Alchemy Promoters in Sexism Row

Midnight productions company has become embroiled in a row over the “sexist and dangerous advertising” of one of its nights at the club Alchemy.

 

Rónán Burtenshaw

Deputy Editor

Midnight productions company has become embroiled in a row over the “sexist and dangerous advertising” of one of its nights at the club Alchemy. The night in question, run with the byline ‘If You’re Not Up for It, Don’t Cum’, takes place on Monday nights in the Temple Bar venue.

An advertisement for the night (pictured below) was posted online on Friday. It features the event’s byline with a picture of a girl in a skirt. The girl is bending over to reach for her underwear, which are around her ankles, and the image also shows a can of beer on the floor. Midnight’s name and website address is featured in the left foreground with the Alchemy brand logo appearing at the top.

Advertisement for Midnight's 'Mondays at Alchemy' reading 'if you're not up for it don't cum'

On Friday evening a poster on the ‘Mondays at Alchemy’ page, named Anna Candy, criticised the picture and campaign as “a perfect example of sexist advertisement against women”. In response the Facebook page suggested to her that “maybe [she]‘d be more suited to a nightclub like the kitchen”.

Comment on the 'Mondays at Alchemy' Facebook page

On Saturday, after a number of comments were posted on the ‘Mondays at Alchemy’ page and deleted, a Facebook group was set up to “end [the night's] sexist and dangerous advertising”. Posts on the page initially featured the images and a blog-post, titled ‘The Sex Sells Myth’, which accused the group of “blatant objectification and abasement of women”. At the time of writing the group had over 200 members.

At about 4PM a series of Facebook profiles identifiable as associated with the Midnight productions company joined the group and began to interact with others involved. These included Dan O’Brien (Brand Manager), David Strong (Manager), Ciara Sherlock (Brand Manager), Alex McGonagle (Social Media), Anna Byrne (Promoter) and Darren Scanlon and Rob Walsh whose Facebook occupations referenced positions inside the organisation. In addition a number of other posters gave indications of involvement with Midnight.

Dan O’Brien began by criticising the group, saying that the idea that “sex sells” was “abundant”. He also referenced a night by north Dublin venue ‘The Big Tree’ which is called “Ride Her Like You’re Late For Mass”. Orla Byrne, who is also employed with the company, followed this with a comment which characterised the campaign as “simply an advertising technique”, saying that Alchemy was “known for getting the shift” and that this was its selling point.

Midnight employee Rob Walsh, in a comment thread which was later deleted, continued this by saying that the night was “run by 2nd years”, was about “having fun” and “being a bit bold”, and that people could choose not to go to it just as he chose not to go to nights associated with “heavy drug use” and “homosexuality”.

That thread continued with a comment pictured below by Mr. Walsh, which said that concerns about the advertising campaign were unfounded because “girls only really receive [sexual harassment] problems when they are dressed to attract it”.

Comment by Midnight employee Rob Walsh

Ciara Sherlock continued the defence of Midnight by its staff, advising those posting not to come if they “don’t like it” and to “shut up moaning about it”. Mr. O’Brien then added the following comment to the page: “Since this group went up there have been 100 extra sign ups to our Cheaplist App for Monday night. Thanks. You’ll be taking our jobs soon enough.”

Midnight Brand Manager Dan O'Brien's comment

Further comments supporting Midnight came from employees Conor Cruise, Alan McGonagle and Hollie Smyth-Curran. The former suggested that women “want too much” and that “the problem is the people in this group”. McGonagle blamed “uppity students” for the campaign against Alchemy while Smyth-Curran said the page was “pathetic”.

Response

TCDSU Ents Officer Chris O’Connor had been on Joe Duffy’s radio programme in late 2011 condemning an event held by Midnight in Tramco. The event, which was referenced on the page by Midnight employees, encouraged women to trade in their underwear for shots at the bar. Mr. O’Connor called this “sleazy promotions” at the time, a comment backed up by last year’s unsuccessful Ents candidate Elaine McDaid on the Facebook group today.

TCDSU sabbatical officers Rachel Barry (Education) and Louisa Miller (Welfare), who both also posted on the page, issued comments to The UT. Ms. Barry said that it was “important that the SU take action” on the connection between Trinity and the organisation. Pursuant to this, she added, the issue would be discussed at Student Council on Tuesday and anyone “involved or affected should show up”. Ms. Miller took issue with the “misogynist tone” of the advertisement – calling it “absolutely disgraceful”. Sexual assault was a “serious issue”, she said, with many cases going unreported.

Jamie White, co-Director of Midnight with Mark Jacobs, spoke briefly with The University Times this evening. He said that the issue had been referred to the group’s solicitors. He was unhappy, he said, at some of the comments posted on the page – calling them “inciteful [sic]“. This particularly the case for those that were “directed at individuals”.

The University Times asked a series of follow-up questions to the company by e-mail, the responses to which we have yet to receive. Following the controversy today the Facebook group for ‘Mondays at Alchemy’ has been taken down. A series of posters on the Facebook group indicated their intentions to complain about the campaign to the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland.

A number of Midnight employees wrote to The UT denying us their permission to quote them, post pictures of their comments or refer to them by name in the article. Following legal advice the above piece has not been affected by those communications.

Additional reporting by Ronan Costello

Trinity Halls JCR does not, as previously stated, run events with Midnight.

  • Aoife C

    Excellent piece. I started up the group less then seven hours ago and already over 200 people have passionately articulated their anger at the advertisements and have sent in complaints to the advertising standards authority, I would encourage anyone who hasn’t to do so. Thank you.

  • Keith Grehan

    I’d like to encourage all readers to visit the facebook page and have a read, complaints can be made through http://www.asai.ie/complain.asp

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/298498736879283/

  • Justin

    Should be noted that twice this year Alchemy has been promoted in the SU email.

    • Max

      Fair point.

      • Chris O’Connor

        Cheers Justin. You retrospective king. Our crystal globe failed to mention this ad but we’ll do our best to polish it so none of these retrospective mishaps happen again.

        • Max

          Obviously not Chris O’Connor (I should hope), and very poor form to pose as him. I imagine the comment wasn’t suggesting that Ents should have anticipated this, just that it should be an issue at the next council meeting (it is) as Rachel Barry commented below, in order to take action against it.

          • Patrick

            I’d say it was him and rightfully so, why in the hell would past mentions in an email mean endorsing of this shite. (I tend not to read comments through rose tinted specs in the same way you manage to Max.)

        • Justin

          Relax, I wasn’t blaming you for anything. I don’t know enough about what it is you actually do to find fault in it. I never said you endorsed this. I was just saying that Trinity has a relationship with Alchemy and that that relationship should, perhaps, be reconsidered.

          Also: love the magical realism in your comment.

  • Markus

    When you get down to the bones of it it’s very successful promotion on the part of Midnight.They regularly post up provocative slogans and promos and every time people take the bait and spread them all over Facebook complaining about them.

    Also the point must be made that people are becoming over sensitive these days.If all advertisements stayed were carefully done and tastefully judged it would be a very dull world indeed.

    • Siobhan

      The problem is not that they’re using the cheap idea that ‘sex sells.’ The poster is not saying to people that this is a place to find laughs and no-strings-attached fun for guys and girls

      What it’s saying is ‘Here’s a place where women are considered pieces of meat.’ It’s completely dehumanising to women.

      While it would be naive to suggest that this poster would directly influence abuse of women, it is part of a larger culture that condones and normalises misogyny. Not only that but does so knowingly and unapologetically.

  • Ciara

    The concept that “sex sells” certainly seems to hold true in regards to getting attention – good or bad, but I think it’s about time that someone actually stood up and called Midnight, and any other event management companies, up on this absolute farce called advertising. The audience they’re attracting are typically 18-20 year olds (males, it seems) and while it’s not really good for any age group, I don’t think it’s appropriate to be promoting sex and one-night-stands with young college students. Well done!

    • adam

      if your saying that people need to stand up against the sex sells ideology.
      to do this would mean the likes of standing up against; rhianna, kelly rowland and virtually most commercial female music stars as companies such as universal and sony constanly push there “sexiness” to seel there product.

      Unfortunatly it wont happen as the companies are to powerful.

      • Terri

        We could try limiting it to those with teh title “celebrity”, and remove it from common life

  • Simon

    Leaving aside the matter at hand, it has to be said that this is a pretty childish piece, full of he-said-she-said garbage that should not pass for journalism. I know it’s a heated topic, but this is biased in the extreme. The author is a member of the group, ffs.

    • jack

      What is your idea of a journalist, if you believe he can’t have values of some sort?

      • Simon

        Values are fine, bias is not.

        • Rachel Barry

          Not really sure where the bias is. He’s reporting on a story that Midnight has received criticism, and proceeded to outline that criticism.

          • Simon

            Anyone who has seen the group page will appreciate that comments have been selected with a particular view in mind. This is a serious issue, and calls for serious debate. I don’t think that picking the most brainless representatives of the other side does the discussion any good. This is not a simple conflict between sensible people and stupid bigots, so it would be nice if the article reflected that.

        • jack

          They’re not just brainless representatives – they’re the managers and representatives: the people who come up with these campaigns.

    • Colm O’Donoghue

      I wouldn’t really describe it as biased so much as journalism, all it really does is state the facts of what has gone on in the last couple of days with regards to midnight.

    • Niall

      And whats your position in the Midnight promotions group? Think you failed to clarify that one.

      • Colm

        Niall if you think that anyone who stands up for what the believe in works for Midnight then your in a serious amount of denial.

  • Rachel Barry

    @ Justin:

    This issue is a discussion item at next Tuesday’s SU Council, which will be held in the McNeill Theatre in the Hamilton at 7pm. I urge all to attend/contact their class rep with their views.

    Any TCDSU student can speak to the motion – you do not have to be a class rep.

  • Rachel Barry

    @ Justin:

    This issue is a discussion item at next Tuesday’s SU Council, which will be held in the McNeill Theatre in the Hamilton at 7pm. I urge all to attend/contact their class rep with their views.

    Any TCDSU student can speak to the motion – you do not have to be a class rep.

  • Max

    What’s really terrifying is Burtenshaw’s ability to screenshot every post within “A few seconds ago”…

    • Colm O’Donoghue

      And your attention to detail, great spot!

    • Marie

      Dedication to the craft!

  • http://www.soisaystoher.wordpress.com kelephonica

    Markus: “When you get down to the bones of it it’s very successful promotion on the part of Midnight.They regularly post up provocative slogans and promos and every time people take the bait and spread them all over Facebook complaining about them.

    Also the point must be made that people are becoming over sensitive these days.If all advertisements stayed were carefully done and tastefully judged it would be a very dull world indeed.”

    So first of all, I don’t give a hoot if it’s successful or not. Success is not the only measure of whether or not something is right or ethical or good. Investment bankers and hedge fund managers were very successful…it’s only now that we’re talking about the fact that they shouldn’t have been allowed to do what they did because of the harm their actions caused. That’s the case with this kind of advertising – successful or not it causes harm and so it has to be curtailed. And your point about people being oversensitive is disgusting – I’m assuming you’re a man and in case you didn’t notice, all the offensive material in these ads is directed towards women so how dare you diminish the impact that has. Lots of other men are able to put themselves in a woman’s shoes and show their support for the campaign against Alchemy so what’s wrong with you that you can’t see past the end of your own nose? If a person of a different race from you was being depicted in a degrading way would you tell them not to be so sensitive it’s just a bit of fun? There’s nothing oversensitive about thinking that suggesting women are just sexual objects who should be always available to men is very harmful.

    • Ciara

      “If all advertisements stayed were carefully done and tastefully judged it would be a very dull world indeed.”??

      The best, most effective ads are the ones that don’t offend.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e-uHQna0

  • Seabass

    Personally, I’m hoping Iran develops nuclear weapons sooner, rather than later, so that they can be tested on Midnight Promotions.

    • Dean

      Woah! chill the beans there mate … a little aggressive …

      Have any of you ever been to alchemy on a Monday ? its actually not as bad as you all seem to think, so can you all please dry your knickers, wipe the tears from your eyes and get over it.

      With all this talk of sex abuse, I for one, certainly haven’t seen any evidence that alchemy support it! the advertisements are no worse than the music videos we all watch, the magazine covers and contents we all read or the posters over half of halls has on its walls! so unless you want to accuse them of the same thing just keep it down.

      as a fresher I love the night and think you should all lay off, its certainly better than anything ents has produced this year.

  • Helen

    Markus: “Also the point must be made that people are becoming over sensitive these days.If all advertisements stayed were carefully done and tastefully judged it would be a very dull world indeed.”

    This kind of laissez-faire attitude to blatant misogyny is one of the reasons Midnight seems to get away with so much. I’m not trying to pick on Markus as an individual poster, but what may seem like a throwaway comment is actually quite weighted in so much meaning in a society that, let’s face it, has double standards for men and women. It’s all going back to the debate regarding why women are sluts but men are players.

    Anyway, what kind of a world does one have to live in if it’s a world where good taste is boring and “dull”? Going to clubs that actively promote themselves as seedy shouldn’t be how anybody gets their kicks, unless they’ve a problem with their psychosexuality.

    No matter what side of the debate people are on they should make their voices heard at SU on Tuesday if they actually care.

    • Joshua

      The problem being ‘taste’ is entirely subjective. For example, I may not be offended by this advert, however, I may be offended by something which you find acceptable. My point being, different people get offended by different things.
      As for your diagnoses of psychosexual problems for anyone who enjoys ‘seedy’ clubs as you call them, it just comes across pretty narrow-minded and childish.

