Tamale Rocks is a comedian who posted the above video after she reportedly discovered a two-way mirror in front of the toilet in the women’s restroom at a Chicago-area bar where she was performing.
Cigars and Stripes is an Ogden Avenue dive known for its hot chicken wings and its nothing-if-not-eccentric owner, Ronnie Lottz (he used to be a small-time professional wrestling promoter, ya know). Though, it seems to be rapidly re-branding itself as a modern manifestation of the infamous He-Man Woman Haters Club.
Tamale posted the video to YouTube with an in-depth description detailing her state of mind after discovering the two-way mirror and why she eventually decided to upload it:
What if you sister, wife, or mother had been using that bathroom? When I think of it in those terms, I suddenly shed the fear that is so loud and become angry. Why I’m slow to do that for myself, I’m realizing, is also indicative of the impact of rape culture. So I took a stand and posted the video.
The owner was approached. Upon hearing about this video, the owner communicated that that he sees it as free publicity for his establishment. He acknowledges that the mirror is there and knows that the door is unlocked. He explained it as being a continuation of the creepy funhouse theme of his establishment. It used to feature a monster head that lit up through the two-way mirror, scaring ladies as they used the restroom.
In wake of Tamale’s revelation, the establishment’s Facebook page is rife with the type of well-informed, spirited rhetoric that you’ve come to associate with such a “controversy.” Over on Yelp, the Cigars and Stripes page is in the process of finishing its natural conversion into a public service announcement.
Jezebel reports that they reached out to Cigars and Stripes and had the, um, pleasure(?) of speaking with Lottz directly:
And you’re going to keep the mirror in there?
I will burn this f*cking place to the ground before I get rid of that mirror. Do you know how much joy that mirror has brought to us? We’re synonymous with Halloween. We do a freaky family fun day, and all the kids look in the mirror. This is a fun house, honey, and if you don’t like the two-way mirror, go f*ck yourself.
Cigars and Stripes in Berwyn, Illinois: Go for the wings, stay for the lecture on how rape culture is a figment of your imagination propagated by the the lamestream media, so just deal with it, toots.