Uptown Vapor Shoppe removes "No Statutory Vape" sign following Facebook outcry

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A Facebook screencap of the controversial sign and what people had to say about it.
Uptown Vapor Shoppe has been open at 2817 Hennepin Avenue for a year. Since day one, the business has had a sign in its window that says, "No Statutory Vape."

The sign's reference is meant to be to a store policy prohibiting minors from purchasing products. It had never been an issue until last Friday, when the Vapor Shoppe's Facebook page was slammed by commenters decrying the sign for making light of statutory rape.

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Here's a few examples of how that social media discussion played out:

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Vapor Shoppe ultimately decided to scrape off "Statutory" and change the sign to read, "No Underage Vape," but manager Jesse Siegel was none too happy about it when we talked to him Saturday afternoon.

"It definitely didn't have anything to do with rape," Siegel says. "The whole thing got blown completely out of proportion. They were aggressive, harassing us all day... it sucked."

Siegel says he and the rest of the Vapor Shoppe's management decided to change the sign "because we were afraid."

"None of [the protesters] came in and talked to us, it was all Facebook and phone calls," Siegel says. "I am a survivor of sexual violence myself and it's so fucked up to be attacked like this."

"They're obviously just bored and want to harass people and jump on to something," Siegel continues.

Siegel says Uptown Vapor Shoppe contributes to organizations working to prevent sexual violence.

"We're a very supportive company that gives money to a lot of different nonprofits and welcomes people of all races, colors, and sexuality."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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37 comments
lkjhasdf
lkjhasdf

The real story here is that people still smoke/vape. How dumb do you have to be to constantly piss away money on a useless, self-defeating habit? 

Casey Finne
Casey Finne

It does seem typical of the new uptown dynamic with the new apartment advertising strategy, "I don't remember her name. But her apartment..." and "Tarts welcome". Incredibly gross but par for the course in date rape village uptown.

truckmeyer
truckmeyer

It's a bad pun, and easy pickins for great controversy over nothing. I hope the store owner learned a lesson.

To all of you losing your shit over this...find something more constructive to do. None of this bellyaching over words on a door is stopping actual rape and/or abuse.

franktalker1
franktalker1

IMHO the only "crime" committed here is that of trying too hard to be "punny". "Statutory" is an adjective, used in several other legal situations to modify nouns, Do we ban the word "vape" because of how close it sounds like "rape"? Technically-speaking, because "statutory rape" occurs when a victim in under the age-of-majority (i.e. 18 years old), the prohibition of "statutory vape" can also apply because MN state law prohibits use of tobacco products by minors (i.e. under the age of 18).

Lily Ann
Lily Ann

Yes people sensitive to violence against women are the ones lacking maturity. Surely.

Angie Traxler
Angie Traxler

I don't see what the big deal is. In fact, I kinda want to go shop there now just because everyone is in such an uproar. My god. Grow up.

Curt W. Schneider
Curt W. Schneider

Oh yeah, it's a real knee slapper. So clever and hilarious. High brow. Only those with a refined sense of humor can truly appreciate it.

Lily Ann
Lily Ann

It doesn't offend me personally but it does let me know what a colossal scumbag douche the owner is. So I will tell everyone I know to go elsewhere.

Willy Hutchins
Willy Hutchins

I find it funny... If It offends you mind your own Fucking Business...

Curt W. Schneider
Curt W. Schneider

By the way, this article is VERY poorly written, and it shows an obvious bias in favor of the shop owner. Foolish.

Kat Luna
Kat Luna

I'm really disappointed in this article, City Pages Minneapolis....

