Rebecca Brass, who who works with victims of sexual assault, was stunned to see an alcoholic beverage called “The Willie Pickton” on the drink menu of a British Columbia restaurant called “Surrey Wings.” It wasn’t the drink itself, which contains blue curacao, blackberry, melon, orange juice and cranberry and sounds yummy, that troubled her, but the fact that the name honored local serial killer Robert “Willie” Pickton, currently serving a life sentence at Kent Institution in the Fraser Valley.
Though Willie was convicted of killing only six women, the remains and DNA of 33 more were found on his farm. He also confessed that he had murdered 49 women total, many of them Vancouver prostitutes. Brass, in her role as a sexual assault counselor with Women Against Violence Against Women, personally knows people with family members murdered by Pickton.
She contacted the restaurant’s head office, and the drink was pulled from the menu. Apparently it didn’t appear on the menus of any of the chain’s other eleven locations. “The Willie Pickton” had been placed on the menu by a previous manager. As a way to embarrass the company? As a joke? As a genuine homage? Nobody knows. But the company sent out an internal memo reminding all of the restaurant managers that drink menus and lists need to be approved by the head office and must be consistent with procedures and guidelines. And that honoring serial killers is discouraged.
Rebecca Brass, unfortunately, couldn’t resist using her temporary spotlight to turn the incident into a broad indictment of the culture and more evidence of the “rape culture,” telling reporters, “It’s shocking, but at the same time it’s not, because the desensitization of violence against women is real. It’s like society thinks it’s OK.”
You know, she’s right! I’ve been noticing all of those drinks named after the Green River Killer, the Hillside Strangler, the BTK Killer, and Zodiac.
Just joshing: Rebecca is, rather, full of malarkey, and trying to exploit the irresponsible and nasty conduct of one jerk, whose ethics alarms either malfunctioned, or who has none. That’s bad enough. Her suggestion that the offensive drink name indicates a societal-wide belief that killing 49 women is “OK” is irresponsible, and makes me want to chug a “Rush Limbaugh.”