GREATER MANCHESTER TRAVEL

Fries with Your Misogyny, Madam?

September 1, 2014

EDIT: This post was picked up by The Guardian, The Metro, The Telegraph, The Independent and The Big Issue.

EDIT 02/09/2014 16.53: Almost Famous have posted a statement on their website saying that they are removing the offensive statements from their ladies’ loos! Result. 

Go here to see the statement and a picture of them being removed. 

Almost Famous is the name of a chain of restaurants serving burgers that aren’t very good. That doesn’t bother me, because I just don’t go there. What does bother me is the way they go about their business, because when it comes to decorating their restaurants, video advertising on their website or naming the dishes on their menu, they never miss an opportunity to either sexually objectify women, or use derogatory terms to describe them.

I’ve written about this before. The reason I am writing again is because I was angered by an e-mail I received from a friend who visited their latest opening in Leeds and was seriously offended by what she found in the ladies loos. Painted large and loud on the wall were these messages to women who thought they were okay to just go for a pee in a restaurant.

Almost Famous

Your eyes do not deceive you. It’s a list of women’s potential insecurities, written on a toilet wall. What could motivate someone to do this? And surely more than one person is responsible. Surely this piss poor excuse for interior design wasn’t dreamt up and sanctioned by a single person? A committee of people must have sat around a table and agreed this was a great idea. Apparently there is nothing equivalent in the men’s toilets. Quelle fucking surprise.

This kind of pathetic woman-bashing is straight out of the Almost Famous school of ‘edgy design’. But what about the people that don’t get angered by this, like me, or my friends? What about the people who are affected and as a result feel awful about themselves and whichever part of their body Almost Famous has reminded them they’re not satisfied with? As my friend put it, ‘we have enough of this shit already in magazines and other media’.

As I mentioned in my other post, their menu writing is equally anti-female. Fancy some ‘slut sauce’ for your burger? How about some ‘bitch juice’ to wash it down? Yes, items on their menu are gleefully named after derogatory terms for women. Almost Famous think that misogyny and sexism is cool. This is completely unacceptable; it’s ignorant and lazy and it should not be allowed to continue. There isn’t anyone to police this kind of amateur bullshit so people need to speak up. People need to complain, because this is 2014. Women are equal members of society now guys! We don’t sit back and let insults wash over us. We don’t tolerate being belittled, or judged sexually and aesthetically. We don’t need you to pitch in with the evaluation of our self-image, and neither do we need to be portrayed as weak or submissive. Do catch up.

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178 Comments

  • Reply Georgina September 1, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Wow. Just wow. Makes me massively angry.

    And you’re completely right – who on earth thought “I know, edgy restaurant design, let’s make a list of all the things that women could dislike about their appearance and put it on the walls of the ladies? It’ll be hilarious”. It’s even more worrying that multiple people obviously agreed it was a good idea.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Georgina – A consensus on a really, really offensive idea. Well done, team!

  • Reply Emma September 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Is that decor for real?! That makes me really angry – have either you or your friend complained to the restaurant itself? I would dearly love to hear their justification for such poor taste. I was in very unassuming pub in rural Dorset a few weeks ago and was revolted to find the inside of the womens’ loos wallpapered floor to ceiling with particularly misogynistic cartoon porn. I got out of there sharpish…

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Emma – My friend has complained, yes. I tweeted them about it last time, and they basically just laughed.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      Emma – Argh!

  • Reply Jan September 1, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I am utterly gobsmacked. Unbelievable. I really cannot understand that they think this is acceptable.

    This has made me quite angry.

  • Reply Rax Lakhani September 1, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Wow. This is just…. wow. Unbelievable. As someone who regularly visits Leeds on business, I’m going to recommend that folks steer clear. There’s a difference between being witty and offensive.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      Rax – Witty is clever. This is so dumb.

  • Reply Shed September 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Is there also a razor blade dispenser mounted on the wall??

    That’s horrendous. Do they have “I have a tiny knob” written all over the blokes’?

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Shed – Nothing in the blokes, apparently.

  • Reply Becca September 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    What the hell was that video?! Was it supposed to make me want their burgers? Because I just feel really disturbed, upset, and kind of a bit sick.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Becca – It all has to be about the sexy sexy women, see!

  • Reply Lizzie September 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I couldn’t be more disgusted. Bleugh. I hope they fold. Soon.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      Lizzie – Sadly they just seem to be expanding.

  • Reply Gene September 1, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Wow, just wow. I can’t believe my eyes! Sounds like their trying to be ‘edgy’, but have no idea what that means. That’s one of the most tone deaf things that I’ve seen. I don’t know why anyone, female or male, would patronize a restaurant like this. As a male member of society who loves women, I’m very offended by shit like this. As a father of two daughter, I start seeing red!

    Very dumb and there should be no room in any business for this type of crap. The end.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      Gene – It’s just SO dumb isn’t it. Good point about your perspective as a father.

  • Reply Lizzie September 1, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Also, unrelated, but they have a burger called ‘Triple Nom’. NOM.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      Lizzie – TRIPLE VOM

  • Reply zuko September 1, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Mental. This reminded me of something else I’d read recently, you might or (might not) want to read this too:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/20/hipster-sexists-pornographic-filth-loo-flesh-buns

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      Zuko – Ah that’s it! I was just trying to remember which restaurant this was. Thanks for posting the link.

  • Reply Rachel Lucas September 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I am absolutely shocked by this…and I looked at the ‘video’ on their website too…a very beautiful young girl ‘pleasuring’ herself while dreaming of cattle and women kneeling in praise of a gorgeous man handling meat?? It’s totally unbelievable that this is acceptable to anyone in 2014. I wouldn’t have gone there anyway…but I definitely won’t now! Thanks for drawing attention to it, Helen….

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      The video is really something, huh? I couldn’t believe I was seeing it.

  • Reply rej September 1, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    am speechless – this has to a joke! Beyond disgusted. They ought to be closed down for this. Thank you for exposing this scum.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      Rej – I honestly can’t work out why no-one has ever complained about it before. Or why they haven’t complained really loudly. I’ve certainly never heard anything about it.

  • Reply Ginandcrumpets September 1, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I suppose that the next time someone questions whether or not we live in a patriarchal society in which contempt for women is institutional we can just send them to Almost Famous so they can see that yes, yes we do.

    What do we think the defence will be? That it’s ‘just banter’ (haha, no). That women write this sort of stuff in Cosmopolitan so they’re just saying what women say so it’s fine, alright? (see above re institutional contempt for women) That women work there and they all think it’s fine, so it’s fine, alright? (and definitely not related to wanting to keep their jobs or anything)

    Or that they are a shower of [insert massively offensive swearword of your choice here]?

