Home / Live Wire / The Crying Game: Live Wire finds REAL victims of Aria’s discriminatory policy

The Crying Game: Live Wire finds REAL victims of Aria’s discriminatory policy

On Friday December 18, the Aria Lounge on Ariapita Avenue should have more cross-dressers than, well, Curepe, after ‘Womantra’ asked women to wear their most unfemale clothes to disguise their femininity while men were advised to wear dresses.

Before you get too excited, Mr Live Wire would like to point out that Womantra is a feminist group and not a j’ouvert band.

Womantra chose a fitting rallying cry for its proposed demonstration: “Come out all butched up!”

Photo Is 'turn up' at Aria?! Ah dey!
Photo: Is ‘tun up’ at Aria?! Ah dey!

When historians look back on issues that shaped Trinidad and Tobago culturally, with all due respect, this probably would not be one of them. But let me explain further.

On December 11, Shannon Gomes turned up at the Aria with her lady friend to “turn up”, only to be told at the door that she would have to pay $120 for the pleasure. Or, to put it another way, she was charged the “men’s price.”

Gomes is, biologically and legally, not a man. But her pleas for a freebie fell on deaf ears. And she was asked to pay to enter Aria, just like the hundreds of men who also went to the club that night.

Sexual discrimination? Damn straight!

Why do the men have to pay when the women don’t?!

You see, in 2015, there are still many proprietors who believe that women are sexual bait or eye candy for big spending male patrons. And it is a stereotype that cuts both ways: women are cheap or need hand-outs and men are lust-driven idiots with big wallets.

Photo: At least we got in free suckers!
Photo: At least we got in free, suckers!

No matter what Womantra says, the discrimination did not start last Friday. It started decades ago. And, unawares, young men and women stepped in the footprints in front of them, carrying on the cycle of discrimination until Ms Gomes—the John Howard Griffin of her time—inadvertently crossed the barrier.

In 1959, Griffin used medical assistance to darken his skin so as to appear black and get a real idea of life as an African-American in Louisiana. His subsequent memoir, Black Like Me, was a best seller and described in detail the problems and discrimination that “coloured folk” faced during their daily lives in the Deep South.

Gomes had no such calling.

“F%*k this man’s price crap,” she might have well said, “I just wanna get in free!”

Oh well.

Womantra has vowed to fight for Ms Gomes’ right to not be treated in the same discriminatory manner as male patrons. A feminist group insisting that a woman not be treated as equal to men? Irony? What irony?

So women in men’s outfits should benefit from slashed cover charges but men in men’s outfits have to fend for themselves. Unless they wear dresses. Eh?

Photo: Wait... Wha?! (Copyright Shuttershock)
Photo: Wait… Wha?!
(Copyright Shuttershock)

Sorry ladies. But if women can get in free while dressed as men, then tell us again why men shouldn’t get in free while dressed as men? How can an ethical and progressive group choose between who it liberates from the same fire?

At least Aria can claim economic motivation for its discrimination.

No self-respecting protest would be caught dead without a hashtag and Womantra has already begun promoting: #insolidaritywithshannon.

So, Mr Live Wire has opted for: #soisonlyshannonallyuhseepaying.

There is precedent to our argument. The court of Montgomery in Maryland ruled:
“Any distinction with respect to any person based on race, colour, sex, marital status, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, handicap, or sexual orientation in connection with admission to, service or sales in, or price, quality or use of any facility or service of any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement in the county.”

Photo: The Aria Lounge on Ariapita Avenue.
Photo: The Aria Lounge on Ariapita Avenue.

The California Supreme Court declared:

“The Legislature has clearly stated that business establishments must provide “equal… advantages… (and) privileges to all customers no matter what their sex…

“A business establishment might offer reduced rates to all customers on one day each week. Or, a business might offer a discount to any customer who meets a condition which any patron could satisfy (eg presenting a coupon, or sporting a certain colour shirt or a particular bumper sticker)…

“The key is that the discounts must be applicable alike to persons of every sex, colour, race…”

In other words, clubs would behave like cinemas.

So, tell Aria that Mr Live Wire coming with his dogs and dem. And we ent wearing no dress. And if the ladies ent paying to go inside, then we ent paying neither!

Photo: Wait... Allyuh in the club tonight?!
Photo: Wait… Allyuh in the club tonight?!

Well, unless the ladies inside are really cute of course.

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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  1. Aria dress code just bring to the fore the complexities of the many layers of gender. When we examine gender issues from the lens of different moral, ideology,society and free world we come up with protest for and against issues like these, but are these the real problems that are preventing a young boy or girl from having a normal existence meaning the right to an education, the right to be loved, the right to play , the right for food,clean water and shelter. Let us all start to protest the right for a normal existence then these issues like Aria will be a thing of the past.

  2. To me its simple any party where woman enters free normally is bait for man to enter so if you dress like a dude its because you come looking for woman so pay your entry fee like man too .always talking about gender equality this to me is a perfect example of it

  3. Okay I finally find meh other cent to make meh two cents cover charge to enter this parley…now the “person” in question said she came with other female friends who got in for free, so if they got in for free why not do what they did to get in for free also? And if they got in for free they were classed as a lady right…so what would they do if Saucy showed up before 10pm?

