Woman Bounced From Ladies Room For "Not Looking Like A Woman" - U2 Feedback

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Old 10-11-2007, 02:04 PM   #1
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Woman Bounced From Ladies Room For "Not Looking Like A Woman"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21246685/

So like the poll says there, is that discrimination or just a " simple mistake"?

She is suing the restaurant but she says she would rather have a dollar and assurance of training programs for employees. Should there be state or national laws prohibiting discriminating against people because of the way they express their gender through clothing and speech? It says in this article that NYC has such a law.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:11 PM   #2
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The bouncer sounds like a serious asshole...
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:14 PM   #3
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I agree-even if you can call that just a "mistake" his behavior indicated otherwise and was totally inappropriate. He wouldn't even look at her ID. To be treated that way is hurtful and humiliating, let alone to have the gender issue.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:19 PM   #4
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I agree-even if you can call that just a "mistake" his behavior indicated otherwise and was totally inappropriate. He wouldn't even look at her ID. To be treated that way is hurtful and humiliating, let alone to have the gender issue.
Exactly. If he would have just taken a second to look at her identification this entire thing just might have been avoided.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:29 PM   #5
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I was just looking for more information about this, and this was someone's comment on the USA Today's web site

Her pride was hurt? Are you kidding me? Do you really think this thing has any pride?

I guess it's because of comments such as that that this woman's story is important. To call her a thing, well that's just so depressing. Maybe the bouncer saw her as a thing too, I don't know. He treated her like one.

October 10, 2007
Sexual Stereotypes, Civil Rights and a Suit About Both
By JENNIFER 8. LEE NY Times

Women have been thrown out of men’s bathrooms, men who identify as women have been thrown out of women’s bathrooms and, of course, men have been known to get into trouble in men’s rooms. But women minding their own business inside women’s rooms have rarely been an issue, until now.

Yesterday, a New York woman filed suit against a West Village restaurant for being thrown out of a women’s room there by a bouncer who, she said, did not care she was really female.

The woman, Khadijah Farmer, 28, who lives in Hell’s Kitchen, said in an interview that she was at the Caliente Cab Company restaurant on Seventh Avenue with her companion and a friend after the gay pride parade on June 24 when she left the table to go to the women’s room. While she was there, a male bouncer burst in.

“He began pounding on the stall door saying someone had complained that there was a man inside the women’s bathroom, that I had to leave the bathroom and the restaurant,” Ms. Farmer said. “Inside the stall door, I could see him. That horrified me, and it made me feel extremely uncomfortable. I said to him, ‘I’m a female, and I’m supposed to be in here.’

“After I came out of the bathroom stall, I attempted to show him my ID to show him that I was in the right place, and he just refused to look at my identification. His exact words were, ‘Your ID is neither here nor there.’”

Ms. Farmer said she often is mistaken for a man, but her New York State nondriver photo identification card clearly lists her as female.

She said the bouncer followed her up the stairs and back to the table, asked her party to pay for the appetizers they had eaten and made them leave the restaurant.

Telephone calls to the management at Caliente Cab Company were not returned yesterday. The bouncer was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund filed the lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Farmer in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. It accuses the restaurant of discriminating against Ms. Farmer because her appearance did not comply with society’s norms concerning gender identity.

A 2002 amendment to the city’s human rights law protects the rights of city residents whose gender expression is different from their sex at birth. The state’s civil rights law does not include a similar protection. But the defense fund argues that it should be interpreted as protecting New Yorkers against sexual stereotyping, in which people are expected to conform to gender-appropriate behavior.

Although Ms. Farmer is not transgender, the legal defense group considered the suit to be a strategically important case with the potential to set a precedent, said Michael D. Silverman, the organization’s executive director and general counsel. The lawsuit’s claims are being made under both city and state law.

The fact that the bouncer refused to look at Ms. Farmer’s identification card before ejecting her showed that he was judging her simply by how she looked, Mr. Silverman said.

Sexual stereotyping, he said, was expanded as a legal concept under a 1989 decision by the United States Supreme Court. In that case, Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, the court found, 6 to 3, that a woman had failed to make partner at the accounting firm Price Waterhouse in part because she was considered too “macho.” The court ruled that male supervisors discriminated against her on the basis of stereotyped notions of appropriate female appearance and behavior.