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Jassy – absolutely. I have heard from the ‘artist’ on Twitter, the woman who created this, and she said that they are her insecurities and apparently it is supposed to make people wonder why we worry about what people think. If that’s the case then it’s so incredibly naive and irresponsible I can’t actually bear it.

  • Reply Miss South September 1, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    FFS, I am sick of this ‘edgy’ misogyny and sexism (often accompanied by ironic racism, homophobia and classism too) and the stock response to ‘lighten up’ or ‘take a joke’.

    I don’t find it funny to try to make people feel bad about themselves and I am heartily sick of the sexualisation of meat by using women’s bodies to make a point. I could only watch about 20 seconds of the video before I wanted to send Almost Famous a copy of The Sexual Politics of Meat http://www.caroljadams.com/spom.html and boycotting them forever…

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      Miss South – I’ve never heard of that book. Must get a copy! As a friend said on Facebook, imagine if that rant was targeted at another group other than women.

  • Reply Niamh September 1, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    WOW. Well, good on you for calling them out on it, Helen. And for your friend for complaining. This is incredible – so offensive & so wrong.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      Thanks Niamh. Had to be done.

  • Reply Ana September 1, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Just read the comment about the add. Disgusting. And plain dumb advertising and decor. Shudder….

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      Ana – SO DUMB

  • Reply Cate September 1, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    That’s unbelievable! Is it worth us all messaging their facebook page or will it only feed the trolls through free publicity?

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      Cate – I expect I shall be hearing from them soon. I have the e-mail for the marketing manager so I shall send her an e-mail. By all means do message them though!

  • Reply Stevie September 1, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Thank you, Almost Famous’s misogyny has had my back up for a very long time now, and I’m so glad to see that you’ve written this. Sharing swiftly.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      Stevie – I am so pleased to find I am not the only one

  • Reply Robert September 1, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    That’s just sad. Why not have a caption above the mirror saying Hello beautiful etc. That would certainly amuse me but they are just potty mouths aiming to attract attention through shocking comments. Attract attention using your No 1 USP – the food.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Robert – Yes, and the burgers aren’t very good. No surprises there. The wings are actually offensive (see my previous post).

  • Reply RebeccaWho September 1, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    ARRRGGGHHH! BEX SMASH.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Bex – hahahahhaaa

  • Reply RebeccaWho September 1, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Even if we ignore the regressive, sexist attitude… it’s really weak marketing.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      RebeccaWho – Indeed! It’s so bloody lame.

  • Reply Food_Fascist September 1, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Seriously, what I don’t get is why no-one has smeared some sort of response in lipstick, nail polish or similar across it.

    If I’d found myself there, I would have had to have done. Come to think of it, if I was anywhere near Leeds, I’d go and do it now.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Food Fascist – you make a very good point. If they open one in London…

  • Reply RebeccaWho September 1, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Last one… I’ve been really mad about this for a long time. And been very vocal about it – but they seem to take this somehow as a success (In a “yey we’re a talking point” kind of way). It’s not just Almost Burgers that do it, it seems to be a trendy trend amongst “cool bars” and I HATE IT SO MUCH. Luckily it isn’t just me and I’m seeing more and more blogs on the matter. I hope I’m just being melodramatic when I worry that this is a sign of a regression of our entire society.

  • Reply Su-Lin September 1, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    This needs to be sent to Everyday Sexism, stat!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      Su-Lin – I have tweeted them, but sadly no response!

  • Reply Jen September 1, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Holy cr*p. This is hideous. How can they even do that? Is no major press on this yet? Hopefully your post will help it to others awareness and at least women will boycott the restaurant. If the food’s good I’m sure people would still go if they weren’t so demeaning. Sorry, I mean “edgy”.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 1, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      Jen – staggering isn’t it. They seem to just keep opening new branches. What the fuck.

  • Reply Lisa September 1, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Will NOT be taking my kids for a burger there- this place needs boycotting. Hideous and offensive indeed

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 8:09 am

      Lisa – Glad to hear it.

  • Reply Tiffany September 1, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    I am shocked. I just had a look at their trip advisor reviews and a handful of people have commented with disgust on the decor but I just don’t understand why no one has made a fuss. Good on you with this post!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 8:09 am

      Tiffany – yes it’s very weird. I’m baffled.

  • Reply Melissa September 1, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    Thank you for this blog. I am horrified by this. I don’t know whether I’m more horrified by their marketing direction or the fact that they’re obviously successful enough to be expanding. I just can’t understand how anyone can think this kind of crap is okay.

  • Reply Mr Omneo September 2, 2014 at 12:01 am

    I’m seriously lost for words! I looked at their site, saw their video and almost gouged my eyes out. How the fuck can they think that is acceptable in 2014?? Actually how can they think it acceptable full stop?!

    Next time I’m in Manchester I’ll be paying them a visit and using the ladies (I’ll send a female friend in first before entering) and if I see that shit I’ll gladly do time for defacing their property…asshats!

  • Reply Selina September 2, 2014 at 2:31 am

    surely the whole point is that they are highlighting how stupid these insecurities are?!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Selina – I think it’s fairly clear that no-one is perceiving it that way.

  • Reply Pina September 2, 2014 at 3:15 am

    Are the writings on the wall in the ladies’ loo supposed to be amusing? Seriously, is this what goes through women’s minds when they are looking at themselves in the mirror? Almost Famous assume that women will read that and identify with it and laugh it off? I don’t get it… it’s degrading, not amusing!

  • Reply Ruth September 2, 2014 at 5:52 am

    This is completely shocking: 99% of female friends I know would walk out of the loo feeling like shit after identifying with some of those negative thoughts. Although all are vile, I’m most disgusted by the “Laxatives are definitely the answer”. What the fuck? Are they promoting bulimia?

  • Reply Dom September 2, 2014 at 9:04 am

    This is so utterly sad. I’m almost convinced this could go against some kind of human rights law. It’s as offensive as if it was anti semitic or anti Muslim and you can imagine the furore if it was. The place would be closed down in a second. People should write to the local MP to complain.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 9:21 am

      I see that someone did tweet the local MP but no response, unsurprisingly.

  • Reply Dom September 2, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I think this should go further than tweeting or Facebook. You are a community of women. 50% of the population. If you were Jewish or Black or Muslim you would write to your MP and your local media and scream your offence until it was heard. This is disgusting behaviour by a bunch of uneducated bigoted idiots who need to understand their offence. Your voice should be heard and it needs to be done officially.

  • Reply Dom September 2, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I realise I may be getting a little bit rilled about this but it angers me so much. It’s so dumb.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 10:19 am

      Dom – I feel your anger, trust me. I am waiting on a response from the restaurant as obviously they need to have their say. They are discussing it at the moment, apparently.

  • Reply Justino September 2, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Out of interest what were on the walls of the Mens?

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 11:36 am

      Justino – People keep asking this. I did mention it! Ha ha. Apparently, nothing, although I have not seen inside them myself, obviously.

  • Reply Angry Rabbit September 2, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Comparison here: –

    http://www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/Food-and-Drink/American/Cane-and-Grain-Northern-Quarter-Reviewed-Manchester

    Despite a few teething problems, I’d rather go to Cane and Grain and eat from a grown-ups menu than the adolescent AF.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Adolescent is the right word.

  • Reply Ryan September 2, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Wasn’t it Socio Rehab – the cocktail bar owned by the guys who own AF – that had pornographic photos of women in the men’s toilets a few years back?

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Ryan – Dunno. They have them in Flesh and Buns in London, though.

  • Helen
    Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Nicola – Slow clap

  • Reply Timbuc September 2, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    I’d actually heard that the burgers are very good but the reason I hadn’t to try them out was the bitch juice and the slut sauce and also being told many times that the staff are completely up themselves and treat customers like shit.

    I can’t think why anybody would contact their local MP though. I don’t see what they can or indeed should do about it. Some direct action would be much more suitable.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Timbuc – Yeah I’ve contacted the restaurant.

  • Helen
    Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Have you noticed, Nicola, that you are very much in the minority with this opinion?

  • Reply AC September 2, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Have reposted your blog on my Tumblr for added visibility (ie: about two more people will read it).

    I was talking about this place with my girlfriend the other day, and I’d already said I wasn’t planning on trying it out. At least now I have a more concrete excuse than “peak burger”.

    Will you make a new post if/when you get any response from team Almost Famous?

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      AC – Thanks. Yes I will update this post once I get a response.

  • Reply Maria September 2, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Ignorant and pathetic – I certainly won’t go there (although I am tempted to pop into the men’s loos, out of curiosity)

  • Reply Julia September 2, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Hey Nicola, there is nothing funny about this, I would tell you that people thought Bernard Manning was funny when in fact he was a racist bigot, however I doubt you are old enough to have heard of him. The fact that modern society make these female insecurities so widespread does not mean they aren’t a tragedy for all women who suffer from them. We are ALL good enough and nobody should be able to expose us to this crap when we are trying to relax and enjoy ourselves!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      Julia – I think you summed that up nicely.

  • Helen
    Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Nicola – Do you have anything to do with Almost Famous? *ducks*

  • Helen
    Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Nicola – I am certainly not attacking you personally. I can’t speak for the other commenter. This is my blog and it is a place where I record MY opinions. That’s what I’ve done. It’s fine that you don’t agree, obviously.

  • Helen
    Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Nicola – Enjoy your bacon fries.

  • Reply Sarah September 2, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Seriously… Do non of you girls have a sense of humour? Stop taking yourselves so seriously. It’s a joke, a play on words… A Mickey take of women in public toilets all around the world. You cannot seriously tell me that you have never looked in the mirror in a public bathroom and said to your friend “my god, my hair is a mess today” or “have you see J.Los bum, I wish my bum was like that!” Or something along those lines…

    People like you don’t realise how detrimental your blogs and reviews are to a business. You are basically wishing this business is close down because of its wallpaper in the bathroom!? Are you backwards…?

    Did you never hear the phrase, “if you’ve not got anything notice to say don’t say anything a the all?” If you don’t like that place, don’t go.. Simple no?

    Seriously ladies, lighten up. Life’s too short to spend your time bitching about stuff like this. I suggests you write more positive, inspirational and motivating blogs.. Less of this negative bullshit.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Hi Sarah, friend of Nicola! 😉

      Pretty sure I’m not influential enough to close a business down…

  • Reply AC September 2, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    First off, it’s not just “girls”/”ladies” (as you so charmingly put it that – seemed like you’re a step away from saying “calm down, dear”) that are offended by what Almost Famous are doing.

    Secondly, saying “My hair is a mess” is one thing, but throwing in references to eating disorders is another entirely.

    This is a positive and motivating blog – calling out companies for their backwards advertising shouldn’t be necessary in this day and age, but since we’re regrettably not past that yet, it’s still an important thing to do.

    Two people (not including Helen) have said something about closing the place down. Otherwise, a simple apology, attitude change and paint job would probably suffice.

  • Reply Alicia (foodycat) September 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Just because it is a “joke” doesn’t mean it isn’t misogynistic. Just because you find it funny and like your friends to be in employment doesn’t mean it isn’t misogynistic. Their whole business model seems to be laddish abuse of women. By all means, if you find it funny and don’t see the microaggressions of sexist culture, continue to spend your money there. But it is very irritating to bloggers to be told what to write about.

  • Reply Cous Cous Bang Bang September 2, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if the Gent’s bathroom was a haven of insecurity and critique as well, with 1200pt Helvetica saying things like “Your willy is a bit crooked today” and “You brought a date to a restaurant which serves something called ‘Bitch Juice’, what the fuck is wrong with you?” but they don’t. Instead, when male customers (hopefully) wash their hands and admire themselves in the mirrors they’re given the opportunity to read an exert from American Psycho

    “I believe in taking care of myself and a balanced diet and rigorous exercise routine. In the morning if my face is a little puffy I’ll put on an ice pack while doing stomach crunches. I can do 1000 now. After I remove the ice pack I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower I use a water activated gel cleanser, then a honey almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb-mint facial mask which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. I always use an after shave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion.
    There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable… I simply am not there.”

    Women are encouraged to wonder “Who is that girl in all of my boyfriend’s Facebook pictures?”, whereas Men get to briefly assume the role of one of literatures most notable delusional narcissists.

  • Reply Cealey September 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Hello Sarah

    This isn’t a case of ‘girls’ not having a sense of humour but of a business engaging in harrassment because of gender and that is illegal. The Equalities act is pretty clear on this.
    26Harassment

    (1)A person (A) harasses another (B) if—
    (a)A engages in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, and
    (b)the conduct has the purpose or effect of—
    (i)violating B’s dignity, or
    (ii)creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B.

    The derogatory terms on the menu and demeaning phrases painted on an area that is exclusively for women is pretty damning as well.

    Before telling people off for their lack of a sense of humour ‘Sarah’ perhaps you could make sure that the law is upheld first.

  • Reply Donald September 2, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Sarah and Nicola.
    I think Helen is well aware of the potential damage a bad review can do to a place. However I think on this issue it’s a bit disingenuous to call Helen out on the issue. It’s obviously something that a lot of people feel strongly about, I myself was pretty shocked at what I thought was a very casual level of misogyny at the Manchester AF when I visited. It’s telling that there’s nothing comparable in the gents and a distinct lack of cock sauce or similar on the menu.
    Really if you’re going to make these kinds of interior decor choices you have to accept the consequences when people call you out on them.

  • Helen
    Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Nicola – I have nothing against you personally. I do not know you. I couldn’t disagree with you more, obviously, but we don’t have to agree, as you say. I will delete your comments now, as requested.