      • Niamh

        Taste is not subjective. It is carefully honed and established by cultural norms. You have been told since birth what is art, taste, style, sexually normal, etc. You have learned to make associations. None of this is organic but entirely artbitrary. There is not such thing as independantly occuring, subjective and completely organic taste.

  • Jason

    Excellent article – highlights how awful the outlooks of the Midnight people are when they have the cheel to try and defend their advertising.

    It’s interesting though that this website did publish this pile of tripe on feminism a while back:

    http://www.universitytimes.ie/?p=7256

  • Fionn Murray

    Properly winced at that “women only get sexually harassed when they’re dressed to attract it” sentiment. I’m not in favour of any form of censorship by any means, but that one came a little too close to that old “women who dress provocatively are asking to get raped” chestnut for my taste.

    • Michelle

      I’m glad you brought attention to that. To be perfectly honest, I’m surprised no one mentioned that sooner.

      @Dean “With all this talk of sex abuse, I for one, certainly haven’t seen any evidence that alchemy support it!”

      Whether or not they ‘support’ sex abuse is beside the point. The fact that they even mention that “women only get sexually harassed when they’re dressed to attract it” is enough for me to boycott Midnight Promotions. That mentality is the reason why most women don’t report cases of sexual assault, they maintain that they will be told they ‘asked for it’ simply because they wore a short skirt or low cut top.

      How a female, or anyone, dresses is not reason for them to be sexually assaulted. It is the perpetrator, not the victim who is responsible.

      That statement is completely dangerous. I’m appalled that a promoter would even view that as an acceptable thing to say.

      • Ciara.M

        You know, I for one am normally of the mindset that everyone these days is too sensitive and need to stop panicking about things like this and get on with their lives:

        BUT: To be honest I’m pretty shocked by how dismissive people are being about this. Clearly none of these people who are brushing the issue aside have ever been stopped and intimidated by someone, telling them that they are OBLIGED to have sex with them. I have. And it’s not because I’ve on skimpy clothes, it’s because I accepted a drink, or let them walk me home, or invited them and their friends to another party, or just spoke to them for more than 30secs – apparently from this point on sex is obligatory. And now I don’t even have to wear a short skirt or talk to someone – based on this advertisement just turning up to the night obliges me to sex with any guy who asks, either that or I should go somewhere else. I know which option I’d choose. And don’t tell me guys aren’t that pressurising or whatever – if accepting a drink is a good enough excuse, so will turning up at that club night be.

        I guess the only redeeming fact is that since you know you’re expected to be up for sex, if you’re not then you should probably find another club. *shrugs*

        Hope that wasn’t too babbly – engineering students aren’t known for their eloquency! :P

    • Shane Jennings

      was just thinking the same thing.
      It seems slutwalks need to walk in their direction. ..

      A girl wearing a mini-skirt and string top should be no more or less likely to be raped than a girl wearing jeans and a hoody!!

  • Glen

    Where did UT receive its legal advice?

    • burtenshaw

      Dr. Eoin O’Dell, Associate Professor in Trinity’s School of Law.

      Dr. O’Dell has been kind enough to offer us free legal advice, when required, for the last two years.

  • CW

    I vaguely know that Rob Walsh guy, one of the people with the she-is-asking-for-it sentiment. Shame.

  • Conor

    Helen: “Anyway, what kind of a world does one have to live in if it’s a world where good taste is boring and “dull”? Going to clubs that actively promote themselves as seedy shouldn’t be how anybody gets their kicks, unless they’ve a problem with their psychosexuality.”

    Who are you to say what kind of clubs people “should” go to?
    Bad taste it may be, but the issue of freedom of speech surely comes into play here as well? I don’t feel I’m being in any way offensive by saying, if you don’t want to go to the event you don’t have to – but you have no right whatsoever to speak for anyone else, who may or may not choose to go to it. And if some people out there do enjoy going to sleazy nightclubs that’s their own choice, it’s highly presumptuous to suggest that everyone agrees – should it be a “thought crime” to think otherwise?

    I agree it’s in bad taste and I certainly won’t be going, having always hated Alchemy anyway, but I take issue both with attacks on freedom of speech, and with the creeping authoritarianism of “people SHOULDN’T want to go to these clubs”, “EVERYONE hates it, and those who don’t are WRONG”, etc. We live in a free society. If the advert was a direct incitement to hatred, violence, libel etc then it would be a different matter, but as it doesn’t, this is purely a matter of freedom of speech. Bad taste is not illegal, and nor should it ever be. We are not living in Iran or China.

    Write so Sean Sherlock and tell him you support his censorship laws if you like, I’m sure he’d be delighted to read a positive letter for once amidst the onslaught of abuse he’s been getting!

  • Jack S

    There is a difference between censorship and moral force.

  • Conor

    “There is a difference between censorship and moral force.”

    There isn’t if it involves applying one person’s morality to everybody.
    I appreciate that some people may be offended by this, and some people may not want to go to that club because it’s ‘sleazy’.
    However, there are also people who are not offended, and who do want to go to Alchemy regardless.

    Should the former group’s imposition of their moral force be able to infringe on the freedom of the latter group?
    Why is that ok, if the vice versa is not?

    To play devil’s advocate, should depictions of the prophet Mohammed be made illegal because they offend some people? What about the people they don’t offend? Should that Dutch newspaper be charged with ‘bad taste’ and be ordered to retract, because SOME people were offended by what they read in it?

    • Howard

      I think you’re missing the point. As far as I’m concerned, this particular case is different, insofar as the advertising used serves to legitimise behaviour on the premises which most would consider sexual assault, by creating this notion of ‘knowing what she was getting herself in for’.
      This isn’t about banning free speech. This is about irresponsible advertising on the part of a clubnight.

      • Joshua

        I really can’t see how the initial advert advocates or legitimizes sexual assault. Some people may find it in bad taste or to be provocative and certainly ‘edgy’. However I think we all agree that merely causing offence to some is not something that should prevent the publication of any material. I agree with you that if it did legitimize assault then of course it’s irresponsible. The subsequent comments are much worse than the initial advert and are the only arguable evidence of a sexist attitude in my opinion.

        • Howard

          Firstly, I never argued there to be evidence of a sexist attitude. Secondly, I never called for it to be prevented. My only point was to acknowledge that it was, in my opinion, highly irresponsible of the clubnight to run with the advert in the first place.
          There is a growing concern with regard victims of sexual assault being in some way to blame because they ‘asked for it’. As far as I’m concerned, this type of advertising gives credibility to that argument. It implies that a girl can expect to put up with certain behaviour toward her if she decides to attend this clubnight, and that she is in some way responsible for this because it was her decision to go there in the first place.
          I am not saying that the advert actively proposes that argument, moreso that it gives it credibility, however small. For me, anything that contributes to the growing stigma against victims of sexual assault can fairly be deemed reckless and irresponsible.

    • Seosamh Ó Cinnéide

      To play devil’s advocate the other way around:

      Should sexually suggestive pictures of children* be made legal? Some people (pedophiles) aren’t offended by it. Why is it ok for us to impose our moral force to infringe their freedom?

      *(not out and out child porn, sexually suggestive where the children wouldn’t be aware of the implication)

      Now for any extreme libertarians in the audience who say we still shouldn’t, should it then be ok to use that material to advertise events which wish to attract pedophiles? Events which children might be at?

      Just to clarify I’m not saying the two are morally equivalent, I’m saying that the idea that it’s wrong to impose morality on others is absolute tripe and we do it all the time.

      • Conor

        I’m sorry but that is categorically the most utterly ridiculous argument I have ever seen on the internet, and that REALLY is saying a lot.
        First off could I ask, what exactly is the difference between child porn and “sexually suggestive where the children wouldn’t be aware of it”?
        I’m pretty sure in cases of incredibly young child abuse, the children are not probably aware of what is going on or why it’s wrong, but that does not IN ANY WAY make it acceptable.
        There is a victim in cases of child pornography, the child whose rights are being infringed.
        Secondly, if the club is trying to attract pedophiles with images of young children, then it is trying to entice them to the club for illegal purposes, to assault young children.

        It takes an extreme stretch of the imagination to suggest that this poster is actually advocating assault. A stretch, I imagine, by the kind of mind which is deliberately looking for something to object to in the poster.

        Imposing morality on others is entirely wrong where there is no crime implied or no victim of that crime.

        I suppose you would be of the same group which objected to the underwear for drink promotion in tramco, despite the fact that it was entirely consensual and if you didn’t want to take part in that promotion, you could have just gone up to the bar and bought a drink in a perfectly normal fashion?

        Sure, there are issues of “exploitation” involved but these events are aimed at adults, who are over 18 and therefore above the age of majority. It would be different if they were targeted at young naive teenagers for instance, but they are targeted at people who are perfectly capable of thinking for themselves and making their own decisions.

        Bear in mind that I agree the ad is in bad taste, and I’m no fan of Alchemy myself, but to censor it would be the most appalling example of political correctness.

        • Howard

          I agree that it takes a stretch to claim the advert is *advocating* assault, but do you not acknowledge that it undermines the campaign against women being portrayed as somehow complicit in sexual assault against them, and as a result should be considered irresponsible?

          • Conor

            I can’t see how you would draw that conclusion unless you were deliberately looking for something to get offended about, and that’s the honest truth.
            I have seen many truly offensive adverts in my time, this is NOT one of them. This article is quite simply political correctness gone barking mad.

        • Seosamh Ó Cinnéide

          For the love of God please READ my last paragraph: “Just to clarify I’m not saying the two are morally equivalent, I’m saying that the idea that it’s wrong to impose morality on others is absolute tripe and we do it all the time.”

          I’ll say my argument again in one sentence:

          We ALL impose our morality all the time so the argument that we can’t impose morality is flat out wrong and hypocritical!

          The post that your replying to is a rebuttal of your argument and nothing more. You have made no attempt to save your argument: “Should the former group’s imposition of their moral force be able to infringe on the freedom of the latter group?”

  • Charles

    I don’t find the slogan for the night in any way sexist. Let’s take a look at it; “If you’re not up for it, don’t cum”. Sexy? Yes. Provactive? Yes. Slightly over the top? Yes. Sexist? No.

    The slogan itself isn’t gender specific, it doesn’t read “Women, come to this club only if you’re up for men having sex with you”. The marketing message that Midnight are obviously trying to put across here is that the night itself is aimed at those up “for a ride” and generate a bit of interest around this. It is aimed at BOTH sexes and is provactively titled because let’s face it, it’s a lot more enticing than a singles only night.

    This marketing message is not so different from slogans that other popular promotions companies have conjured up in recent months such as “Come down if you want a ride” in the Big Tree or “I’m getting wet in Squirt@Pod”, the second of which was actually an offical UCD ents night. These slogans are just as sexual in nature.

    The fact that there is a semi-clothed girl in Alchemy’s profile image adds nothing to this issue of sexism, the previously mentioned night in POD had also got a girl semi-clothed in it’s photo, neatly displayed alongside UCD Ents and Signature Group’s respective photos. Can someone please point out the difference in Monday in Alchemy’s night and UCD Ents night in POD that passed by without incident?

    The whole notion of this being a sexist promotion doesn’t stem from the actual promotion itself but from the unnecessary backlash around it and from the admittedly poor way this backlash was handled by certain involved individuals judging by posts from staff in the Anti-Alchemy group.

    The original comment ‘suited to the kitchen’ is a comment you would see on the vast majority of promoter profiles and no one would have batted an eyelid had there not previously been an “Anti-Monday in Alchemy” group being established at this point by the woman who wrote the original blog, waiting for the opportune moment to debate on this issue.

    My sole issue with Midnight’s approach to things here from what I’ve read throughout the whole article is one line that Rob from Midnight says in his comment; the line about women dressing provocatively and leading men on. This is something that has been touched on a lot in society and is an unacceptable comment to make.

    Apart from this, Midnight’s promotion while bordering on edge was nothing that we haven’t seen before. This is simply an issue that is getting completely blown out of the water with people jumping on the bandwagon left, right and center because let’s face it, everyone loves a bandwagon.

    I would love to see nothing more than an apology from Rob Walsh and for the whole issue/debate to end at that. This whole article is up on UT for the sole reason that because Midnight is a student promotions company and a brand name that all readers recognize and so was always going to be an article that would draw a lot of traffic to the website.

    This is in no way groundbreaking journalism and in fact does nothing but damage the name of certain individuals who while taking part in a debate on a public facebook page now found themselves being quoted and put on a public stage, something that the vast majority of people would be uncomfortable with. I’m sure that if everything the writer of this article ever posted online was to be displayed online, he wouldn’t feel too comfortable and happy about it.

    • Niamh

      Ok Charles. Let’s break this down.

      ‘The marketing message that Midnight are obviously trying to put across here is that the night itself is aimed at those up “for a ride” and generate a bit of interest around this.’

      It features the image of a WOMAN, not a man, bent double in a submissive position. It DOES NOT feature a man and a woman engaged in a sexual act. IT FEATURES A WOMAN BENT DOUBLE IN A SUBMISSIVE POSITION. The presence of alcohol in the picture implies drunkenness and vulnerability. It says ‘if you’re not up for it, don’t cum’. WHAT PART OF THIS IS TANTALIZING TO A HEALTHILY-MINDED PERSON?

      ‘The fact that there is a semi-clothed girl in Alchemy’s profile image adds nothing to this issue of sexism, the previously mentioned night in POD had also got a girl semi-clothed in it’s photo, neatly displayed alongside UCD Ents and Signature Group’s respective photos. Can someone please point out the difference in Monday in Alchemy’s night and UCD Ents night in POD that passed by without incident?’

