Major Scotland nightlife group G1 has apologized after one of its quiz night hosts asked patrons at a Glasgow student bar if it's "still rape if you kill her first" (spoiler: “Yes, because she can’t consent, poor her”) among other bon mots about tampons and "raging homos."
The venue operator is only aware and "sorry" people were offended because a shocked customer blogged about the incident, detailing how the quizmaster laughed off his protests and publicly announced how he didn't "give a fuck if people are offended’ and planned on continuing "to make his quiz rapey." Sometimes it feels counterproductive to call attention to misogynist rhetoric — tiring, too, because there's so, so much of it — but if no one does it, the "rapeyness" beats on.
Matthew Vickery, a 23-year-old postgraduate researcher who blogs at What's Left of the Left, had quite the night last Monday at Radio in Ashton Lane, "a favourite with students who need to charge the batteries before or after Uni." The pub's regular quiz night "comprised sexist, misogynistic, and homophobic comments and questions, and most frightening of all, encouragement of rape and violence against women," Vickery wrote. "From what I gathered, such comments happen every week, so the bar must be aware of them."
Here's what he said went down:
“What happened to the raging homo who walked from lands end to john o groats this week”
“Stephen Hawking is the biggest/most expensive vegetable, true or false?” (It was one of the two options, I was too shocked to take it in)
“Last week I was told my quiz was too male dominated, so this week we will have a whole round on tampons” (of which there subsequently was)
“Is it still rape if you kill her first?” – the answer given later was “Yes, because she can’t consent, poor her” (said sarcastically while he was laughing)
Vickery claims the quizmaster laughed at him after he complained about the content before telling the pub that he "doesn’t give a fuck if people are offended" and "will continue to make his quiz rapey."
"We were also told that we were not welcome back, and that our answers from other rounds had now mysteriously been left blank, in effect punishing us for standing against what he said," Vickery wrote.
Vickery's post gained traction and inspired hundreds of Facebook comments and tweets (Radio seems to have deleted its Facebook page in response; only cached versions remain). Finally, G1 Group responded: it will apologize at the venue next Monday and plans on "monitoring" the entertainment offered in bars from now on, according to the Evening Times. The group also fired the quizmaster. Here's the full apology:
G1's Rhona Fyfe said: "We would like to apologise for any upset caused by the offensive nature and content of this quiz.
"Across a number of our venues we hold quiz nights, and on each occasion, we tender the business to local independent quiz masters who are given a brief on the target market and the type of quiz we are looking for.
"On this occasion the brief was ignored and due to the seriousness of the deviation from the original brief and offensive content of this quiz, with immediate effect, we are no longer working with the quiz master involved."
G1 Group cares because the internet cares; according to multiple commenters, Radio has hosted rapey quiz nights for ages. Incidentally, G1 also owns The Shimmy Club, which recently installed two-way mirrors in some of its private rooms so men could watch unsuspecting women use the bathroom. The club only removed the spy mirrors after it was ordered to by the city's licensing board following an Express investigation. If Vickery hadn't complained, that quizmaster would still be mocking patrons who aren't down with violence against women week after week.
Radio's official Twitter feed describes its quizzes as "risque" and promises to "stick two fingers up at pretentious west end waffle and just give you what you want!" If only it were possible to be risqué without making jokes about raping and killing women. But that would probably infringe upon free speech.
Image by Jim Cooke.