“If we didn't have social media, people would get a chuckle out of my sign and their day would carry on,” John Mellish said, referring to the "Women are like snowflakes. They can't drive" sign in front of the used car dealership in New Annan, P.E.I.
He stated that he was having a bit of fun, adding, "I've put up signs about men, teachers, myself, kids, et cetera. I do like people to be talking. Good or bad, it does get attention."
He maintained that his post was supposed to be taken "in good humor."
He said, "We probably struck a nerve with one or two people out there, and so be it — that's fair ball. Some people take it the right way and I love that."
Chelsea Ling, owner of Papercakes Pretty in Charlottetown, was shocked by the sign, and posted a picture of it on Facebook. The post had more than 65 shares and 200 comments. Some people were for the sign while others criticized it.
"I'm very much for businesses doing what they want and not for people saying 'oh, they run a business, they can't do that,' but I think there should be a common sense line of what's hateful and what's funny," Ling said.
She added, "Just because it is normal in society, I don't believe it’s okay."
Some did not share her views.
"It made me laugh lol. It's just a joke," Kaitlin Dawson wrote.
Keegan Arsenault suggested that people were being too sensitive about the sign.
However, Ling doesn't find the "joke" funny.
"Just because jokes like this and misogynistic things like this are so deeply engrained in our society, a lot of people don't see it as a problem, and that in itself is the problem," she said.
She stated that wasn't surprised to see some people defending the sign, and said: "Not at all. This is P.E.I. and we are so in the dark ages."
Mellish stated that he was following the comments on social media, "If we didn't have social media, people would get a chuckle out of my sign and their day would carry on," adding that "People seem to hide behind the social media."
He changed his sign to read, "Sensitive women. Don't read this sign!"
When it sparked more backlash, he added the words: "You know who you are!"
On Monday, he changed the sign, and this time it read: "Attention drama queens auditions for today have been cancelled!"
Mellish stated that he would continue to put up controversial signs to push people’s buttons.
"When people arrive at work, the very first thing they discuss is, 'What did Mellish have on his sign?'" he stated.