I recently had to travel to Cape Town on business, necessitating an overnight stay. I am always on the lookout for opportunities to express my feminine side and so I took the opportunity to dress and have a night out. I packed all my paraphernalia and I once again realised how much more complicated being a woman is. There is so much more stuff that is needed. Traveling light just does not happen.
After checking into the hotel after my meetings I did a bit of work before getting ready. I had brought a black top with a butterfly motif on it, my sequins skirt, black knee-high boots and a cream leather jacket. This was good enough for a quick trip to the mall as well as a night out.
I needed to get some presents for my girls so I stopped off at a very tourist oriented mall. I had a nice walk around, found a very nice little toy shop where the staff all greeted me as ‘ma’am’. I found some very nice toys and purchased them. I used my credit card which clearly says ‘MR…’ on it. The assistant must have seen it but was very discrete. I then went and looked at some clothes shops, strolled along the quay and then returned to my car to go to dinner.
I had previously spoken to a Facebook friend from Cape Town to get some suggestions on where I could go. She gave me a few choices and I settled on Beefcakes, a drag themed dining experience. This was the first time I had been to one of these restaurants. I was treated wonderfully by all the staff. I had a wonderful waiter, the manager was attentive and the drag artist (Ms Champagne Le Roux) was very, very good. She was able to hit some very high notes, was extremely witty and funny as well. I had a few delicious cocktails, some shooters and a very good meal. I thoroughly enjoyed my evening and can recommend the restaurant to anybody. It is a wonderful experience. I was something of an attraction with some of the clients and one gentleman actually stopped me to kiss my hand as I left. I am still not exactly sure how I feel about that.
I was however struck by something. We have a number of Hooters Restaurants in South Africa. My innate feminism has always meant that I do not want to go to these restaurants as I feel that they objectify women and treat them badly. They are very good examples of the innate everyday sexism that exists in our society. The Beefcakes waiters were at least as scantily dressed as the Hooters waitresses are dressed. They too are objectified and sexualised. Why did I feel that it was acceptable for men to be treated in this way but not women?
After a great deal of thought I have considered that men are less discriminated against than women in our society. They have more options open to them than women may have and presumably have more choice than many women. Also I suspect that a man is at less of a physical disadvantage than a woman and is thus more easily able to resist any unwanted physical attention. I am still not sure if I am justifying this in my own mind or if this is a real difference. It has however given me quite a lot to think about.