  4. Problem resolved like only Saints men can lol….

  5. The main fact being ignored is that she was late and missed the 11pm deadline for free. But as live wire says is freeness they want

  6. Great intellectual discourse, gentlemen!

  7. …given my hairstyle, it would be Rasta City vs Baldheads…. and you know me as a Muslim wouldn’t fly….

  8. Thought we were gonna go Rasta City vs Muslim City for a while there tho BC BC Pires. ???

  9. No problem. Thanks for saying so BC. I did say that I fully believe she was discriminated against. And I really would not mean to belittle her even as I make another point.
    Thanks for clearing that up.

  10. Lasana, yes, I owe you an unqualified apology; a second read of your piece shows it was close to the wind but not capsized, as I first thought. So you have my unqualified apology; if you were offside, it’s only because I put you there by overrunning the ball. (It’s why I said even your own team in the satire game can misread the play; I know you’re one of our most reliable players.) It was one of two mistakes. Kevin B pointed out to me that to suggest we should mock “the right people” was to handcuff satire; he’s right.

  11. Not for the first time, I see BC Pires has called me out. Not a problem. I invited him to have dialogue on my timeline if he chooses to explain further.
    And maybe we can both pick up something.
    Quote from BC BC Pires: “One wag, whose name I swear never to reveal (Mr Live Wire of Wired 868), treated the issue as pure comedy, suggesting that the only sexual orientation being treated unfairly at nightclubs was full price-paying heterosexual males.

    In the satire game, it’s easy for even your own team to misread the play, but it seems to me that this is not one of those where you poke fun at the person under fire; we still need to mock the right people.”

    If you, BC, can quote where I poked fun at the person under fire in this scenario, then I would love to see it.
    In fact, the reason why Wired868 was probably the only news house NOT to use a photo of Shannon in the story was so as not to inadvertently ridicule her and to change the angle slightly to another point I chose to make.
    I mocked Aria, sexual pricing on the whole and the response of Womantra to the incident and, in particular, their call for everyone to get “Butched Up.”
    But I would like to better understand where I mocked the person under fire.
    Thank you

  12. So the feminists are angry because they are being treated equal to men….they want to be given the perks of special treatment on the basis of having men drool over their bodies.


  13. Che Sookal…..you live in Trinidad… cant commute to work from Syria

  14. Che Sookal ….aditionally….since you want to use the “bias & prejudice” argument.
    If you were given a free apartment in Beverly Hills or Canada….would you live there??

    btw….I’m referring to the apts in John-John

  15. Che Sookal …you’re responding as tho there’s some all out assault on gays….or their rights are somehow being infringed.
    Gomes wasn’t denied entry….she’s not some destitute individual on the fringe of society unable to cope with daily hardships to survive.
    You need to really what disenfranchised means

    you’re arguing about her “right” to enter for free…..not about the right to be admitted.

  16. This is the summary…..shut yuh c**t ( pun intended) n pay yuh money.

  17. Would you go live in Syria if you had a free apartment there?

  18. Che Sookal….cite instances when has that law been enacted?

  19. Do you even listen to how these people are spoken about by the general populace? Read the comments in the papers? Do you even live here? I’m pretty sure that having :
    “Section 13 of the Sexual Offences Act 1986 (Strengthened in 2000)[1] criminalises “buggery”. This section states:

    (1) A person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment—
    (a) if committed by an adult on a minor, for life;
    (b) if committed by an adult on another adult, for eighty-five years;
    (c) if committed by a minor, for five years.
    (2) In this section “buggery” means sexual intercourse per anum by a male person with a male person or by a male person with a female person.
    Section 16 relates to “serious indecency”:

    (1) A person who commits an act of serious indecency on or towards another is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment—
    (a) if committed on or towards a minor under sixteen years of age for ten years for a first offence and to imprisonment for fifteen years for a subsequent offence;
    (b) if committed on or towards a person sixteen years of age or more for five years.
    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of serious indecency committed in private between—
    (a) a husband and his wife; or
    (b) a male person and a female person each of whom is sixteen years of age or more, both of whom consent to the commission of the act.
    (3) An act of “serious indecency” is an act, other than sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural), by a person involving the use of the genital organ for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.

    in the laws of the country is the definition of “SYSTEMIC”

  20. Che Sookal maybe you’ll step back and realise one little girl dressing as a little boy having a hiccup entering a CLUB isn’t an issue
    That you don’t have systemic denial of basic human rights to anybody in Trinidad because they’re gay
    That nobody is being persecuted or ostracized because of sexual preference
    That there more important matters that require attention

  21. OK then. Clearly your default stance is to cover your ears, shut your eyes and scream “LALALALALA”. Repeating that it’s a non-issue fails to address ANYTHING i have said. You’re uncomfortable with the whole thing clearly, yet are incapable of expressing why. I can understand that. But I appreciate you proving the validity of the issue by discussing it actively (or at least shouting strings of words in its general direction) for the last 24 hours.