      There is absolutely no difference and nobody has suggested otherwise. UCD Ents have long been criticized for the publications material. UCD has consistently ignored the legitimate complaints of people who find the debasement of women for advertisement purposes distasteful. It is a form of incitement to hatred but our society is structured upon deeply entrenched heterosexist and patriarchal lines, and many people, including you, refuse to recognize this because it does not compliment the assumed superiority of white middle-class men.

      ‘The original comment ‘suited to the kitchen’ is a comment you would see on the vast majority of promoter profiles and no one would have batted an eyelid had there not previously been an “Anti-Monday in Alchemy” group being established at this point by the woman who wrote the original blog, waiting for the opportune moment to debate on this issue.’

      How on earth does something being on ‘the vast majority of promoter profiles’ make it ok? As for a woman ‘waiting for an opportune moment’ – to do what? To pursue an agenda of senselessly criticizing nightclubs that have done her no individual ill? NO – to finally attempt to bring this foul culture of debasement to an end.

      ‘My sole issue with Midnight’s approach to things here from what I’ve read throughout the whole article is one line that Rob from Midnight says in his comment; the line about women dressing provocatively and leading men on. This is something that has been touched on a lot in society and is an unacceptable comment to make.’

      The image is implying precisely this idea – that women deserve to be raped. This is not something that has been ‘touched on a lot’. This is a reality for many, many women. Current statistics estimate that one in five women will encounter assault or sexual abuse in their lifetime.

      ‘This is in no way groundbreaking journalism and in fact does nothing but damage the name of certain individuals who while taking part in a debate on a public facebook page now found themselves being quoted and put on a public stage, something that the vast majority of people would be uncomfortable with.’

      These people freely made derogatory and insulting comments on a public Facebook page, and then removed them when the page’s cause gained ground. If they would prefer not to be thrust into these kinds of disagreeable discussions, they should not promote sexist material or leave insulting messages on public Facebook pages. Your default sympathy for the wrongdoers in this situation directly mirrors the ‘victim-blaming’ culture which this page and article are attempting to undo.

      I should not have to explain this to you.

      • Charles

        I have yet to once seen any public comments criticizing UCD for the debasement of women? Please link me to just one example and I’ll gladly concede this point.

        This type of advertisement is by no means incitement to hatred, it is tongue in cheek, advertising exactly like this exists not just in nightclub promotion but in the modern advertising world. My argument is that advertising like this is now commonplace in modern society. When I look at this promotion, I in no way assume that the club condones rape or sex between unconsenting persons; I see the aftermath of a young couple who’ve met in a club not unlike Alchemy who now decide to take it a notch further and go back to someones apartment to make sweet love.

        This promotion is not a call for unconsentual sex but instead is a fishing hook trying to attract those promiscuous teens that make up the target market of this exact night. You would be lying to yourself if you don’t agree that this demo-graph of college students exists and this is exactly the type of advertisement that appeals to them. These high-charged sexual students wouldn’t want to attend nights that advertise themselves as ‘YAY IT’s mondays”, they want something that appeals a little more to them. If people want to go to a normal club-night where they can have a few casual drinks and a laugh, then they should go to these type of nights instead of alchemy on monday. Is this not one of the main functions of marketing communications – to inform the public of what a product actually is – a high charged sexual environment of willing participants.

        You make claim of a heterosexist society leading to this type of promotion but let me remind you it doesn’t just exist within a heterosexist world – let’s take a look at one of Dublin’s most popular nights – WAR@ALT. A night so popular with Trinity students that it was given it’s own stage at the trinity ball ’10.

        A quick look at WAR’s facebook page sees a photo of a poster in the venue “fuck everyone you meet”, encouraged sex inside the venue and a range of discussion about a girl “riding” several guys on the couches much to the amusement of everyone inside and on the page. How is this highly sexual promotion so different from Alchemy?

        Again I bring you back to the point that this type of promotion has existed for a long time and Alchemy here is merely the scapegoat for this. Clearly there are other nightclubs and even larger companies promoting this highly sexual behavior but this is not to do with condoning rape, it is merely a byproduct of an increasingly sexual culture.

        Let’s be realistic here, is the intent of this promotion to encourage rape? No, that much is obvious, it as I previously mentioned encourages promiscuity which is something that is absolutely fine in this society is it not?

        And lastly, I agreed with you on the point that what Rob W said was wrong but yet you continue to argue and quote a statistic for rape/sexual assault encounters , a statistic which by the way you got wrong – it is in fact 1/7 women, a number which is still horrific and shouldn’t exist but if you’re making a point, it helps to actually research a statistic instead of grabbing it out of midair.

        • Niamh

          Holding and advertising a club night that promotes itself as a place for promiscuous sex is not in and of itself bad. The problem is that the advertisement (and countless others like it) specifically depict women as ‘bait’. Not men. This is sexist.

          As for the other club nights mentioned – of course, if they use advertisements which depict women as ‘bait’ they are objectionable too. We are pursuing Alchemy on this matter because they were stupid enough to properly cross the line – i.e. depicting a woman, as I have pointed out repeatedly, bent double, in a submissive position, with the implication that she is drunk. It is probably going to be easier to make the point that this is objectionable than, say, trying to point out that images of semi-naked women advertising club promotions is objectionable, since people (including you, it appears) have become desensitized to the persistent use of naked WOMEN, not men, to sell an illusion of sexual availability as a product and not as a human being (nobody can see the Alchemy girl’s face. Just her ass). A basic understanding of Western visual culture (see John Berger’s ‘Ways of Seeing’) would make this obvious to people.

          As for the UCD thing; when I was a student there (2006-9) many groups had a long-running argument with the college regarding the use of derogatory images on posters and the holding of a ‘Miss UCD’ contest (later farmed out to an outside company). You’ll have to take my word for it since it was a battle pitched within the college and not heavily featured in outside media.

          My point is this – nobody is saying that any of these other advertisements are not objectionable. We are merely pursuing a single, and particularly bad, example, to make a point. If Alchemy are disciplined or fined for this, it may deter other clubs from continuing with the policy.

          I can appreciate that if you quite simply don’t see this as sexist, you would consider this whole argument to be pointless. But it is sexist. Marketing techniques which reduce women to objects or products and suggest that they are freely available to men whilst being associated with another product (a nightclub, cosmetics, cars, etc.) are a way of appealing to a vision of society which puts women on par with objects and products. You are not a woman and have not been directly affected by this: I have. Many of the men supporting the page understand this and do not want to be implicated in it. Please look further than your own nose.

          As for the student’s behaviour – that is not the point. The ad could be for a cake shop for all I care. It is what is depicted in the ad that is objectionable. Nobody is asking clubs to close down ‘singles nights.’

        • Gabriel

          Charles, seriously, do you not realise how many of the points you are raising actually work to reinforce, rather than weaken, a number of the most vital complaints that this whole debate is about?

          I would not claim that the ad in question has a huge impact in the sense that men who see it go and commit rape. But to argue that since this is not the case, there is no problem, no “incitement to hatred,” is misguided.

          You say yourself that “advertising exactly like this exists not just in nightclub promotion but in the modern advertising world,” and you also state that “advertising like this is now commonplace in modern society.”

          This is precisely the problem. Precisely! What is in question here is not the particular activities this ad might be suggesting are taking place in or around that particular nightclub. What is in question is that such primitive, (you call it “tongue-in-cheek”), sexist imagery has become a normal part of our everyday word.

          It has become so normal that people offended by it have to explain painstakingly why they are offended. It has become so normal that you’re own intuitive reaction, judging from your post, was to refer to a status quo which legitimises the ad, by arguing that “this type of promotion has existed for a long time and Alchemy here is merely the scapegoat for this”. It has, effectively, become so normal that we risk losing sight of the fact that there might be anything wrong with it at all.

          This is not trivial. Nor is it about blame. Alchemy nightclub did not invent sexism; if they’re forced to take the ad down and are fined for it, sexism isn’t defeated. The point is to defamiliarise this kind of behaviour, to draw people’s attention to just how nasty a status quo such advertising presupposes. That “everyone” uses imagery like this is NOT an excuse, it is the PROBLEM.

      • Joshua

        “The image is implying precisely this idea – that women deserve to be raped.”. Either I’m misinterpreting the advert or you’re extrapolating massively from the image.

        • Niamh

          The ad is suggesting that ‘if you’re not up for it’, i.e. sex, then ‘don’t cum.’ The woman is doubled over in a submissive position.

          A large number of sexual assaults go unreported because of the culture of victim-blame, the most recent example of which concerned an alleged rape victim arrested for being too afraid to identify her alleged rapist at close range in a courtroom with no structural divisions between accuser and accused.

          A very high-profile case a number of years ago involved a man being cheered by his neighbours at the courthouse having been accused of raping a woman whom people considered to be his inferior, in terms of class – this is victim blaming too.

          At least one person on this FB page has suggested that girls who dress and dance provocatively deserve the ‘hassle’ they get. This hassle sometimes culminates in sexual assault.

          This is why I make the connection between the advertisement, and rape. It doesn’t have to be an explicit ad ‘for rape’ to be validating the culture of victim-blame.

          • Colm

            She’s in a sex position, not a submissive. Your acting as if the advertisers purposefully put the girl into that position to be submissive. It is to sexually attract men, not to suggest that she is or would be raped. Honestly you people are analysing too much into this. AND OF COURSE THERE’S A GIRL IN THE PHOTO. What right minded advertiser would advertise a single night with a picture of a man bending over. It suggests homosexuality and will fend of the macho straight men who are afraid of being seen as gay.

          • Niamh

            ‘What right minded advertiser would advertise a single night with a picture of a man bending over?’

            One aimed at women too. But this is not aimed at women. This is only aimed at men. You have just proven my point. Woman sexualised: for the boys. Man sexualised: for the boys. And ‘macho straight men afraid of being seen as gay’ are some kind of demographic we should aspire to catering to? Homophobic AND sexist?

            That is, btw, the sex position of a baboon. Not a woman. Step away from the gratuitous porn. They’re acting.

          • Charles

            Niamh,

            You’re running around in circles with your argument. I’ve already touched on the comments which Rob W made (And since apologized for), this is the only instance with the advertisement being linked with rape.

            What has a courthouse cheering a man on for rape got to do with this advertisement? You’re really clutching at straws here, It’s a sexualised advert aimed at those up for a bit of fun. I’m tired of arguing here as this is going nowhere, will hopefully see you at the debate tomorrow where the issue will finally be hammered out!

    • Alexa

      If you’re backing up your opinion by saying that UCD have had student nights with adverts along similar lines, that doesn’t prove anything. I haven’t seen these ads, but if they do follow a similar idea to this one, then the fact that someone in UCD hasn’t spoken about about them doesn’t mean that they’re not sexist. If they are, we disagree with them too.

  • Stephanie Fleming

    Complaint submitted to the advertising standards authority.

    My biggest problem is as follows.

    The poster implies that women should not attend the club night unless they are willing to have sex with someone they meet there.

    The knock on implication here is that women who do attend the club night are willing to have sex with someone they meet there.

    This is the same kind of “asking for it” attitude that has been perpetuated for far too long. Women do not express consent to sex in what they wear or where they go or how much they drink. I’m not saying a person has to outright say the words “Yes, I consent to have sex with you”, because that is a bit of a mood killer, but the idea that rape is okay if she was wearing a short skirt or had too much to drink is, to put it bluntly, fucked up.

    I expect that a reply to this comment would consist of something along the lines of “Ah, jesus, no-one thinks like that, don’t be so sensitive, you’re reading too much into it” etc. The facts do not support this. I point in particular to the case of a woman who was raped in Listowel in 2008, see the article here http://bit.ly/yNnijt

    Any assumption or even implication that a woman can ask to be sexually assaulted is deplorable.

  • Rachel

    Those wild country students just love taking it to the extreme.

  • aly

    Dont see what all the fuss is about..Its a night out…some are just a “inapropriate” like C.U.N.T.. its actually not that big a deal though? the poster has a picture of a girl on it ye it provocative,but you witness much more inside the club.The poster hasnt been created to offened people..Theres not much point arguing about because in a months time there will probably be a simlar one from a different brand…Ive seen riskier stuff on a perfume add.Chill out guys too much drama for nothing!

    • Rachel

      See Steph’s point above

  • Hazel

    “Apart from this, Midnight’s promotion while bordering on edge was nothing that we haven’t seen before.”

    The fact that this is the type of promotion we’ve “seen before” does not make it okay. The fact that this particular promotion has crossed a line for many people and is bringing attention to a whole range of issues that need to be addressed, is something we need to recognize. This isn’t just an argument that can be simply ended with an apology from one company or representative. The “unnecessary backlash” that’s occurring here is only the surface of some extremely important issues, issues that will not disappear until these kind of sleazy promotions and the attitudes that perpetuate them do.

  • aly

    its only a bitta FUN woooo

    • Fiachra

      Let’s see how far we can take that one…

      9 out of 10 people like gangrape. Sure it’s only a bitta fun!

      Point being: “fun” is subjective, depending upon who’s at the receiving end (no pun intended).

      • aly

        ah but still
        your talking about the poster as if its physically harrassed someone hahahahah

  • Colm

    Is it sexist when David Beckham is pictured in nothing but a pair of briefs? Certain people are just out looking to be offended these days. Sexism only ever seems to exist when women are being disadvantaged, weekly there are “Women’s Nights” promoted in clubs throughout the city but never a men’s night. Why? Because it wouldn’t sell. But you don’t hear men kick up a fuss because that’s life. The fact that people are calling in radio stations because the photo is a girl pulling up her underwear is pathetic, the point is that if you go there you will “pull” a girl. They’d hardly advertise a man pulling up his underwear, because it would appear to be homosexual and that doesn’t sell to the majority of people in the world. I would very much like to debate this with whoever organised this complaint, your the sexist if you ask me, out looking for something to blame men on again.

