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The Underlying Sexism of London’s Nightclub Scene

A few weeks back, my friend had asked me to tag along with her and some friends to a club in London equipped with guest list entry, free drinks and a section all to ourselves to which I thought that this should be fun and stress free. Big mistake. The night ended up being a bit of a disaster – we had a good time but ended up not getting into a club purely due to the fact that I had a penis and some of my friends weren’t “pretty enough”. And yes, you read that correctly.

Ten minutes or so after our group arrived to the queue, one of the “door pickers” stated that it was ladies’ night and guys had to go to the back of the line without any valid explanation but simply because of their gender. We would then be told that I would eventually get in but I’d have to pay at least £20 whereas girls may get in for free depending on how beautiful they are. None of our group could believe what we were hearing and after waiting almost half an hour, we didn’t even see the point so we went elsewhere, not without jeering at the bouncers for their sexist behaviour but it was a similar situation when we headed over to the next bar. Why are my girl friends having to compromise because I am a male? I should be able to be let in at the same time as them and have to pay the same price, it’s doing no harm.

If you go out to clubs in not just London but any major city in the world, you would not expect the bouncers at the door to take issue with your appearance or gender yet in many cases, it matters for some reason. The theory is that if bouncers fill clubs with girls, more men will come which causes club promoters to pester girls on Facebook, providing a precise list of requirements such as dressing glamorously, no guys or curvy girls and bringing an extra £20 just incase you don’t have “the look” and you have to end up paying for entry, given that the doormen have to follow a certain brief. Even when going for an enjoyable night out, women are having to fit in with an unrealistic idea of perfection in its highest form with a butch middle aged man determining how your night will turn out. Sounds immoral, doesn’t it? Women have been unfairly sexualised for decades so why reinforce such an outdated rule when women are trying to overcome being objectified?

In a country that has adequate equality laws, why are they not being put into practice in this case? What is being done is actually illegal under the 2010 Equality Act which disallows when someone “treats another less favourably than they treat others because of a ‘protected characteristic’”. So why does this continue? Mainly because most people won’t bother to file a complaint as there are a handful of clubs that don’t discriminate due to gender or look so people will take their money to them but also because there’s a general idea that men can’t be oppressed but here lies a perfect example.

It enrages me that few nightclubs endorse such blatant gender discrimination and objectification but it baffles me even more that people allow this to happen and that no action is being done to combat against demeaning both men and women. It’s become part of the social norm overtime but has to be stopped given that it is straight up problematic. People go on nights out to have fun, not to be judged on appearance or sex, so let’s allow everyone the same opportunity.

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Ryan-Adam
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20, living in london, dancer in training, simply wanting the world to be better

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