Dear Wonder Women; the doorman at Sushisamba was not sexist

20 May 2014

Louisa Peacock of The Telegraph‘s Wonder Women desk has written of how a doorman who refused her entry to a London restaurant because she was not wearing smart enough clothes has lost his job. Peacock appears to think this a victory for the crusaders against #everydaysexism. I can’t agree.

Ignoring the fact that the man probably wouldn’t have been sacked had Peacock not been a journalist, this piece sets a very worrying precedent. Louisa Peacock has mistaken a minor grievance for a political point, and a man has lost his job. Peacock did not intend it to be so; but that is what has happened.


If you read her account of the affair carefully, ‘Clipboard Man’ (as she kindly refers to him) never actually tells her she isn’t ‘sexy’ enough (even though that’s implied in the headline). Those are her words. He simply tells her she must look smarter to get in. ‘High heels and smart… as if you were going to a club,’ he says. She concludes that ‘I just was not sexy enough for him’. He says smart; she translates it as sexy. This isn’t sexism. It is simply the restaurant’s dress code, and he was paid to enforce it.

Let’s imagine the shoe was on the other foot, as it so often is. I bet there are plenty of men who’ve been turned away from clubs and restaurants by some snooty ‘door bitch’ because they don’t fit the dress code. Is that sexist too? Establishments are allowed to have dress codes, and if you don’t meet them, you aren’t allowed in. Them’s the rules for private establishments. Peacock even admits she wasn’t dressed like everyone else in the queue – but for some reason, she takes this as a sexist affront, contacts the restaurant’s management office, and soon, the man is sacked.

This is no victory for feminism. In fact, it speaks of a particular section of our press that has decided it’s ok to publish aggressive attacks on men. Wonder Women began as a noble experiment – but now, I’d rather not read a section of a broadsheet newspaper that pursues men for its own political purposes.

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  • Robin Fox

    “This is no victory for feminism.”

    Except that it is. This worrying behaviour is exactly what feminists want, and this way of getting it is exactly how they want to achieve it. Don’t believe me? Just observe how many of these feminist journalist-instigated incidents we’ve seen in the past 3 years. Visit Jezebel for examples – this isn’t the first time someone’s been sacked over what a feminist thought and it won’t be the last. Think how technology and IT conferences are now being called “the new Elevator Gate.” Elevator Gate in general is bollocks, but I digress.

    True egalitarianism no longer lies in the hands of feminists, and the proof is in the pudding – just about everything the author of this article stated before that final paragraph is egalitarian. Both feminists and non-feminists can agree on everything she’s stated. But it’s only within the camp of feminism that you’ll have divisiveness, bickering, and it all comes down to the collectivist attitude of the whole damned movement. “You’re either with us or against us.” I can hear the angry blogs writing already.

  • Stop The Hypocrisy

    It’s disappointing to be a female in a world where there are so many whiny brats taking feminism to an extreme level. Okay, we want equal rights, I get that, but at some point it becomes way to freaking much and we need equal rights for both sides, not just women. She’s trying to feel like a victim, trying to feel as if they’re oppressed. Some of them go so far as to compare sexism to racism. All oppression isn’t equal to each other. You know what would suck more than to be a female back in the day? To be a black female…that’s at least 100% worse. Sexism is a serious issue, but being a brown female I have to say that I’ve faced way more racism in this country than I have sexism. Please don’t compare them. There’s nothing to compare.

  • Mr_Ominous

    Femifascists strike again.

  • The Notorious BJP

    Having been on the wrong side of curious entry policies for most of my adult life, I can sympathize with the frustration of not being allowed entry into an establishment to spend money. However, a better discussion from the Telegraph would have involved been to look at door policies, for if there is any sexism involved in such policies, it isn’t against females. Quite the opposite in fact.

    Such a well written blog as this does more for feminism than Wonder Woman seems to have ‘achieved’ for her publication. I’ll follow more of your posts with interest.

  • Hupuable .

    A vain, insecure women is rejected and hurt so much by it, that she uses manipulative tactics (social pressure) to have the man who hurt her feelings ostracized. She is allowed to scream ‘sexism’ while thousands of men are rejected at clubs, bars, restaurants and so on for much, much pettier reasons (like simply being male) around the world every weekend. If a man did complain to the restaurant’s management and wrote a self-righteous article about it, he would have been met with ridicule and contempt, plus he would have been told stuff like “grow a pair”, “grow up”, “man up”. THAT is the only sexism in this whole story.

  • q&c

    Incidentally, Peacock used to be the Telegraph’s Jobs Editor.