    • Niamh

      If David Beckham were bent double and it was implied that he was drunk beyond the ability to think clearly, and the text of the ad says ‘if David wasn’t up for it, he shouldn’t have CUM’…then yeah, it’d be objectionable.

      ‘Ladies Nights’ are designed to ensure there are plenty of women in the club for the perusal of men. ‘Ladies Night’ has nothing to do with female empowerment.

      • Conor

        “‘Ladies Nights’ are designed to ensure there are plenty of women in the club for the perusal of men. ‘Ladies Night’ has nothing to do with female empowerment.”

        Convenient remark to avoid responding to the relevant the relevant fact, that ladies nights are discriminatory against men and you never hear anyone kick up a fuss about them…

  • John

    I think you need to get a grip to be honest. At the end of the day, their job is to get people through the doors, and by these methods, they are succeeding in doing so. I agree with what many people have said about the article being immature by directing it at a select few, and believe that there are more offenders than merely Midnight. I think trinity should focus on the more important matters that are occurring within the college

    • Gabriel

      “there are more offenders than merely Midnight”

      Yes, there are.

      That’s sort of the point of this whole debate, isn’t it?

      There is a fundamental problem at stake here. I mean, the group has currently 440 members. Even minus the people who joined to argue against the objection, do you really think all those members are just in for the sheer fun of Midnight-bashing? We have more important, and/or more fun things to do with our weekends.

      If you are saying that no one has a right to complain about Midnight IN PARTICULAR – well, on the basis of the “there are more offenders” argument, I assume, if two thieves rob a store and we catch one, we have to let that one go because it would be unfair to punish one and not the other. (I know that’s simplistic, but oh, come on: you show me then how to attack every instance of sexism individually and yet simultaneously. You pretty much have to attack individual perpetrators.)

    • aly

      agreed!

  • James

    This topic got unbelievably out of hand very quickly. The fact of the matter is the argument is over the content of the advertisement everything after that is just excess.

    This advertisement while in some ways could be considered vulgar and cheap can not be considered in any way dangerous. The only dangerous thing arising from this situation is the serious encroachment on free speech. How this ad can be interpreted as an incentive for men to touch women without permission seems to be beyond my tiny misogynistic brains’ comprehension capabilities.

    What also seems to be going over heads here is that peoples jobs are at risk here for the sake of a few easily offended individuals. Fine you’re not happy, you have a right to be but don’t shove the fact down other peoples throats.

    In conclusion let me pose a thought. If half the energy and resources pooled into this debacle had been poured into a useful cause say helping the actual infringement of rights of the homosexual males and females of Ireland who can not marry some good may actually have been done today.

    • Justin

      Just to be clear: The ad is a picture of a woman with her pants at her ankles with the caption: ‘If you’re not up for it don’t cum.’ It’s disturbing, and rapey by any standard.

      The vulgarity of the pun is irrelevant (honestly who gives a shit? wow, they managed to put ‘cum’ in the title), the double meaning it suggests is not.

      Also the issue about gay rights is crass relativism; sure why not bring up famine in Africa, and the decline of the common cheeseboard as a popular dessert while you’re at it. Thanks for posing though.

      • James

        Well from the look of the girl she has pulled down her pants of her own volition, doesn’t seem particularly rapey to me, seems to me the girl has made the decision herself, girls can cum too. That’s my interpretation of it.

        My example of gay rights was only used to put some perspective on how little this advertisement really means on a grander scale.

  • John C

    I think you need to get a grip to be honest. At the end of the day, their job is to get people through the doors, and by these methods, they are succeeding in doing so. I agree with what many people have said about the article being immature by directing it at a select few, and believe that there are more offenders than merely Midnight. I think trinity should focus on the more important matters that are occurring within the college

    • Max

      I think the whole point of all of this is that it *is* important. “Trinity should focus on more important matters”… Lots of the people in Trinity, the ones participating in this discussion deem it important enough… What else would you have everyone focus their attention on?

  • hellsbells

    Just to point out aside from the poster, the event description itself is awful,
    “if you’re frigid don’t cum”
    disgusting…

  • Anna

    It really makes me angry to think that women are still treated with as little respect as these kind of advertisements give them.
    And this lack of respect is only furthered by Mr. Walsh: “Girls only really recieve these problems and harassments in clubs when they are dressed to attract it”. Few words can properly describe how offensive and frankly wrong that statement is.
    I really hope that action is taken against Midnight productions.

  • John C

    I also find it shocking about how a spat with a promotion company gets more attention in Trinity than a student suicide… it says a lot

    • James

      Great point.

    • Max

      What? Are you saying there are people who would rather see the suicide of their friend/family member publicised on UT than not? Completely spurious juxtaposition. The fact that one gets covered and the other doesn’t has no bearing on their importance, just their suitability to the format.

      • Jack

        Hollah!

    • Jack S

      Yeah, that’s an astoundingly offensive comment. What the hell business would the UT have with reporting on a student suicide? The fact that you would resort to that kind of statement in defence of a goddamn marketing company is mind boggling.

    • Rachel

      I can assure you John that the issue you speak of has received a great deal of attention from all areas of college. The SU Welfare Officer, for example, has organised SafeTalk training sessions for class reps, and she has also succeeded in persuading college to roll out this training to staff members.

      It received a great deal of attention in the recent election campaigns of all 3 welfare candidates, with many useful suggestions coming out of it.

      Just because something isn’t splashed all over the front page of a newspaper, doesn’t mean that it isn’t being dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner.

  • Kim

    @Aly “its only a bitta FUN woooo”

    Perhaps this shouldn’t need to be pointed out again, but it’s that kind of relaxed attitude that will lend power to the idea that a girl “only gets what she’s asking for”.

    That poster is purposefully risqué but goes beyond the realm of acceptable. It does more than encourage “a bitta fun”. It’s sleazy to the point that it issues a challenge to those reading it to effectively stay away unless they’re willing to put out.

    It completely sexualises the club night and very dangerously gives young men, in particular, unrealistic expectations about what they can expect from the girls that go there.

    I wonder how many sexual assaults began with the offending party having “Just a bit of fun”?

  • Seabass

    “With all this talk of sex abuse, I for one, certainly haven’t seen any evidence that alchemy support it! the advertisements are no worse than the music videos we all watch, the magazine covers and contents we all read or the posters over half of halls has on its walls! so unless you want to accuse them of the same thing just keep it down.”

    I don’t watch those shit music videos.
    I don’t read those shit magazines.
    I don’t have those shit posters on my wall.
    I do want to accuse them all of the same thing.
    Fuck these absolute fucking bastards.

    • Anna

      I completely agree.

  • Seabass

    Also, I love the way that pretty much all the total ignorance in these comments is coming from guys. Fucking idiots.

  • Seabass

    Here it is lads:

    If you think this kind of advertisement is okay – you are an idiot.
    If you think promoting a club on the basis of whether you might get a ride is okay – you are an idiot.
    If you think life revolves around people riding each other, and there is no difference between advertising a man in underwear and advertising a woman in underwear – you are an idiot.
    If you think there is no difference in how the advertising industry treats men and women – you are an idiot.
    If you think women aren’t continually objectified all the time in areas such as this – you are an idiot.
    If you think any of this comment is stupid – you are an idiot.

    • James

      You can’t call someone an idiot for disagreeing with you.

      • Anna

        You can if they’re wrong.

      • Justin

        Yes you can. Every one is entitled to their opinion.

        • James

          Well according to the amazing logic above not if you’re wrong.

          • Anna

            Anyone is entitled to their own opinion. People can think whatever they want. Like 2 + 2 = 5. That doesn’t make it a valid argument. That doesn’t make it okay.

        • daire

          Yes but some peoples opinions are more valid than others….

      • Gabriel

        Yes, I can.

    • Fiachra

      Seabass: I get what you’re saying. Hell, I even agree with you. However it’s that exact same hostility that’s caused guys to be hostile to feminists for years.

      • Kate

        why should women care if men are hostile to feminists? (and they’re not, i have male friends who describe themselves as feminists, generally i don’t want friends who don’t believe i should be fully equal)Why does everything women do have to be in relation to men? and if people are fighting for equality, they generally don’t care if those people are hostile towards them…not really the point.

      • Fiachra

        Feminists often are guilty of making vast generalisations. Such as the one that Seabass made, implying that most guys think that that sort of advertising is ok. Most of us don’t. I’ve never gone to a single event organised by Midnight, because I think that their advertising is sleazy.

        Feminists should basically try more effective rhetoric to get men on their sides. Why? Most of hate sexism, and agree with your aims – just not how you go about trying to achieve it. We make up 49% of the population.

        The minute you start lecturing to “lads” or “men” as the collective, as if we all share the same bigoted views, you start losing us.

        • Kate

          I actually don’t think it is up to feminists to get people on their side, again why does what women do have to be in relation to men? Why do we have to get people on our side when we’re asking for equality? the question is why we have to ask for it at all, or try and persuade people….do you not see my point? I don’t have to ask for equality, why would I? I demand it, as we all should.And I’m not worried about what people think of that.actually don’t think methodology comes into it, you shouldn’t need to be persuaded, that’s a bizarre idea to me. As for generalisations, yes, that is not fair. But what methods are men doing to get us on their side? and didn’t you just generalise about feminists??

        • Reader

          Seabass’ act of blanketing men angers me; it’s immature, in my opinion.

          I believe that those who generalise regarding gender are sexist, e.g. all women are X, all men are Y (No intended reference to genetics).

          In light of this and your first point:
          Are feminists sexist? Surely they shouldn’t be, for if they were, their actions would seem paradoxical – They seek EQUAL treatment of women, while sexism denies equality.

          Your final point can apply to anyone who doesn’t like being labelled e.g. stereotypes. Label someone as ‘Z’ who takes offence by it and you’ll “start losing” them.

          • Reader

            Apologies, I should have said:

            they seek EQUAL treatment of men AND women…

        • Max

          Irony of generalising feminists for their alleged propensity to generalise about men…

    • Conor

      If you think the poster was meant to be taken sincerely or literally, you’re an idiot.
      If you think you have the right to restrict somebody’s freedom of speech, you’re an idiot.
      If you think every single thing out there which might offend somebody should be censored, you’re a COMPLETE idiot. 90% of the internet would disappear tomorrow if that was enforced across the board. There are many ads out there which I find sexist as a guy, but so what? There are far more important things in the world to get annoyed about than some silly poster for a fairly substandard nightclub (in my opinion) which I presume from your comments, you had no intention of going to in the first place.

      Finally… If you think you have the right to decide which OPINIONS are “right” or “wrong” you’re an idiot.

  • Pingback: Midnight promotions in Sexist Controversy | The Student Observer

  • A

    Excellent article. The ad was in bad taste, end of. The fact that the Midnight representatives continued to defend their derogatory ad campaign in such an immature and childish manner instead of apologising for it, is to me somewhat disturbing. Just because an ad campaign works, doesn’t make it right. It’s a talented promotion team that can advertise a club night without suggesting it will be packed with easy “up for it” girls. This was just plain lazy.

  • http://Facebook Conor

    I think this is stupid have of the poeple in your group are trolls or people arguing in the defence of alchemy and midnight, there are plenty of girls saying they don’t mind it and then been told they should by men… You don’t have the support you think you have

    • Seosamh Ó Cinnéide

      Unfortunately, despite what they’re saying being so outrageous, most of the “trolls” in the group work for, or are managers of Midnight Productions.

  • Sarah

    I find it so incredibly disappointing that anyone could defend an image like that being used as a promotion for a night out.

    We’re all knicker dropping whores after we’ve had a few apparently.

    Sickening.

    • Mick

      What I find most disturbing in the comment section is the blatant sexism and generalising thrown at men. Whether it’s done implicitly or explicitly, it is being implied that men are nothing but deviants out to grope and rape. The 99% of us that do have a fucking brain realise that inappropriate or aggressive advances are unacceptable. We realise rape is as serious as a crime can get. We realise that the picture is dumb and crass. The idea that this is so madly offensive is ITSELF based on the idea that men are uncontrollable, base animals, who, when seeing a girl with her pants down in club, will immediately aim to take advantage. From experiece, most men would aim to help her out and get her pants back up, not down (excuse the pun). The argument that the image objectifies women similarly offends me as a man: An implicit assumption is made that I’m too dumb or lacking in complexity to possibly understand that not all women are like the one on the poster. The promoters are clearly idiots for using the poster, so lets stop giving them the notoriety and publicity that they were so obviously seeking in the first place by just NOT GOING TO THEIR SHIT CLUB NIGHT. Regardless, the reductive and patronising views directed towards men has left a sour taste. Many of us do have a brain, shockingly.

      • Howard

        I don’t think there are generalisations made against men. I think there’s an acknowledgement that unwarranted sexual advances are made in nightclubs. At no point is there a claim that all men do this, or even the majority. That it happens at all is wrong. That advertising exists which, to some extent, legitimises this behaviour is abhorrent.

      • Kate

        yep, agree. Patriarchy hurts both sides. I do think that it is more serious, in terms of physical danger, for women because the majority of rapes are against women by men but the whole system of it denies the humanity and conscience of all.

