The next time someone tells you there’s no such thing as rape culture, ask them if they’ve tried “Date Grape Koolaid.”
The Daiquiri Factory (clever, I know!), in Spokane, Washington, sparked protest and support when it named its grape-flavored daiquiri (sounds delicious, I know!) “Date Grape Koolaid” (clever, original, funny, disgusting, I know!). But the story doesn’t end there. Like so many instances of rape culture, the initial incident almost pales in comparison to the way those who perpetuate rape culture double down, attack the people who call them out, and ultimately cast themselves as the real victims. Their adamant denial of the existence of rape culture, their lack of empathy, their display of privilege and their denigration of rape survivors are evidence of the very rape culture they claim doesn’t exist. This is what it looks like on Facebook.
Here is the Facebook post which the Daiquiri Factory put up last week announcing their drink specials, which included Date Grape Koolaid:
Here are some of the responses the ad elicited (most of which have been removed): “Date Grape Koolaid is not a clever or funny name. It is offensive and condones sexual assault.” Another person wrote, “I am disgusted and mortified by your jest at sexual assault…. 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.” When one woman commented, “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,” the bar replied, “You know why they haven’t because they’re smart enough to know that this is not what it is meant.” Here the Daiquiri Factory tells people to stop being so negative and reading into everything!
Here, they tell a critic it’s all in her head:
Here, the bar tells people upset with a drink special that turns date rape into a pun that they are not only warped and imagining things, but “supporting HATE”:
The bar also offers some free self-help after-school-special advice about the power of positive thinking, failure and success!
Here, the bar tells a critic, who, presumably referenced her own rape, that she hasn’t actually been raped.
People take to the Daiquiry Factory’s Facebook page to support its intransigence and criticize those who oppose drinks with rape-based names. Here, jokes with not funny rape punchlines are shared!
You know how Republicans like to say Democrats are the ones obsessed with abortion because they’re the ones who keep talking about it? (While Republicans just try to make it illegal or inaccessible)? Or how racists like to say to people talking about racism that they’re the racists because they’re the ones who keep talking about it (while the real racists just say or do racist things)? Well, here’s the Date Grape equivalent:
People organize a protest against the bar’s name choice. An organizer of the protest, Taylor Malone, tells reporters:
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… would hope they would apologize and change the name….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.
The bar responds by vowing not to back down:Then they disrespect those who are uncomfortable with the drink’s name, continuing to make light of rape and showing off how much Date Grape-based fun they are having.
Here’s another reminder of how committed the bar is to their rape-themed drink:
In case anyone missed how much fun the people at the Daiquiri Factory were having over Date Grape drinks and how little they cared about the people upset by them, here’s their Superbowl Sunday posting reveling in their victory:
When the story picks up national attention, the Daiquiri Factory realizes that, far from victimizing anyone, they themselves are the victim of a media which is so irresponsible that it fails to cite Urban Dictionary. They declare that they are the victims of slander! They are being silenced by a media that insists on…reporting things that happen.
Here, the bar engages in a campaign to raise awareness about the two-pronged oppression they face from the media and protestors. They use humor to mock both enemies of freedom:
Daiquiri Factory mocks the overly sensitive feelings of their critics, offering a group therapy session happy hour. Those protesting clearly “need help.” Thought disordered protestors are invited as well as “sheeple,” because obviously you have to be a band-wagoning sheep with no mind of your own to find anything wrong with this delightful drink.
I’m just waiting for the persecuted Daiquiri Factory to organize a fundraiser for their cause. Luckily, protestors really have created petitions asking that the bar change the name of the drink. You can find them here and here.
Correction: this post initially included the following as an example of pubic support of the bar and the idea that rape is funny.
I have since been contacted by Nathan Lansing, who has informed me that his comment was made in a satirical tone and. He was upset at lumped together with”misogynists and rape-culture advocates.” I apologize for misrepresenting Mr. Lansing, especially as someone who has been attacked by people who did not get my satire, which I thought was obvious.
Katie Halper is a comedian who somehow manages to not perform any rape-trivializing humor.