Aust News Feed
Written by Sun Herald | Kelvin Healey
Tuesday, 28 July 2009 15:09
Lesbian dance parties no-go zone for men
A PARTY company specialising in dances for lesbians and bisexual women has won the legal right to ban men. Pinkalicious was given the green light to stop men because they might pester women for sex.
Director Julie MacKenzie hailed the VCAT decision a landmark, saying it made Pinkalicious the only women-only party in Australia, the Herald Sun reports. Ms MacKenzie complained to the tribunal she couldn't stop men attending the parties "even if I know they intend to hit on women".
Fellow organiser Samantha Stevens argued men should be banned because they would be intimidating and deter lesbian and bisexual patrons.
"In my experience feminine lesbians are often the target of heterosexual male fantasy, and therefore subject to more intrusive attention from them," Ms Stevens said. "It is a major concern that heterosexual males will attend the Pinkalicious event in the hope they can achieve their desire for a sexual experience with multiple women."
VCAT ruled in favour of Pinkalicious this month, with Judge Marilyn Harbison noting no objections were raised after the proposed man ban was advertised. But Men's Rights Agency director Sue Price slammed the ruling.
She said it contradicted Attorney-General Rob Hulls' move to open up elite men's venues, including the Melbourne and Athenaeum clubs, to women.
In May, Mr Hulls slammed private men's clubs as "a throwback to a bygone era" and said he wanted them to lose their exemption to anti-discrimination laws.
Ms Price said Pinkalicious was given special treatment.
"I get enormously angry about the laws," she said.
Ms MacKenzie was thrilled with the man ban.
"We are ecstatic about it," she said.
"The feedback I was getting from the girls was that they wanted something exclusive for women to be able to express themselves in a safe environment."
The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission backed the ban.
"The Commission supports the type of events run by Pinkalicious because they offer a disadvantaged group the chance to experience supportive social occasions, feel safe in public spaces and build a sense of belonging," Commission CEO Dr Helen Szoke said.
VCAT has given gay men's pubs, including the Laird Hotel and the Peel Hotel, permission to ban women.