  • Laura

    I agree that sex sells and that women can be used to advertise in a way that isn’t overly sexist and all but this is clearly justifying sexual assault whether intentional or not. Alchemy is the only club I’ve been to that I have had a genuinely scary experience with a guy and this kind of attitude just justifies behavior like that in their club. The fact that Midnight employ people who consider heavy use of drugs in the same category as homosexuality and believe girls dress to attract sexual abuse is an absolute joke. Also the kitchen joke is all well and good with people you know or at the right time but when someone is complaining something is sexist it’s just rude and disrespectful to respond like that I’d expect more from a company. At the end of the day it shows a vulnerable woman with her knickers round her ankles and they have a pun about rape. Disgusting attitude and trying to justify anything to do with rape is just wrong, it’s one of those topics that have to be taken seriously.

    • Fiachra

      If sex sold, there would also be ads featuring men in boxers. As it happens, the only ads featuring men in boxers are designed to sell boxers. The problem is that these ads are being marketed at guys instead of girls. I never thought about it until the last day or two, but it makes no sense at all, because girls are nightclub customers too.

      • Patrick

        This, and the “Sex Sells Myth” blog post actually completely misinterpret the phrase “sex sells”. We mean the idea of sex, not sex as in male or female. And yes it sells predominantly, but not completely, to men, but that’s still selling buddy!

        • Fiachra

          You clearly don’t understand the idea of my post, or the sex sells blog post. Why do ads focus on sexy women? Because of the ridiculous idea that sex has to be man on woman, and can’t occur any other way. We live in the 21st century – I thought that people knew that women can have orgasms by this stage.

          • Conor

            No, it’s because sex works on men as a marketing technique, but doesn’t tend to work on women in the same way. Generalizing again here, but it’s well known that male brains are more visual, so obviously therefore if you want to sell something to a bunch of guys, using sexual visuals has a good chance of getting their attention.

            That’s IT. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s not part of some grand conspiracy to subjugate women in society, as many here seem to think. It’s a gimmicks used by marketers because they know how to make people more likely to fork over their cash.

            It’s about making a profit for the club, nothing more, nothing less. The idea that there’s some sort of grand conspiracy behind it is utterly ludicrous.

          • Colm

            Because, Fiachra, if there were pictures of men it would seem homosexual. Simple as

          • Niamh

            Conor – what evidence do you have that men are more visual: scientific evidence that is, not evidence based on your realisation that most ads target men.

            Colm – you seem very concerned with ads depicting men being solely for gay men. Heterosexual omen, believe it or not, are aroused by male nudity too.

    • http://Facebook Conor

      Well laura what makes that woman vulnerable? And where does it have a pun about rape, the pun is not about rape atall and your again presuming that the women isn’t involved in the act it is just showing sex in general, girls also come to a club to “pull” the men aren’t just walking in and taking a girl and leaving

      • Stephanie Fleming

        What about it makes her vulnerable? Are you serious?

        First off, it’s a woman. Whether we like it or not women are physically weaker than men.

        Secondly, her underwear is around her ankles, ever tried running with your ankles tied?

        Thirdly, she’s been drinking. Her co-ordination, judgement and ability to defend against an attacker have all been impaired.

        Finally, a most importantly, she’s bent over. The position is submissive. It’s a well known sexual position and it fills the whole poster. It is objectifying her. She is simply a piece of meat to have sex with. And the tag line further adds, if you’re not willing to be treated as such, don’t come to this night club.

        The argument that women have the choice to not go there is entirely invalid. It’s the implication that this is an acceptable message to send to women. That if you’re “not up for it”, you’re not welcome. You’re not cool. No-one will want to hang around with you. In short, if you want to be socially accepted, you have to be up for it.

        I can only describe that attitude and any acceptance of that attitude as loathsome.

    • Reader

      Due to unfortunate experiences of overhearing women in public places, SOME (not all) would like such ads – they could view it as a guarantee that they’ll receive attention (particularly singles who want a date).

      In reality, some men AND women are attention seekers. Some people wear very little clothing in order to receive attention – consider the area outside ‘WEZZ’ on a Friday night. Surely those young teenagers aren’t wearing tight, short dresses for comfort and warmth (we live in Ireland, after all). Yes those attending Alchemy are older, but SOME may have similar objectives in mind.

  • Conor Kenny

    The epitome of excellent reporting. Great article

  • Colm

    If “Ladies Night” is sexist then why don’t you go report them and show your true colours? Women won’t report that because at the end of the day you get in free again. The statement “If your not up for it don’t cum” is directed to everyone, when I read the ad I felt as though they were talking to me, not about some girl pulling up her underwear. It’s not as though this even happens in the club, its just a regular night with no extra sexual activity. You make it out as though your being forced to partake in this although you have a choice. YOU COULD STAY HOME. And on the point of women being dressed to imply that they are up for it I shall leave all the women who feel they shouldn’t be subjected to this advertisement with a quote from the brilliant Dave Chappelle, “You are not a whore….but you are wearing a whore’s uniform”

    • John C

      Amen to that

      • Max

        You guys from Midnight then, or just horrible people?

    • Seosamh Ó Cinnéide

      To quote Dave Chapelle about idiots who quote Dave Chapelle’s show:
      “You know why my show is good? Because the network officials say you’re not smart enough to get what I’m doing, and every day I fight for you. I tell them how smart you are. Turns out, I was wrong. You people are stupid.”

      • Colm

        Seosamh I was not quoting Chappelle Show I was quoting a line from his stand-up act, it was a true point, Chappelle speaks a lot of truth in his comedy, just because it is disguised in hilariousness does not make it true. Chappelle show mainly deals with racism and I clearly would not have quoted the satire which is quite evident in his pieces. And no I don’t work for Midnight and no I am not a bad person, I am not sexist, but I am against this stupid campaign, advertisement uses sex to sell, its not sexist its smart. Get over yourself if you think a photo of some girl bent over is effecting you, I don’t treat women with less respect in a club because of that photo nor do most sane people. The fact of the matter is your picking nits with this argument, pointless.

        • Seosamh Ó Cinnéide

          In general quoting comedians is rhetoric, it adds nothing to the intellectual furthering of what the problem is and attempts to “win” the debate instead of everyone ending up knowing more and I react strongly against it. Perhaps too strongly I should not have implied you were an idiot, so sorry about that. And yes that particular post is nit picking your argument, but we are approaching that stage of the debate where all the arguments have been set up. (I will probably end up repeating myself a few more times before I move on with my life though)

          I do fully believe you that YOU don’t work for Midnight and I don’t think that matters I only mentioned it to Conor because it sounds really weird someone who works for them giving out about people being accused of working for them.

          However I do think you are unaware of problem of attitudes to sexual abuse in our society and I think that is were your disagreement with the highlighting of this issue.
          “I don’t treat women with less respect in a club because of that photo nor do most sane people” Good for you, however:
          http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=14338

          The fact of the matter is that this idea of presumed consent exists already (in fact it’s worryingly prevalent) and from the point of view of the 50% who believe in that line of thinking this ad normalises it in an explicit manner. I’d imagine these people would not fall under your definition of sane? But there is an awful lot of them.

          • Seosamh Ó Cinnéide

            sorry mentally rounded that 46% without realising. Should have said 30%-46%

    • Niamh

      Colm…. this may surprise you to hear, but feminists are not really all that bothered, as a people, with paying or not paying into nightclubs.

      ‘Ladies Night’ is sexist in the way that pink aisles of children’s toys are sexist…i.e., the outcome of a society long divided along gender lines, but not something which can be legislated against effectively because it is not the same as depicting a woman in a sexually submissive position to advertise a club in a country where rape charges, reportage and sentence lengths are comparatively low.

      As for ‘showing my true colours’, that would mean showing them as…what? Feminist?

      Nobody is forced to go to the club, but everybody is forced to live in a world where casual misogyny is not just accepted, but defended, by people like you.

      • Conor

        And where misandry and discrimination against men is outright denied by the very people who claim to oppose discrimination.
        If a nightclub ran a promotion in which guys got in free but women had to pay, there would be absolute uproar. The whole debacle over male only golf courses proves that on its own – ever heard a guy talk about suing Curves because they don’t let men in?

        • Niamh S

          Outright denied?
          Feminism is often misconstrued with being anti-men, which may the case for some women but not the majority (myself included) who just want equality. I don’t in anyway agree with men being discriminated against and I would genuinely be annoyed if my male friends were treated badly because of their gender.

          I said it below. I think sexual assualt by either gender on either gender is abhorrent in equal measures. And I do think that sexual assualt against men is an extremely important issue to be aware of.

          However this poster (and there many others that are similar) is of woman bending over in a submissive manner. As far as I’m concerned the poster is just another sleazy promoter trying to get people in the door but when the promoters back it up with comments like those above, it just enforces the dangerous attitudes towards women.

          I dont claim that all men, or even the majority, are sexual preditors. But if a substanitial minority of men, and women, didnt think this way – that women are responsible for what happens to them and/or that they’re a ‘frigid’ if the don’t want to attend (quoting a now deleted comment of Nidnight’s)- advertising like this wouldn’t be an issue

          • Niamh S

            *Midnight’s

        • Colm

          Put my thought into words Conor! And Niamh, the way you describe yourself as a feminist almost makes you sound anti-male. Where’s my campaign? Why are they discussing making sure women have a certain amount of seats in my government even though the fact is that parliament is a voting system. If women want more women in parliament then they should vote for them. Similar to jobs, I feel women should get paid equally and should be entitled to any job a man has, but at the same time, they have to earn it. Don’t expect anyone to give it to you.

          • Niamh S

            I dont agree with the quota system they were thinking of bring in for the Dail. I never implied that I did. I never said women should get more than they deserve but unfortunately they still get less. I never said that this is the only campaign that should exist. I never said that there shouldnt be a campaign against the discrimination of men. I clearly stated that I do not agree with the discrimination of men.
            What you just said is complete and utter rubbish.

            But this article isn’t about male vs female. It’s about women being portrayed in a dangerous light – by both men and women as I have already stated.

            I just want women to be able to go out without the risk of being assualted and without being blamed for anything that happens to them without their consent because of what they are wearing or how they act.

          • Colm

            But Niamh, women aren’t being assaulted. If anything they are safer because of the ridiculous idea of chivalry. Never have I seen a man hit a woman, however, I have seen a woman hit a man. This ad does not suggest anything to do with rape, it suggests that if you go to this club you may get with a girl, that is the ad right there. Why are you taking something so small and making it seem so big? It is advertisement, ads have played on sex for decades. It is not sexist, it is intelligent. Sex sells. Why don’t we deal with the homophobic issue which would be seen if the photo were of a man pulling up his underwear? Far more important in todays society.

  • Chriso

    9/10 for repellent factor; the only upside is the warning that Alchemy is likely to be a meat-market type of club.

  • http://Facebook Conor

    I love the way every time any one defends the night in any way you’s presume they are midnight employ’s when the fact is there are normal men and women telling you they don’t mind the nights, Fiachra the advertising is obviously not just aimed at men the night club also has plenty of women in it who enjoy the night and don’t think they are being discriminated against, I find it amazing that there are men debating against women telling them its sexist and women saying its not.

    • Seosamh Ó Cinnéide

      Perhaps you should leave that comment for someone who doesn’t work for Midnight Productions to say, since you do, don’t you? Since it could be a valid point but it rings hallow when you say it.

      ” I find it amazing that there are men debating against women telling them its sexist and women saying its not.”
      If you find it amazing YOU’VE COMPLETELY MISSED THE POINT. I as a man don’t want my female friends getting sexually assaulted so I’m arguing against something that I see as (presumably unintentionally) justifying sexual assault or sexually aggressive behaviour.

      To re-explain that, despite the women above doing a good job of saying it already (hey maybe you’ll listen to me because you’re such a misogynist LOL JOKE! Offensive jokes are funny right!?). This ad suggests that ANYONE in the club wishes to engage in sexual acts, it is setting out the attraction of the club as PRESUMED CONSENT a thing which DOES NOT EXIST(nor should it).

      This ad actually does go further than most ads as most of the other ads only suggest, come here there’ll be good looking birds with big tits and you’ll end up having sex. (Which I would still think is sexist but I wouldn’t take the time to argue about and it’s less dangerous.) To repeat this one on the other hand says: if you see a woman here she is looking for sex.

      Now if presumed consent wasn’t the “defence” every rapist and person who commits sexual assault uses this would be less of a problem but IT IS! Even Child molesters claim their victim “asked for it” somehow.

    • Niamh

      You find it amazing? Really? Have you ever read anything remotely concerned with the nuances of socially constructed gender behaviour?

      Have you ever read anything at all?

  • Markus

    Been thinking about it and I think that as a piece of journalism this is incredibly lightweight.I agree with @simon that it is a biased piece.There is also a need to question the involvement of numerous UT journalists in the group from a very early stage.

    This article would never find its way into any self respecting publication. Although we have banned the Daily Mail from our campus it seems there is still a place for shoddy tabloid journalism in Trinity.

    • jack

      Only one wrote it, so that’s an empty point. If you expect student journalists to be passive then you expect poor journalism.

    • Adam Lundija

      Eh, the quotes were made in the group? Obviously the journalists were in it.

      And what position in Midnight do you have again? We know Simon’s in there. And his complaints about bias are ridiculous. It’s not news if a group is set up to complain about sexism. It is news if the staff of the place in question flood the page writing sexist and misogynist comments. The staff’s comments were obviously the pertinent issue here.

      Anyone who can’t see that is either a) in the pay of Midnight, b) cynical or c) stupid. So, Markus, which is it?

    • Niamh

      Why would an editorial not be an opinion piece?

