Your Family BBQ Restaurant and Sexism

This image of two signs at an area restaurant captures so much of what characterizes our culture and arguably of what is wrong with our nation today. When I saw them tonight, I was immediately offended and surprised, and then I took a picture in anticipation of writing a blog about them. 

These signs celebrate guns; praise male-dominated, chauvinistic mores and rhetoric; suggest women are property; and contain grammar errors (when referring to people use “who” not “that”!). Reading further, these signs speak from a male-is-default point-of-view, emphasize capitalism (or perhaps what we might call proto-capitalism), and not only demean women as being property belonging to a man, one speaks to how a “gal” should or shouldn’t smell. 

I know from experience that some will say, “AJP! You’re reading wayyy too much into this.” (Updated 3/4/14- check out this wonderful response to “you’re reading too much into it.”) Perhaps so…but as a cultural studies practitioner, anything is fair game. Also, women face all kinds of subtle discrimination as it is so ingrained in our everyday life. As a cisgendered male, I can’t even begin to see or understand all of the ways, but I can, and will, speak to those I can and more importantly listen. And these two signs in no way support the equality and full humanity of girls and women.   

Rhetoric matters. Signs matter. Symbols matter.