With frosh week just days away and campus already buzzing with students getting ready for a new academic year, a poster in the women’s washroom at the York University Student Centre is drawing fire from critics who say it pushes a sexist message.
The ad — which is part of a campaign about safe substance use by York Region — shows a woman, shocked, looking at her phone with her hand on her head.
“Don’t try to keep up with the guys,” the ad reads.
Three Instagram photos of the woman drinking in various scenarios, presumably from the night before, are overlaid on the image.
The last picture in the row is from the account of “College Guy.” The woman is lying on a bed and the hashtag says, “My kind of party.”
At the bottom of the poster it reads, “It’s not just about keeping an eye on your drink, but how much you drink.”
One woman wrote on Twitter that the message was “ridiculous and offensive to women.” A Facebook comment reads, “Once again women are responsible for their own victimization. My goodness, is this 2017 or 1917?”
York versus sex assault
Mandi Gray, who was at the centre of a high-profile sexual assault case at York, shared the photo on Facebook Tuesday and added the sarcastic comment, “The message every young woman needs during frosh week has arrived!”
In 2015, two months after allegedly being attacked by a fellow student, Gray stopped attending the school because she said York University couldn’t guarantee her safety.
Gray filed a complaint against York at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in June 2015, claiming the school lacked clear procedures for reporting assaults. The university announced in December of last year that the human rights case had been settled.