  22. Che Sookal …..this is a NON ISSUE
    You have no understanding of persecution … physical assault etc
    your textbook version of truth is hollow

  23. Che Sookal that’s an antiquated law…..that has been selectively enforced…..we all know there have been innumerable gay & lesbian visitors and returning residents…it doesn’t even factor into this event.

    The fact is no individual practising an ‘alternative’ lifestyle has ever been denied his/her inalienable rights….in fact most are so well connected they have no issues

  24. Are you saying then that discrimination is ok so long as some arbitrary entity decides that the consequences are minimal?

  25. I was pointing out that this is symptomatic of ingrained discrimination. So saying “but it’s only $120” attempts to dismiss the larger issue. And yea they are legally barred from entering the country. How am I a hypocrite?

  26. Great read!!! This is clearly a civil rights issue. And can be transformational for T&T. I support Ms Gomes and supporters(activists) who stand with her. #bless

  27. this shouldn’t even be a TOPIC

    Natural Gas price dropped
    Oil price below $39/barrel
    US fed raised rates
    everything is going to cost more
    expect 15 months min before any change

    and don’t forget the UNC magic trick……

  28. Che Sookal ….not the same….how transgender issues get paralleled to attaining basic civil rights is beyond comprehension

    Any transgender ppl u know being barred from earning a living or voting??
    You’re talking about the right to fkn party and attempting to compare that to ppl being persecuted, murdered and marginalized because of race based bigotry…..after centuries of slave labour…….

    stop pretending to be clever

    if somebody shows up in a TTPS uniform…what yuh goin think?
    if somebody shows up in business attire…..you’ll think they came from work
    if a sexy woman showed up in some ridiculously skimpy outfit….what would you think??
    if a guy came in shabby clothes…what would you think??

    you’re just a standard hypocrite

  29. I know right? Is just like those people who were bennin up about being forced to sit at the back of the buses.

  30. Lasana sir! Excellent piece! I agree 100%

  31. I have an idea!!!!
    Let’s talk about something IMPORTANT!!!!

  32. Agreed Mr. Live Wire! ” women in men’s outfits should benefit from slashed cover charges but men in men’s outfits have to fend for themselves, unless they wear dresses”. problems solved! no cover charges for anyone in a dress be it males or females…Aria club owner will now have to be innovative in meeting their financial commitments to their bankers and their employees…so the ball is in your court Aria! My stupid advice to Aria is shut down the club and only rent out your facilities for special occassions…e.g.weddings, birthdays, anniversaries etc.,

  33. My whole policy is no one is holding a gun to anyone’s head for them to go to Aria. If you are refused entry so what? Just go somewhere else where your presence would be welcomed and you may most likely enjoy yourself better than if you were to go to that particular establishment. Geez. What’s all the fuss? Are you going to die if you don’t get in? Is going to that particular establishment going to make you a better person……how would it benefit you? Come on.

  34. I figure she was a tomboy based on d pic in a newspaper . so she came how she usually dresses shirt & pants. But a “tomboy” is still female you know :/ . smh boy this whole thing really has sparked a big controversy. I better read on Kardashians yes lol

  35. Tell me – in this day and age, what exactly is male clothing? And does wearing ‘male clothing’ automatically make me male/gay? What about men who wear earrings? Fashion? Ok. What about young men who wear women’s pencil jeans? Fashion? Ok. Other than work, I prefer to go out in flats for comfort. So what? She was wearing pants. So what? They told her she was ‘not normal’. Really? Really? So her crime is not not being a woman, it’s not looking like a woman according to the bouncer’s accepted perception of such. The problem is obviously with the bouncer, not with Shannon. Folks are assuming she is gay, and that’s wrong. Whether she is or not is irrelevant, anyway.
    Men have accepted the policy of paying while women go in free, otherwise these clubs could not survive, so I see no discrimination if you willingly subscribe to something that you can just as easily reject.

    • Lasana Liburd

      Those are obviously good points. I steered away from the issue of sexuality in the article. But it is also a valid discussion. For simplicity, I have referred only to dressing in a manner that appears typically male.
      I think clubs survive fine without ladies free night. And they do.
      The fact that people go along doesn’t mean it isn’t discrimination. In Jim Crow days, blacks were not allowed to eat with whites and had separate entrances and exits. Blacks and whites went along with that. But it was clearly discrimination.

  36. Fisha Hd Diandra Mayns …what’s confusing is…..Gomes was acknowledged as a dude….and is now upset…..
    So…getting what yuh want qualfies as discrimination….??
    That’s dissonance
    What’s the point to the masculine persona then?

  37. I’ve been to aria from as early as 9.30pm they start letting pple in from 10pm. I wasn’t paying no fee .

  38. To be honest, I truly don’t understand the uproar this situation is getting. The news report stated that Ms. Gomes admitted that she entered the club 5 mins after the cut off time for free drinks for ladies…FULL STOP. Why is anything else even being discussed. And whether the club decides to charge women free and men 120…it’s their club, they have the right to do so. If they choose to say if you wear white with a purple hat, its free entrance then so be it as well. What is the point here…really. As far as I see it, there was no discrimination that took place here. Ms. Gomes was simply charged for not reaching before the cut off time; she was not denied entry…geeze people. This country like a bacchanal yes!

