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Network Rail Under Fire After Woman Finds 'Slut Shaming Poster' In London Station Toilets

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Network Rail Under Fire After Woman Finds 'Slut Shaming Poster' In London Station Toilets

A commuter has criticised Network Rail after she spotted a 'sexist' poster next to the ladies' toilets at King's Cross station, which she claims threatens and 'slut-shames' women going on a night out.

Fleur Bone, 34, travelled through the London train station on her way home in Hackney to meet her sister on Saturday 8th May.

The ad - produced by British Transport Police and Network Rail - shows a woman in a busy bar, holding a cocktail and singing karaoke with a man to her side.

Fleur found the poster at King's Cross station in London (Credit: Kennedy)
Fleur found the poster at King's Cross station in London (Credit: Kennedy)
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The image is sandwiched between two ominous warnings that read 'Having a few drinks? Make sure losing your voice is the only thing you'll regret tomorrow' and 'Stay safe around the railway or you might regret it'.

Fleur blasted the advert as an example of 'casual sexism' saying that the ad suggested women were to blame for bad things happening to them.

She also branded the ad 'sinister' as she believes it threatens women who might be heading on a night out or enjoying a drink and might upset sexual offence victims.

Both British Transport Police and Network Rail apologised for any offence caused and said the poster has been removed, acknowledging that the campaign did not 'get the [intended] message across clearly'.

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 but insinuating it could all go wrong for her and it would all be her fault.


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Fleur took to Twitter after seeing the poster (Credit: Kennedy)
Fleur took to Twitter after seeing the poster (Credit: Kennedy)

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

"The tone was quite threatening and as I said, 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.

"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."

The TV producer feels that the ad was further targeted towards women only, because of its position next to the women's toilets and that she did not see it on any platforms. She also said it's hard to interpret the ad in any other way than a threat aimed at women on a night out.

"I wasn't quite sure what they were trying to warn us against from a railway safety point of view," she added.

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The TV producer from London called the ad 'sinister' (Credit: Kennedy)
The TV producer from London called the ad 'sinister' (Credit: Kennedy)

"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."

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."

A spokesperson for Network Rail said: "The intention of this poster was to highlight the dangers of being intoxicated around the railway.

The poster has been taken down from King's Cross station (Credit: PA)
The poster has been taken down from King's Cross station (Credit: PA)
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"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."

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy

Topics: UK News, Life News, News, travel

Gregory Robinson
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