And They All Lived Happily Ever After… At Ice Designs

It’s taken two weeks, several phone calls and a sarcastic email but finally Ice Designs responded to my taking issue with lyrics about “pussies” playing over their sound system.

A fortnight ago, I walked into a young women’s clothing store and listened to a guy rapping about a girl whose “pussy” smell he remembers,  though he couldn’t remember her name.  His mate on the next track described bending a girl over and giving “it” to her.

I nearly tripped over my handful of $19.99 cotton pants and asked the assistant to skip the song. She couldn’t/wouldn’t and the subsequent bizarre conversation left me looking up the contact details of Ice Designs  on my phone to try my luck with their admin staff. This failed three times over the next week, with 2 different young women on auto-react referring me to their “They’ll Get Back to You” service.

An email was sent and after hearing nothing, I posted a frustrated blog entry  (see previous post if you missed it) describing the whole turn of events. I was, more than anything else, just baffled at the whole situation, specifically:
1. the recording and playing of these tracks specifically for a CD in a shop exclusively for women,
2. the apologetic refusal to skip the songs with vomit-inducing lyrics and
3. the extraordinary silence on my complaint and request for response.

In the time I waited for someone from Ice Designs to at least acknowledge the complaint,  I had ample opportunity to think about what it was that I was expecting. IF someone decides to actually speak to me about this, I wondered, what am I looking for?

Was I just after someone to rant at about the effects of misogyny on young women?
Or perhaps I was after someone’s scalp? A firing of someone maybe? As the days went on, I was realising, that a simple acknowledgement of this rotten experience would  have been a great start.
A few days ago, after I attempted again to call and speak to someone who could possibly have decision-making capabilities I was again told to wait for a call. Sigh.

Finally I was called back by their HR Manager who informed me of the following:
* The CD in that particular store was an old mix that had since been updated.
* That since her time at Ice Designs, there had been a new DJ employed who was very careful in his choosing of the songs for the store’s CDs and that the ‘girls’  (presumably employees) would take the CDs home and listen to them on the way to work to double check them for any offensive material.
* That the offending CD would be removed from all stores as soon as possible.
* That she had no idea what happened with music choices (or why that CD would even be there in the first place) before she started working at Ice Designs.

So, after that pretty convenient sweep of responsibility,  essentially the blame was laid squarely at the feet of some mysterious DJ, who no longer worked for this company, and supposedly didn’t reflect the high standards of professionalism and respect for women that Ice Designs embodies…

She  quickly explained that the store manager would be “spoken to” about her I’m not allowed to skip this song answer and that all staff should know that offensive music was not appropriate for Ice Designs.

It sounded like action of some sort was being taken. I hung up feeling a little lighter. I remain a little unsettled about that store manager’s lack of spine, and the waving off of responsibility by all  four of the Ice Design staff I spoke to. But there was, at least, an eventual acknowledgment that lyrics like those ones, that describe women by their genitals, do not belong in a store for women.

And if the women in these stores can’t possibly believe they (or any of the rest of us) deserve any more respect than that, than perhaps we’ve all got a much bigger problem on our hands.

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