The owner of a bar in Spokane, Washington has told rape survivors that they aren’t “smart enough to know” what the name “Date Grape Koolaid” means after the drink caused protests to erupt over the weekend.
In a recent Facebook posting, a Spokane bar called the Daiquiri Factory revealed that “Date Grape Koolaid” would be the name of one its new drinks. According to The Spokesman-Review, the bar promised the drink would be “super-sweet” and spiked with rum for on $6.
That name — an obviously play on the words “date rape” — did not sit well with rape survivors, who lashed out in the Facebook comments section.
Devin Rourke received over 2,000 “likes” for one comment: “Date Grape Koolaid is not a clever or funny name. It is offensive and condones sexual assault.”
“I am disgusted and mortified by your jest at sexual assault,” Sara Frase wrote. “I can only hope that you will wise up and change the name of your drink. It was wrong of you to name your drink ‘Date Grape Koolaid’ and the fact that you keep referring to it as a joke makes it even more degrading and offensive.”
Kara Kingen wrote: “I can’t believe more people haven’t picked up on this. Date Grape Koolaid? With date rape statistics higher than ever and even worse in a college town, this is clearly a dangerous mentality to perpetuate.”
For its part, the Daiquiri Factory seemed to enjoy sparring with its critics.
“You know why they haven’t because they’re smart enough to know that this is not what it is meant,” someone at the bar wrote in response to Kingen.
One comment posted by the Daiquiri Factory taunted, “It’s A Daiquiri Bar, not a CANDY STORE! 21 & UP WELCOME!”
But the marketing strategy may not have worked out as well as owners hoped because the crowd was outside protesting on Saturday, instead of inside the bar drinking for opening night.
Video obtained by KHQ showed dozens of protesters lining the streets around the bar with signs like “Take Rape Off The Menu.”
“As someone who has survived rape twice, the most recent one being three months ago, it tells me and other survivors that our experiences don’t matter and that people either don’t believe us or don’t care about us and that all we are is a punch line,” protest organizer Taylor Malone explained to KHQ.
“I would hope they would apologize and change the name,” she added. “At this point, with all of the backlash against the name and the response from the owners it doesn’t seem like that’s likely.”
Watch the video below from KHQ, broadcast Feb. 3, 2013.