    • protesting……because somebody took yuh seriously??
      it’s all fun n games until yuh have to pay

    • Actually by law, it is okay to set a dress code and offer special perks for wearing white with a purple hat as you mentioned.
      But you’re not supposed to discriminate by race, sex and so on… Of course we are saying it doesn’t make sense to change the rules just for women who dress as men.
      It is best to get rid of the “ladies free” altogether if anything as it discriminates against men.

    • Lasana, how do we know that she was charged ‘the male price’ and simply not charged the price that everyone pays after 10pm. Remember, she was not denied entry. Additionally, whether they set a different price for men and women is not discrimination either….men $100, ladies – $60 or Football match – Adults $200, Kids – $100. …that means the adults are being ‘discriminated’ against too? Just think we are all overthinking this one.

    • Marc Nunes to answer your questions on the girls post she explained that she was in fact charged the male price because of how she dressed. She even asked if she was being charged because of the 5 minutes late and they said no. Her friends who accompanied her got in free. She was the only one in the group who had to pay. As to the different price for male female child etc I totally agree with you. People should have the right to give discounts to certain groups based on their own rationale. If you don’t want a postman party and you want to encourage more ladies because it makes your club more desirable I’m all for ladies free. If you want to encourage kids to attend a sporting event I’m all for half price. Kids eat free on a Sunday because a restaurant want to encourage the family to come that’s fine too. Plus they eat less so half price is good too.

    • Marc, I don’t think your point shows we are overthinking it. I think we are now cooking with gas! Lol.
      As a society, it is inevitable that we will need to reassess the way we do things from time to time. I think it is positive to have all these discussions and to justify our way of living.
      Throw in senior citizens discounts too. 🙂
      Then we can say that we like this for this reason but we don’t like that for the other reason. And keep what we want and tweak or throw out what we don’t.
      Rose-Marie quite enjoys ladies free. I’m not surprised! Hahaha.
      I don’t sit home at night thinking about it and I’m not really bothered. But I do think that if we are going to have a discussion about letting in women who identify as male under the ladies free policy, then I will push to also have a conversation about why that gender pricing policy exists at all.
      We know full well why the “ladies free” thing was implemented. And therefore we know full well why the clubs that use it see no advantage to have it extended to women who identify as men.
      In a sense, women who identify as men are trying to use a loophole and it will be interesting to see how nightclubs deal with that.
      And, as we/they ponder change, I say it is a good time to discuss all the other stuff that may or may not need change one time. 😉

    • Rose-Marie, remember the kiddie meals offer less food. Kids will be charged normal price for an adult meal. So I don’t think there is any issue there anyway.
      I know cinemas offer discounts though. But then that is probably more to encourage large groups.

    • Lol I like this healthy discussion too. Lasana Liburd on a side note I went to Lewis appliances and did not have my husband’s medicard discount card. So the young guy at the desk asks if I have any other card that would be valid for a discount. The flacking youth even mentioned TTARP!!! I was ready to fly level cuss?

    • But, yeah, no topic should really be off limit as far as conversation goes. It is just about trying to do it without hysterics and closed minds.

    • Thanks for the input guys. Lets all go Aria this Friday and party☺

    • Hahaha. It looks like it will be pretty wild on Friday. I will pass. 🙂

    • “Our staff had no intentions of discriminating against Ms. Gomes. They simply were treating her in a manner that was equal to a man, given our strict dress code.” They did not say that they denied her entry based on: a) her not obeying the dress code (which, as posted at the door is not gender specific) or b) citing the time as the reason for the cover charge being applied. This was DELIBERATE discrimination no?

    • Interestingly enough, age is a legal criteria to discriminate on in TnT (at the moment)

      So therefore senior citizen and children’s discounts are permissible legally at current.

      Charging men only a cover charge is discrimination based on sex which IS currently illegal.

      In the Equal Opportunity act “status” is defined.

      What is defined as “status” for the act?

      “status”, in relation to a person, means—
      (a) the sex;
      (b) the race;
      (c) the ethnicity;
      (d) the origin, including geographical origin;
      (e) the religion;
      (f) the marital status; or
      (g) any disability of that person;

  39. Aria’s policy with respect to dresscode as stated in their sign is as follows:-
    No hats
    No chewing gum
    No gym shoes
    No gym clothes
    No sports apparel
    No zip-ups
    No slippers/sandals
    (Shoes must be worn at all times)

    But it is clear that most people commenting on this topic have never seen Aria itself or its dresscode policy signage which is clearly visible. If their sign read ‘women must dress in heels else you pay the male price’ then what you are saying would make sense. But based on what their own dresscode signage says they acted outside of their policy disclosure.

  40. As for the people not supporting ‘homos’ but supporting fornication, common law marriage, adultery etc etc etc…lol. the same hell the ‘homos’ to going is the same hell you would find yourselves in! Whilst we as humans discriminate…hell sure doesn’t!

