Sexism at Danish Juice Bar Gets a Facebook Call-out

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Lisa B. Nygaard got more than she ordered, when she took her two daughters to a Joe & the Juice bar. She took to sharing her experience as an open letter on Facebook:

I visited you in [the Fields mall] today along with my daughters. We might have been there for 30 minutes, but in the span of that half hour, we managed to listen in on a lot of exciting details pertaining to you and your colleagues’ private life.

We could hear how one of you had “done” an ugly girl in the weekend, because “the girlfriend was out travelling, which meant there was some serious [f—ing] to do”. Apparently, you won’t be as picky then, and even the ugly girls can “get a piece” of yours.

We could also follow how all girls entering were rated “totally nice”, “semi”, and “ok with the lights off” and other more and less flattering phrases.

Photos of the aforementioned ugly girl were shared, and I heard one of you show off with how you, when you’re out at night with your friends, feel awesome treating women “as crappy as possible”.

(…)1

Joe & the Juice

Kaspar Basse founded the company in Denmark in 2002. It has become the biggest juice-bar chain in Denmark with affiliates in the U.K., Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland. It was acquired in 2013 by Swedish private-equity group Valedo Partners.

In the bars, customers lounge with their juices and sandwiches. All bars are heavily branded with an environment of loud music and noises, and a staff of fresh-faced men exuding a upbeat, chatty, and fratty demeanour. The branded culture is evident a menu featuring juices like “Joe’s Green Kiss”, “Sex Me Up”, and “Young Blood”2.

The Abercrombie & Sandwich concept has been adopted by competing juice bars such as Big Apple.

The Reaction

Nygaard’s Facebook post sparked a fiery discussion and quickly prompted coverage all over Danish media.3

Five hours after the original post, Joe & the Juice responded in a hastily-scribbled Facebook comment. It was penned by Simon Nielsen, the company’s Academy Leader and Brand Police4. The statement reads5:

Hi Lisa

First of all, thanks for bringing this episode to our attention.

Since you wrote the post, I’ve been trying to get a hold of the employees, who worked that day, to deal with the matter. I have been in touch with the manager of the bar and the employees, and it will be dealt with immediately, as we find it completely unacceptable, and it is far away from our own values for such language to be used in a bar to talk about other people like that.

I am sorry that you and your daughters had to witness this, and I want to assure you it won’t happen again.

We hope that you will return, and arrangements will obviously be made for a better experience on the house.

Once again, many apologies on behalf of us and the boys … I’ll give them an earful, and hopefully, this will be a lesson to them. Kind regards, Simon Nielsen, Academy Leader - Joe & the Juice.

The exact consequences of the incident have yet to be specified.

  1. The rest of Nygaard’s Facebook post translated:

    It’s one thing that you ruined our meal completely with your completely ridiculous discussion of the wonderful sex, which you instead should hallow and respect, and that my girls, who still believe they’re worth as much as the boys in the kindergarten, had to listen to you rate and disrespect women in that vicious way. Another is that I assume that you all have moms, who’ve given birth to you, nursed you, and been the most important woman for the majority of your life, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have some beautiful daughters one da (when you grow up) . but try to consider what world you’ll release them into? A world full of boys like you.

    I forgive you, because after all, you aren’t any older. And because you apparently are so insecure about yourselves, your sexuality, and your own worth that it’s the only way you can communicate with each other.

    But I implore you to reconsider your conduct anyway - for your customers’ sake, for your own sake, and for your future daughters’ sake. There are so many people who think you are “awesome”, so what about making a difference and being a part of changing teenage boys’ perception of the opposite sex? Perhaps you can focus on respecting all the wonderful girls and women out there - and stop the hatred?

    Kind regards, Lisa Björt Nygaard

    ↩︎

  2. Sandwich names taken from the website menu; the juice names are respectively covered by ™, ®, and ®. ↩︎

  3. Coverage in Ekstra Bladet, BT, TV 2. ↩︎

  4. Nielsen’s job titles are in the parlance of his own LinekdIn profile. ↩︎

  5. The informal nature of Nielsen’s comment, with errant spelling and punctuation, is not reflected in the translation. ↩︎