These are the actual words a Newtown pub, Coopers Hotel, used in a Facebook post published on Wednesday. When it sparked a deluge of unhappy responses, it was changed.
“Keep calm and hug like you can’t take a joke as we approach the finals of this years [sic] NRL! Live & Loud every game!” the next post read.
Because anyone who can’t see the humour in slapping a bitch needs to lighten up? Because there is nothing as “funny” as slapping a bitch?
The deplorable copy hasn’t gone unnoticed. Customers responded angrily and the pub’s licensees today announced they have terminated the employment of the manager who wrote the posts.
That is, naturally, better than the licensees digging in and defending the least funny of all jokes.
In the circumstances it’s only appropriate but it doesn’t diminish what those words revealed. It doesn’t erase the fact that there is a person who believes the idea of ‘slapping bitches’ is so evidently hilarious that others would laugh along readily at the prospect.
Is he unaware that eight people have been killed in their own homes in the past fortnight? Is there a speck of humour in there that I’m missing? Or does he not see any link between slapping bitches and killing them?
Is he unaware of the link between NRL and domestic violence? Of the fact domestic violence assaults increase 40% in NSW on rugby league State of Origin game days which makes the ‘joke’ a little dark to grasp.
— Jenna Price (@JennaPrice) June 21, 2018
It is unfathomable that the opportunity to ‘slap bitches’ was considered – let alone presented as – an enticing reason to visit a pub and watch sport.
The manager has lost his job but there is no victory. It just reinforces why violence against women remains an endemic: not only is it not taken seriously, some people still, seriously, believe it’s a joke.