      The problem with so many of the commentators here is that they have absorbed neo-liberal economics so profoundly that they think fence-sitting is virtuous.

  • Rob Walsh

    This is Rob Walsh, who is featured in the article above. I am extremely upset by what happened yesterday and apologize to anybody who has taken offense.

    I should not have made the comment I made and regret it entirely. It was sexist, offensive and completely unacceptable.

    Most important, I realized immediately upon reflection, that what I said had unintentional connotations with the unjustifiable belief that victims of sexual harassment are somehow responsible themselves for attacks. I removed it after two minutes for this reason but I did not realize that people were taking pictures of the comments, so it remains here for people to read.

    To be clear, this belief is wrong, sexist, offensive and very dangerous – and I do not share it in any way. There are no circumstances whatsoever in which sexual harassment is ever justified.

    I should not have said what I said and I wrote it without thinking of what it meant or realizing how public my comments would end up being. Had I been more careful, nobody would have had to read these offensive words and I am very sorry to those who have had to do so.

    • Niamh

      Fair play to you for the apology, Rob.

      Now…do you see what we mean when we say that posters like this advocate and normalize sexism? Your comments would probably be agreed with by many people, either secretly or overtly. This is why we are trying to dismantle a culture which thinks presenting women in this way is only ‘bant’.

    • Rachel Barry

      Fair play Rob for your unequivocal and sincere apology. It is much appreciated. Whilst it doesn’t change the issue with the management of Midnight and their sanctioning of posters and their legitimisation of such comments, it is at least good to know that you have thought about your comments and responded accordingly.

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  • Carl

    I’d like to congratulated Rob on that apology. I for one appreciate it and it was very important that you offered it. Good man, respect.

    As for the issue at hand, really is impossible to make the contention that Alchemy should be anything but ashamed of themselves. Breeding an atmosphere where going out to have fun becomes intrinsically linked with getting the shift is just so unhealthy, and really that’s the tip of the iceberg.

    As for the people who make the sensationalist claim that the posters are incitement to rape.. Please review the material, have a word with yourself and realize that there are people who actually suffer in societies where incitement to rape exists and that this – while offensive (to both genders), potentially misogynist, harmful and ugly – is nothing as drastic as incitement to rape.

    • Kate

      misogyny is incitement. you don’t have to tell people, “go rape someone” to contribute to a culture where one half the the people are considered objects and where sexual violence against women is acceptable. and it really is acceptable in this country and elsewhere, look at the statistics on convictions for rape and the level of sexual violence against women. if it was unacceptable, then people would actually go to prison for it but they rarely do unfortunately. though i do agree that this ad is offensive to everyone and not just women, the picture it paints of men is disturbing, unjust and completely unrealistic in my experience.

    • Michelle

      Sensationalist? If you would like to speak to an unfortunate victim of sexual assault/abuse/rape or anything related would you like to tell them their view of these posters and their byline is sensationalist?

      Are they over-exaggerating their victimisation?

      Why the poster may not be blatant incitement to rape, it certainly portrays the notion that you shouldn’t go there unless you’re going to get the ride. The fact that the girl is bent over reaching for a beer with her knickers around her ankles is suggestive enough.

      • Colm

        But you don’t have to go to the club? Why do you act as though this is the only place on earth you can go? It does not suggest rape, or anything near it. If the woman is reaching for a beer then she’s clearly not being assaulted, unless she plans on pouring it in the man’s eyes. People enjoy being offended too much

        • Michelle

          You have not only ignored every question posed to you, but you have also utterly and completely missed the point.

          The poster and the byline are suggestive. This, obviously is not the only club in Dublin. It is, however, the only club I am aware of in which a promoter made a comment which suggested that women asked to be raped or assaulted due to their clothing choices. I accept that Rob Walsh has apologised, but still, it was voiced publicly.

          The problem is the acceptance of rape culture and victim blaming.
          Offence, by the way is suggestive. If 700+ feel it necessary to complain about this poster, etc. It’s clearly offensive.

          Stop disregarding people’s offence simply because you think they ‘enjoy it’.

          Also, being drunk doesn’t mean she’s consenting, it means she’s in a vulnerable position. Of course not all drunk women wish to not have sex, just like not all drunk women wish to have sex. The poster is basically saying she shouldn’t bother going if she isn’t up for it.

          And to be honest, ‘If you’re not up for it, don’t cum’ is also rape-y… considering someone isn’t going to cum if being raped.

          • Colm

            Why did you put “enjoy it” in quotations because if your suggesting that I said that then you can just shut up. Not only have I ignored every question asked of me? Ask me a question and I’ll answer, don’t pretend that questions have been asked that’s childish arguing. You can interpret it whatever way you wish but at the end of the day how the designer intended it determines whether it was sexist or not and the designer was not suggesting anything to do with rape so stop implying things that don’t exist.

  • Ben

    Can we stop pretending that these ads are about the idea that “sex sells” ? As if this is just some innocently suggestive lingerie ad that only hardcore feminists will be offended by ? This is an ad about young women of our age, our sisters and our girlfriends and what they are being told can be expected of them on the dublin nightclub scene. They’re so blatantly aimed towards the sad, scummy end of the late teenage male market who think, as supported by that genius Rob Walsh above, that “if she goes out dressed like that then she’s asking for it” – one of the most backwards and ignorant viewpoints I’ve witnessed in a long time. Midnight are well known as the bottom of the barrel of Dublin dublin promotions so I’m not sure why people are so surprised by this new depth they’ve plunged to. This storm has been coming for a while and personally I wouldn’t mind seeing them and their morally bankrupt “swap your knickers for a shot” bullshit marketing run out of Dublin for good.

    • Patrick

      Can we please stop pretending that Alchemy wish to create a massive orgy where abstinence is frowned upon? They want guys to buy in, that’s about it. I worry for the girl who feels she must follow the example of the girl pictured because a poster told her to.

      • Reader

        I agree with you and Ben, in that, the image is similar to negative peer pressure.

        It’s worrying to see young teenage girls dressing in revealing, inappropriate clothing.
        Much of society has become desensitised by these matters and I fear for the future (although such societal changes can define generations and are often inevitable).

  • Dan McGrath

    Fantastic piece of writing.

    • Shane Porter

      how do u know that pictue is of a woman for starters and second if this had been a man would the arguement be the same? i dont think so! stop complaining there is no idea here saying u are guarenteed ur hole! its basiclly states this is the most likely place u will get it! it doesn’t promote rape in any way anyone who sees it like that is clearly unable to understand basic messages!

      • Colm

        Thank you, that is it exactly, these people are reading too much into it.

  • Patrick

    These posters are crude, vulgar, and may well be offensive to many, but they are not sexist. They are using the “promise” of sex to sell a product, hardly a breakthrough in advertising theory. Why do people hump to the conclusion that if a woman, her body, or her sex is being used to sell, then she is being demeaned in some manner? The interview with Sasha Grey in the last issue of TN2 is certainly worth a read who think these posters are derogatory towards women.

    Alchemy are advertising a sexually promiscuous environment, not a sexually aggravated one, an idea that maybe has moral repercussions, but I don’t believe it to be dangerous; nothing that happens in Alchemy doesn’t happen in other clubs (have you been to Coppers?), and just because they’re advertising it (Coppers don’t need to), is no reason for condemnation.

    If you think that guys may see this poster and thus be convinced that it is acceptable to sexually assault, then what do we think about Lynx’s “Get Dirty” campaign? What if the girl does not want to get dirty? Should Lynx add that she is not obliged to do this?

    I also wish to inform the author of the “Sex Sells Myth” blogger that she may have missed the point. When we say “sex sells”, we mean the idea of sex, not the gender aspect to it. The reason you don;t see penises everywhere is because that doesn’t make guys think of sex; it makes them think of a penis. Good-looking girls do however, and so good-looking girls sell.

    This anti-Alchemy campaign is a witch-burning for the sake of burning something. A bunch of people angry at companies using sex to sell because they’re not buying it.

    • Seosamh Ó Cinnéide

      Again what this ad is selling is the idea of presumed consent. Which as Seebass has just pointed out leads to this: http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=14338

    • Niamh

      ‘Why do people hump to the conclusion that if a woman, her body, or her sex is being used to sell, then she is being demeaned in some manner?’

      Uh….because it implies that she is a product?

      Patrick – a penis makes me think of sex. There is no logic by which looking at a ‘body’ makes one think of ‘sex’, but looking at a ‘penis’ makes one think only of a ‘penis’ – which is, btw, a primary sex organ.

      Women’s bodies in this context are not selling sex. They are selling the idea of women as objects who can be had sexually, thus reinforcing a notion of male superiority; ie, a woman can be bought, but doesn’t buy. This is why what is marketted at women is other women – their clothes and lifestyle etc. This is why most mainstream porn involves the humiliation of women. It is because what is for sale is an idea of woman as product and ego-balm. It has nothing to do with gratifying the sexes equally. This is a concept that is almost universally accepted in the world of social theory and visual culture. The fact that you don’t get it betrays your significant lack of education in this department, not the fact that you are right.

  • Shane

    how do u know that pictue is of a woman for starters and second if this had been a man would the arguement be the same? i dont think so! stop complaining there is no idea here saying u are guarenteed ur hole! its basiclly states this is the most likely place u will get it! it doesn’t promote rape in any way anyone who sees it like that is clearly unable to understand basic messages!

    • Seosamh Ó Cinnéide

      So you can’t at all see how: “IF YOU’RE NOT UP FOR IT, DON’T CUM” could mean “If she was not up for it she wouldn’t be in this club”?

      • Colm

        It’s an ad, only a small portion of the uneducated society would take that as literal. And seeing as most people who go to this event are students I’d say its highly likely that no one in the club has the attitude that a girl hast to be up for it. Can we hear about the victims in Alchemy? Never heard of any incidents there. You are being sexist right now suggesting that men are stupid enough that an ad could lead them to commit rape. Men can be far more sensitive to the issue than women.

        • Seosamh Ó Cinnéide

          “It’s an ad, only a small portion of the uneducated society would take that as literal”

          “Never heard of any incidents there.” Right because victims of sexual abuse find it easy to talk about and are in all the papers all the time. Oh and the name of the club is always mentioned too, never left out.

          “You are being sexist right now suggesting that men are stupid enough that an ad could lead them to commit rape.”
          OMG YES THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I SAID! <–sarcasm
          I was replying to "stop complaining there is no idea here saying u are guarenteed ur hole!" in fact that IS what the ad says. As you've pointed out if society was healthy we should be able to treat this like red bull's claims. It is accidentally promoting/reenforcing/legitimising the idea of presumed consent.
          I never said this means it's promoting rape.

          To repeat the dangers of presumed consent, the spread of this leads to more rapes, less reporting of rapes, the victim of rape being victimised further and fewer rape charges succeeding. When the stakes are so high even the small probability of one individual ad making a difference is worth speaking up against. Not to mention the controversy caused is a chance to just maybe influence people's opinions on this matter and get something done about rape/sexual assault and attitudes to rape/sexual assault.

          "Men can be far more sensitive to the issue than women."
          Aww thanks for the complement! I am just trying my best to be sensitive about the issue, good to know you think I'm doing better than women… Oh, you think I'm a woman… awkward.

    • Niamh

      Shane, you have hit inadvertently on an interesting point there. Imagine this picture was of a man?

      Have you ever seen a picture of a man, on an advertisement, bent double in a submissive position with the implication that he is drunk and hastily removing his underwear to prepare for penetration?

      This is an image that might, perhaps, feature in homosexual porn – perhaps (I haven’t seen any examples which match this exactly myself). However, in this case, it would not be displayed in a public place, because it would be considered pornographic. It would be aimed at a niche market (gay men), and not at the broader demographic of males aged 18-30 generally (which advertising execs always assume to be hetersexual).

      Because it is a woman, people like you think it is perfectly normal to have this kind of image used to sell things. The reason for this is because women’s bodies are routinely objectified and likened to objects to inject a sexual flair into the purchase power of the presumed heterosexual male demographic I have mentioned above. There is no alternative culture for women except sparingly.

      The David Beckem exampe is another good point – yes, his body is being used to sell something (to men, I might ad – boxer shorts). In the picture, he is dominant and powerful and admirable for his physical attractiveness. In this image, and many others, the female figure is submissive. That is the difference.

      • Colm

        Stop picking what you want to make your point, you can take anything and make it seem sexist, racist, homophobic or whatever you wish. The ad is not sexist so stop kidding yourself, women do no face hardship anymore. The woman is getting her drink from the floor, not submissive. End of

        • Colm

          And apologies Seosamh I was never great at Irish I thought your name was feminine, honest mistake

        • Reader

          She’s not “getting her drink from the floor” – she’s clearly pulling her underwear up or down. (Look at her thumb).

          • Colm

            Whatever the action its a conscious action. It’s not a man pulling her underwear down.

  • Seebass

    99% of men are aware of how serious an issue such as rape is, eh?
    Well, the comments on this article seem to disagree.
    Actually, maybe it’s closer to 50% or so? That is, around 50% of men are complete fucking idiots.
    Here are some actual figures to give evidence to this statement, as opposed to unsubstantiated hyperbole thrown about by other posters here.

    http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=14338

    • Patrick

      Was this survey based on just men? It just says students…?

  • Seebass

    P.S referencing an interview with Sasha Grey in relation to this is roughly equivalent to the “Hitler was a vegetarian” argument. Comments from a complete fucking moron hardly contribute much to an argument.

  • Patrick

    Referenced the article because it was an alternative view on things. And, em, just because an ad says something doesn’t make it true. My mum buys me Lynx shower gel; I’d want to hope she doesn’t want me to “Get Dirty”.