  • Reply Chloe September 2, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Like most people here I am disgusted by this. Would say one thing to Nicola – the silence of most Almost Famous customers does not indicate they are laughing.

  • Reply Sally - My Custard Pie September 2, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks for speaking out about this. It’s unbelievable that this mindset exists – it’s pervasive and damaging at a very deep level. Will share far and wide and let’s hope we can shame these people. Haven’t read all the comments – will do…. but very depressed by the comments saying ‘it’s just a joke’.

  • Reply Kristen September 2, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Thanks for calling this out, Helen, and so sorry you are getting the typical troll blow back. It’s shocking to me how much casual misogyny seems to be growing and the level of attack women and men face when challenging it…

  • Reply Hungry September 2, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    What the f*ck is this? I read this with increasing increduility. Absolutely speechless. I’m pretty un PC as the best of times but i’m not a dick. Whoever thought up this place, its decor, branding and menu, is a dick.

    The wallpaper is unforgivable – AND i’m guessing it was specifically commissioned. Was it meant to be humourous i wonder? Because it frickin’ aint And slut sauce and bitch juice?! I am beyond disbelief that this place has been allowed to open. It’s vile.

  • Reply AC September 2, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Cous Cous Bang Bang found the “artist” responsible for the wallpaper. His responses to these sorts of blog posts haven’t exactly been sympathetic.

    https://twitter.com/Ejectos/status/506751293474762752

    He also responded to me calling him out for his work with AF by saying “My views are my own and have nothing to do with said restaurant, I’m a Leeds lad with my own views and comments.”

    Which is one way of looking at it.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      At AC – are you sure that’s the designer? A woman on Twitter told me she did it and they were ‘her insecurities’ which makes it all the more irresponsible and naive. As I said in my e-mail to Almost Famous, it’s not about the intention, it’s about the message delivered.

  • Reply AC September 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Ah. I may have jumped the gun there. Seems he did some design-work for the interior of the restaurant, but not the ladies’ room. That makes a little more sense, I suppose, lad that he is.

    Still, as CCBB said on his Twitter, he’s the only person involved with AF in any capacity to respond to any of the posts made on the subject.

  • Reply Cous Cous Bang Bang September 2, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    AC & Helen – Eject decorated the main restaurant and the graffiti, but I’m not sure who did the bathrooms.

  • Reply Laura September 2, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Just Googled these people and found their website. Maybe they should have spent more money on a decent web designer than putting that crap on the toilet walls.

  • Reply Kate September 2, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I actually cannot believe my eyes and after 20 something years in the restaurant industry, I thought I had seen every kind of bad and then some. Apparently not. If any business deserves websites, twitter feeds, Facebook pages plus all manner of media coverage devoted entirely to shutting them down, then Almost Famous is surely it. Shame on who ever it is behind this deplorable concept and double shame on any moron pitiful enough to think it is big and clever to spend time and money in one of their branches.

  • Reply Jon September 2, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Not that it makes much of a difference now, but they have actually apologised and begun to remove said offensive materials from their venues.

    http://almostfamousburgers.com/page23.htm

    (It’s hardly the front-page news of their website, mind).

    Not sure what’s the state-of-play on the bitch juice…

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      Jon – Yes, I posted this on Twitter and have updated the blog post also.

  • Reply Emily September 2, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    this is an interesting one. i went there last week and interpreted the walls in the toilets completely differently that most, it seems. i thought it was meant to be commentary on the insecurities we experience rather than fuel for those insecurities. the fact that all the phrases used the word “i/me/my” instead of “you/your” seemed significant.

    i can see the other point of view completely, and i’m happy to see that AF (in Leeds, anyway), is heeding the feedback and changing the walls.

    i hadn’t spotted the “slut sauce” or “bitch juice” and i hadn’t watched the video ad on the website–i’m totally with the majority of commenters that those things are offensive and misogynistic and i hope AF will follow suit and remove those as well, as they’ve done with the toilet walls.

  • Reply Ms Marple September 2, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    I feel sorry for the woman who made this piece of art ( I know..I know!). It’s complicated making art in a patriarchal society, especially if you haven’t really thought much. So here are some words from a woman who got it right, just to show how it’s done……http://youtu.be/VeFfhH83_RE

  • Reply Louisa September 2, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    It’s called art. Accept it. You wouldn’t complain if it was in an art gallery so just get over yourselves. And yes I’m female.

  • Reply Caryl September 2, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    I’m completely blown away by this. Just tried to email AF’s Manchester GN and although I entered everything correctly to “allow” me to compose the body of the email, it would not allow me to proceed.m deliberate? I’m so, so, so disgusted by this company and doubt I’ll EVER step foot inside. It is not enough to apologize on their website by saying oh gee my bad, we’re a young company; a female employee’s idea, blah, blah, blah”. They obviously still don’t get the pont about how disrespectful and ignorant they are by having “slut” sauce, etc. and not changing that aspect, nor apologizing for it. DISGUSTING.

  • Reply Rob September 2, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Wow. Literally. Wow. Okay, so you’re not happy with the decoration (which you never saw in person) but you got it removed so you got what you wanted.
    However, you literally lay into a restaurant chain that you’ve never been into! How is this any better than them being derogatory to your species?? “Serving burgers that aren’t very good.” How would you know if you’ve never been?
    I can only presume you’re a vegetarian.

  • Reply Gemma September 2, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Oh my god! It’s funny! It’s a parody of what girls usually say in bathrooms, it’s a bit of decor for gods sake, wishing a restaurant to close because of it is disgusting, you all need to get a life

  • Reply OW September 2, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    I think this is all a bit ridiculous, and being taken too far by people who have way too much time on their hands, and can’t be bothered to find a real hobby apart from reading the book “mary whitehouse’s guide to being boring and not having a sense of humour”
    This is the 21st century, a time where morals and language are looser than ever, and when TV, Film and other forms of entertainment take no quarrel in using language that you would consider “offensive”

    The restaurant is tongue in cheek constantly, and has many female employees, who all seem happy as anything to serve you Bitch Juice or Slut Sauce, aren’t encouraged to do anything other than serve you and probably get paid a minimum wage so would have every chance to feel offended or hard done by if they found it offensive.

    Here’s a suggestion to the people who don’t like going to places; stay at home, cook yourself a nice vegan tofu surprise (that’s tofu, mixed with tofu, with tofu sauce by the way) and then once you’re bored of that, maybe enlighten yourself with real media.
    It’s not the end of the world, and starting a smearing campaign for a company, who are home grown, making a name as a destination for burgers and laughter, and slowly starting to expand is disgusting.
    Maybe you should take a long, hard look in the mirror, and think to yourselves if the reasons that you’re so offended is that you’re not nearly as successful yourselves.
    *drops mic*

  • Reply Mr Who September 2, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Ok so, I agree with the article but I can bet a buck that most of you will be back at this joint for some meet. Just give it time …

  • Reply Helen September 2, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    The misogyny is blatant. How this ‘slut shaming’ culture can be solidified and magnified and put in writing on walls and menus is astonishing and is in worse than bad taste. It is bullying, not equally applied to men so it is sexist, and is tantamount to encouraging women to be thought about in this way – incitement to hatred on the basis of gender, like race, is material for hate crime – because making it into DECOR it attempts to NORMALISE these attitudes. Do I find any of this appetising? No. It is therefore bad for business And I will never eat there or go there.

