Harvey Nichols has ignited a sexism debate after a writer tweeted about a sign reading “great men go down”.
The sign above its London store, which is aimed to direct men to the men’s department on the lower ground floor, caught the attention of Rob McGibbon who accused it of being hypocritical.
I have asked @HarveyNichols to take down its lewd & offensive poster. The anti-sexism debate must work both ways. It's not the double entendre that irks me, it's the double standard and casual hypocrisy. Eggshells for all. pic.twitter.com/Y7FBSI0Jch
— Rob McGibbon (@robmcgibbon) January 15, 2018
He tweeted that the “anti-sexism debate must work both ways. It’s not the double entendre that irks me, it’s the double standard and casual hypocrisy,” while calling for the sign to be taken down.
When speaking to The Independent, McGibbon added there was “no way Harvey Nichols would contemplate a similarly cheap and crude gag aimed at women”.
“Would they have put ‘Good Girls Get On Their Knees’ in the shop window? Of course not,” he said.
“The crass misery of political correctness has to work both ways. To adopt a saying – whatever is demeaning for the goose, is demeaning for the gander.”
The comments have sparked a heated debate on social media.
— Dame Mingey OBE DFS TTFN (@MadameMinge) January 16, 2018
Isn't it just panto humour. Adults get it. Kids don't get it.
— strangelady (@clarehurd) January 15, 2018
Exactly. You either censor the joke from all sides or let all parties just have a laugh and enjoy it. Can't have it both ways. Political correctness when it suits #allornothing
— Mike Walker (@MikeWalkerMW) January 15, 2018
Harvey Nichols responded to the debate by telling The Independent: “The signage was designed to direct customers down to our menswear department which occupies the lower two floors of our Knightsbridge store.
“The copy used makes light of the location of the department.
“On the whole, we have received positive reactions from customers, with many people viewing it in the light-hearted manner it was intended.
“However, we recognise that our signature tongue-in-cheek humour may not be to everyone’s tastes.”