  41. A little literacy could go a LONG here if people would take advantage of FREE education in this country! If Aria or any other person lacking sense would take the time to comprehend this situation we wouldn’t be having these stupid threads on social media. If Aria wants to charge everyone dressed as men the ‘male price’ then that’s their business and they are well within their right to do so. But then by their own rules they should charge everyone dressed as women the ‘female price’. So any chimpanzee in a dress and heels should be allowed to get in free when it’s ‘ladies free’. We all know that would NEVER be the case so in essence Aria has stuck their foot in their own mouth. They should also be brave enough to post their bigot-filled policies on a proper sign outside so people can decide if they want to support an establishment that has their ‘unique standards’. Any adult not understanding this very basic thought process is free to take up remedial English in several institutions across the country!

  42. Womantra need to go wash the wares….and clean upstairs.

  43. Thanks. And I damn well know that taking a different view on this topic like walking a tightrope while juggling knives! Lol.

  44. Keith the issue here isn’t whether the woman is straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or a tomboy …….. the issue here is that the bouncers took it upon themselves assign a gender to her based on her attire which apparently wasn’t sexy enough for free admission but decent enough to go in even though admission to happy hour had nothing to do with being sexy.

  45. People all I have to say Is continue praying and if you aint start yet start now. But we know the concept ladies free more men will pay to come so don’t fuss or protest about that. I will openly say I’m not supporting Homos cause of my God and that what the protest will be about cause they should of study to protest when bread raise or injustice passed in our judicial system but they brave and stupid enough to support a lesbian not entering a club. Smh

  46. i really don’t think ladies free nights were ever intended to be a discriminatory practice against men. I really think it is just a business strategy to get women in the club on the assumption that women being there would result in men showing up.
    It has continued for so long because men have persisted to think with their little head more than they do with their big one.
    If men are finally using their big head more than the little one, then power to them! That is indeed a welcome change. 🙂

    • True… and I always considered that ‘business strategy’ to be discriminatory!

    • Kenneth, think of the cover charge as the difference between the cost of a woman putting herself together to go to whatever club and the cost of a man putting himself to go to the same club. 🙂
      And I’m not saying the policy isn’t discriminatory. I’m just saying I don’t think discrimination was the driving force of its genesis.

    • Well, it is illegal in some States eh.

    • Yeah. I don’t think gender laws between the states and here are comparable, nah. After all, it is illegal to be gay here. ?

      • Not exactly. Non citizens who are gay can be denied entry to the country (Immigration Act) and buggery is illegal. (Sexual Offences Act). So the Sexual offences Act allows you to be gay (male) but prohibits anal sex.

    • But for the record, I agree it’s discriminatory, Lasana.

    • Kenneth, is the “business strategy” of having different prices for kids and adults also discriminatory and if so, should that be eradicated as well?

    • Have an open dialogue and see where it ends. Many businesses do not offer children prices or senior citizen discounts.
      But they can offer children’s rates under a group package anyway. Whatever. It is about not being afraid to reassess.
      And about not being hypocritical.

    • Lasana, I’m really not trying to get into another argument with you, but the more I think about this piece the less I think this situation is “discriminatory” towards men. I’d concede it’s unfair in that ladies’ nights give women easier access to the club in terms of not having to pay, but I’m not sure “discriminatory” is the right word.
      Discrimination suggests a legally entrenched denial of rights and that doesn’t happen on ladies’ night. Men are not denied access to the club. They don’t get in on the same terms and conditions true, but they aren’t denied access or given an inferior quality of service in the same way that African-Aamericans were for example during the Jim Crow era when they paid the same bus fare for example and had to sit at the back or paid the same price at a restaurant but were limited in where they could sit etc etc. and probably got shittier service. Nor is ladies’ night a permanent policy as Jim Crow laws were until the rise of Black Power or the inability of women to vote was until the suffrage movement. It happens one night a week. So I think ladies’ night constitutes preferential treatment for women more than it does “discriminatory” behaviour towards men in the same way that some people may get complimentary tickets to go to a football match and others may have to pay even though they are all getting the same service once inside the stadium.
      The young lady in question however, (and anybody else who was denied access for any reason that was not a violation of the explicitly stated rules – dress code etc) was discriminated against as the club denied her access and some may argue that the club had the legal power to do so as it has that “management reserves the right to refuse admission” clause clearly displayed. Idk. That would be for a court to decide if the situation gets there.
      Having said that however, I do think there are instances of discrimination against men in this country. Starting with paternity vs maternity leave. I believe it was being discussed in Parliament earlier this year. I’m not sure if the amendments were passed but even if they were, I’d be surprised if the law at this point in time gives the same amount of time off for paternity and maternity leave. And the fact that it would be law (and for now a permanent situation – meaning it happens every day) that men get less leave I think constitutes discrimination.
      Not to mention I think it feeds into a whole host of other issues concerning men and their responsibility for/to their children as well as access to their children in the event of a split between the father and the mother. I’ve seen women use their children as pawns to spite their ex and I’ve seen women use their children and the father’s fear of not being able to see his child as he would like to, as mechanisms to keep men in a relationship. All around abhorrent and repulsive behaviour on the part of the women who choose to do so. I think the legal parameters which give women an unfair amount of power with regard to parental rights constitutes discrimination against men and greater equality for men in this sphere is something I would readily and happily support.
      Just my two…three…four…five (yeah I went on and on) cents on the issues arising out of this particular piece. 🙂

  47. on a super asshole move..
    stall til 10:00….then charge double….
    the patron is claiming two genders anyway

  48. I am pissed every time I witness management of businesses in Trinidad and Tobago telling male patrons they cannot enter because they are not dressed appropriately (sleeveless shirt, vest or tee) yet they would allow women access dressed in such. Makes no sense at all.