  • Reply potr September 2, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    and they said it was thought up by a YOUNG FEMALE EMPLOYEE…yep lets blames the whole thing on the target anyway

  • Reply Bex September 2, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    While I see where you are coming from and I think I would agree with you on a lot of things, I actually really liked the walls. I felt as if I was reading the thoughts and insecurities of girls all over the world and I felt comforted by it – a sense that I’m not alone in worrying about xyz. And reading the insecurities I didn’t relate to made me think ‘well at least I don’t worry about that’. I thought it was a positive thing and have never given it a second thought until I read this, and it’s this blog rather that the decor itself which has made me feel bad about myself. I’m not trying to criticise you for writing it as obviously you are entitled to share your viewpoint, I just feel that there is more than one way of looking at this. And for the record I’ve only eaten at AF once, purely because I didn’t think the food was up to much

  • Reply Amy September 3, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Now now ladies. The wallpaper is questionable. Its for publicity. Well done, fell right into that one. Now all your friends that you have spoken to who pretend to listen are going to sneak off for a secret burger at ‘Almost Famous’. Whilst they are there doing that I think you should seriously consider soothing your feminist vibes, burn a bra or something.

  • Reply Jenna September 3, 2014 at 11:14 am

    After seeing all the commotion on twitter I thought I would visit this blog to see what all the fuss was about. What a pathetic way to spend your day Helen. Surely you have better things to do than this? You aren’t fighting for ‘women’s rights’ by asking a burger restaurant to take down a tongue in cheek take on what every woman has thought at some point? Why don’t you re-direct all you anger and negativity to something more worthy? Oh no, you can’t because that wouldn’t give your shitty little blog any publicity. If you don’t like it don’t go. End of.

  • Reply Sam September 3, 2014 at 11:17 am

    This is all coming from a person who has never stepped foot in any Almost Famous Restaurant…Slates there Burgers which are actually VERY good and now has an issue with what they decorate there toilets with.
    I was actually in the Manchester Almost Famous on Saturday evening and I thought the wallpaper was funny and comforting like Bex said that these are all common insecurities that all woman have they have just been written on a toilet wall… we all think them…so what’s wrong with having them written down are we basically suppose to lock up insecurities like they don’t exist and never speak about them??
    Misogyny?? If you had visited a AF you would see you are greeted by ladies at the door, you are served 80% of the time by ladies I am sure if they felt harassed, hated, degraded or any of the other things you listed you would find AF in a 100% male dominated environment… Its all a JOKE and phrases light hearted people who don’t let things stress them out to the point they find themselves trying to close a business down can handle.

    If you don’t like something DONT GO!!

  • Reply Dan September 3, 2014 at 11:18 am

    They’re doing ‘Honey Slut Beerios’ at Meatopia: http://www.meatopia.co.uk/who/

    Absolutely top bantz.

  • Reply Felix September 3, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Well played, Helen. I think it’s easy to try and appeal to a lowest common denominator in this industry, it gets people talking and through the door but businesses have to be mindful of what they’re saying. There’s countless examples of this (the Hemingway toilets in Hackney spring to mind) and we should be calling people out on their misogynist behaviour.

  • Reply Mollie September 3, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Ha! This is hilarious. I can’t believe anyone would take this so seriously? I saw on your twitter bio that you like cats. Thats handy because you are probably going to end up alone with loads of them!

  • Reply Melissa September 3, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I read this a few days ago and was disgusted with the casual misogynist ‘banter’ that this place has running through its theme. And now I’m shocked at the vitriol targeted at you for writing it.

    I think it says a lot about how misogyny is still commonplace in Britain and is so accepted restaurants incorporate it into their brand. Tongue-in-cheek or not, I can’t see how naming products ‘slut sauce’ or ‘bitch juice’ it helping women’s rights or empower women to the point we are no longer seen as objects.

    I have one thing to say to this blog post’s detractors – would you still be so blase if you or your daughter/mother/sister/female partner/friend was on the receiving end of similar abusive language perpetrated by this sort of ridiculous ‘banter’? Thought not.

  • Reply Donald September 3, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Hmmm, I’m noticing that there’s all of a sudden a bunch of comments from women telling Helen she’s stupid and needs to wind her neck in. I think Marina O’Loughlin on twitter might have hit the nail on the head. Someone has unleashed their groupies.
    It’s quite sad really.

  • Reply Sam September 3, 2014 at 11:43 am

    A man can be a ‘Slut’ hence the phrase ‘Male Slut’ you are choosing it be directed at a female to suit your argument.

  • Reply Kat September 3, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Gosh, a lot of female names suddenly coming up in support of AF! Amazing.

    Reading Helen’s review of Almost Famous in Manchester from last year, I came across this comment, which seems sadly apt now:

    “It’s never cool to hate on women, yet often when things like this are brought up you’re labelled humourless, or a miserable cow.” – See more at: http://helengraves.co.uk/2013/04/rice-and-three-and-misogyny-in-manchester/#sthash.UGFI8iZ6.dpuf

  • Reply Lisa September 3, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Funny the slew of comments coming in, one after the other, about a minute apart, in opposition and starting to slag Helen off.

    Did someone let the We Don’t See Sexism Unless It Directly Affects Us gang loose?

  • Reply Donald September 3, 2014 at 11:48 am

    God Helen, I can’t believe the way you’re twisting things to suit your evil feminist agenda. Obviously the bitch juice was a reference to the sort of juice that female canines appreciate consuming (tbh it obviously wasn’t made with human tastes in mind).

  • Reply Alex September 3, 2014 at 11:50 am

    So you can’t see the point that Helen’s making, and the insidious nastiness of the ‘man food’ culture?

    In cases such as this, I tend to set a clock and watch. The women get it in a year or so, and even the men occasionally, especially if they have daughters.

    Good work everyone who called ‘bullshit’ on the tired old ‘ironic’ arguments.

  • Reply Stevie September 3, 2014 at 11:53 am

    The comments defending this are hilarious.

    I can’t tell if the below quote is a genius parody or not

    “The restaurant is tongue in cheek constantly, and has many female employees, who all seem happy as anything to serve you Bitch Juice or Slut Sauce, aren’t encouraged to do anything other than serve you and probably get paid a minimum wage so would have every chance to feel offended or hard done by if they found it offensive”

    I can’t help compare it to the ole, “I can’t be racist I have a black friend” way of thinking.

