A Non-Violent Anti-Sexism Information Picket
Milano Restaurant, 325 King Street West
Saturday, January 24, 7-8 pm (Flyer Below)
We are staging this picket to protest the vicious stereotyping of women in Milano's Now ad ("Wanted, Dead or Alive," page 7).
With all the violence faced by women in their daily lives (from sexual harassment by U.S. Presidents and sexist "jokes" in the office to pornography, economic inequality, sexual assault and battering at the hands of men who say they love them), the last thing we need is the ridiculous notion that women are threatening to kill other women over a man.
Join us on the eve of Super Bowl Sunday (the busiest day in North America for rape crisis centres and sexual assault help lines) to protest the ongoing scourge of male violence. Violence at the hands of men who say they love women is the number one cause of injury to women in North America. Ads like Milano's simply add to the rape "culture" which demeans and devalues women's lives.
If you can't make it but are offended by the ad, call Milano owner Matthew Rosenblatt (599-9909) and demand an apology and withdrawal of the ad.
This picket sponsored by Toronto Action for Social Change,
PO Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. W, Toronto, ON M6C 1C0.
COPY OF FLYER HANDED OUT:
MILANO: WITHDRAW YOUR SEXIST ADVERTISING;
APOLOGIZE TO THE WOMEN OF TORONTO
We are here to protest the woman-hating advertising of Milano, which has appeared in Now magazine. We believe the ad perpetuates ugly stereotypes about women, and that its "joking" approach to an act of violence against women contributes to an already fearful climate for women's safety. We ask that Milano patrons and others concerned about the lives of women consider the following, and call Milano owner Matthew Rosenblatt with your concerns at 599-9909. Speak as well to the ad reps at NOW (461-0871).
51% of Canadian women over age 18 report at least one incident of physical or sexual assault since age 16, Statistics Canada
Over 86,000 women and their children were admitted to shelters to escape male violence in 1992-93. Harris government cuts have forced closure of some and reduced availability of countless other women's services.
75% of Canadian women report workplace sexual harassment is a serious problem, Gallup Poll
Women's Unpaid Work worth Billions, United Nations
"Report links ads to violence against women," Globe and Mail headline
Tomorrow (Super Bowl Sunday) is the busiest day in North America for rape crisis centres and sexual assault helplines
We've been told it's just an ad. That it's received a great response. That its designers have no problem with it. But that's what we always hear when it comes to violence against women. "It's only a joke," "he didn't really mean it," "she asked for it," "anyone who dresses that way..."
Two to three women a week are murdered in Canada by men they know, men who say they love them. The incidence of men raping women continues to skyrocket; pornography sales outdo the sales of Hollywood's "legitimate" (though often misogynist) product; economic decisions made by male-dominated corporations and governments continue to force more women and children into the violence of poverty. All these contribute to an anti-woman, rape culture which exists for the benefit of men.
As a federal-provincial report concludes, "Aggression against women occurs on a spectrum of activity which moves from non-specific to specific; from a simple advertisement for automobiles or beer in association with the barely-clad women, to murder. The state of mind of the aggressor is only a question of degree."
The purveyors of woman-hating ads hide behind the veil of free speech. But as Amy Willard Cross points out, in reference to a book Only Words by Catharine MacKinnon, "A society that cannot balance free speech with guarantees of equality does not, in fact, provide free speech to all citizens, but awards it to the powerful. In such a society, equality is only a word."
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