  • Tom Thompson

    Thank you for this article. I made a similar comment on Telegraph’s website yesterday and, guess what? They deleted it!! No rudeness no name-calling, just said Peacock got a man fired and left his children on the breadline and the bastion of free press deleted it.
    I kept reposting it though.

  • Mark Dixon

    I think you’re missing the point Lara. The establishment’s dress code was clearly listed as ‘smart casual’ and Louisa was dressed to fit this code. Even Sushi Samba’s PR and MD confirmed that the doorman was wrong to not allow them in for this reason. So nothing to do with how smart or otherwise she was.
    Whether she should have interpreted his remark as a comment on how ‘sexy’ she was is another matter…

    • fundamentallyflawed

      That’s the crux of the story – Victim Britain… It doesn’t matter the facts if you feel like you have been discriminated against.. So in this case, incorrect dress in the bouncers opinion (which is his job) is seen as an insult on her “sexiness” by her. Instant victimisation. The next time I and friends get turned away from a club for being a “group of lads” I will instantly take to twitter to with #everydaysexism

    • ilpugliese

      And you think that’s the whole story? You really think it’s credible that a woman was turned away from what is just a restaurant for not wearing a short skirt and high heels? My money is on there being more to it than that,

  • ilpugliese

    It would certainly be interesting to hear the doorman’s side of the
    story. Then we can judge the situation and determine whether Ms Peacock’s delight
    at his being sacked is appropriate. Now, back to read about the more deadly problems in the world today.

  • Laguna Beach Fogey

    A man loses his job because some b*tch had her feelings hurt?


    • Liz

      A man loses his job because he’s spectacularly bad for business by bringing down a storm of bad PR by illegally discriminating against their customers. Or b*tches as they’re known in misogyny town.

      • Daniel, Oxford

        I suggest you read both articles again – the whole point is that at no time was the doorman “illegally discriminating” unless discriminating on the basis of dress-code is illegal, which I’m pretty sure it isn’t!!!

      • lard

        So I ask again… are you outraged when places have a policy of ‘no groups of men’, but are OK with groups of women?
        Or is misogyny town a blinkered place where sexism is only illegal if it’s aimed at women?

  • Liz

    Oh God, here she goes again.

    High heels does not equal smart.

    • Kennybhoy

      22:58 before you found this post? You’re slowing down…

      • Liz

        Lara Prendergast isn’t at the top of my reading list believe it or not.

        • lard

          Because she dares speak against your one-sided beliefs? Sounds about right…

  • Laurence

    Your argument is red herring. Smart casual does not equal skirts and high heels. Furthermore, it is sexist because women should not be forced to wear skirts and high heels when that is not the dresscode. Thankfully Sushisamba seems to agree with this view.

    • Kennybhoy

      First ever post on Disqus I see…?

    • Mark Neil

      “Smart casual does not equal skirts and high heels. ”

      No, but it also doesn’t mean business trousers and a winter coat. Her description of their outfits was incredibly vague, but they could have very well been dressed as just casual or business casual. A dress code is a dress code, and just because she feels she can skirt around the rules (no reservations ether?), doesn’t mean she gets to get someone fired when they call her on it. I can’t find in any description of smart casual where pumps count. And many women go out to a club in pants of some sort, so the assumption of a skirt was her own interpretation, based on clipboard guy pointing to examples that were on hand. Nor the expectation of heels out of line with smart casual. And the fact is, the instant he said smart casual, she KNEW what he meant, and rather than acknowledge her own failure to follow the rules, or argue her attire met the criteria (which she doesn’t even do in her article) she made a stink about getting caught, and projected her own sexist attitudes onto others.

      SushiSamba likely only agreed because of her ability to trash them in print.

  • jjjj

    I read La Peacock’s piece this afternoon on the train and I also thought that Peacock was on her high horse. When I got to the part where she recounts that the guy was sacked, I was disgusted. Hopefully the DT will bring his side of the story. Then this evening I had a hunch that involved Twitter. And I was right. She is not only dining out on this (as the commenter above says) she is doing what all these hacks do, twitter about something personal and turn it into a moral crusade. Can’t stand her or Caitlin Moran with her swear words in every Twit.

  • edithgrove

    So a Telegraph princess got a working man fired and can’t wait to tell everyone about it, with clever photographs. A tale as old as time, she’ll be able to dine out on it for years. This may be her first brush with the wider world.

  • edithgrove

    So a Telegraph princess got a working man fired and can’t wait to tell everyone about it, with clever photographs. A tale as old as time, she’ll be able to dine out on it for years. This may be her first brush with the wider world.

  • LucieCabrol

    Some teenage scribbler, enforcing the zeitgeist of the moment ruins some working class blokes life….really nice.

  • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    Perhaps the wonder women should employ their own “security” and give the man another job.

  • John Lea

    Sorry for my language, but what a complete c*nt.

    • LucieCabrol

      I’m sure she has.

  • Matthew Stevens

    Bang on the money yet again Lara. Shame your writing risks getting dragged through the mud thanks to idiots like UniteAgainstSocialism and the genuinely misogynistic neckbeards that regrettably, do exist in a small minority and are likely going to cling on to articles such as this.

    However, I for one really hope that doesn’t take away from your intelligence and common sense especially when you’re eloquently pointing out the hypocrisy of militant upper middle-class ‘feminism’ in its perverse, modern form. Solid read. You’re up there with Girlwriteswhat.

    • baz01waxz


      • Matthew Stevens

        As long as you continue with insults as soon as anyone makes the point that shouting “HUR DUR ALL FEMINISTS ARE JUST UGLY AND BITTER” might just be hurting the cause that you supposedly wish to support, men in the western world will continue to get screwed over in both major issues such as divorce courts/child custody to the minutiae of entry into nightclubs whereas, as has been pointed out, holding women to a similar standard can cause you to lose the job that you’re doing as instructed.

        Standing there in your little corner behind your anonymity, you’re not helping.

    • Tim Reed

      “You’re up there with Girlwriteswhat.”

      Yeah – I wouldn’t go that far. Your second paragraph has some worth, shame you spoiled it with the obligatory ‘neckbeard’ comment. However correct you are about the minority of misogynists who make a lot of noise, there’ll be feminists in here soon directing just that kind of language at you for daring to criticise their sacred cult.

      • Matthew Stevens

        I couldn’t agree more with your second sentence sir, which is precisely why we need maintain the highest standards of politeness and dignity within our ranks when dealing with these issues in order to make sure the kinds of people you mention are highlighted as the maniacs and misandrists that they are.

        Sure, there’ll still be lunatics and fascists that will never let up in their man-hating, but they’ll never be converted or reasoned with anyway and their existence shouldn’t be reason to give up on actually persuading anyone whatsoever.

        Point is this; if there is one thing that comments such as ‘Unite Against Socialism’s and ‘baz01waxz’s will achieve, its maintaining the status quo.

        • Tim Reed

          Fair points, Sir.

    • UniteAgainstSocialism

      i think you’ll find i’m in the majority and its ppl like you with your politically correct nonsense are in the minority.

      I note you complain about baz throwing an insult at you, yet in your morally superior world you think its ok to throw insults at me. Nothing worse than a muppet with double standards, i bet youre voting for the Greens arent you?

      • Matthew Stevens

        Perhaps I was somewhat harsh in my response but don’t you see that you’re living up to every single negative stereotype in the book and making precisely the kind of feminism you oppose incredibly easy to argue for?

        Your comment could be framed on the wall of propagandised drivel like the Everyday Sexism Project as the latest pinata to whack and they’d love every bit of it.

        From your username I can tell that we’re both very much on the same side in terms of both antifeminism and opposition to socialism. We probably share a lot of similar values, but let me tell you right now, your shouting and hollering does far more harm than good.

        It may have escaped your notice, but fully half of this planet is female. The antifeminist, egalitarian movement needs not just the respect of women, but the involvement of women, such as Lara, to succeed and challenge the socialist establishment that you seek to fight against.

        Politely making your case might not get the most upvotes but its far more effective than screaming insults, living up to the worst stereotypes and being your own straw man.

        • Kennybhoy

          Och you are way too rational for this forum young Maister! :-)

          But seriously. Are you aware of the consequences for a working man of being sacked? How it can impact on his life and pehaps that of any family he might have? One would hope that one of the more popular newspapers would make a campaign out of this. Peacock is a very nasty piece of work indeed. And shame on the Telegraph for giving a paltform for her vindictive spite.

  • lard

    “Sorry you’re not allowed in because you’re a group of men” – heard by men (in ‘groups’ of two or more, since nightclubs were invented.

    • windsock

      Also, I was refused entry to a club on the grounds I was a “single male” – Fabric, that’s cutting edge for you.

    • windsock

      Also, I was refused entry to a club on the grounds I was a “single male” – Fabric, that’s cutting edge for you.

  • Al

    Good point Lara – thank you! Unfortunately it will still get us nowhere as feminists just don’t recognise their own power abuse, hypocricy or double standards.

  • Bluesman_1

    I await the tribunal.

  • UniteAgainstSocialism

    These Feminazis seem to be dominating the news lately. Is it because the weathers been nice and most normal women are wearing skimpy clothes and the Feminazis feel inferior because they’re usually fat and ugly and dress like a docker?

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