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Monday, January 23, 2006

The Beans

No, I'm not spilling them it's just a bad joke about French teachers.
This weekend I got sent by my agency away from my usual chav infested waters to another familiar venue who were a few folk short after some suspected shenanigans left most of their doorstaff suspended. I happened to be there, plying my trade on a very gay night. It’s not exclusively a gay night but to all in tents and porpoises it is. Think of it as a straight tolerant night. This poses only one problem for me, and I’m definitely not the only doorman with this problem. It’s butch dykes.

Let me explain, unlike other places this gay night pulls in roughly equal numbers of men and women. The nominal straight friends are usually fairly obvious due to their anxious/amused expressions and the fact they’ve not got fresh meat stamped on their foreheads. Now the male crowd is usually not that divided, there are a few older men after something young but on the whole it’s young pretty boys all looking like they went to/work at the same hair salon. Of an evening, this half of the clientele are most likely to cop off and only risk being shown the swift exit if they get fall down drunk, try and shag in our toilets or ask if we want to buy/sell any poppers. The female crowd is quite different.

There are a few straight looking, feminine clubber types, there are a few things that look like 12 year old boys though the majority are a lot of trousered, shirted, longish haired ladies who fit the description of women in comfortable shoes. The issues arise from a section of the female clientele that are very openly very male in their dress, drinking habits, body/crude language and aggression. They may be lacking a Y chromosome and only 5’ tall but at 3’6” wide with a broken nose and arms as big as mine they can be most unreasonable.

With drunken males a quick solidarity can be established and their co-operation, even to the front door can be achieved with an “Alright man, having a good night? Think it might be time to head home” kind of approach. This often works and I get a long and boring description of the night they’ve had and why they’re this battered and what fun it’s been. Those who don’t like this polite approach get the more alpha male, “Hey, stop it”/“Right, you’re leaving”/“Go away” style one step away from a hand up their back and their feet off the floor.

Drunken butch lesbians fall out of this tried and tested system at every turn. There can be no mate/man/gents/sir banter leading to a swift sense of solidarity. What is the polite yet friendly way of addressing a very deliberately un-ladylike lady? Chuck/love/dear/pet don’t seem to convey the right message and lass/miss seems very patronizing for ladies visibly much older than me. I feel any term I settle on fails to engender the empathy I can readily achieve with men. Then there is the issue that, men hating, certainly very aggressive, very assertive lesbians are never going to see men as more than less evolved specimens and distinctly inferior. Not a great place to get a cooperative response started.

This leaves the alpha male approach. This is one where I was granted, along with my Y chromosome, a face like a bag of spanners that has been repeatedly forcibly reassembled. I give the impression from my face alone of not being worth trying to dance with. Unfortunately I’ve found butch lesbians have a very skewed sense of how the male hierarchy works. Though dressing/walking/talking/drinking like men the culturing of the playground feeding chain is not there. Their response is more of a tv/american movie approach where facing up to and giving verbal is the only response to a direct challenge. This doesn’t make my life easy, so often the route to cooperation does become physical.

This is a minefield, most men I work with don’t ever want to man handle women, this is partly because women are fragile by comparison and partly because it’s very hard to keep your mind on the job at hand when being screamed at for molesting/abusing/raping someone. Really it’s an aspect of the job most male doormen could probably do without. So moving back to our verbally aggressive, physically posturing, uncooperative, poorly mulleted, bull dyke, where do we go from here. I’ve found that a hand up the back generally causes mild offense and provides me little to no control. Two doormen take an arm each and applying themselves can get the woman’s low centre of gravity shifting in the desired direction but when this is not an option I’ve found a quick reminder that I’m a lot bigger and stronger often resolves the situation. A very firm hand on the shoulder or a tight wrist grip will often break the standoff and compliance follows.

In a world of ever increasing equality, I should just accept that if they want to look like a man, act like a man and be arses like a man then quite frankly I should treat them like men. Unfortunately, I’m too well brought up to treat women the same as men. Clearly it’s time for the radical feminists to burn me, not the steak, and disregard the whole thing as the ramblings of a testes driven mind. Which makes me wonder why my type of man is so clearly emulated time and time again?

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