Firstly, let me preface this by saying that I may use some potentially offensive terms in this article. If I do, it is due to ignorance on my part, and not an attempt to wound, insult or shame anyone. In fact, if something I say genuinely offends you, please let me know and I will edit this post to correct my error.
Still, I think it’s time for me to weigh in. The issue is so important to me that I need to publish it here, rather than just on my Facebook feed where it will one day be lost in a sea of other statuses.
Lesbians are not men. Being transgender (something we relate to Bruce Jenner’s recent transformation) is in no way the same as being homosexual. Caitlyn Jenner is still not certain of whether or not she could ever date men; she’s always been attracted to women. Her gender issues as Bruce Jenner did not involve homosexuality.
Do you get it? Transsexual is not the same as homosexual.
So if a young woman dresses in a masculine way, does it make her transgender? If she feels more comfortable in trousers and shirts than in dresses and skirts, is she trying to be a man?
Absolutely not. We all know that some lesbians prefer to dress in an androgynous manner. We all know that, à la EJ Johnson, some gay men prefer to dress in a manner that we might characterise as feminine. That is their business.
So when a young woman is told that if she wants to go to a certain nightclub she must enter as a man – because of her attire – this is stupid and offensive.
If you haven’t heard the story, we’re talking about a nightclub that advertised FREE ADMISSION for ladies at a certain time. Of course, there’s a dress code. Elegantly casual, no slippers, no vests, no shirtless men, no hats… the usual.
Cut to our girl… ‘SG’. ‘SG’ gets all swanky in her finest shirt, trousers and dress shoes. She isn’t about that miniskirt and high-heels kind of life. She knows that she looks good. She leaves home looking and feeling comfortable.
She IS comfortable and confident, until the nightclub personnel publicly inform her that the ‘Ladies Free’ rule doesn’t apply to her. She’s a man. She is embarrassed and bewildered. She shows them her ID. It plainly says that she is not a man. She is told that it doesn’t matter. She is dressed like a man, so she is a man. SG must accept this new gender that has been assigned to her against her will; pay the entrance fee for men, don’t make a fuss.
God knows, in another place, on another night, she might be instructed to use the men’s room. If she’s never seen a penis before, she will see one then… at the urinals… which she cannot use because she doesn’t have the equipment. But nightclub admissions personnel have the right to tell her she must be a man. Nothing wrong with that. Right?
Would it have been better to simply tell her that her attire did not meet the stipulated dress code for women (although this would have been a blatant lie)? Absolutely. Not ideal… but better. The dress code for women never stipulated no shirts, flats or trousers… until the nightclub was taken to task about calling SG a man. With lightning speed, they revised their dress code.
All ladies must wear high heels! Sprained ankle? None of our business! Prosthetic hip? You can still wear high heels, just stay seated all night! If you want us to believe you are a woman, you must wear high heels. We naturally expected SG to know and respect this brand-new rule we just pulled out of our putrid, bigoted, hate-infested intestines.
Well let me tell you; I have gone to this nightclub. I didn’t wear high heels each time… nor did I always wear a dress or skirt or similar stereotypically female attire. Ah SG, my girl… people see you coming and change the rules – just for you! What power you have!
Also, I suspect that if I were to lend my husband or brother some of my clothes and high-heels, they still couldn’t get in free of charge on ladies night. The door staff wouldn’t automatically assign them a brand new gender because of their outfit. If things were that simple, Caitlyn Jenner could have saved herself some costly and painful surgical procedures.
Bite your tongue before you tell me that SG only got what feminists have been begging for all these years. Feminism does not demand that women be treated as though they were men. It demands that women and men be treated as human beings of equal value. That night, at that nightclub, SG was treated as though she were somehow different from all other women present. Also, unlike the men, her legal and biological gender was disregarded. Feminism doesn’t even enter into it.
Let me make it clear. Your outfit does not change who you are. I am still a woman when I wear my husband’s pyjamas to bed. Ask him, he can vouch for me. I am still a woman when I don’t wear high heels. I am still a woman when I wear a tie (which I wore every day for seven years while in secondary school). When I wear my brothers trousers, I am not asking to be called a man. I am not asking to be made to feel like anything other than what I am.
I am a heterosexual woman. If I were a lesbian, the statements that I have just made would still be true. Lesbians are ladies too.
So, to quote the Facebook post which I mentioned earlier:
If the rule is “Ladies Free” it means:
ladies in dresses and sandals = free;
ladies in shorts and high heels = free;
ladies in skirts and ballet pumps = free;
barefoot ladies in leotards = free;
ladies in menswear= free;
ladies in jeans and slippers = free;
naked ladies = free…
Unless any of the above ladies is not meeting the dress code – in which case they CANNOT ENTER. Period.
Saying that SG could enter – but only as a man – is offensive simply because she is not a man. It’s not about the money.
It also is not about the discrimination inherent in any “ladies free” policy… That is another issue for another day. Making it about that is tantamount to changing ‘black lives matter’ to ‘all lives matter’…. A pathetic attempt at distraction, meant to draw attention away from a topic we find too uncomfortable to address openly. To ignore the suffering of a marginalised community.
SG may have looked like a lesbian. Lesbians are ladies. Ladies free.
If they’d said she couldn’t enter AT ALL due to their strict dress code for women, maybe it would be different. But that’s not what they said.
My girl SG just doesn’t like to wear dresses and heels.
I’d rather wear flats myself… Plus, I’m pretty flat-chested. So, should I go use the men’s bathroom now?
P.S. Thank you Melanie, for the infographic. 😉