Billboard causing controversy, woman planning protest

WINSTON SALEM, N.C. – A sign near a Winston Salem Highway is causing controversy.

Some women say they find the message on it to be offensive.

A local woman is calling for others to join her in protest of the sign.

A group will gather this weekend for what they call a peaceful demonstration.

They said they're not protesting the fact that the sign exists, but the message behind the sign that reads "Real men provide. Real women appreciate it."

The sign is located off Business 40 and Linville Road.

It's the message and response from other women in the community that prompted Molly Grace to organize a protest.

She says the goal of this weekend's demonstration is not politically motivated, but to start a discussion.

She said the sign represents a mindset that should not be acceptable in today's society.

"I take it also as a very deliberate jab at women who demand equality and demand to be seen as equals and are vocal. So, to me, it's also ... very blatant about wanting to silence women and tell them to just accept the way that things are," Grace said.

So far, slightly more than 200 people have expressed interest in this weekend's demonstration at 11 a.m. Sunday under the billboard.

Organizers are encouraging both men and women to bring signs with alternative views.

The group that posted the message has asked to remain anonymous.

The billboard is owned by Whiteheart Outdoor Advertising.

Owner Bill Whiteheart says the sign is not unlawful and meets the standard of their clients. He says his company is just the messenger and does not condone or support the message anyway.