A recent incident involving an outraged mother and her young son has brought to light the offensive language used by a long-standing car rental company. Nicole Van Dijken and her 7-year-old son were shocked when they came across a car with the phrase “no birds” boldly displayed on its side. This incident has sparked a debate about the appropriateness of the company’s slogan, which has remained unchanged for 70 years.

The car rental company in question is Bayswater Car Rental, founded in 1958 in Perth, Australia. It was known for its outdated practices that have since been replaced with a more inclusive approach. In the past, the company exclusively hired male drivers, which led to the use of the phrase “no birds” to refer to female employees in the industry. The term “birds” or “delivery girls” was commonly used at that time.

Van Dijken, struggling to understand the meaning of the slogan herself, expressed her frustration with its offensiveness and the difficulty of explaining it to her young son. In an interview with ABC Radio Perth’s Jo Trilling, she shared her thoughts, saying, “This is something that never fails to make me furious whenever I see it. It’s a derogatory term, and now I have to discuss it with my son, which I did.”

According to Van Dijken, the use of the slogan belongs to a regrettable era of the 1950s and 1960s, and it has no place in modern society. She strongly believes that it is unacceptable to refer to women as “birds” and questions why the company continues to use such an offensive slogan.

Despite the public outcry and calls for change, the company has shown no intention of altering its slogan. Instead, they direct customers to their website to learn about the history behind “no birds.” According to the company, in the early days of Bayswater Car Rental, having female employees for delivery services was considered an extra service in Australia.

While some argue that the term “bird” was once used in a friendly context, there is a growing realization that such language is derogatory and no longer acceptable in today’s society.

One man expressed his desire to see the slogan removed from the company’s branding, acknowledging the changing societal norms. Additionally, a woman shared her personal experience, saying, “During the rise of feminist activism, there was strong opposition to this slogan. Even my mother wrote a letter to The West newspaper to voice her objection. It’s disheartening to see that they are still allowed to use it.”

The incident involving Nicole Van Dijken and her son serves as a reminder that language matters. It is crucial to be aware of the impact words can have and to strive for inclusivity and respect in all aspects of society. As we move forward, it is important for businesses to reconsider their branding and messaging to ensure they are sensitive to the diverse needs and values of their customers.