A pub has had to apologize after being branded “sexist” for issuing permits for “girlfriends, wives and fiancees” to sign their boys off to watch rugby.
Town Square Belfast shared the cheeky form on Instagram last week asking women to write their husbands or boyfriends permission to watch Six Nations games “with the boys”.
But the tongue-in-cheek post didn’t sit well with some social media users, who blasted it on Twitter for “alienating and disparaging half the population” as many saw it as an example of “everyday sexism”.
However, some users tried to defend the joke, claiming that some people are “offended by everything these days,” pointing out that not everyone finds the same things funny.
The ‘permission slip’ reads: ‘Dear friend/fiancé/wife, Your boyfriend/fiancé/husband has been invited to watch rugby with the boys in Belfast’s Town Square on the following dates: [Five dates listed.]
“These excursions require your permission, of course. Sincerely, The Lads.”
After receiving backlash, the bar removed the image before re-uploading a modified permit slip that changed the gender designations to include women.
The revised image had #notjustformen #politicalcorrectness #girlslikerugbytoo written in the description but was removed shortly thereafter.
A Town Square Belfast spokesman said: “We don’t usually mind shaking a few feathers with our social media, but in this case we sincerely apologize for the insult caused. The post was removed shortly after it was published.”
Over on Twitter, the original permit slip – addressed to “girlfriend/fiancé/wife” – was criticized as “a cringe” and an example of “everyday sexism”.
Kat Freeman was one user who disagreed with the news, as she tweeted: “You know what such a good business decision Town Square made? Alienating and belittling literally half the population!”
Kat, from Belfast, said: “It was mostly just flinching to be honest, it’s kind of sad they thought that’s what the best humor looks like.
“When I saw that they deleted and reposted it to be ‘gender neutral’ but still had to follow up with more sexist ‘snowflake’ hashtags before then deleting it completely, I really had to laugh.
“To be honest it’s absolutely embarrassing to think this joke was ever worth correcting and reposting.
“I mean, that ’50s ‘my wife won’t let me do XYZ’ thing is so dated.
“It’s so obvious to anyone else with sense these days that women are disadvantaged in society that portraying men as victims among their own partners is so deaf and embarrassing.”
The 25-year-old software engineer isn’t surprised the post drew a backlash online.
Kat said: “I think there’s been such a reaction because it’s rare for a company to make such a stupid, thoughtless post, and even rarer for them to support it when approached about it.
“Like this is your type of business, not your personal page, when customers call you it’s probably best to just delete them and tail off in the shadows, or better yet, apologize and not try.” Faking didn’t happen after you didn’t get enough support from anti-political correctness advocates.”