Story #5: Coffee Club ‘symbolic’ bathroom signage leaves customer questioning.


Source: Josephine Edmonds

 FEMINIST ANGLE: Questionable bathroom signage at popular Coffee Club branch in Auckland.

By Josephine Edmonds

Tegan Miller-Rowlands was shocked to find some surprising bathroom signage while having breakfast at the Avondale Coffee Club, in April.

While enjoying breakfast with a friend she noticed the questionable bathroom signage on display.

“I was just looking around, admiring the cafe, when the signs above the bathroom door caught my eye,” she said.

“I took a closer look and thought, I wonder what other people would think of these.”

Miss Miller-Rowlands questioned what they were implying with the different shapes, placement and bold lines.

Responding to this, The Coffee Club emailed: “the day before opening, TCC Avondale needed restroom signs urgently.

“Unfortunately those signs were the only ones our supplier had in stock at that time.”

Feminism supporter Bex Falconer thinks small things like this add up to the continuous challenge of gender equality.

“Unfortunately even though we are living in the 21st century where I can send a message to my friend in London at the click of my fingers, women are still considered inferior to men in so many different categories.

“These signs are a perfect example of this.”

In a second email The Coffee Club said: “we’ll certainly consider replacing our restroom signage in The Coffee Club Avondale store with our standard restroom signage [sic].”

But two and a half weeks after this reply, the signs still haven’t been changed.

“Although the cafe has expressed it was the only thing that the suppliers had, this should have been changed as soon as someone made a complaint about it, because gender issues are so prominent in today’s society and media,” said Miss Falconer.

Miss Miller-Rowlands also agreed that they should be changed, as they are a chain store with branches across the country.

She won’t be visiting this café while the signs are still a form of symbolism.

“Unfortunately many people whose place to get regular coffee is this cafe in particular, would not have even thought twice about them,” said Miss Falconer.

Feminism has become a regular and controversial topic in the world news and Miss Falconer thinks of equality as the right for all people, not just women.

“Feminism for me, is, the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

“Although these signs may not seem like a big deal on a global scale, they are an important symbol of everyday use that just concretes the idea of women oppression in our brains.”


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