Uni apologises after cleaner told to remove International Women’s Day graffiti

first_imgOxford has apologised after a picture of a female cleaner scrubbing out the words “Happy International Women’s Day” from the Clarendon steps went viral.Oxford Associate Professor of Political theory, Dr Sophie Smith, tweeted the photo of an unidentified cleaner scrubbing off the chalk graffiti, prompting an angry backlash and over 3,000 retweets.Smith claimed an onlooking group of male university security officials had made the cleaner remove the graffitti.Oxford security makes a woman cleaner scrub out “Happy International Women’s Day” on the Clarendon steps. What an image for #IWD, @UniofOxford. #strikeforUSS #UCUstrike pic.twitter.com/E9u5S37hWW— Sophie Smith (@DrSophieSmith) March 8, 2018The image was branded “shameful” by some Twitter users, with one saying: “having a woman scrub off chalk that says Happy International Woman’s Day while some blokes stand around in the background isn’t a good look.”Twitter user Jessie Raymond added: “A picture’s worth a thousand words.”Others remarked on the poignancy of the image, with one tweeting: “Wow. Is this a photo or a Banksy?”Oxford University apologised for the incident, saying it was “deeply sorry”. We are deeply sorry for this and for offence caused. International Women’s Day is hugely important to Oxford. This should not have happened.— University of Oxford (@UniofOxford) March 8, 2018In response, Smith demanded the university give the cleaner “a heartfelt apology, a warm cup of tea, the rest of the day off and, along with all our precarious staff, good enough pay to live in this city.”I appreciate your apology, but far more importantly can you please make sure that the woman asked to remove the message receives a heartfelt apology, a warm cup of tea, the rest of the day off and, along with all our precarious staff, good enough pay to live in this city.— Sophie Smith (@DrSophieSmith) March 8, 2018The incident followed an International Women’s Day rally organised by picketing UCU trade unionists and students outside the Clarendon Building.More shots of the speakers at today’s #InternationalWomensDay2018 at the Clarendon Bldg in #Oxford– this one in suffragette colours! #solidarity #UCUstrike #strikeforUSS pic.twitter.com/5LXQEGyx32— Oxford UCU (@OxfordUCU) March 8, 2018last_img

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