    Say some perfectly influenceable guy sees this ad, and thinks all girls there are up for it. Then they tell him they’re not, why isn’t he influenced by this?

    • Stephanie Fleming

      It’s insidious. You take the perfectly normal young guy, expose him to hundreds of ads like this one, which is the way things are going, and you send him to college. He’s completely responsible for his own actions for the first time, he’s under pressure from his mates, a few guys who are not good people, and ads like this to be hypermasculine. To be one of the lads, macho, good with the girls (the measure of which is how many women he sleeps with, not how he treats them). He sleeps with a few girls on nights like this, nothing dodgy, all consensual. Then eventually he has learned that to dress a certain way, act a certain way, and to attend certain club nights, counts as consent.

      Then one night, with one girl, things go too far and he becomes a sex offender.

      Because no-one said ads like this are not ok, because people said objections to them were “over sensitive” and making a big deal out of nothing. In short, because no-one told him not to. That’s the really important thing, that while these don’t actively tell people to commit rape, they blur the line further and further until rape becomes a crime that is under reported, difficult to prove, has a low conviction rate and light sentences imposed on offenders.

      We should be spending a lot more time educating young men on how to treat women, not educating young women on how to be ok with being treated badly.

      • Patrick

        Yes, of course, young people are bombarded with sex in advertising, and there is huge debate as to whether that affects how we perceive women. Similarly with porn, many think it’s having adverse effects on young males and how they treat sexual relationships. None of this is ok, I’m not arguing that, I’m arguing that this campaign has turned into a witch-hunt against ONE company who has used sex to sell it’s product.

        I don’t think Alchemy’s promoters have any less morals, or have less correct views on gender equality than any other club or companies, that’s all I want to get across.

        (Also, I said earlier that I hope no person “learns” from advertising, but I take your point)

        • C

          Patrick: I agree that there’s similar problems on a much bigger regarding the depiction of women in some types (well most types, tbh) of pornography & that Midnight are just one item on the agenda. But they’re something directly affecting us & that we can change right now because we are their general target audience (I say general because of the age-group and geographic area we are, many people here clearly wouldn’t choose to pass the threshold of that club because it advertises itself as such a shithole). We usually take a moral verbal stance on things such as female degradation in porn because we feel that we are mere individuals who can’t defeat the Goliath that is the porn industry. That’s why no-one did anything about Midnight promotions up until we realised we all felt the same way and realised it wasn’t just “one person’s lonely opinion” but that other people were equally ashamed that this was how women were perceived by our generation. You call this a witch-hunt, I call it a group of previously silent voices taking a stand about something they deeply care about and making other people care too. And after this I do hope that we can address similar and bigger issues, like what you mentioned, also would like to address the macho ideal which puts unfair pressure on lads by equating “riding bitches” with manhood.

      • Colm

        You took a big step from consentual to assumptious that he can get with a girl in a certain place. People don’t think that way, and if you do then why aren’t you in prison?

  • Niamh S

    I’ve said this on FB and I’ll say it again.
    It’s not just about rape, it’s also about complete disregard for women.

    Midnight’s promotions imply that you must be up for it. Yes you dont have to attend but their whole attitude is that it you’re not up for it you’re a dry shite/frigid etc. It’s not simply that you dont have to attend. They made this very clear with their (now deleted, and in one case retracted) comments both on ‘End Monday’s At Alchemy’s sexist and dangerous advertising’ page and their own fb page.
    That’s the attitude I face when I try to defend myself on nights out – in various types of social settings not just sleazy night clubs. Any time I’ve objected to being groped I have been told to ‘relax, love’, ‘calm down’ or not to get my ‘knickers in a twist’ about it. And not just by drunken idiots.

    What I’m wearing, or if I’ve had a few too many drinks does NOT give someone else the right to decide that ‘I’m up for it’.

    I’m sick of the idea that if a woman turns down somebody’s advances, there’s something wrong with her and this is what Alchemy’s advertising is suggesting. And this attitude is widespread so it is therefore an issue.

    In our society when it comes to rape the line is blurred. Far too often the argument is over whether the victim was at fault or not, instead of considering whether the rapist was a rapist or not. Just because a girl is dressed a certain way or too drunk to object does not mean she cannot be a victim of rape.

    I do think girls should take care of themselves on a night out but if they are too drunk to defend themselves this does NOT make them at fault. And until we live in some kind of utopian society where women can do what they like without not only being vunerable to sexual assault but also being blamed for it, this will be a very relevant and important issue.

    • Patrick

      Yes of course, no woman can be blamed in the slightest for any kind of sexual assault on her. I’m not defending groping guys or anything of the sort. I’m saying is that a witch-hunt has been started when Alchemy’s promoters are not some evil group trying to force copulation on the masses! They made a poster trying to attract people with the idea that you’d pull in their nightclub. There’s been comedic articles written about the Shift n’ Drift in Coppers.

      Like I’ve said, the posters are vulgar, wouldn’t show ‘em to my rents in a million years. My problem is branding them sexist. I don’t think they discriminate against women.

      Firms use to use the idea of sex to sell because, well, it sells. Alchemy haven’t tried to veil it as cleverly as some, but then again neither did Hunky Dorys.

      It’s hard to keep track of which people are annoyed about, the slogan or the picture, but the general concern seems to be that this poster have adverse effects in terms of how guys see/treat women in nightclubs. If it does, not good. I certainly don’t take from this that I can force myself upon girls, or that if they reject me it’s there fault, and think if one does, then he’s already a bit wrong in the head…

      Maybe Alchemy’s posters might be the straw that breaks the camels back in terms of degrading society’s views of women, but there’s a hell of a lot of straws there to be addressed, and dislike how Alchemy’s promoters are footing the entire bill for a camel’s chiropractor.

      • Niamh S

        I understand that you and many many other men would not hold it against a woman if she turned you down. Being in a male dominated course, most of my friends are guys and decent human beings who would never think that of a girl. However there are many that do. Not just some slimy creep in the corner, or a very small minority, but normal everyday guys. The issue is also that many don’t see what constitutes sexual assault, they confused it with ‘a bitta fun’ or ‘having a laugh’. Sexual assault by both sexes and against both sexes is abhorrent in equal measure, I’m not denying that at all but if you think that it’s not a more widespread issue for women than you must be delusional.

        And I understand what you’re saying about Alchemy being singled out. Yes we should focus on all offending nightclubs but that does not deter from the issue with this one. To be honest the main issue is with Midnight promotions who also held a controversial night in Tramco where the Gardai had to intervene: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0915/1224304142986.html.
        (When I was in secondary school Tramco was the place to go with fake ID and was reknowned for being sleazy. I went once for graduation and never again.)

        Besides the fact that their posters are sexist – yes they are – their attitude towards the condemnation was appalling and just proved that something needed to be said (their comments above are just a very small sample). I would tell you to look at their previous posters but they’ve taken most of them down. Only one I saw had a man in it and he was fully clothed.

        So often when the issue is brought up it’s brushed aside as a ‘banter’ or as you can see above, the kitchen reference was brought up cause it’s just that damn funny. The kitchen reference alone is sexist.

    • Colm

      Niamh…stop. I have never witnessed any sexual harassment. And the club says “If your not up for it don’t cum”. This tells you straight away, male or female, that if your not up for it, don’t go to their club. No one is forcing you to go to that club, and if peer pressure does then why are you campaigning against the club? Drunk girls are not the only people that have to take care of themselves, men face the worries of machoism and fights occur every week. How many people do you know that have been raped? I’d be surprised if any but if you do it would only be a small figure. Alchemy are advertising a club for people who want to pull, so if you don’t want to pull why are you there? There are plenty of good clubs open every night of the week. And stop suggesting that women are the only one’s who face hardship, if I divorse my wife in ten years time who gets my child? HER. Where’s my justice? Where’s my campaign?

      • Seosamh Ó Cinnéide

        “How many people do you know that have been raped? I’d be surprised if any but if you do it would *only* be a small figure.” Sweet Jesus, do you want to reconsider that sentence?

        • Jason

          Are you clinically retarded colm?

      • Niamh

        1. Nobody is suggesting that women are the only one’s who face hardship. If you are so concerned for the very real problem of a pro-macho culture that targets men, why don’t you join us in crying down sexims?

        2. ‘How many people do you know that have been raped?’ Are you serious? Even if I knew but one (and, as a matter of fact, I do know of more than that – around about three. Bare in mind how few get reported) it would still justify protesting against this kind of thing. What are you suggesting – that a certain amount of rapes per year is acceptable? That boys ‘getting into fights’ is roughly equal to women, and men, being sexually assaulted?

        3. There do exist campaigns for the rights of fathers. Wives do not automatically ‘get’ kids in every situation. Also – are you suggesting that men being denied access to their children (by, I may remind you, COURTS OF LAW, where it does happen – i.e., THERE IS A REASON FOR IT) is roughly equally to men, and women, being sexually assaulted?

        Your trivial attitude to assualt is precisely why campaigns like this are neccesary.

        • Colm

          More women assault men than vice versa. And no Jason I am not “clinically retarded”, not sure why you added clinically to be honest. I amn’t saying women shouldn’t campaign for their rights, but just because you don’t like this ad doesn’t give you the right to say its sexist. Its not sexist and your just picking on an event because someone else suggested that its sexist. The ad is not sexist, regardless of what you say, it isn’t sexist its an ad, your being ignorant and repeating the same point, “she’s in a submissive position”. Submissive positions mean nothing, its a sexually arousing position and that’s how it was meant so if you think that it could be interpreted as submissive then your misinterpreting it. And sexual assault is not my field of expertise, but you talk of it as though this photo is promoting it and its not, its an ad, how could someone connect the two together without any basis of fact or proof, total and complete assumption.

  • Seebass

    Good point – if the survey is just based on students, and takes both male and female opinions with a roughly equal amount of each, then the probable implication is that in fact around 99% of men are total idiots, and not just around 50%…

    • Patrick

      Yeh that’s a nice conclusion to jump to

      • James

        I would imagine that calling 99% of men idiots is much more sexist than the content of this advertisement.

        • Niamh

          OMG you’re so right. Being called an idiot is just as awful as being denigrated sexually and possible even assaulted.

          So sorry your feelings were hurt.

          • James

            Your sincerity is touching.

          • Adam Lundija

            So’s your fucking sarcasm. King of the douches over here.

          • James

            Adam I’m so so sorry for using sarcasm, of course using sarcasm in defence of myself is so much worse than having it used against me to belittle my comment. Please forgive me.

          • Adam Lundija

            I wasn’t being sarcastic. You are king of the douches.

          • Colm

            Niamh you have no clue what your talking about. How has this photo endangered you or anyone? It hasn’t because human beings aren’t influenced like that, and this photo shouldn’t have any affect on you as a person. You aren’t forced to dress like that or act like that, and I am positive that whilst inside a club no one would criticise you for not dressing like a prostitute so stop with your bullshit, accusing all men of being idiots is far more sexist than this photo simply because this photo isn’t sexist. I have no link to Midnight or Alchemy, I have only been to the club once and I’m here arguing with you, because I believe your argument is ridiculous and anyone from Midnight who does argue with you is quoted out of context and made look like a sexist, its a disgraceful tactic that won’t win over many neutrals as I was to begin with

  • http://tcdsu.org Ryan Bartlett

    With every second comment I read the importance of the International Women’s Day Campaign just keeps increasing. Some people never fail to amaze me…

  • Shane

    i still dont see how this poster encourages rape, what it is clearly saying is this is the best place to find a girl for sex! because if you have been to alchemy before you will know what goes on in there! No guy is going to litteraly walk in and say if you’re here you must want sex!the arguement is stupid! the idea is a promotion, some good points raised as well but still no woman is complaining on ladies night when they get free in! and theres no men complaining about david beckham in just shorts with what i can only assume is a pair of socks down there and a nice airbrushed body, if it was a woman there would be complaints that people were selling sex or fake sex because of her eddited boobs!

    • Stephanie Fleming

      There are complaints about ads like that! Loads! Regularly!

      I hate the idea of ladies nights, I don’t complain when I get free in because I don’t get free in, because I don’t go to those nights, because it’s creepy and weird!

      And your point about David Beckham is kind of hilarious. The reason he’s depicted in his underwear is because the underwear is what they’re selling. Follow that logic through with this poster and they’re selling vulnerable women.

      • Jack S

        ‘Follow that logic through with this poster and they’re selling vulnerable women’.

        Sadly, that’s exactly what they’re doing. This is self-conscious commodification of the women who are unfortunate enough to go to their club. They are selling an image of compromised consent, making money from a serious societal problem. It’s extremely sad.

    • Jason

      There’s no men complaining about David Beckham being naked because that ad doesn’t insinuate that if you’re in ‘this club’ and are dressed in a certain way well then you must up be for sex.

  • Saoirse

    “Male sexuality is seen as a force of nature that has to be satisfied at all costs while women’s sexuality is accepted only if it adapts to men’s needs.”

    If people can begin to grasp this then they can begin to grasp why this advert is sexist. After that we can deal with feminism and sexual liberation, not to mention beginning to work on the narrow set of views, opinions and life experiences that many of the responses here so obviously betray.

  • Maud Jane

    This is such a sickening ad. Of course it’s sexist, of course it demeans women, suggesting that if you turn up (as a woman) you are “up for it” and if you aren’t you shouldn’t have turned up.
    Listen lads.
    WHATEVER WE WEAR, WHEREVER WE GO
    (including Mondays at Alchemys, because rape is illegal)
    YES MEANS YES AND NO MEANS NO.
    End of.
    Fucking appalled.