  49. A policeman and a UWi student has been killed in a sting operation gone bad. An a confused individual is occupying our time. We lost we so lost GPS can help us. My prayers go out to the familes

    • that was pure stupidity
      over a cell phone??
      how important could that piece of plastic be?
      isn’t the info automatically backed up?

      stupid thing could have been collected in broad daylight in an open public space.
      why 05:00?
      why that location??
      why’d the student have to be there??

    • Did you know that the sun is slowly progressing towards being a red giant? At which point it shall sear the life from this earth? Man I have no idea why we’re even talking about stuff as inconsequential as murders even.

    • While to Che Sookal lost of life isn’t important to you. It’s to me since it shows how we like to treat life so cheap. That we don’t care. Think about his love ones. We find being refused entry into a club more important. Yes life goes on we will die that is sure but we must always try to make a positive impact in it. A question to you what it was your wife that was killed in the shooting or your brother what then.

    • My intent was not to portray a lack of appreciation of the value of life. It was to highlight the absurdity of the “why are we talking about x if y is so much more important”. We’re complex beings. We can talk and think about more than one issue at a time.

    • Che Sookal I just find that we spend time on a none issue that is a refusal to a club. It’s not just that important. It’s like the time with coconuts and the type of music. Discrimination yet these same people handed over their guild party to the same individual. So my question is what’s so important about this issue. We are a nation making light of the real world.

    • There’s no quota for the national narrative. A lot of the people commenting on this either talk about crime as well (which seems to be your pet issue) or don’t talk at all. Either way the fact that it is being talked about shows that it is important to some no? SO while it may not be important to YOU it should still be discussed. Unless you have something to ADD to the discussion I see little value in attempting to delegitimize it. Which is what your parent comment sought to achieve.

    • Actually most of us on the grass root level thinks it’s a non issue.

    • Once again: Delegitimizing. What is a “non-issue”? Surely if you were against it it would be of more benefit to society than this ASSERTION that it is of no consequence. Then, your concerns could be addressed. Instead, you assert that it is not an issue to “most of us”, completely without data backing that statement and in complete contradiction to the exposure that the issue has gotten. Perhaps instead of wasting your time saying “Don’t talk about this” (Because that’s what you say discussing the issue is:a waste of time), you should go discuss more pressing (in your opinion) issues where they are prevalent?

      • Che, why you coming in with all these highfalutin prefixes and suffixes? You eh hear the man say we is grass roots? Go back in yuh ivory tower nah, leh we deal with the real issues.

    • Che Sookal …I could have only liked each of your comments once…what a shame! Your intellect is admirable.

  50. Lasana I was talking about this with someone yesterday and I think part of this issue with the discussion is persons are trying hard to ensure that they are politically correct. In the midst of all that has been happening re: gender issues for this incident to be the rallying moment means we have a lot of introspection to do. Notwithstanding all that has been said about who is right or wrong, I think we are presented with an interesting opportunity to seriously challenge a lot of practices which we have accepted as normal. Because if you can’t see that making men pay while women get in free is also discrimination then we need to start or conversation comparing definitions of the concept. I hope that as the ‘momentum” around this issue builds sane voices can take the lead and move it away from a trite discourse on clubbing to a more fundamental discussion on what kind of Trinidad and Tobago we want to live in.

  51. Check the ratio of man to woman on an ad for a party. Women are used to get man money so that then is the negotiating power

  52. Vernal Damion Cadogan hold on to that point like a toy dog with a chew toy. For dear life

  53. ..LOL..I not on da point man. She butch and they were wrong. I on the broader point Lasana raised in his own way..

  54. ..LOL..No way! But the man/woman thing was different and more clearcut when I was out and about. My points stands – pun intended..

  55. Playing MAN but want to be treated as WOMAN.LMAO.

  56. See the ladies get in free because they are the attraction to get the men to come in and pay. You know it is all about merchandising -no buying or selling. It is just to be where the pretty people are. Come on ah doh believe allyuh used to go to Postman party and stay back in de day.

  57. Why should women be allowed to enter free before 10pm.That is DISCRIMINATION against MEN.What about EQUALITY or that is just being selective where GENDER is concerned.LOL

  58. ..Nope. Not vex. LOL..It’s the truth, innit? And men are often victimized by it. Girls learn early how to play the game while boys remain confused about it – until they start playing by their own rules. Look at the world today..

  59. ..I don’t give a f@#& who wants to f@#& who. Not my business. But the only people who get to f@#& with the concept of equality and to determine when they want to be or not be equal are women – butch and/or straight..

