I recently attempted to go out with my boyfriend and our best friend. We decided on a local night club on a college campus since there was a line out the door, making the club appear to be bustling. But as soon as we got in line our hopes of dancing the night away were dashed. We were immediately told that the two men I were with would not be allowed in the club because they were wearing Timberland boots and over-sized shirts. But why is that their dress code?
By the time I got home I was worked into such a furious ball of energy that I immediately jumped on the club’s website to try and find out what their full dress code was since both my boyfriend and our friend had been there before and were caught off guard by these apparent changes in the dress code. I guess this would be a good place to point out the fact that both my boyfriend and our friend are black.
I scoured the club’s website trying to find out what their full dress code was, but had no luck. Apparently the dress code is important enough to prevent paying customers from entering but not important enough to post on their website so that one could easily access and then adhere to it. Usually I wouldn’t be the type to jump to conclusions about why the dress code isn’t posted, but given my experiences in this relationship and friendship, I wouldn’t not say that the club may have chosen to leave out their dress code from their website because parts of their dress code would a majority of the time apply to the black race, and by not posting their dress code, they can more easily keep blacks out of their club. I know it sounds like a strong accusation, but besides for the black males, how many club goers do you see in Timberland boots and over-sized shirts? Especially on a predominately white campus? There is no reason for the club to keep their dress code a secret. It their dress code were posted on their website we could have easily checked it before leaving and adhered to it.
Another popular college night club in the area has their dress code posted on their website, it goes as follows:
No Hats. No Jerseys. No hooded sweatshirts. No tank tops. No excessively baggy clothes. No white t-shirts. Brown, white, and black tennis shoes only. Collard shirts preferred.
Of course the no tank tops rule only applies to men as I wore nothing more than a corset on top to this night club and didn’t have a problem getting in. As far as I am concerned I find it hard to believe that any of these rules would apply to a female. Surely us females wouldn’t be restricted to tennis shoes in three different colors, heels are always sexier. In fact, the night I went to this club, their cocktail waitresses were walking around in bikini tops and grass skirts. So, besides for appearing racist with the color limitations (usually explained as being designed for avoid gang activity) and restrictions on the size of clothing, these dress codes also appear to be more than slightly sexist.
It is perfectly acceptable for a woman to go to the club scantly clad as long as the men she comes with are dressed like white middle class business men on their day off. I can understand certain restrictions in clubs that are located in areas with high gang activity, but Ann Arbor Michigan is far from a gang mecca, and my boyfriend and friend are far from drug slinging war lords. As a society we need to move past the ideas that our clothes, color of our skin, and our gender dictate who we are and how we act. Being in this interracial relationship has really opened my eyes, and quite frankly I don’t like what I see.
To be honest, the government has to stop putting restrictions on boys and girls and need not advice us on what and what not to wear in nightclubs as this has been a fashion trend that has been going on since decades and we have our right to freedom of expression. It is perfectly fine that they are concerned of their citizen’s safety but that does not mean that we cannot protect ourselves. Nightclubs like Lavelle is one wear girls dance on bar poles and wear such revealing clothes that reveal their cleavage but the local authorities are not bothered about it then why should they stop us citizens?