A pub has been forced to axe a Valentine’s Day event called “Bag A Slag” after plans for the evening sparked outrage among rape charities.
The Old Angel in Nottingham city centre pulled the controversial speed dating event due to be held on February 14 after town hall chiefs threatened to revoke their license.
The boozer had proudly announced their alternative Valentine’s Day on Wednesday on their website with the slogan “Bag A Slag, Grab A Hag.”
But within hours of putting up posters in their windows managers were forced to cancel the event after sparking a flurry of complaints from furious locals.
A licensing officer from Nottingham City Council visited the pub telling them the event could not go ahead because the “inappropriate promotions” brought the city into “disrepute.”
Locals and rape charities slammed the plans made by the pub in the first place and accused them of “trivialising sexual assault” and “demeaning women.”
Katie Russell, from Rape Crisis, said: “The idea that a business such as a local pub felt a themed ‘bag a slag’ night was in any way appropriate is very worrying.
“The phrase and concept are offensive and sexist and promote a casual contempt for and objectification of women that is extremely outdated but sadly not yet extinct.
“The ‘banter culture’ that this reflects might seem like harmless fun to some but, viewed in the wider context in which 85,000 women are raped across England and Wales every year and women and girls are routinely humiliated and intimidated by street harassment, it really isn’t funny.”
The bar hit back at those who complained – branding them ‘kayboard warriors’ who need to ‘p**s off and grow a sense of humour’.
The Old Angel Inn management wrote on their Facebook page, they said: “Those people who drink in the pub, for whom the poster was intended, will appreciate the spirit of the flyer and will also have viewed it in good humour.
“We have had some ridiculous allegations made by the keyboard warriors – that our poster promotes domestic violence (have you ever felt the urge to beat/rape/abuse someone after seeing a poster? thought not) that it is insulting to women, that it is misogynistic etc etc etc.
“Offence is something that is taken – you cannot dish out offence.
“People have choices in life and if people choose to be offended by something, that is their right.
“By its very nature, offence is subjective and to those offended we say ‘piss off and grow a sense of humour’ or if, you find that offensive, we say ‘please look the other way and patronise other establishments.’
“As Frankie Boyle says – “IT’S JUST WORDS!!!!!”
The pub also promised they would be creating another Valentine’s Day event and told punters to keep an eye out for a new flyer.
The bar reluctantly agreed but to cancel the event but unrepentant pub bosses have refused to apologise for the offence caused.
Lydia Hunt, 21, the barmaid who designed the poster, said: “There are people who say the word ‘slag’ is offensive but I would say it’s empowering really to take it back.
“It’s all a bit of fun really. I didn’t mean to offend anyone with it.
“I’d call myself a feminist and just think that people need to take things a bit less seriously.
“It’s not meant to offend – it’s meant to promote a speed dating night.”
And tweeting from their Twitter account @OldAngelNotts managers even bragged: “Couldn’t buy this publicity.”
They added: “Think some humourless people need to come into the pub and meet Lydia the worlds (sic) biggest feminist and the designer of the Bag a Slag flyer.”
The Old Angel is one of the oldest pubs in Nottingham and describes themselves as being “an oasis in a sea of shiny bars and bullshit watering holes”.
It promises “an array of colourful characters” and “awesome music” in what they claim is the city’s best small venue for “loud, in-your-face, live music”.
Locals who were unimpressed with the posters said is was offensive.
Ruth Greenburg, from the Nottingham Feminist Action Network, described the event as derogatory to women.
She said: “This is beyond the fun barrier. It is a very negative, sexist image of women.
“Is that all women are – slags and hags?
“What self-respecting woman is going to go along to a speed dating event that sells itself to men in that way?”
A spokesman for Nottingham City Council’s licensing department they had investigated after receiving complaints about the poster.
He said: “Officers visited the landlord and reminded him of his responsibility and we felt this wasn’t an appropriate promotion.
“As a result we spoke to them and they eventually agreed and removed the posters and cancelled the event.”
Politics student Rachel Cooper, 19, from Nottingham, said: “It’s a bit shocking but I suppose that’s what they’re after.
“But slag is a bit strong – it’s not a word I like hearing.”
Local party planner Paula Hawker, 44, added: “Its misogynistic, sexist and just completely offensive.
“It demeans women and trivialises serious issues like sexual assault and rape. They are a disgrace and I won’t be drinking there ever again.”
The boozer boasts a daily happy hour where selected pints cost just £2.50 between 3pm and 6pm.
Famous bands Kasabian, The Artic Monkeys and even Oasis played at The Old Angel as they kicked off their road to stardom by playing up and down the country.
The Grade II listed boozer has stood in Nottingham’s The Lace Market since the 1600s and was even the site of two murders – a policeman and a prostitute – in the 1700s.
It was formerly a brothel and a chapel and the building is said to be haunted by the ghost of the young prostitute with her soul trapped forever in the ancient walls.