A billboard on a North Carolina highway has sparked outrage and protest over its message.
“Real men provide. Real women appreciate it,” reads the sign on a busy road off of Interstate 40 connecting the city of Winston-Salem to Greensboro, Fox News reported.
It was not clear who was responsible for the sign which has sparked the controversy, though Whiteheart Outdoor Advertising and billboard owner Bill Whiteheart said the organization that bought the space did not want to be identified.
“It’s absolutely, absolutely insulting to single mothers, to women who have careers whether they are small careers or big careers,” Molly Grace, a boutique owner in Winston-Salem, said.
A protest organized by Grace is scheduled to take place under the sign on Sunday. Participants are directed to bring sheets which they will paint as “ALTERNATIVE BILLBOARDS with alternative, POSITIVE slogans.,” according to the protest’s Facebook page.
“We are NOT protesting that the sign is capable of existing, or the people who put it up, or the ad agency, or the right to put it up,” the page states. “We are protesting patriarchy and sexism, and that this antiquated way of thinking about women exists at all. We are protesting the implied demand that women be silent and appreciate, regardless of whatever circumstances, their role as non-providers.”
The billboard has generated strong and divided opinions since it was first spotted last weekend.
— Joneé Lewis WXII (@JoneeLewisTV) February 22, 2017
“I think appreciation is good however we find it. But there is a message in that board that’s not good,” Lucy Milner told WHNT News.
“It really undermines women’s work in the world,” Joe Milner said.
But not everyone found the sign offensive.
“I think it’s fairly accurate. Being a married man myself, I think my wife really appreciates the fact that I can provide for a family and take some of the stress off her,” Ron Houser told WHNT.
“I would assume if you had a husband that loves you and appreciates you and showed it enough to carry your family and kids, that you would appreciate it. I don’t know why that would be offensive. I think that’s a good thing,” Nathan Walin said.
Currently the billboard space is leased for 30 days but can be extended if the organization chooses. An announcement about the sign is expected soon, according to Whiteheart.
The debate over the sign’s message continued on Twitter.
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— PIX11 News (@PIX11News) February 24, 2017
sign: real men provide; real women appreciate it
Interesting. It is causing a stir. Hey, I would like being provided for–just sayin’
— Fran Butkiewicz (@gambler1647) February 24, 2017
@WSMV BS sign. Real men stick around to raise their kids. Real women learn how to go on without the wanna be men.
— Francisca Carr (@aunna33) February 24, 2017
@FoxNews what a dumb sign.Real families these days provide and our children appreciate it. Not only men work anymore. Sign not with my time
— cathiemarie (@cathiemarie4) February 24, 2017
@foxandfriends I like the Real Men/Real Women sign. My husband works 82 hours/week, I work also but not that much! I appreciate it!
— TammieD4Trump ??? (@tammiedortch) February 24, 2017
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