“People take our experiences, they take our trauma and they turn it into something trivial or meaningless. They turn it into some kind of joke” explains rape survivor Taylor Malone upon seeing a drink titled “Date Grape Koolaid” at a new local bar, the Daiquiri Factory in Spokane, Washington. And sadly, she’s right; the bar, which just opened, not only chose this name but refused to rename the beverage after feminists and survivors of sexual assault organized online and in-person protests.
In spite of the fact that the insensitive and gross name continues to upset and horrify many in the Spokane population, the bar insists that the name is not “meant to offend.” Even more disturbingly, they continue to disrespect those negatively affected by their dismissive behavior by insisting that protestors need to get a sense of “humor.”
Justifying their actions by referencing a pathetically tired and years-old MADtv sketch that employed the phrase, the bar’s blatant disregard for basic human rights is not a joking matter. As Rebecca Nagle— a leader of the feminist group Force— explains, the bar’s callous actions feeds into a larger culture where rape is normalized and condoned and victims are silenced and shamed.
The bar, rather than changing the name or issuing an apology, aims to invalidate protestors by boasting, “Thanks So Much Spokane! We Sold Over 10 Gallons of Date Grape Koolaid Tonight!” Media attention may convince a few sorry souls to wander in and boastfully order the embarrassingly awful drink, but be warned, Daiquiri Factory, this is a bad move not only for your city but also for your already faltering business. It’s about time the casual perpetuation of rape culture didn’t go unchecked. To get involved, visit here, and sign Taylor Malone’s powerful petition here.