Scruffy Duffies, a bar in Plano Texas thinks domestic violence is funny. I’m going to let Courtney Joye Williams explain what happened in her own words, but I was going to add “especially after what just happened in California” but you know what? Regardless of what’s in the news, “never” is a good time to joke about an issue such as this:
“On Saturday May 24th, 2014, a few friends and myself were out celebrating a couple of birthdays. Having things to do the next day, I wasn’t drinking myself, but the rest of them were having a great time.
Walking into Scruffy Duffies (http://www.scruffyduffies.com/)in the Shops of Legacy at Plano ended any fun I was having that night. Upon our entry to the outdoor area, we were greeted with the sign:
Text: I like my beer how I like my violence. Domestic.
There is an old saying that all it takes for evil to win is for good men to do nothing. While most people in the bar would probably agree that sign was in bad taste, no one had done anything to take it down (that I knew of).
The sign immediately struck me in the worst way. Not only did it dreg up some unpleasant memories in my life, but it struck a chord that this bar was condoning domestic violence as a joke and expressing that victims were no more important than the type of beer someone was drinking.
My revulsion propelled me to act, my first move being to ask who put up the sign at the bar. Surprisingly, it was a female bartender who had written it. I only say I was surprised because the majority of domestic violence that I am familiar with was against women. When I asked if she could take the sign down, she bewilderedly declined, as though she couldn’t understand why I was upset.
Upon returning to my table, I spoke to my friends and decided to speak to a manager. I walked up to the front of the bar to where a gentleman was checking IDs. Upon asking for a manager, I explained my issue with the sign, and he indicated he himself was a manager. I let him know, bluntly, that it was disgusting, and that I would appreciate it being taken down. He left for a few minutes, and upon his return let me know that it might take a minute but that it would come down. I thanked him, and went back to my table.
When I got there (within eyeshot of the sign) I asked a friend to take the above picture and set my alarm to 10 minutes. That’s how long I was willing to give them before I would go speak to another manager.
10 minutes came and went, and I went in search of another manager, hoping to expedite the process.
Walking up to the bar, I was greeted by another manager, to whom I explained my issue. At this point I was on the verge of tears, having just explained to my friends exactly why I was so upset. His response? Condescension.
He asked my name, I told him. He introduced himself and shook my hand. He then proceeded to tell me the sign was a joke, and that it rotates different things all the time. When I told him it was in extremely poor taste and that I’d appreciate it being taken down, he told me to calm down, and that if I hadn’t been so “aggressive” the conversation would go better.
Please keep in mind, during this conversation I was apologizing for being as emotional as I was, and emphasizing that I wasn’t trying to attack him, just the idea that domestic violence is a joke. Had I been a man, I somehow doubt he would have been okay telling me to calm down. He told me the sign would be taken down but that I should be patient. My first reaction was to tell him that no one should ever be patient for domestic violence to stop, but I was too upset and knew that I shouldn’t get started at the bar.
At this point I’d had enough. I went back to my friends, tearfully told my friend to give me her keys to get my things from her apartment, and began to walk away. When she asked me what happened we were outside of the bar (not on their property, on a public sidewalk), where I loudly exclaimed that I refuse to give a bar that is willing to make fun of domestic violence my money.
I collected my things and returned in my car to give back the keys, and attempted to reenter the establishment to give friends a hug before leaving, when I was told that I was to be REFUSED ADMITTANCE. I asked why and was given no explanation.
Turns out while I was gone another friend of mine read the riot act to two more bouncers and a manger, and the sign was removed. It is deeply disturbing to me still that it took that much; that the management at this place was so unfeeling toward a huge issue to a great number of people.
I have never been prouder to be denied admittance to a bar, and I will never return.
Ladies and gentlemen, friends, acquaintances, strangers: please know this: if you are a victim of domestic violence, it is not a joke. Never feel marginalized or forgotten. There are people who love you, and care for you, and would do anything to make sure that you never have to suffer through it again.
Below I’ve listed some of the resources in Dallas where you can receive help.
Friends: it’d mean a lot of you could avoid Scruffy Duffies. Any establishment willing to support the continuance of domestic violence does not deserve your money.
As for Scruffy Duffies, I’ve included a flier that I will be happy to print off for you so that you can educate your management and bartenders on the seriousness of the issue.
To let the bar know what you think, they can be found here http://www.scruffyduffies.com/contact-us or on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ScruffyDuffies and Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/ScruffyDuffies