- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

An anonymous seven-word slogan on a billboard in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has piqued the curiosity and ire of passersby with its simple but cryptic message: “Real men provide, Real women appreciate it,” reads the black text on a plain white background.

The Greensboro News & Record reported Wednesday that the advertising company that owns the sign says the client who paid for it wishes to remain anonymous, for now, although some kind of “announcement” is coming soon, according to company President Bill Whiteheart.

Whatever the organization is, it had at least $2,000 to drop on the ad. That’s the cost keeping the sign in place for the agreed-upon 30 days, Mr. Whiteheart told the News & Record.

While the seven-word message could be taken in a number of ways, a group of protesters gearing up for a demonstration Sunday see the sign as sexist.

“I take it as a very deliberate jab at women who demand equality and demand to be seen as equals and are vocal,” small-business owner Molly Grace told local TV station WXII. “So to me it’s also a very blatant about wanting to silence women and tell them to just accept the way that things are.”

A demonstration Ms. Grace is coordinating via Facebook has 66 people planning to attend Sunday. For her part, Ms. Grace wants to make clear the protest is not calling for the sign to be taken down, but rather to fight its message with contrary ones.

“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,” notes the Facebook event page, hosted by Ms. Grace’s accessories boutique KLEUR. “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.

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