  60. Correct me ifim wrong
    I sit come up with a context for business, package it and market it.
    Publish the restrictions and then you claim discrimination if you don’t comply. ?

    • I think men should protest.
      We could say we’re being discrimminated against.
      Why should we have to pay $120 just to go inside and spend more?
      Women just have to look cute and waltz in…..for free.
      I find if I supportin the bar…i should get in free too…..After all….aren’t my hard earned funds are being spent at that establishment to enrich the operators??
      Should I posit the the $120 cover is discrimminatory practice..?? ….just cause I is a man ??

  61. Like me covering my bald head under ah cap for instance! Back mih up Rowley! Let’s shut down the “no hat” policy once and for all! 🙂

  62. lawd….doh talk about dress code discrimination in clubs…..all dem NO and d big long list…..only applies to men

  63. I finally found out what Ms Gomes protesting for…and Im even more pissed. She doesnt want her body to be policed. So when we tell fellas no three quarter pants, caps or vest isnt that also body policing?

  64. besides….is $120 yuh bennin for???

  65. If you choose to dress and act like a man…AND yuh have a girlfriend….why yuh getting vex?
    You’re being addressed and treated accordingly.
    YOU want people to associate you with the more masculine aspects of your nature
    You cyah decide to be a girly-girl because paying a cover charge doan suit you
    Ent YOU want people to accept your lifestyle choice?
    Then deal with the attendant “perks” of being accepted as a male-equivalent.

    • Butch women are not men. Butch women are not men. Butch women are not men. Butch women are not men “lite”. Butch women are not comparable to men.

    • “You’re being addressed and treated accordingly.” This alludes to different treatment based on gender no? Are you advocating inequality then? Please note that the treatment of the lady is one issue: people taking it upon themselves to tell others who they SHOULD be. This is a separate issue from women free at clubs which is: They are bait for men who are perceived as the chief money spenders. Don’t conflate the two and be aware that the existence of both issues does not negate the other.

    • Che Sookal ….if anything the result shows equitable treatment
      If you want to present yourself as male…then deal with the experience of being male
      even if the ppl responsible for admission were being facetious

      she’s dealing with the result of a conscious decision SHE made

    • We decide who we are. We don’t decide how others treat us as a result. But we can talk about it. You can’t just say “deal with it” because that’s what you experience being a member of that group. That perpetuates discrimination. Who are you to say what gender she is?

    • She wasn’t being treated as male in any case. The door person was very clearly aware of the gender of the person she addressed as it was clearly mentioned. The door person was treating her as a gender non-conforming woman.

    • Katherine McEwan …the bottom line is….this is a NON-ISSUE
      Nobody’s making noise about other clubs’ selectivity …. when propective patrons are barred because of some arbitrarily enforced rule…..usually because of appearance

    • Well then you should be thankful that we’ve achieved the critical mass thankful for this discussion to take place. People making noise is not the qualifying criteria for whether an issue is an issue. All it’s an indicator of is that the discussion has either not yet taken place or not yet broken into the mainstream.

    • Would you like to make noise about other clubs? I’d be happy to discuss those issues too. Perhaps not here at the risk of derailing the already in progress discussion.

      And in actuality, it’s the fact that she wasn’t barred outright that is the problem.

    • Katherine McEwan ….sookhai doesn’t even grasp what “noise” is…

  66. Discrimination because of what? We are so caught up making rights for the wrong things these days we are blind to see the damage that is being done.

  67. I think you missed the whole point of the argument on WOMANTRA. It wasn’t that she was fighting down getting in free as a woman but the fact that the people told her that because she was dressed like a man, she has to pay like a man. She wasn’t refused entry based on how she was dressed but was refused access to a policy that only states females (doesn’t state how they must be dressed and Aria’s dress code doesn’t specify any specific wear for women). If they offer something to women alone, solely based on as you said, a very two-sided sexist policy where men pay and women don’t but its because they’re there as ‘products’ that men pay for access to then they can’t get angry when a woman who does not fulfill their idea of ‘man bait’ decides to take them up on their sexist policy and get in. The problem is that in the end, because she wasn’t deemed ‘f**kable’ so she had to pay like a man. Its them mistaking her identity as a lesbian for her being transgendered, which she isn’t. It stems from people seeing lesbians wearing stereotypically male clothing as them wanting to be men when they do not, that’s just their style regardless of what people think. Until you see her ticking the Male box on forms in her day-to-day life, you cannot ASSUME that she identifies as a man regardless of what you think about how she dressed. Its not lesbian-wear but women’s wear because in the end, she is a woman and its the clothes on her back, regardless of what people think.

    Not looking for an argument but just offering some perspective

    • Lasana Liburd

      Well, just to reiterate, we made it clear that we do believe Aria discriminated against Ms Gomes. But we think we made it clear what our point is in terms of pricing policy that is explicitly about sexual discrimination.