    To the author, great job, it’s good to be reminded just how far society has to go sometimes. I hope you shake off any negative comments with lulz they deserve

  • Reply Lisa September 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I think Sam and Mollie and Amy and Jenna might actually need a hug. Or a cookie.

    How about both?
    It’ll all be okay in the end. Honest.

  • Reply Yas September 3, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Result indeed!!! Well done.

    They’re still numpties. And the menu items are just… ugh.

  • Reply Sylvia September 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    I learned more about female insecurity while reading this blog and the comments below than from reading the blurbs on this toilet wall.
    Yes I am a woman. As is the person who designed the wall….

  • Reply Liv September 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I happen to like the designs of the toilets. I think they are funny and help me realise that I am not the only woman with insecurities. As you said, it’s 2014, women ARE equal to men, accept it and move on!!

    As for the menu, there may be items on there that could be seen as offensive to women, but there are items that are tailored for women. I cant imagine a man buying a pink sparkly unicorn vomit cocktail, can you?

    The only thing this has told me about women and 2014 is people complain too much!
    If you don’t like the place – don’t go!

  • Reply Stevie September 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    “As for the menu, there may be items on there that could be seen as offensive to women, but there are items that are tailored for women. I cant imagine a man buying a pink sparkly unicorn vomit cocktail, can you?”

    This just gets funnier and funnier (or sadder and sadder depending on how you look at it)

  • Reply Jo September 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Wait, they have pink sparkly cocktails ‘tailored for women’ you say?!

    Wow, you’re totally right. That isn’t sexist AT ALL!!!

  • Reply Neil September 3, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    “Helen
    September 2nd, 2014 at 10:32 pm
    The misogyny is blatant. How this ‘slut shaming’ culture can be solidified and magnified and put in writing on walls and menus is astonishing and is in worse than bad taste.”

    First of all I don’t agree with putting these words on the toilet wall for the prime reason that someone may take offence to it and I don’t think its smart, funny or clever. Plus I think anyone offended is well within their rights to voice there opinion like Helen has.

    That said putting words on a wall or on a menu doesn’t magnify or solidify jack shit. In fact quite the opposite. Instead I’d say that the over analytical pitchforky rants in some of these comments are doing exactly that. (not saying pitchforky is a word BTW)

    After a number of years in my 20’s and very recently receiving a bunch of therapy for insecurities and anxiety I learned enough about how to deal with theses issues personally and the best way I’ve found is never to hide them in a closet and let them grow into something that offends you and has power over you. It’s far more therapeutic and healthy to accept them for what they are and send them up. These types of thoughts are just a meaningless knee-jerk response from our brains doing mode and we can’t just stop them from appearing by sidelining them.

    Telling someone with anorexia that they’re thin doesn’t work, telling someone with depression that they have everything going for them doesn’t either. We can’t cloud an insecurity with logic because its a baseless thought and its not logical in the first place. Its just a thing that is and we can’t control it anymore than if our body sweats when its hot.

    What is positive is to say these things to ourselves over and over again, to face them head on and to analyse how they make us feel physically . Play with the phrases like a schoolboy with a ball over and over again until they begin to be devalued in your own mind. Like it or not writing these phrases on a wall is a lot healthier than locking them in the back of your mind and letting them fester. Most comedy is based on our insecurities for a reason. Because laughing about it and sending it up actually helps. If that offends you or troubles you then I would suggest you look inside yourself for answers rather than blaming someone that points out a few home truths.

    Now I’m not saying a burger joint has the right to be your therapist or that it was even for a second their intension (I doubt very much it was) but what I will say for certain is that the sooner you all stop moaning about it and casting accusations over an intent you have no way of defending the better this will feel for everybody.

    Peace
    x

  • Reply Yas September 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Liv
    September 3rd, 2014 at 1:30 pm
    “it’s 2014, women ARE equal to men, accept it and move on!!”

    Are they though, “Liv”..? Not sure what world you’re living in, but in this one that is not even remotely the case yet.

  • Reply Andrea September 3, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I find myself wondering if Gregg Wallace knows his image/quote is being used on their website? It’s on the pic of the sundaes and shakes menu.

  • Reply James September 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Helen- If the random words on a bathroom wall resonated with you so deeply perhaps you should seek therapy.

    You obviously have massive issues

  • Reply Donald September 3, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    James – If you can’t see why those words might resonate with people while also thinking that telling people you’ve not met they have issues and ought to seek therapy then it’s quite clear that your only major problem is that you’re a right cock.

  • Reply Liv September 3, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Wait, they have pink sparkly cocktails ‘tailored for women’ you say?!

    Wow, you’re totally right. That isn’t sexist AT ALL!!!

    Jo – This isn’t sexism, this is just stereotyping, I haven’t got a problem with as a woman, I am expected to choose a pink drink. As a matter of fact I would, and have, it tastes delicious. However I would have no issue ordering and drinking a ‘bitch juice’ if that’s what I fancied on the day. Sexism is being blown totally out of proportion! A few words on a wall doesn’t shout sexism to me, it shouts major insecurities in the women complaining about then. As Neil states, insecurities should not be hidden away.

  • Reply hkid September 3, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    “It’s not the end of the world, and starting a smearing campaign for a company, who are home grown, making a name as a destination for burgers and laughter, and slowly starting to expand is disgusting.”

    “a destination for burgers and laughter” – go back to PR school

  • Reply Jo September 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Oh ok. So stereotyping someone based on their sex ISN’T sexism?.

    Right. Gotcha. My mistake.

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/sexism

  • Reply Liv September 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I’m a woman, I like pink, I don’t care if people think that’s stereotypical, and I also don’t care if people assume I like pink. I’m not offended in anyway. Therefore I do not class it as sexism. Whatever you believe is fine.

    The point here has nothing to do with a pink cocktail its to do with a toilet wall decorated with words people are finding derogatory. It is fact that women spend much longer in public toilets than men do and having something interesting written on the wall doesn’t offend me, would you be complaining just as much if it was ‘derogatory’ sentences about men I wonder??

  • Reply kay September 3, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    I can’t help but think the nasty comments are all from the PR team in Almost famous, since you know they basically have just lost tons of potential clients (me being one of em) .And the rest are from deranged sexist morons who can’t accept people sticking up for themselves. It doesn’t make you a feminist for wanting to take these words of the walls it just makes you a compassionate human…with a brain. Helen, I’m glad for this article!

  • Reply EcuadorianRealist September 3, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Helen, You say “Apparently there is nothing equivalent in the men’s toilets. Quelle fucking surprise.” Of course there’s nothing equivalent, if men’s insecurities were written on men’s toilet walls, 95% of the walls would still be available for graffiti!