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

"I am a survivor of sexual violence myself and it's so fucked up to be attacked like this." says Jesse


ya right, prove it!


and Rupar, you didnt dig deeper and press this biz owner as to the details of his sexual violence experience...sounds more interesting than some stupid marketing ploy



mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

It was a clever sign that had been up for a year, then one bully saw it and blew it way out of proportion. It's that bitch's problem. They never should have taken it down. People only care about anti-bullying in schools. Why not in everyday life?

curtiss.schneider
curtiss.schneider

Jesse Siegel has achieved a truly transcendent level of ignorance. He has this situation so backwards that it's mind boggling. He has changed the sign to read "no underage vape", because, geez, that's so much better than what it was. If these asinine actions are any indicator of his overall business sense, this shop will not last long.

jpinmn
jpinmn

I know one of the women who started the movement online, to get the store to remove the sign. The store is mistaken, when they say no one came in to speak with them. The entire reason the protesters started their online backlash, was specifically because she walked in and asked about the sign, saying it was offensive. The store was rude and blew her off. Well, I guess the backlash is what you get for poor customer service, sad puns, and making light of rape.

curtiss.schneider
curtiss.schneider

The guy running this place has made it clear that he really lacks common sense. Survivor of abuse or not, he's not very bright. I think he might be hitting the e-cig liquid a little too hard.

oldshoesnewfeet
oldshoesnewfeet

Glad City Pages only saw fit to contact the store owner (who has been blame shifting and defensive from the outset about being respectfully called out by many of the people who opposed the sign) when there is clearly an entire page of protesters that you could have contacted to get the full spectrum of all sides opinions. Also, swell job at writing one of the most biased pieces of rape apologetic journalism I've seen in a while. Clearly not interested in being impartial at all. It's tragic the owner has suffered sexual violence, but he by no means makes up even a fraction of the demographic that suffers the brunt of the sexually violent attacks. As as advocate he should be willing to hear why this sign is triggering and offensive to rape victims, not defend it and stand behind the logic that if it doesn't offend him, a survivor of sexual assault, then it should offend ANY sexual assault victims. Seems to me that Heidi approached him personally and she was shut down in no uncertain terms and told it was not offensive and that rape jokes aren't even offensive in general. She she rallied other activists to speak up if the sign offended them, which is clearly did. This wasn't an attack, it was a rather mild Facebook uproar about a shitty sign with an even shittier rape pun. Jesse Siegel is not the victim here. He is a capitalist with a bruised ego. Objectively speaking, puns aren't even funny...just sayin.

Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane

The manger is a liar... Name another phrase he was spinning off.

Anonymous
Anonymous

@digitalprotocol  You cannot just prove sexual assault. I was raped when I was 17 (forced to perform a sex act on somebody I considered a friend) and I didn't report it, so there's no proof. That doesn't make it less real, and nobody should have to prove it. 

oldshoesnewfeet
oldshoesnewfeet

@digitalprotocol Your demands that a victim of sexual assault should prove that their assault actually happened are deeply problematic. Ignorant sign or not, if he says he was assaulted sexually, then he was. Sexual assault victims don't have to prove anything. Asking them to it only furthers the problem. 

lkjhasdf
lkjhasdf

@curtiss.schneider  What is inaccurate about the sign? Vape sounds like rape, maybe you're the one with the problem. 

Demonikah
Demonikah

@oldshoesnewfeet Exactly!! I have screenshots of all the verbal abusive the shop was throwing out there. they dealt with the matter totally unprofessionally. Businesses arent "bullied" the public expressed a concern and were met with insults and references to urban dictionary. Any major business handling things this way would not be portrayed as an innocent victim by the press. Im very disappointed in City Pages.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Anonymous  this is a guy


and unless he was raped at gunpoint or something im calling BS


more details are needed

Demonikah
Demonikah

@oldshoesnewfeet Not to mention the super aggressive private messages certain protestors have received from people at the shop.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@oldshoesnewfeet dont lie to yourself


"company that gives money to a lot of different nonprofits"


this is bullshit


all this PR will get him biz, especially biz from all you empathizers

oldshoesnewfeet
oldshoesnewfeet

@digitalprotocol You're doing a disservice to all sexual assault victims with this line of inquiries and accusations. This shop owner is not a monster or a villain. He made a mistake in posting the sign and he made another mistake in how he handled being called out. A little grace for human error should be given. I'm not posting this for your benefit, I'm posting this to show that the people who opposed his sign aren't blindly bullying or cruel. I have sympathy for his trauma around the assault, I hope he has sympathy to see that people advocating for sexual assault victims, LIKE HIM, are trying to hold people accountable and make the world a little more hospitable for everyone.

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