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The President's Club Annual Gala - "Men Behaving Badly"

(659 Posts)
TerriBull Thu 25-Jan-18 09:55:46

I expect this is going to divide opinion, but what's your take on the Men Only charity event that's all over the news. However, for those not familiar, a bevy of young women, many of them students, were recruited through an agency for this event, they had to be slim and good looking they were told to wear sexy shoes and black underwear to go under the very skimpy dresses provided.They also had to sign a five page disclaimer, which they didn't get to read and weren't given a copy of. A couple of female undercover FT journalists were also amoung these young women and testified to appalling behaviour by SOME of the male guests. To give a flavour of the offers guests were asked to bid for "Plastic surgery to spice up the Mrs" hmm Jess Phillips gave a very good speech in Parliament imo saying these young women who were expected to act as hostesses "were merely bait" Personally I find it sickening that the guise of charity is used as a way to negate the bad behaviour in this sort of evening. I believe some of the high profile charities such as GOSH have told the now defunct Presidents' Club, where to stick their money.

gillybob Thu 25-Jan-18 10:00:45

I am wondering hmm if it was so bad why did these young women do it year after year, time after time?

This sort of "pretty young waitress" thing has always gone on. Why now?

Also I have worked in engineering for a long time and some suppliers still use dolly birds to deliver bearings and parts to garages. I wonder why?

MissAdventure Thu 25-Jan-18 10:01:41

I find it surprising that anyone would sign a 5 page document without seeing it.

TerriBull Thu 25-Jan-18 10:16:52

MissAdventure, what I read is that the disclaimer was placed in front of them, they were asked to sign it and then it was quickly removed. Bear in mind that some of these young women were only late teens and not particularly knowing. It was a gig, a way to make some much needed cash not to be groped. Glorified waitressing if you like. One 19 year old said that a man around 70 asked her whether she was a prostitute, she said she wasn't and would never be doing anything like this evening. again. I suspect for many it was a first not a year after year stint. I know this type of occasion has always gone on. However, the somewhat over the top, in certain instances "Me Too" has nevertheless producd a ground swell of opinion which seems to be resonating with younger women.

MissAdventure Thu 25-Jan-18 10:21:08

Yes, I agree that there is no excuse for having young women there to be part of the mens entertainment. I do also think though, that people need to be aware of the situations they put themselves in.
The whole idea of scantily clad women being used as commodities sickens me.

Anniebach Thu 25-Jan-18 10:26:29

Women employed for an evening as hostesses , told to wear black knickers, black bra, heels , to a men only club, such innocence

gillybob Thu 25-Jan-18 10:27:17

Exactly Missadventure why did these "young innocents" really think they were being picked out as young, pretty etc. They clearly weren't being chosen for their intellectual conversation..... and it was an all male affair.

I'm sorry but this outcry is ridiculous. If they hated it so much why did THEY not speak out?

MissAdventure Thu 25-Jan-18 10:33:55

We need wholesale, across the board, condemnation of this kind of event.
That has to come from women too.

MissAdventure Thu 25-Jan-18 10:40:47

Actually I did some glorified waitressing in a nightclub, years ago. My uniform was a little frilly apron, and I had to squeeze along tables of people to take their orders. It could get quite risky as the night wore on and the drink flowed. I needed the money, and kept my wits about me, but I never, ever took up the offers to work on the 'men only' events.

Lindylo Thu 25-Jan-18 10:46:51

My first job (an American company) had a men only Christmas bash. I thought this sort of thing was in the past, we don't seem to have moved on very much from the 1960s.

Jane10 Thu 25-Jan-18 10:48:51

Why don't we all volunteer to do this next year? We could give those letches something to think about!

Bathsheba Thu 25-Jan-18 10:50:18

We all know it's appalling behaviour and totally inexcusable in today's world but.... any young woman given instructions to wear black underwear under a skimpy outfit, with sexy, black shoes, to a MEN ONLY event would surely run a mile hmm.
I'm not saying for one moment that they should have expected to be groped and propositioned, because that is akin to laying the blame at the rape victim's door for showing too much flesh. But surely they should have had alarm bells ringing?

Bathsheba Thu 25-Jan-18 10:50:43

Jane10 grin

kittylester Thu 25-Jan-18 10:52:36

How dim/ arrogant that the silly men thought they could get away with this in the current climate.

Sparklefizz Thu 25-Jan-18 10:53:35

Jane10 - brilliant idea! 30 Grannies in black dresses would scare them to death!!!!

TerriBull Thu 25-Jan-18 11:10:45

Possibly the suggestion of "black underwear" because the dresses were black and as such another colour might have been visible underneath, benefit of the doubt hmm. Black underwear doesn't have to be risque, I only wear black, sensible stuff from Marks though grin I'm just sparing a though for the young ingenue, wanting to make some money, and having to be subjected to some sleazy older mens' groping. Although I agree some would have known what to expect, but that doesn't make it right.

MissAdventure Thu 25-Jan-18 11:21:45

Maybe these issues need to be taught in schools, alongside other ways to stay safe? The event was probably much more raucous than they expected.

Oldwoman70 Thu 25-Jan-18 11:24:09

Why was this a "men only" event? Surely such things are so outdated. I gather it was only a minority of the men who behaved badly, yet did any of the other men intervene? What instructions did the young girls receive? Were they told this type of behaviour could happen and they should just grin and bear it? Whilst I can agree with TerriBull's reasoning for the black underwear, I don't see any excuse for telling the girls to wear "sexy shoes".

paddyann Thu 25-Jan-18 11:28:06

I dont think the underwear and high heels were the issue it was the attitude of the guests.No one should expect to be groped or spoken too in the way these young women were REGARDLESS of what they were wearing.DONT blame the "victims" lots of jobs specify uniform that many wouldn't wear especially in bars .Its not giving the go ahead for bad behavioue....and lets face it THESE men should have known better ..or did they just think common waitresses were fair game .

TerriBull Thu 25-Jan-18 11:38:12

In the Evening Standard one young woman was told by the events management company who organised the evening, they would be provided with a black dress just above the knee, that description bore no relation to the acutal garment they were expected to wear. They were also coereced by the agency to engage with the men, toilet visits were timed in case they were hiding in the ladies. During the course of the evening another group of women entered the event and the perception was, from the way they were behaving, that they were call girls. All in all the whole thing sounds sleazy, I'm with you Oldwoman, so very dated a horrible combination of blatant sexism all wrapped up under the guise of a smug fest of giving to charity, attended allegedly by a sprinkling of tax evaders hmm

TerriBull Thu 25-Jan-18 11:39:56


Anniebach Thu 25-Jan-18 11:40:01

This event has been going on for thirty years

MissAdventure Thu 25-Jan-18 11:43:40

It sounds absolutely repugnant, and more than a little intimidating for the young women. Ugh! I'm still struck though, by the idea that women today would have a bit more 'balls' to stand up to this kind of behaviour head on.
Maybe you can't educate women not to feel intimated by groups of men. I would be.

Anniebach Thu 25-Jan-18 11:48:24

Intimidated or willing ? I really do not accept this innocent young students desperate for money Or black knickers so as not to show through the skimpy dress .

I do not agree with men groping neither do I agree with men losing their jobs because of allegations, this is hysteria

TerriBull Thu 25-Jan-18 11:48:33

Not any more Annie, The President's Club is no more yay! Tawdry, sexist organisation.