Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Jersey nightclub backs down on body fascism

'A nightclub that barred fat women has backed down after international protests and claims that it was guilty of discrimination. The Havana nightclub in St Helier, Jersey, was accused of barring larger women while letting in men of similar size. Almost 1,000 people have joined an internet-based campaign calling for a boycott of the club and a protest on Friday night. More than 20 women are reported to be preparing to give statements to police claiming that they suffered discrimination.

Police were called to the club on Saturday night to prevent public disorder after Martin Sayers, the club’s manager, and his door staff started turning away larger women. Georgina Mason, 23, one of the women refused entry, told the Jersey Evening Post: “About five or six or us got to Havana at about 11.30pm and the bouncers said we were not allowed in because we were too big.” Miss Mason, a bank worker, said: “I told them not to be ridiculous and asked to speak to the manager. When the manager came out he would not look at me directly but said that they had received many complaints about fat people and he told me, ‘Go and lose some weight before you can come in — fat people are bad for business’.”

Jemma Warner, who saw larger women being turned away, said: “The man himself was far, far away from what we might call male perfection, making the situation somewhat ironic. Boycott the Havana club because this kind of discrimination is way more ugly then any kind of body shape.” Kierra Myles, who was also at the club, said: “Does this mean larger people can’t go out and have a good time? Should they hide away because they might be overweight? As if there is not enough pressure on young girls to be thin and have the — in my opinion, disgusting — size-zero look. Then you have narrow-minded people like that stopping people that are perfectly happy within themselves from going out and having a good time...

...Mr Sayers, who has run the club, which has a capacity of 380, since 1992, defended his actions initially, saying: “We got a lot of people that I’d classify as morbidly obese and we were getting complaints. I am deeply apologetic but business is not good at the minute and I was trying to protect my business.” Last night, however, he said that the ban had been dropped and he appealed for those who had been offended to come back. Mr Sayers, who admitted being overweight himself and on a diet, said: “There was an error of judgment and I would like to apologise wholeheartedly to these people and say they are welcome back to the club. The vast majority of our customers are overweight. There should not be discrimination against people for any reason and if this incident highlights that then I guess something useful has come out of it.” He denied that fat women were less attractive, adding: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”'

Source: Times, 30 July 2008. A successful campaign on the back of a bit of facebook networking. They seem to have taken down their protest facebook group now, to be replaced by a couple of misogynist sites supporting the original ban with statements like 'No One Likes Fat Chicks! So Don't Let Them In'. The kind of thing that makes it easy to believe that Jersey really is full of the spawn of child abusers and nazi collaborators (gross generalisation obviously!).

No comments: