A Johannesburg restaurant has decided to change its offensive name –– following social media backlash.
Earlier this month, Ryan Vermaak and his business partner, Fabio di Cosmo, opened Misohawni -- an Asian-style restaurant in Melville.
Except that "Misohawni" is a term used to sexually harass Asian women.
Dakota Kim -- a US restaurant owner and an Asian woman, who was one of the first people to bring this issue to light, succinctly explained in a series of tweets why the use of this name was problematic:
The phrase was popularized via the film Full Metal Jacket. A Vietnamese sex worker says it. She needs money very badly so agrees to $10 instead of $15 for sex work.— Dakota Kim (@dakotakim1) November 14, 2017
The patron: a white American serviceman. She asks for $15. He argues for $5. Then he calls her a diseased "gook whore" to his friend.— Dakota Kim (@dakotakim1) November 14, 2017
This phrase has been said to me on the street by men harassing me. It's been cracked to me as a joke. I've held my head high in life despite this haranguing.— Dakota Kim (@dakotakim1) November 14, 2017
When you put this on your sign, your menu, you celebrate your power over me. Your power to make me feel like shit just seeing it exists.— Dakota Kim (@dakotakim1) November 14, 2017
In an earlier response, Vermaak told Jacaranda FM that there was no inspiration behind the name. "It's just a name. Some people like it, some people won't. You can't please everybody."
"Names, like words, matter –– and in this case, two glaring things are bought to our attention: the lack of cultural sensitivity, and the lack of research or laziness that is condoned somehow..." said local food and culture journalist, Ishay Govender-Ypma, speaking to Food24.
The co-owners have since changed their tune.
Through a statement released on their Facebook page on Wednesday, the duo apologised for the "naming mishap" and admitted that they "fell back on an ingrained stereotype that we clearly did not understand".
"Naming mishap" -- again, seriously?
Here are a few examples of mishaps:
1. A mishap is when you spill coffee on your white shirt.
2. A mishap is when a condom breaks during sex.
3. A mishap is when a fish bone gets stuck in your throat during dinner with a potential.
4. A mishap is when you put salt in your tea, instead of sugar.
5. A mishap is when the pants you forced on this morning split.
Perhaps the owners can chew on that.