  • Maud Jane

    This is such a sickening ad. Of course it’s sexist, of course it demeans women, suggesting that if you turn up (as a woman) you are “up for it” and if you aren’t you shouldn’t have turned up.
    Listen lads.
    WHATEVER WE WEAR, WHEREVER WE GO
    (including Mondays at Alchemys, because rape is illegal)
    YES MEANS YES AND NO MEANS NO.
    End of.

  • Carl

    So a woman who wants to have sex is vulnerable?

    You’re a sap.

    • Adam Lundija

      “You’re a sap.”

      Nice argument, no argument.

    • Niamh

      No, a drunk woman bent double in an atmosphere that says she ‘shouldn’t have cum’ if she’s not ‘up for it’ is vulnurable.

  • Naomi

    Imagine ending up there for some reason or other without knowing that Midnight Promotions give consent on your behalf. Stupid and dangerous type of mindlessness at work there.

    • Jim

      You are an idiot.

      • Adam Lundija

        “Shut up woman”

    • Colm

      Consent is suddenly given because an ad suggests a posibility. No one goes into the club thinking that every girl is for the taking, because people don’t think that way. Men don’t buy Lynx expecting that a woman is going to jump on him similarlt to a woman who smells Lynx is not going to jump on a man because he’s wearing Lynx.

      • Niamh

        Colm, the point is the culture the ad reinforces. Persistently arguing against a point that NOBODY HAS MADE – ie, that the ad literally leads to rape – is either willfully manipulative or just plain gormless.

        Our proof that this culture exists come in the form of rape statistics, statistics regarding bad attitudes to rape reportage and the ‘she deserved it’ culture, etc. All of this is very visibe in modern Irish culture if you open your eyes.

        • Colm

          The culture reinforced is a sexually active, you cannot just link that with assault and rape. Why do you only use statistics for your negative publicity. What are the percentages of people in relationships or married who met at social events? I’m not blind to the problems in the world including rape, I think it’s disgusting and anyone who does it should serve the maximum sentence, but there are laws in place against it, and there have been many convictions. You should join a campaign to help victims speak out, this silly little debate will do nothing at the end of the day because that photo has no influence on whether a girl gets raped or not, it does not suggest to me that every girl in the club is up for it. It suggests what COULD happen, that is the brilliance of advertisement which you are overlooking

  • aly

    its only an poster chill :D

  • Conor

    But I ask again, why is everyone taking it seriously, when it’s very clearly supposed to be a provocative attention grabbing propaganda poster?
    Do people think it HONESTLY means that if you go to Alchemy you have the right to assault people?
    That’s what I don’t get about arguments such as these. The poster is OBVIOUSLY meant in (bad tasted) jest. No one is supposed to take it seriously or literally.
    Since when are ads literal? Should I complain the next time I crack open a can of red bull and don’t sprout wings on my back after taking a swig?

    It IS in bad taste, but it’s not worth the ridiculous level of hyperbole it has generated. There are far, far worse things in this country that we could and should be protesting about.

    • Niamh

      No, people don’t HONESTLY mean that the poster will directly incite actual rape in Alchemy. Why is it so difficult for people to grasp that the issue is the CULTURE which this ad promotes: please see my comment above, since I am not going to explain it again to a moron who needs something so obvious spent out.

  • Rob Flynn

    Good piece of writing Mr. Burtenshaw

  • Joe

    if this poster is going to cause young men to run around raping and sexual assaulting women, then should we not rid RTE of LOVE/HATE?

    Is that not what’s causing all the shootings in finglas?

    • Adam Lundija

      Way to bring up random shit. But, yeah, maybe we should.

  • Seebass

    Most of the comments from lads in this thread are a great argument for feminism. Total bunch of fucking mongos.

    • Adam Lundija

      Word.

    • Eoin Silke

      While I agree that there are some very distressing misogynist comments here, I don’t think your ableist language is an acceptable response. Advocates of equality shouldn’t pick and choose what kinds of discrimination they want to oppose.

      • Rachel Barry

        Hear Hear

    • Seosamh Ó Cinnéide

      :/ It’s 61 comments by lads who are in any way arguing with the article against 64 comments by lads that don’t argue with it.

      Some of the 61 are by people who work for Midnight and some may not be mongos. Most misinterpret the complaint and only post once, it’s hard to tell how many of those are total mongos or just made a genuine mistake.

  • Adam Lundija

    ‘Bar, Site of Alleged Rape, Hosts ‘Underwear Amnesty’ Party’

    http://gawker.com/5837182/bar-site-of-alleged-rape-hosts-underwear-amnesty-party

    About Midnight from September.

  • Emma-Ann

    The number of comments on here missing the point actually terrifies me…
    The fact the poster, and a promotions company, is implying, however implicitly, that females who attend their events are “up for it” is worrying. It encourages the “asking for it” mentality thats become so prevalent where sexual assault is involved. What would happen if a girl attended that event, drank to much and some guy took advantage of her? She was drunk, she was there so she was obviously “up for it”? There is no way in which this is ok.
    And You can go on about tagline being gender neutral all you want, but the fact the picture had a girl taking off her underwear sends a pretty clear, disgusting message.

  • Elizabeth

    So you’re arguing against discrimination while using an extremely offensive and discriminatory word like “mongo” to back yourself up? Good work.

  • ronan

    speaking from a boilogical point of view, everything we do as humans comes down to sex. it is in our genes to want to procreate as much as possbile. its why men strive for money, power, good looks, better shape, to be funny etc (anyone who wants to debate that needs to look at the facts) if the idea of sex offends you then there is something wrong with you.
    sex isn’t anything offensive at all. insulting someone for the loss of a loved one, or a disability they have, or loosing their job and house, THAT is something offensive. the poster isnt calling you names or insulting you. if you are offended by posters like this then you are one of two things:
    a person who has never truely been offended in their life, when you have really been told things that hurt and offend, this seems like fucking nothing.
    or a a person who has lifted the limitation of their biology and for some reason finds sex offensive.
    bringing this to an “objectifying women” point now. it is a poster for a promotions club, if you honestly think them running this campaign is going to start a huge influx of men becoming sexist pigs then grow up. i have seen the poster. i am not suddenly going to stop loving my GF of two years, break up with her and go objectify women with repeated one night stands. people debating this are just people bored, with pent up frustration that want to vent. if it really offends you, go complain to advertising companies, celebrities and models.
    also, did you ask the women who partake in one night stands if they feel degraded? i know plenty of women that feel empowered by it. they get decide when they have sex with whom, and dont have to worry about pleasing a man. its called sex positive femenism, look it up before you bring in the feminist debate. maybe women DO go there and want one night stands. just because you dont doesnt mean squat. you are your gender, your gender isnt you. i dont like chocolate. it doesnt mean all men hate chocolate
    also on a final note, chickeddy check yourself before you wreck yourself

    • Adam Lundija

      “Speaking from a biological point of view” = “talking out of my anus”.

  • Seabass

    Speaking from a biological point of view, after reading the first sentence of your comment, I already decided you were a total mongo.

  • tom o regan

    This quite possibly proves beyond all doubt that tcd students have far too much time on their hands to impose self-proclaimed Superiority on the rest of the student population. Midnight promotions are perfectly entitled to promote their business in any manner they see fit while if you are easily offended to most simple solution would be not to attended. In their crusade to achieve a politically correct paradise perphaps those who call for a boycott should consider the jobs and tax revenue such companies generate for the Irish economy. It is also ironic that students who are attempting to act as society’s moral compasses lack the courage to post their real names.

    • Adam Lundija

      “Politically correct paradise”. Good man, Tom.

      So, by our imposing ‘self-proclaimed superiority’ you mean imposing our ability to think?

      Kinda talkin’ shite there, bud.

    • Seosamh Ó Cinnéide

      Rarely is a comment posted in which every sentence is wrong.

      “tcd students” Original complaint and Facebook group are set up by non-TCD students. TCD is in Dublin and is one of main places Dublin promoters target and also hire from, so UT picked up on this story.

      “Midnight promotions are perfectly entitled to promote their business in any manner they see fit ” No they’re not, that would be idiotic.

      “crusade” crusade? People have set up a Facebook group to encourage people to report an ad they find offensive and dangerous to the the advertising standards board, is that all it takes to be a crusade nowadays?

      “to achieve a politically correct paradise”
      Nah, hope is to achieve a “paradise” where rape victims aren’t considered to have been “up for it”. Admittedly tackling this ad is a token gesture really, but we have to start our “crusade” somewhere you know!

      “easily offended to most simple solution would be not to attended.” The issue at hand is the ad, not the event. If there’s a way everyone could not ‘attend’ ads that’d be fantastic.

      “those who call for a boycott” No one on this page has called for a boycott. One lady said SHE would be boycotting them but that’s what you’re advising she do anyway.

      “should consider the jobs and tax revenue such companies generate for the Irish economy.” Planting bombs and breaking windows creates jobs and tax revenue as well, is it wrong to be against that too?

      “It is also ironic that students who are attempting to act as society’s moral compasses lack the courage to post their real names.”
      I really don’t know where to start with this… Is this actually your first day on the internet? The norm on the internet is to use a pseudonym… despite this PEOPLE HAVEN’T. Almost every username here has been people’s real first names. I started out using my first name so I’ve continued to use it.

  • Michelle

    In what proportion of rapes is the assailant a stranger?

    The answer is 8%

    What percentage of rapes are carried out by partners or former partners?

    The answer is 54%

    In which year did Scots law criminalize rape within marriage?

    The answer is 1989

    In a 2005 poll for Amnesty what percentage of people said that a woman was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was drunk?

    The answer is 28%

    In a survey carried out in February 2008 for the Scottish Government, what percentage of people in Scotland said a woman may be to blame for being raped if she was wearing revealing clothing?

    The answer is 27%

    In a 2005 survey for Amnesty, what percentage of people said a woman was partly to blame for being raped if she had previously flirted with a man?

    The answer is 34%

    These figures are from http://www.thisisnotaninvitationtorapeme.co.uk/do-you-know/

    They highlight exactly how horrifically common rape culture is. Just because the percentages are so high doesn’t mean any of it is okay. It just goes to show the extent to which victim-blaming occurs.

  • Laura

    I found this advertisement very upsetting. I was assaulted outside a nightclub that I worked in as a teenager. I was sober, not the point I know. I’m now a mother of boys and it still has a profound effect on me. I am angry because not least the word ‘cum’ is so offensive alongside the image. I also despise the blatant aggression of the ad, and the presumptions it makes regarding both genders . the ASA is there for a reason, our laws do not uphold freedom of speech. And thoughts so quickly turn to actions and habits. Great to see debate on this issue

    • Joe

      sorry to hear laura, and i’m sure it was very upsetting and still is…and this isn’t a go at you laura i’m just bringing up a point….
      but what about the people who have been in traumatising car accidents and left for dead, only to recover after weeks for being in an intensive care unit, should the Road Safety Authority pull the ads like this from the TV? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoVsQfhU0Qo
      I don’t find it offensive but i’m sure its very upsetting for those people to watch!

      Where do we draw the line??

      • Max

        What? Are you serious?

        The RSA ad DISCOURAGES irresponsible driving.

        The Midnight ad ENCOURAGES flippancy about sexual consent.

        To answer your stupid rhetorical question, we draw the line at acts of free speech which serve to directly and indirectly hurt people.

        Sorry about him, Laura.

        • Max

          Re-read your comment there, but my point still stands, a very silly juxtaposition. One case of (potentially) incorrect censorship doesn’t give license to whatever you want to say. The RSA ad had a good intention, the Midnight ad has a decidedly gross and immoral intention – to attract customers with assured female sexual consent.

  • RedHeadFashionista

    Wow, they’re seriously trying to defend themselves? What IS it about Ireland and PR firms that won’t back down?

  • S

    I’m not sure about fighting against the sex sells argument. I think in certain situations it does sell. Sometimes it sells the wrong way though. I think in this situation it will appeal to plenty of guys looking for the shift. What it creates however is the sense, as has been mentioned many times, that all the girls who go to this club are definitely up for it. That can create a very very messy and dangerous atmosphere.

    Midnight have always had controversial enough advertisements, even if you hate them they do catch your eye. I’m a young man, I see a poster of some girl pulling off her pants I’m going to stop and take a look. I know that doesn’t seem right but it will happen and a lot of guys I know would be the same. It is eye catching. However, I don’t agree with the atmosphere it could create. Is this intentional? I couldn’t say. I do know a couple of people somewhat involved in Midnight and I’d be willing to bet my house that that wasn’t the intended purpose of this ad.

    That doesn’t change it though. It may mean that this was not intended but still many people are right to feel offended. I think it’s an area that needs some stronger legislation (I do like the occasional controversial ad but I think we can see that this time it’s went way too far.) Essentially, the lines between “I could show what I want to show even if it’s controversial” and “I will show what I want to show even if it’s controversial” have become blurred. Hopefully this fiasco will help establish the line that people don’t cross.

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  • Seabass

    “I’m a young moron, I see a poster of some girl pulling off her pants I’m going to stop and take a look. I know that doesn’t seem right but it will happen and a lot of morons I know would be the same.”

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  • Colm Maguire

    It will take only one guy, one idiot, to force himself on someone who is ‘having fun’, to rape her, to ruin her life, to make the link between what he thought the poster meant and what he did. Then you will all be ‘oh how terrible’, in the meantime, continue driving at top speed toward the brick wall denying it will do you any harm.

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  • Paul Wall

    fdsff