A woman from Raleigh, North Carolina has launched a campaign to raise money for a new billboard to "counter the message" of an existing one between Winston-Salem and Greensboro that says, "Real men provide. Real women appreciate it."
Paula Atwood, who identifies herself on Facebook as the "Mother of Heat Beasts at Spoonflower," a fabric store, set up a GoFundMe campaign with Kathryn Rende. The two hope the effort will "help them send a counter message" to fight back against what some local women have called a "misogynistic" billboard.
"Our plan is to create a new billboard message that makes it clear that this kind of thinking is not welcome in our state and that it belongs in the past," the GoFundMe page says. "Our proposed billboard will say 'Gender equality benefits everyone.'"
On Interstate 40 between Winston-Salem and Greensboro in North Carolina, a controversial billboard displays in plain black text on a white background the message: "Real men provide. Real women appreciate it." The billboard went up last week and will remain there for 30 days.
The billboard belongs to Whiteheart Outdoor Advertising and was purchased for $2,000 by a company that wishes to remain nameless, according to the News & Observer.
Whiteheart Outdoor Advertising is owned Bill Whiteheart, a former Republican member of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners known for being socially and fiscally conservative, the Winston-Salem Journal reported. Whiteheart distanced himself from the billboard's message, calling his company simply "the messenger."
"We don't endorse the message that's there," he said. "We're just the messenger."
Atwood and Rende's GoFundMe page described the billboard message as a "one-sided statement of patriarchy."
On Monday, February 20th a billboard went up on I-40 Business West near Kernersville, North Carolina that read "Real men provide. Real women appreciate it." We were saddened and outraged by this one-sided statement of patriarchy. This is not the voice of our community and does not represent North Carolina as a whole.
We want to counter this message of inequality with one of inclusivity.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 90 people in two days have raised $3,723. The campaign's goal is to reach $10,000.
The cost of a billboard, depending on location, ranges between $1,000-$5,000.
Atwood took to social media to encourage her Facebook friends to crowdsource their counter-message billboard.