Women Are Speaking Out Against "Sexist" Free Entry And Club Culture

Women are protesting that offering free entry to nightclubs for ladies makes them essentially "an object of consumption".

Argentinian women were up in arms last week when a nightclub offered women free entry.

Women protested that the free entry offered to the Bragado Key Disco club creates an atmosphere of entitlement and sexism.

They said men often feel entitled to harass women and touch them inappropriately because they paid an entry fee while the women have gotten inside at no cost.

"Will they one day stop treating women as an object of consumption? If it is a strategy for more people to go, why do not men go free and women pay," one woman commented on Instagram.

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Another wrote "When are they going to stop treating us as objects of consumption? They are disgusting, they want to profit from women. You have to stop attending places like these."

Photo: Getty Images

Nicolás Pérez del Olmo is a 25-year-old Argentinian living in Sydney. He said clubs in his home country often use this strategy to lure more male punters -- and is happy he hasn't seen the same type of events advertised in Sydney's nightlife scene.

"Boys pay because they want to see girls and they feel like they can touch them and flirt with them," he told 10 daily.

"I saw many women complaining about that because they feel used by clubs, like they're being used as an advertisement to attract boys."

By comparison, Sydney's clubbing scene generally does not have such gender-based entry prices.

The Home Venue told 10 daily it does "not favour any gender or sexuality in our venue", while Scary Canary said "we are all equal, equal rights and equal pay".

Photo: Getty Images

While large Sydney clubs have steered away from "ladies nights" in recent years, the events remain prolific on the Gold Coast. Female promoters are often seen handing out free drink cards, hoping to attract more women and -- by extension -- more men into clubs.

Many popular venues on the entertainment strip offer regular ladies nights with free entry for women.

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One of the largest clubs has plastered its Facebook page  with photos of lingerie-clad female promoters and women sipping large cocktails. Some offer "Ladies Night" events with topless male waiters and free entry for women.

Other clubs include risque photos of women on their websites -- some pictured in underwear having pillow fights, others showing women kissing each other's cheeks while lounging on beds.

Photo: Getty Images

Eloise is a 22-year-old from Sydney, who worked as a club promoter in Paris, France  last year. She admitted that while she took advantage of free entry and drinks to "make up for the pay gap" she said existed between the genders, she conceded the club payment policy "is definitely sexist".

As a promoter, Eloise admits she was essentially a decoration "to make the club look full and hot" and said only the most attractive girls would be allowed into the VIP section.

"We were given clear guidelines on dress code. We had to wear heels and make up and if you didn't look the part or weren't tall enough to look like a 'model' you were denied entry," she said.

"I saw a couple of girls knocked back and told they were too fat or not pretty enough."

"It's a promoter's job to get hot women there. Club photographers always take photos of them [for] the clubs' social media. A big part of the business is drawing people into the club with the idea that women will be there."

Photo: Getty Images

While women and men are divided on the issue of gendered entry fees and discounts, some are concerned the sexualisation of women in club advertising and social media sets a dangerous standard for how men treat women.

A Sydney-based club promoter told 10 daily he had been told to hand out free drink cards to women to encourage them to stay in clubs -- and revealed that some clubs ask photographers to focus on taking images of women for promo material to attract more men to the venue, so it doesn't look like a "sausage fest".

He said there's a stark difference in the way women and men are treated from dress code to being "degraded as a product to provide for men".

"Guys normally go to dance with girls and hook up. Your job as a promoter is to tell them that girls are going to be there," he said.