While frosh students are still moving in and adjusting to their upcoming new academic year, an anti-drinking poster in the York University Student Centre is already being blasted as sexist.
Found in women’s washrooms around campus, the posters depicted a young woman looking at photos on her phone from the night before with a startled look on her face. “Don’t try to keep up with the guys,” it reads, referencing a night of heavy drinking. It’s part of a safe substance use campaign by York Region.
The images show the woman’s night in a procession of photos, starting off from her personal account “college girl” #bingedrinking and #makingfriends, followed by a photo of her in a bed looking drunk posted by “collegeguy,” with the caption #mykindofparty. “It’s not just about keeping an eye on your drink,” it reads below.
(Photo by Claire Van Nierop via Twitter)
Students and faculty are clapping back against the ad for being sexist against women, saying it promotes victim blaming. Some say the ad implies that by drinking, it puts women at risk of sexual assault, rather than put the blame the perpetrator.
York Region Public Health manager Ann Ramkay told CBC the campaign was to warn women how heavy drinking affects them differently from men.
“We’re seeing an increase in women drinking. They are at risk for alcohol-related harm because they often weigh less, have more fat tissue, less water in their bodies and lower levels of enzymes that break down alcohol [than men].”
Ridiculous and offensive to women. Give your head a shake, @YorkRegionGovt
— Dr. Katherine Hull (@DrKatherineHull) August 24, 2017
York Region responded to complains, apologizing for their mistake and announcing they would be removing the ads. “To anyone who took offence at this campaign, we offer our sincerest apologies,” it reads. “We appreciate your feedback and will be suspending this campaign.”
We recently received feedback about one of our campaigns. We take this feedback seriously and will suspend this campaign immediately. pic.twitter.com/8nu2vBgLds
— York Region (@YorkRegionGovt) August 25, 2017
Image courtesy Claire van Nierop via Twitter