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Owner of bar 'Walk Her Inn, Drag Her Out' says she feels 'harassed' by criticism

Diane Plumeri, owner of a West Allis, Wisconsin, bar named Walk Her Inn, Drag Her Out, said she feels "harassed" by criticism from people like Paress Huebner, who shared the bar's name on Facebook and said it promoted rape culture. She is joined here by her husband, Kristian.
Diane Plumeri, owner of a West Allis, Wisconsin, bar named Walk Her Inn, Drag Her Out, said she feels "harassed" by criticism from people like Paress Huebner, who shared the bar's name on Facebook and said it promoted rape culture. She is joined here by her husband, Kristian. CBS58 Screenshot

Is it promoting rape culture, or do people need to lighten up?

That's the debate some residents of West Allis, Wisconsin, are having about a decades-old bar in the town known as "Walk Her Inn, Drag Her Out." According to WISN12, Paress Huebner took to Facebook to share her outrage about the bar, which also uses an image of a caveman carrying a stick and dragging his female counterpart on the ground.

"Your mind can go to a million different places with that," Huebner said.

She argued to WISN12 that the sign seems to condone rape, even though "I don't think that was (the bar owner's) intention."

Her Facebook post reached thousands, according to Fox6. Diane Plumeri, who owns the bar, said that "if it is offensive, I apologize."

But Plumeri added that the bar has kept that same name since 1985, when another person owned it.

“I don’t find it offensive," she told Fox6. "It’s a neighborhood establishment. Everyone is welcome to come in."

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An image of the bar's front. Google Maps

Plumeri added to WISN12 that she feels "harassed" by the criticism — but added that she would be OK with changing just the picture.

But Michael Reece said the name should go, too.

“I think some people will say it’s a joke," he told Fox6. "But a lot of people will take it for what it is.

"And that’s rape culture."

Christine Nell, a friend of Huebner's, told CBS58 that she's also offended by the name.

"Having something that implies any nonconsensual activity right walking in the door is very irresponsible," she said.

Carol Vian, a regular of the bar, said she isn't quite sure what all the ruckus is about.

"The name is not nudity," the woman told CBS58. "It's not profanity. It's just a cartoon."

And Plumeri said in an interview with CBS58 that she isn't going to change the name simply to please those who are angry.

"I just don't feel someone's right to be offended is more important than my right to own a business," she said. "Come on in and check it out. If you find we promote raping and drug use and beating on women, that's not the promotion here, nor has it ever been."

Another neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, said the name is "not racist or "causing any trouble." Plumeri's husband, Kristian, told Fox6 that it was his idea a few years back to possibly change the name — but his wife refused.

Dan Devine, mayor of West Allis, told OnMilwaukee.com that he's "never set foot in there and there's a reason for that."

There is no way a community can force a name change, he said to the outlet, but refusing to patronize the bar could send a loud message.

"This is the perfect example of why you need to spend your money in businesses that you want to see in your community."

Cal Poly students gathered on the San Luis Obispo campus on Jan. 16, 2017, for a "March Against Rape Culture" as part of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement to protest sexual harassment and assault.

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