‘Toxic Masculinity’ Sign in Front of Colorado Club Draws Controversy

December 11, 2017 Updated: December 11, 2017

A sign in front of a gentlemen’s club in Glendale, Colorado, has caused some controversy.

“Toxic Masculinity Welcome Here,” reads a sign in front of Deborah Dunafon’s club, Shotgun Willie’s, reported The Guardian. “I think it’s horrible to accuse men of being toxic, because they’re not,” said Dunafon. “Our business is men, and men are not toxic.”

“How many men are we gonna pick on until finally there’s no men standing? How would you like a society with men meekly running around with little bonnets on their head?” she asked.

Shotgun Willie’s is located in the Denver suburb of Glendale, and Dunafon’s husband is the mayor, Mike.

“I didn’t put that up because of marketing,” Dunafon told The Guardian in an interview. “I put it up because I’ve been watching what’s going on in our country as far as men are concerned and it’s infuriating.”

She added: “I have a son, I have four grandsons, and I feel sorry for my grandsons because they’re all teenagers and I’m afraid for them. I’m wondering if they’re gonna have to make girls sign a contract before they can even go on a date.”

A Denver-based activist, “Bonnie AD,” took a photo of the “toxic masculinity” sign before it made the rounds on social media. “I wanted to share the image because I think that community accountability is vital for social change. Largely, the response on social media has been one of disgust,” Bonnie said.

In the Guardian interview, Dunafon rejected the idea that dancers are being exploited at her club.

“We believe that men in society today are totally being picked on,” she said, adding that her whole team agreed with the sign. “Shotgun has a lot of different guys come in – blue-collar guys, white-collar guys –and I’d say 98.99% of them are good guys. And they don’t want to be accused of being monsters, because really they’re not. They come in for fun.”

“Every once in a while one of them is unruly and we kick them out, but the entertainers are in total control of them.”

Recently, a sign posted in front of a Dairy Queen about “political correctness” was the talk of a Wisconsin town. That sign said: “This restaurant is politically incorrect” before noting that staff members say, “Happy Easter,” “Merry Christmas,” and “God Bless America,” WDJT-TV reported.

The franchise owner, Kevin Scheunemann, says that the restaurant salutes the U.S. flag, gives thanks to the troops, and offers free sundaes to veterans on Veterans Day.

“I felt the sign was appropriate to hang in terms of being transparent about the views of the owner and staff,” he said, adding that “those kinds of values and principles are becoming controversial in society.”

 

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