    • Dude male clothing is not lesbian style. I don’t know where you got that idea from but as far as i know you should not be able to tell any person’s sexual orientation based on how they are dressed, there is no particular style.
      But on the main issue, I think the point the article is trying to make is that Ms Gomes would not have been in this situation if she and everyone else had not already accepted and “participated” in the sexual discrimination based on pricing policy that is common at many clubs. Not only did she ….. and everyone else accept this discrimination but she went there hoping to benefit from it even before she suffered the “injustice”. So even though the clubs management may be wrong in how they handled the situation and the interpretations of its policies, most of the criticism towards them is misguided.
      P.s. Not sure if this is relevant in their case but we know there is some difference between sex and gender; the ad for that night did not state “females”.

      • Lasana Liburd

        Did the article refer to Ms Gomes as a lesbian? If so, then please point out where. Womantra used the word “butch.” But I think I stayed very clear of the separate conversation of sexual orientation.
        Which is a discussion worth having on the topic by the way. But I just chose not to add to the mix as it probably deserves a separate post.

  68. Joao, you really have a different angle on this topic yes. :-/

  69. That isn’t the issue at all here eh Stephon. We do believe Ms Gomes was discriminated against and Aria was wrong to do so.

  70. Caitlyn jenna and ru paul are carded to make guest appearances at aria this weekend …..

  71. We need to stop making black and white issues into grey areas

  72. Well aria is now famous thanks to all the free publicity now the lines to get in will be snaking all down the avenue

  73. Well, biologically she is a woman. So I totally understand Gomes’ protest. And she is right. In no way am I saying she is not right.

  74. Why should the club be chastised for a person’s identity crisis

  75. So you’re ok with others just not this one in this particular case?!

  76. I have never known one club that hasn’t had discrimination ‘policies’ whether they publicly advertised them or not.

  77. So you’e saying it was ok to for those clubs to have a “Golliwog Night” and a “Dhal Night” because we weren’t “enlightened” back then?

  78. That was then, this is now, the age of enlightenment.

  79. ????? Melina Hutchinson I see you’ve never heard of Genesis, The Blue Iguana, The Base or Club Coconuts

  80. We should shut down Aria for their discriminatory policy.
    I bet if they had refused entry to someone who was black, everyone would be up in arms about it.
    Gay people are humans too and they have feelings like us!

  81. Aria should introduce vaginas checks on ladies night to ensure that there will be no discrimination.

  82. I’ve come to the realization….as soon as people who are gay/perceived to be gay/not sure what they are complain about about something…once you’re not in agreement with their grouse you’re a gay bashing bully….allyuh could feel free to miss me with that BS yes…cuz if anybody I know that gay come around me with that mess is a heavy dose ah MC dey getting

  83. She was listed eh and according to policy you have to be listed to get in free on their ladies free policy.
    They change their rules conveniently to make you either change your mind or pay. I was once in a party as part of a bridal shower and along with others of my age, asked to pay at a club because of the few seconds we were late. We said no thanks and left.

  84. “men are lust-driven idiots with big wallets…And if the ladies ent paying to go inside, then we ent paying neither, unless the ladies inside are really cute of course”
    *scratches head*

  85. Allyuh play mad and keep forgetting about God. He literally burn out all Homos and who ever stood for it. So go a protest

  86. Vernal, quote: “if women can get in free while dressed as men, then tell us again why men shouldn’t get in free while dressed as men? How can an ethical and progressive group choose between who it liberates from the same fire?”
    I’m not bashing her case. I’m throwing something extra to think about for those who want to.
    Ms Gomes was discriminated against. But why stop there? There were other people who were discriminated against too. And that’s all I’m saying.

  87. Aye!!! Denise Zephrine may be onto something there!!!!

  88. The woman has a flicking vagina (that means she’s classified as female) she was dressed appropriately to be admitted (or else they would have turned her away), so by what rationale was she made to pay if it was lady’s night?

    Trinidadians have this way of applying intellectualism where simple common sense would suffice!

  89. This incident has raised a very important point. Why do clubs have these ” “ladies free before a particular time.” I remember it starting to attract females to clubs so there won’t be a “sausage feast” in the club. Nowadays females liming and partying more than males. Clubs like Aria and the others need to end discriminatory practices and allow the females (some who are better paid than there male companions) to be treated the same way as dudes. What’s next females wanting to buy a male carnival costume cause it’s cheaper. Hmmmm!! Good idea !!

  90. Christopher, I would be angry with God too because everywhere I go, people would be bullying and scorning me.

  91. This isn’t against same sex unions or a person’s right to dress however they feel comfortable eh Christopher. It is a fact that Aria discriminated against Ms Gomes.
    The point I am raising is that some other sexual discrimination that has been going on for a long time might have been glossed over in this case.

  92. People are always quick to talk about bullying, but never recognize the bully in them.

  93. These people angry with God for how he created them.

  94. ??? love love love the hashtag!!!

  95. Now they getting gender equality they complaining where were the feminist when women dying in hospitals. Where are they when women are in abusive relationships……

  96. Protesting being discriminated against for not being able to reap the benefits of a discriminatory policy. GTFOH

  97. #soisonlyshannonallyuhseepaying

  98. Steupss absurd and irrelevant go by central bank and protest or something important