  • Reply Dan September 3, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    EcuadorianRealist – cheers for showing the entire Almost Famous / Beautiful Drinks PR team (tag-team commenting above) that misogyny is, in fact, alive and well in 2014. Nice one.

  • Reply Pina September 3, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    What the decor, menu items, video and marketing tell me about Almost Famous is that this restaurant isn’t about the food. It’s more of a destination, much like a loud, brash nightclub where you know the nibbles and drinks are going to be bad but you don’t care because it’s all about the entertainment factor. As a ‘foodie’ the all-style-no-substance approach doesn’t appeal to me. I’ll never find out for myself if the food is any good because I’ve been totally turned off from ever going there. Think about that, Almost Famous’ PR people. Oh and a reference to bulimia/laxatives? Wow, how unappetising!

  • Reply zuko September 3, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Well, that escalated quickly.

  • Reply Sam September 3, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    I don’t understand what the big deal is?

    It’s just a list of all the things women DO complain about when they’re in the bathroom..

    If anything I find it slightly comforting that at least I’m not the only one that thinks like that and highlights to me just how ridiculous I can be!

    Some people need to stop taking themselves so seriously..

  • Reply Jas September 3, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Whadafuck?! The fuck?! Surely worth contacting/petitioning Almost Famous to find out the reasoning behind there ludicrous marketing? Sam; sure, some women might say this to themselves but these are also all issues that women suffer real mental health and general esteem issues over. I’ve lost count of the number of women I’ve seen in my emergency department who respond to these kind of messages in an unhealthy way when they’re ‘subtly placed’ like in high street magazines. Putting something like this to them would genuinely worsen their mental state. And for what? Demeaning (because let’s face it, what else would you call a company that puts ‘slut sauce’ or their menu?) a whole gender/race/colour/religion ain’t cool.

  • Reply Gill September 3, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    For goodness sake! Makes me smile how sensitive some people are over nothing. Hurrah for the sensible comments from the likes of Sam and well done to the lady who came up with the idea in the first place.

    Almost Famous are a great company with lovely welcoming ladies greeting you and serving fabulous food.

  • Reply Mimi September 3, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    As a woman, when I look at myself in the bathroom mirror I don’t have any of those issues. Maybe that’s because I like myself just the way I am and don’t have low self-esteem. I still find AF’s bathroom decor appalling. It’s demeaning to suggest that all women will identify with the sayings on the wall. They are implying that all women are that superficial and obsess about these things. Talk about stereotypes. I can only assume the female employee who created those sayings has low self esteem as well as an eating disorder. How sad. It is in very poor taste for AF to encourage this and actually find it ‘clever’ enough to go on the wall of the ladies’ loo. I’m happy they are removing this.

  • Reply hkid September 3, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    “Almost Famous are a great company with lovely welcoming ladies greeting you and serving fabulous food.”

    Again, this just doesn’t sound like a sentence that an actual customer would write. I work in PR and I can sense the fingerprints of very underpaid PR people all over this thread. I might be wrong, in which case I apologise.

  • Reply Fanny September 3, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Goodness! Why is everyone going out of there minds here over such a petty thing?? Seriously!? Its just some words in a loo *grins*

    Gill your right people need to be more sensible, I love burgers and it takes more than some words in a loo to make me cry especially with ther VERY reasonable prices for burgers.

    I mean, how can it be sexist if they have women working there?? HONESTLY!

    Makes me laugh!

  • Reply Joe September 3, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Fanny – You misunderstand the term ‘sexism’. Last I checked most strip clubs and brothels have women working at them; that doesn’t stop their management from having a sexist view of the world.

  • Reply Ejecto's September 4, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Hi Guys,

    Ejecto’s here who paints graffiti for AF , few misguided insights from AC and CCBB on here. I am a freelance artist employed to create graffiti art on walls.

    My views and comments on my twitter and social media are my own are in no way affiliated with AF.

    Anyway the burgers are great!

  • Reply Jenny O'Henry September 4, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Stop being offended by everything and grow up.

  • Reply Hungry September 4, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Some of the snidey, cheap vitriol on this wall is astonishing.

    I particularly enjoyed a couple of comments which were a misognistic rework of ‘I’m not racist, I have [insert colour] friends’ ..! Quite something!

    Stay strong Helen, you have a world of support behind both your right to voice your opinion and your well considered view itself.

  • Reply Liz September 4, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I just want to throw my opinion out, given that I am a feminist (actually a feminist, and not a man-hating gender-discriminating excuse of an activist trying to disguse myself as a feminist); This is ridiculous. The notion of it is that it’s what girls complain about themselves when they’re with other girls in the toilets. It’s a jab at the self-absorbed vanity of those types that spend half an hour in the loos when they first arrive at the venue to apply yet another layer of mis-matched bronzer. What a shame strip bars exist and other venues that have clear 18+ notices on their door (Almost being one of them) have to remove playful jibes at the narcissism that takes place in women’s toilets. PC gone wrong, another unhelpful dollop of misplaced “feminism”, in a world where satyre is the only thing that makes day-to-day life tolerable, once again a bunch of uptight women with a chip on their shoulder because they were born with a vagina have taken far too seriously what was intended as initial jest. Shame on you for tarring all of us that for for gender equality with the same man-hating brush.

  • Reply Liz September 4, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Also major props for discussing the food (which is undeniably brilliant) on your “food” blog.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen September 4, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Did that in my last post about them, Liz. Do keep up.

  • Reply Bash Redford September 4, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Hey, you lot! Yeah you, the ones who are trying to give foodstories shit for voicing her opinion – you’re missing the point in SUCH a massive way.

    Take a long hard look at yourself, and then have a little think before you press enter; behind these comments there’s a person who’s trying to stick up for women.

    Whether you’re a die hard, radical feminist, or just don’t like being labelled because you have a vagina, she’s on your side. Stop being dicks.

  • Reply Pixie September 5, 2014 at 2:24 am

    Liz, people can make a satirical, jokey comment in this vein to a friend or someone they know – but to plaster them over the walls of a toilet where countless woman will have to view it? Women who might have serious body issues, be recovering from who-knows-what? Being confronted with this could be enough to tip some people over the edge. And as for “It’s just a joke” – that’s such a cop-out excuse for when someone acts like an arse, offends someone, and tried to cover it up. If you offend someone, you apologise. It’s as simple as that. Making jokes at the expense of anyone is wrong, and the misogyny displayed here is frankly appalling. I actually did a little whoop for joy when I read that they have since taken this hideous “wall-art” down.
    And I’m a feminist (completely man-loving), and my feminist male friends all thought the same when they saw it.
    Anyway, sorry to rant on your blog page Helen. I adore your blog, and I’m so happy that you stood up for what you know is right and brought this to peoples attention. As soon as I saw your post, I shared it with everyone I knew, and even left some strongly-worded comments to Almost Famous.. Without you doing that, nothing might have changed. Keep on being inspiring 🙂

  • Reply Kathryn September 5, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I just moved to Leeds. I will not be fucking going there.

