Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sorry, not tonight mate...

Two Melbourne nightclubs today won the right to refuse punters entry to their establishment based on gender. This egregious decision, in my opinion, constitutes reverse discrimination. Although the findings of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) concluded that clubs would be granted the right to ensure that there will be an even percentage of males to females, I don’t think one can be expected to believe that this ruling is aimed at anyone other than men. I find it truly hard to picture a bouncer stating: “Sorry, too many ladies in here already tonight girls”, followed by the all too memorable gloved palm.

VCAT, in an attempt to justify its ruling, stated that high proportions of males in clubs leads to a higher likelihood that fights will break out. It also stated that girls feel unsafe when being leered at by groups of rowdy males. So let me just see if I’ve got this right: an assumption is being made about the behavior of a certain group of people based on their gender? Not only that - an assumption of BAD BEHAVIOUR is being made about people belonging to a certain gender. Now, if I were to assume that a future girlfriend will clean, cook, and fetch me beer (which, at this juncture let me say is not my expectation!), I will have made a discriminatory assumption (and I will probably find it very hard to keep said girlfriend!). I will have assumed that a girl will act in a certain way because she is just that – a girl. Now, how are these two situations any different from one another?

My solution: if you want a well behaved clientele, start with the music that you’re playing. Most rednecks will flee at the faintest hint of culture and sophistication; I’m almost certain that hearing the same boring tunes that Popdom pushes out of its laboring bottom attributes to a great many fights - you will probably have knocked 30% of the riff-raff off right there. Next, allow people to have free water in clubs. For years now, clubs have been cashing in on the booming drug industry by charging ridiculously inflated prices for bottled water. You will die if you don’t drink so to force you to buy their water they employ little tricks like only having warm water running in the toilets, bending the faucet down so low that you can’t fill your bottle up from it, and turning the heat up (to encourage thirst). I’m pretty certain that guys wouldn’t be so leery, sweaty and violent if they could enjoy a little cool refreshment via some free H2o. Lastly, perhaps instead of hiring pseudo human beings with biceps that look like personal flotation devices, clubs should instead look to employ people with genuine conflict resolution skills. I strongly suspect that having big gorillas with ex-convict blood pumping through their pea-sized brains whilst guarding our clubs is probably going to make people edgy and prone to violence.

But hey, that’s just me. Perhaps barring men from clubs is the solution. Perhaps we should also ban anyone with Arabic descent from catching public transport? And why stop there? Why not ban homosexuals from donating blood and single women from having children??? After all, stereotyping is fine: the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has made it legal.

1 comment:

Ladybug said...

That is an utterly ridiculous double standard. Let me be the first to call out the white male who claims to feel endangered, but I have to agree with you that a law banning anyone from anything based strictly on gender is totally backwards. I can't believe there isn't some Australian human rights group ready to raise hell. I also can't believe that any establishment that wants to make money would go for turning away business because it happens to have a pecker.