A woman complained to Network Rail after seeing an offensive poster next to the ladies’ toilets at Kings Cross station.

She claims it ‘slut-shames’, victim-blames and threatens women going on a night out.

Commuter Fleur Bone was travelling to meet her sister on Saturday 8th May.

She spotted the advert that was produced by the British Transport Police and Network Rail.

The poster features a woman holding a drink and singing karaoke with a man next to her.

Text on the sign says: “Having a few drinks? Make sure losing your voice is the only thing you’ll regret tomorrow.”

It also says “Stay safe around the railway or you might regret it”.

Sexism

Fleur says the advert is ‘casual sexism’.

She believes the ad suggests women were to blame if anything bad happens to them on a night out.

Following her complaint about the “sinister” advert,  both British Transport Police and Network Rail apologised for any offence caused.

They have both confirmed that the poster has now been removed.

They also say the campaign did not ‘get the [intended] message across clearly’.

Angry

Fleur said: “It made me angry. It’s a thing you see isn’t it, an advert of a woman drinking having a nice time” and “insinuating it could all go wrong for her and it would all be her fault.”

“So it p*ssed me off and I took a picture of it.”

She added: “The tone was quite threatening.”

Fleur said it was “sort of slut-shaming as like you drink too much you might go home with this guy and probably regret it.

“When I saw it and from what it said I assumed it was an advert suggesting women shouldn’t drink too much otherwise they’ll be taken advantage of.

Fleur continued: “As per usual the onus being put on women to not drink rather than men to not take advantage.

“The specific threat is that if you’re a woman, and you dare to drink, and not stay 100% alert all the time, you’re responsible for any harm that befalls you, such as sexual offences.

“I think a victim of sexual assault seeing that advert would not feel great. The ad is sinister.”

Safety

Fleur felt it was targeted towards women only, because it was displayed next to the women’s toilets.

“I wasn’t quite sure what they were trying to warn us against from a railway safety point of view.”

“If it was meant to be an advert telling us to take care at the station because we might fall drunkenly onto the tracks then say that – I don’t think it was.”

“I can’t imagine it is anything to do with falling on the track, because otherwise they’d have a picture of the track or someone falling on to the track.

“For me, it felt like blaming women rather than blaming people who hurt women.”

Explanation

A BTP spokesperson said: “This poster was created as part of a joint awareness campaign with Network Rail for the 2019 Christmas period.”

“The campaign aim was to highlight the dangers of being intoxicated on the railway, as a result of spikes in alcohol-related injuries at this time.”

“We acknowledge how this could have been otherwise interpreted, and the posters were immediately removed from circulation in December 2019.

“The poster at King’s Cross station has now been removed, and we apologise for any offence it caused.”

Network Rail said: “The intention of this poster was to highlight the dangers of being intoxicated around the railway.

“We – along with our campaign partners at BTP – decided to withdraw the poster after feedback showed the image did not get this message across clearly.

“It has now been removed from the station and we’re sorry for any offence the poster has caused.”

Do you think the poster is wrong?

Images via Alamy