Tuesday, May 29, 2007


So I read today that The Peel, a fairly average gay bar in Collingwood that I occasionally frequent (can't somebody please bring back The Builders Arms?), has been granted the ability to discriminate against heterosexual men and women. That's a little bit naf but more or less understandable - a gaydar is a figure of speech and not a reality, so I'd like to see him flawlessly detect straights. But anyway, it gets much worse because, if the patchy online news report is anything to go by, The Peel is now also legally allowed to discriminate against lesbians. Not that, according to reports of friends of mine, it hasn't been unofficially discriminating against lesbians for a long time before now.
The news report quotes the owner-manager of the bar, Tom McFeely, as saying that, "Those heterosexuals have other places to go, my homosexuals do not ... the only place they can feel
safe and comfortable is The Peel."
Uh, two problems Tom:
1) We're not your homosexuals.
2) I feel a lot more safe and comfortable at many more venues than your stinking little sexist fuck dive. I dare say I'm not the only queer who feels this way.
Tom's also quoted as saying, "We're the only one of 2,000 venues in Melbourne (for gay men) ... I want to protect that and recently the amount of heterosexuals and lesbians, some guys are saying to me over the last year of so ... we don't feel comfortable anymore."
Hey Tom, got some more problems with your logic for you to consider:
1) There are many queer bars and venues in Melbourne where gay men are obviously welcome and no doubt feel comfortable to express their sexuality so we don't really need yours to
survive the long winter's nights... Sorry. Actually, no I'm not.
There are better methods of ensuring your clientele feel comfortable than a carte blanche ban on straighty-one-eighties and women - surely employing bouncers is one such? Oh no, I forget: you employ them to keep the lesbians out. Silly me.
3) The Laird is already allowed to legally discriminate against women, so what makes your venue so fucking special or unique? Why do homos need two sexist gay bars - in Collingwood?
So I have some questions for you, Tom:
1) Which high up person do you know who'll let your non sequiturs pass muster in law so that you may be allowed to perpetuate sexism, specifically against lesbians?
2) What are you going to do when bi, trans and intersex people come visit for a little hippy hippy shake? How does a bi man fit into your worldview? And I really hope you'll acknowledge men who are transitioning, whatever stage they're at. When's a man a man, Tom? When he's discriminating against women, maybe?
3) How the Hell are you going to differentiate between a straight man and a gay man? I've had a couple of very straight looking men try to pick me up at your joint before. Hell, I'm pretty
straight looking, myself. But what a stupid statement to make. It's pretty clear you want a very particular clientele and now you have the legal support ensure it. Congratulations.
4) Do you really care about your clientele? Or is just that you're protecting your profits? I could think of better ways to ensure that the so-called disturbing behaviour that's been upsetting your dear valued customers ceased to be an issue. I can maybe see how having straight punters in attendance could be a problem for some because we live in such a heterocentric culture. But lesbians? Seriously! Why do you need the capacity to ban lesbians outright if you want? I'm still really not clear on this point. But that would be because your reasoning is a poor attempt to justify your real intention, which is to manage a bar that caters for a very narrow segment of the queer population - and it comes at the expense of a whole wide range of the diversity of queernesses that exist in Melbourne and the rest of the world for that matter.
Why don't you take a reality check, Tom? I've heard the argument (in relation to The Laird's sexism) that women have women's only spaces, so why can't men? And I can answer this quite readily: if you're a woman you live in a society that is made to privilege men at the expense of women, so mens' interests are put before womens': culturally, structurally, interpersonally and powerfully. We live in a society in which women are necessarily wary of the potential of violence from men, for example, in quite a similar way, I imagine, in which gay men fear the violence of straight men. It's called patriarchy. It's called sexism.
Tom! Show just a little empathy and stop contributing to the oppression of our lesbian and bi sisters! Where's the solidarity in the fight against sexism and heterosexism? You can't fight these by being sexist!
What we see here is the logical conclusion of The Peel's pre-existing, not-so-latent door policy: pretty boys preferred; men and lesbians and anybody on the queer spectrum who (obviously) don't fit this bill can be refused entry by law. I hope this little stunt backfires on you Tom and that you lose your customers. I'll surely never darken your doorstep ever again - not that you'd feel obliged to let me...
I feel like taking a reality check right now: there's a war on! Why is this shit happening and why do I see fit to engage with it when thousands of men, women and children in Iraq (to name just one conflict zone) are being slaughtered daily? Hell, we can't even get anything right in our own backyard: can't even accord our indigenous populations the respect they deserve, let alone discourage stupidity when it occurs in Collingwood - twice!
In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, 'So it goes, so it goes.'
Now Playing: Jello - Neph (Autechre Ultramatique 6 mix)

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At 10:10 am, Blogger Ali said...

Where does the furry cosplay come into it?

At 8:18 pm, Blogger Dreck said...

I really, really wish I knew...
Maybe it comes from blogging at 2am.
I'm certainly not dissing furries, although I do find them funny.
The unicorn fucking a dolphin is a humorous comment written in the secret code my friend Jock and I call conversation and he sent it to me.
The furries came from the perceived need to book-end the post with something aesthetically complementary to the unicorn/dolphin interspecies relations.

At 6:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The funny thing is...

The unicorn looks like it's a war-mongering version of "My Little Pony" (an '80s cartoon for kids—mostly girls).

And the dolphin actually looks a little unhappy with the sex; it doesn't look, engaged—more languid than ought.

Or perhaps we ought to take a semantic analytico posture to the whole thing: Fuzzies wozzie-ness is now the new Other.

To go on the unbeaten path: Are you sure you don't eat anything that looks too animal?



At 10:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'd pay you a month's (dismal wages to see you beat tom's (presumably) cocaine nose into a smooth fleshy flap, but i wouldn't want to witness you explode with rage and attempt to murder him if he were to beg for mercy and to desperately hand you his calvin klein belt and the "fabulous" queer as folk soundtrack that'd be in the stereo of his new model hatchback "please stop! i'll even give you my rainbow flag." [insert sounds of relentless punching] to be "cryptic", shemails alert! shemails alert!

10:16 PM

At 5:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not sure whether you've received my latest 2 cents, which is probably due to a faulty network here (thanks to a taiwanese earthquake), so i'll post it again. it's interesting that masculinists should complain about women-only spaces. last time i checked, there weren't any man-hating feminists in the afl changerooms. for the punctuation police, that's (dismal). right, back to staring at the wall.


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