[Photo: Twitter/Cassie Chadderton]
In the grand scheme of things, lazy stereotyping might not seem like the most damaging thing when it comes to sexism and inequality. But unfortunately, whether we think it affects us directly or not, it makes a big difference to how we treat one another as human beings.
Which is why when someone called out a hotel’s sexist toilet signs, the internet went from rolling its eyes to getting pretty angry instead.
Cassie Chadderton took to Twitter after spotting the toilets at a pentahotels hotel, writing “Hi @pentahotels, just wondering if you know that we’re in the 21st century now?” along with a photo of the toilets.
— Cassie Chadderton (@cassiechadmoran)
The signs feature two cartoon figures, each with a thought bubble above their head. One bubble says “football”, and another “shopping.”
Can you possibly hazard a guess which is meant to be the man, and which the woman?
Oh, and the cartoon that’s thinking about “shopping” also has lips, while the other doesn’t. Go figure.
Pentahotels itself replied to the tweet, and didn’t exactly help the situation, saying: “Yes, we know. And men also shop alot [sic], just happens to be for football gear :)”.
To which Chadderton replied: “Yes, unfortunately that nuance doesn’t really come across in your signage. You’re just reinforcing outdated gender stereotypes.”
And finally, pentahotels said in response: “On a serious note; We’re a modern and open-minded family who believes in equality. We hope we did not upset you!”
Yep, they went with the ‘you’re upset’ line.
— Joelle Nebbe-Mornod (@iphigenie)
The original tweet has since gained more than 600 likes and 400 retweets, with plenty of the Twittersphere backing Chadderton up.
One person wrote in response to pentahotels: “If you were, you’d have those signs changed in a heartbeat,” while another wrote “a) your initial smug, patronising response was entirely the wrong tone and b) this signage is not ok, please change it.”
Others simply accused the company of being uncreative: “This is crazy unimaginative! Invest in some creatives or give the creatives better biscuits!”
Since there’s been no suggestion that the signs have been painted over, for now we’ll just have to walk into the men’s toilets - because perhaps we like football too.
What do you think of these signs? Tweet us at @YahooStyleUK.