“We’re asking the court to say that sex stereotyping by public accommodation is just as harmful when practiced by a public accommodation like a restaurant as it is when it is practiced by an employer,” Mr. Silverman said. “If Khadijah were wearing pearls and white gloves, would the bouncer have treated her like that?”

Kenji Yoshino, a Yale Law School professor who studies gender and sexuality under the law, said Ms. Farmer’s claims were much stronger under the city law. “The New York City statute is so much more directly on point.”

Ms. Farmer said she is mistaken for a man on a daily basis — especially in bathrooms and locker rooms, where she often gets funny looks. “I have a script that is almost routine,” she said. “I say, ‘I am a woman, and I’m supposed to be here.’”

“Usually,” she added, “they are embarrassed.”
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:52 PM   #6
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it sounds like an honest mistake that was handled very poorly. if it's the first time he's been in trouble for anything, the bouncer (why does a normal resturant have a bouncer? ) should be disciplined and made to go through the proper training programs. if he's had incidents in the past he should be fired.
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:54 PM   #7
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I generally frown on these types of lawsuit, but this one is fine. I hope she wins. Let it be a lesson...don't hire meathead bouncers or you might get sued.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:09 PM   #8
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Perhaps the bouncer should have waited outside the bathroom and then checked her ID. He dealt with the situation about as poorly as he could have. Why barge into the bathroom? He's not supposed to be there either.

I do have to say that he was just doing his job though. The woman looked like a man and obviously men aren't supposed to be in the ladies room. I'm hoping that this was the reason for his response. Given the gender roles in society, someone that chooses to express themselves in such a manner has to expect some sort of questioning and glances when you go into an area designated for a certain sex and you don't look like you belong there. I think this is entrely appropriate if it is done for safety, but not for anything else.
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:27 PM   #9
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I can see the bouncer thinking from her looks she was male, and it does seem someone else complained about a man being in the womens restroom, so I can see why he would go in there, even if he did act like a bull in a china shop. But not checking her id, especially when she offered it, was inexcusable. For christ sake, it's NYC, not some tiny town with little variation -- he should be aware people don't always look like you expect them to look.
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
it sounds like an honest mistake that was handled very poorly. if it's the first time he's been in trouble for anything, the bouncer (why does a normal resturant have a bouncer? ) should be disciplined and made to go through the proper training programs. if he's had incidents in the past he should be fired.
I agree (and good question about normal restaurants having bouncers). If she's tried taking it up with the management (which is what I'd do first and foremost) and they didn't do anything about it, then the lawsuit makes sense.

But yeah, people forget that not everyone is going to look (or act) like your stereotypical male or female. Don't be so quick to
jump to conclusions.

Angela
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:13 PM   #11
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thats ridiculous that they kicked her out. The bouncer should know enough to look at the ID. And just in general....being kicked out for "potentially" walking in to a wrong bathroom???? Good lord....what if I were blind and I went in to the mens room? Am I gonna be kicked out for that?! Everyone should have just chalked it up to a misunderstanding. It sounds like had the bouncer admitted his fault at the time she would have let it go then and there.
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:55 AM   #12
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I like her quote: She wants him to get some education on how people in the 21st century look and behave - not always the draconian expectations of the idiotic few.

What is this world coming to that people are allowed to be harassed simply because they don't fit stereotypical expectations?
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hinder

What is this world coming to that people are allowed to be harassed simply because they don't fit stereotypical expectations?
That's not a new development, but been the way it is for centuries.
This is the time where these people finally can stand up and fight against this harassment (through legal, non-violent means).
They couldn't have done so in former times.
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:41 PM   #14
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I've seen her. It's not like she was in there like some Rip Van Winkel with a beard down to her waist...I could see some random woman in the john thinking she was a guy, but if you ask and she tells you she's a woman and offers to show her ID, hell just the offer would have been enough for me to take her word for it.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hinder

What is this world coming to that people are allowed to be harassed simply because they don't fit stereotypical expectations?
I think that's the point and regardless of it being one bouncer's actions, the point is thinking beyond that and about the wider implications and about how all of us do that. And I think that's all she wants people to do. It made me think about how I have those expectations, but I wouldn't harass someone over them.
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