eggshells for all.”
The message was quickly shared across social media, with many people weighing in on the debate. Some agreed with McGibbon and also encouraged the store, which has been running since 1831, to remove the sign. One person wrote: “Just imagine the uproar if the sign was for women! We would never hear the end of it!”
Another said: “I agree with you on double standards. I guess the question is is this statement demeaning men? I think the answer is no whereas when similar statements are made about women, it’s almost certainly yes. Why? Centuries of sexism.” A third added: “It is funny. However, it’s the hypocrisy that’s at issue. The reverse said of women would be attacked as lewd and oppressive even if it was amusing.”
Credit where credit's due. Happy to see that @HarveyNichols use recycled paper in its bags. And I'm delighted with the Boss jacket I bought during my vital legwork. It's in ultra-sexist, stereotypical blue. And it's full of DOWN – not plucked from live geese. PC ✔️✔️???? pic.twitter.com/dFD5KV1ukB
— Rob McGibbon (@robmcgibbon) January 16, 2018
Others disagreed, with one lady saying: “That’s one way of looking at it. As a woman, I think it’s tongue in cheek fun. And true.”
Another lady added: “If they said great women go down (if on lower floor) or great women like it up (if top floor) I’d have a little chuckle and smile….I’d not be offended at all….Don’t you like going down?”
A third said: “Please Harvey Nics, keep this up. Some of us can still laugh.”
Alternatively we could just have a little giggle and not be as sensitive as the screaming permanently offended..come on let's be better than them. .or do we really live in a post joke world now?
— Ellis Wayman (@elliswayman) January 15, 2018
If they said great women go down (if on lower floor) or great women like it up (if top floor) I’d have a little chuckle & smile…. I’d not be offended at all…. Don’t you like going down?
— Junie Woonie (@The_Evil_Barbie) January 16, 2018
That’s one way of looking at it.As a woman, I think it’s tongue in cheek fun.And true.
— Gill Cutting (@N1GLC) January 15, 2018
Despite McGibbon’s request for the sign to be taken down, the department store hasn’t. In a follow-up message, he informed his followers that he still hadn’t heard from Harvey Nichols. And, even though he was offended by the poster, he did admit that he did go into the store and purchase an item.
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