  • Reply BT September 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Fair comment, you take exception to something and write about it…. but are there not just a tad more important things in the world to complain about than this? A sense of humour is exactly that, and is not always to everyone’s taste.

    Yes I am a mid-50’s white male, doubtless hated by some because of that; after all we are the cause of all the world’s ails, aren’t we?

    Who, in all honesty, really cares about what this company have written on the walls of their ladies lavvies? By definition, (hopefully), the only persons to see it will be of the feminine gender. It can hardly harden men’s misogynistic attitudes as a result. One of the sisterhood, so we are told, designed it anyway.

    Take a step back and ask yourself if you think that it was REALLY worth kicking up such a stink about this – as far as I can see you have given this outfit (of whom I had never previously heard) oodles of free publicity, for little cost to them.

    No, I’m not connected with them in any way, and I’m certainly not in the PR business – I’m an airline pilot.

    My outrage is directed at (among others) those who armed and brought down a Malaysian Airlines 777 recently, then treated the dead with utter contempt. Seems to me that’s just a marginally more important thing to be outraged about than rather silly graffiti on a lavatory wall of an obscure burger joint oop’ North.

    You are within your rights to disagree.

    • Reply denise June 28, 2015 at 11:47 pm

      Bravo Bravo Bravo. And I am a mid fifties white female. You know? One of the generation that brought real equality to the generations behind. I couldn’t care less about designer scrawl on a pretend restaurant wall. I care about serious injustice in the world. And doing something about it. And no, I am not hairy armpit flip flop wearing left of the middle lesbian either.So full of bile and indignation and sweating the small stuff Fuming

  • Reply Mimi September 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Liz wrote “venues that have clear 18+ notices on their door (Almost being one of them)…”

    Really? AF’s website says “yes, you can bring your children” and “kids are allowed all night in the restaurant” and “kids are welcome”.

  • Reply Natasha September 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Sorry, but what do you expect from restaurants that fetishise meat and meat consumption? Do you really think you’ll walk into places like that and have them have nice, normal toilets? Points to the people who are raising the link between meat/misogyny (I’ve read The Sexual Politics of Meat too) but it’s not really going beyond that, is it? The link between meat consumption and the sexualisation of women is almost indivisible which begs the question of why anyone would think they could enter a meaty hipster burger restaurant and NOT expect something like that, the two go hand in hand. Or does everyone just want to eat hunks of animal flesh in peace without thinking about the consequences?? I agree with all the points in the article but you can’t pick and choose problematic aspects of these kind of restaurants because they’re all inexpressably tied together, and so I would suggest that ppl stop going to these kinda places altogether. That’s just my opinion tho, as a veg. feminist, heh.

    • Reply denise June 28, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      It isn’t almost invisible. It doesn’t exist. I don’t care about your politics colour or creed. I don’t care if you carry a first at Oxford or scraped an O level by your teeth. I don’t care if youre Martha or Arthur, a Carnivore or a nut cracking {!} Vegan. You are p!ss!ng in the wind. Move on. There is nothing to see! And you are making a racket about nothing. Why don’t you look at the real injustices committed against women? FGM. { nope. Born and bred in the Home Counties} Forced marriages for little girls. Too much for you to stomach eh? Pathetic

    • Reply denise June 28, 2015 at 11:55 pm

      Oh for christs sake!! 100 reported domestic violence incidents in 2013? Diabolical. Not one of them attributable to scrawl on a fast food outlets wall. Rubbish anti fem graffiti whoopi doooo. Do something about the real issues in the world. p.a.t.h.e.t.i.c

  • Reply AK-747 September 10, 2014 at 1:47 am

    *Yawns* Next time tell me what you think about this age-old picture: http://imgur.com/ch6GjZn
    I surely hope you’ll loudly decry its misandristic nature.

  • Reply Mark September 12, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Great work Helen and congrats on getting them to take the wallpaper down!

    I think your next campaign should be targeted at the less extreme but equally misogynistic Meat Liquor/Meat Market/Meat (and so on) crew to remove their sexist signs.

    • Reply denise June 28, 2015 at 11:25 pm

      Campaign??? Youre making my ribs hurt here. Go and do something useful. Do you really think a bit of silly scribble in Maccy Ds equates to “sexism” female abuse, the decline of life as we know it? You are nothing short of ridiculous. You do more harm than good, and trivialise all that serious feminists strive to achieve. A n embarrassment.

  • Reply Paul September 15, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Ugh – my head hurts after sifting through these comments. I hadn’t heard of Lewis’ law before but it’s so f*cking true! Helen – keep it up basically. I can’t understand how some of the commenters don’t seem to get that this is actually a problem? Sexism and misogyny are everywhere; suggesting that you should save your outrage for air disasters for example is just INSANE. You want outrage? A quick google suggests 265 people died in air plane crashes world wide in 2013; compare that to 100 or so women who died through domestic violence in the UK alone in the same time period and which do you think is the greater ill Mr 50 something pilot prick?

    To the shills, sorry commenters, who seem to think this is small fry and not worth the time just grow up. Go have a butchers at everyday sexism and actually have a look at the other side of the story. You can’t just let the small stuff slip by…

  • Reply Beach Hut Cook September 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Who thought the video and/or wallpaper was a good idea? Who? And who thought let’s go with it? Worryingly this must have been agreed by a team of people! Beyond crazy stupid.

  • Reply BT September 26, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Ah well, only to be expected abuse from the unknown and unknowing.

    If you don’t like my observation that the shooting down of an unarmed airliner was rather more outrageous than this prank, then how about tackling FGM as a subject? That really is an important women’s issue, surely, and one to be outraged about, no?

    Domestic violence? Yes, of course (Paul, you seem a little tense – you’re not a violent person are you?) – but I am at a loss to understand how this kind of stunt equates with, or leads on to violence against women. Be outraged at that by all means, you have my full support.

    Again feel free to disagree, and call me all the names you like (Paul, you don’t like people being called names by implication yet you feel empowered to try to insult me why? Because you can and you disagree with my freely expressed point of view? How sad.) Thought policing of the kind implicitly espoused here is in my view not the answer. Like it or not, people should always be free to think what they wish to think, and express themselves accordingly. If you don’t like it, tune out or listen to soemone else.

  • Reply denise June 28, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Oh get over yourself!! No it isn’t nice. No there is nothing equivalent in the “boys room”, but, listen. If you are an educated journo save your outrage for stuff that matters. There are far more injustices that matter { try using any influence you may have in drumming support for the Flight of the Gazelle. Drum up female solidarity for Medicin sin Frontier { with the emphasis on the fantastic qualified women doctors in war zones}. And you care about a bit of crappy wallpaper. Youre throwing the baby out with the bath water. do better. pathetic

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