Cocktail Bar Slammed For 'Grossly Misogynistic' Toilet Decor

A cocktail bar has been slammed for 'grossly misogynistic' decor in their men's toilets that implied wives should perform oral sex for their dinner.

Punter Johnathan Benson spotted the phrases etched on the toilet walls in Caffeine and Cocktails bar in Reading on Saturday night.

Johnathan Benson has urged the bar to reconsider their artwork. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
Johnathan Benson has urged the bar to reconsider their artwork. Credit: Kennedy News and Media

The crass jokes also included a listed reasons why beer was better than women and advice that if men found a woman ugly they should buy another drink.

Johnathan, 32, appealed to the bar online, urging them to reconsider their decor after fearing families with young children may see the phrases.

He also expressed a concern for the female staff who have to work 'surrounded by these comments' and has now been joined by a group of customers who have branded them 'horrific' and 'degrading'.

Johnathan, from Reading, Berkshire, said: "It has overstepped the boundary between banter or lightheartedness and actual offence.

Another note suggested that a man should drink more beer if they find a woman ugly. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
Another note suggested that a man should drink more beer if they find a woman ugly. Credit: Kennedy News and Media

"It looks like it was done in jest, but in this day and age, post Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement, I don't see why anyone - male or female, customer or punter - would think it's okay to write those statements.

"Also, it's a venue that has kids going in there on a Saturday or Sunday with their mum or dad for food and they would see that. With the whole disrespect of women in general and news stories that have come out, this just isn't good at all."

Johnathan had been out with a female friend who returned for the women's toilets and praised the bar for empowering quotes about body image - including one claiming girls without thigh gaps were just closer to being mermaids.

He decided to venture into the men's bathrooms to see if there were similar in there, where he discovered the offensive messages.

One of the messages listed reason why beer is 'better' than women. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
One of the messages listed reason why beer is 'better' than women. Credit: Kennedy News and Media

One read: 'My girlfriend caught me blow-drying my penis and asked what I was doing. Apparently "heating your dinner" was not the right answer'.

Another said: 'If she's still ugly, buy yourself another drink'. In another part of the toilet a list was titled 'why beer is better than a woman'.

Manchester-born Johnathan went on to praise the 'strong, powerful' female staff at the venue and questioned if they had even known what phrases were written in the men's toilets in the first place.

Caffeine and Cocktails bar in Reading. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
Caffeine and Cocktails bar in Reading. Credit: Kennedy News and Media

Johnathan said: "In this day and age these kind of moments are when you have the chance to awkwardly look at the ground and pretend it's not happening.

"Or when you have nieces, nephews and godchildren, you think 'imagine if my goddaughter had a boyfriend who'd been in that loo and thought it was okay to tell jokes about drying his willy for her dinner'. It puts a different perspective on it.

"The floor staff we met on the Saturday night were strong, powerful young women who were incredibly confident and running an amazing venue, and they were surrounded by these comments.

"Do they even know that they're employed in that kind of environment?

Johnathan responded to people on Twitter questioning whether the female members of staff know about the messages. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
Johnathan responded to people on Twitter questioning whether the female members of staff know about the messages. Credit: Kennedy News and Media

"It seems like those comments have been there for a while, because other people have come to me saying they've seen the comments before and mentioned it.

"It seems like the girls that worked there weren't aware of this. Now they are, it will be taken up."

In his initial complaint to the venue, Johnathan wrote: 'I'm all for tongue-in-cheek [and] a bit of fun, but the messages in the men's loos swing from grossly #misogynistic to shockingly poor "soft lad" jibes. Is that really the customer [you're] after?'

After being contacted the manager of Caffeine and Cocktails, which opened in May 2016, claimed the writing had been removed and confirmed Johnathan's comments had been taken on board.

A spokesperson for Caffeine and Cocktails said: "We saw Johnathan's tweet on Saturday morning and the response he was getting from other users.

"We completely understand the frustration of the situation and what we thought was tongue-in-cheek banter was offensive to some people. We do not wish anyone to feel uncomfortable in an environment where you are meant to relax and have fun.

"The issue had never been raised to me before therefore as a female manager, [I] didn't realise what was actually written in the men's toilets and the message it ultimately gave off.

"We have taken the comments on board and have in fact painted over the quotes in the pictures as well as others I felt that were in poor taste."

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media

Rebecca Shepherd

Rebecca Shepherd is a Journalist at LADbible. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class BA in Journalism. Becky previously worked as Chief Reporter at Cavendish Press, supplying news and feature stories to national newspapers and women's magazines.

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