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Calling the Dublin Pride women’s night “The Pussy Cat Club.” Are you serious?

 

 

So, it seems that Dublin Pride’s traditional Dyke Night has been renamed… The Pussy Cat Club.

I’m not really sure where to start with this, so I will just begin by saying this: #EPIC FAIL.

The roaring success and amazing theme of last year’s Dyke Night was always going to hard to follow, but to go from Dublin Pride Dyke Night presents ‘The Speakeasy’ to The Pussy Cat Club is a bit mind-boggling to be perfectly honest.

I’ve spoken to several people about this over the last couple of days and although there have been a couple of people who don’t care either way, the overwhelming majority aren’t at all happy with the change.

 

 

While some people may have issues with the word “dyke”, i’s also true that in a similar way to the term “queer”, “dyke” has been reclaimed by many LBTQ women as a positive self-designation, and is seen by many as a word of empowerment.

It is due to this sense of empowerment associated with the word dyke that it is so disappointing to see the night renamed something that sounds so sleazy and vaguely sexist.

A lot of the reactions I got both online and in person centered on how “The Pussy Cat Club” sounds like some sort of a strip bar.

A 0.42 second Google shows we weren’t wrong: the results include several strip clubs and  ”gentlemen’s clubs” across the UK and the US!

 

So I took a straw poll of Team Gaelick. click here had this to say:

What the absolute fuck? Has this been dreamed up by the people who brought us Pussy Wagon in The George? (If you’re up there, Superman, give me strength!)

First off, let’s try some word association:

“Pussy Cat Club.” – “Strip joint.”
“Dyke Night.” – “Feck yeah, amazing biatches!”

What is not to like about the name, “Dyke Night”? It’s self-explanatory and unashamed.

I can, of course, imagine that there are some who reject or are uncomfortable with the word “dyke”. It obviously can have negative connotations. Personally, however, I’m of the view that some words can be re-claimed. (One example is “queer“.)

But if the name “Dyke Night” has to be changed, what on god’s green earth could possess anyone, anywhere (apart from pimps and sleazy hetero men), to give the name “Pussy Cat Club” to a night for queer women? (And don’t get me started on whether or not trans people are welcome. I sincerely hope the answer to that is “Yes.”)

But of all people to think of, propose, second, and agree on – members of Dublin bloody Pride?! Are you shitting me? What god awful fuck-up thought “Pussy Cat Club” was a good idea for anything associated with Pride?

Someone on Facebook suggested an alternative: “Vagina Wars!” If we can’t have “Dyke Night” back, I’m down with that.

If Dublin Pride doesn’t actually want dykes and Dyke Night, just cancel the event and be done with it!

Then there were some of other – more succinct, less ragey – responses. According to Slayer:

I think it’s a terrible name. As a friend of mine said, “Who named it? Peter Stringfellow?”

Ambivalent orange is ambivalent:

Not mad about it but I didn’t like Dyke Night as a name either

Bear found it unbearable:

Don’t like it.  Because:

1.  I don’t like cats, and
2.  It sounds like something a sleazy straight guy would come up with.

HAL asked, “Just what do you think you’re doing, Dave Dublin Pride?”:

I am sick to my back teeth of Kitty/Lippy/Pussy titles for women-only nights. I know “dyke” hollers back to a time when we were taking back ownership of the name. Some younger ladies may feel it now only means butch lesbians, so I don’t mind a rebranding. But Pussy Cat? Seriously?

 

 

And others had this to say:

It’s vulgar, and very off-putting. It sounds like  a straight man came up with it.

-Bridge

Reclaiming the word dyke is empowering, political and kind of sexy, in a subversive way. Reclaiming the word Pussycat is an activity solely reserved for Bond girls gone to seed.

-Sinead Dolan

 

So, what do you think? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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19 Comments

  • The dyke night has never been particularly fashionable (but who cares), but it’s one of the biggest women’s nights of the year, and rebranding it as a place that sounds like a Liverpool footballer’s stag party fell out of at 5am is just odd. But that said, if people are sick of what’s on offer, then you can complain and avoid, complain and still go, or complain and set up an alternative.

    I don’t know what part of the LBT community The Pussycat Club actually speaks to, but maybe it does appeal to some groups of people. I don’t get it, but maybe it’s not for me? But if you’re alienating one sector of the LBT community then that’s hardly positive. The women’s night should be a mainstreamer that appeals to everyone, that’s why I think a generic ‘women’s night’-type name would be better (without alienating trans folk, obviously), instead of presuming that all dykes are trilby-wearing, brace-snapping, lets-go-to-a-strip-joint bois.

    Una said:
  • It’s bizarre, the whole thing. I mean, I have no problem with names like “Dyke Night” and “Bitches Be Crazy” – neither of which is, let’s say, tame.

    But this new name? And for Pride! Are they super serial?!

    Hm, let’s see. What other female body parts can we name a women’s club night after?

    The Tit Box.
    The Gee Place.
    The Arse Hole.

    Excuse me while I bash my head against a wall..

    click here said:
  • Hate, hate, hate it. Cringe. It’s just sleazy sounding. It does not sound proud. I’m all for reclaiming words, but this just doesn’t do it.

    If I were debating going, the name would push me to decide not to.

    okitty said:
  • As a trilby wearing, brace snapping (a tiny bit afraid of strip clubs) boi, I am satisfied that last year had everything I have ever wanted in a dyke night. This, I knew that this years would probably be a disappointment for me. I did not expect that it would be this terrible, though. This whole thing sounds like one of the awful clubs lesbians go to in bad TV shows. Straight men love this rebranding , but nobody else will

    Dolanchap said:
  • I was once the organizer of dyke nite and can’t help put feel, with all the memories of late night meetings, debates, the stress of getting the night done, by changing the name of it, is basically a slap in the face. Not just to me, but all those that have been involved in the nite. Dyke nite became one of the biggest and had one of the highest attendance of the Dublin pride events. This was done due to all those involved and the advertising of the night, which became easy due to the love and popularity of the night. Dyke nite empowered the word dyke and in some way took the negative response from it. On a personal note, it was an honour to promote such a nite, and even to this day have fond memories of the ones I was in involved in, and when I decided it was time to leave Dublin pride and let someone else take over the organisation of dyke nite, I thought they had a good start at making the nite even bigger and better, Yes by all means change how the nite is run, ie less acts or have more acts perform on the nite, but to change the name of the nite, that has become, in my view, sacred, is slightly wrong and disappointing. I guess my question is why change something that holds importance and has a legacy and in my opinion didn’t need changing. And I will finish there because you don’t want to get me started on th name they have chosen for it. Saddened is all I can say.

    token dyke said:
  • Do you not think all this “epic fail”, “god awful fuck-up”, “pimps and sleazy hetero men”, “Peter Stringfellow” name calling is a bit strong? This is nothing short of bullying. I’m a huge fan of your articles tabula rasa, but this article is more offensive than the topic you’re putting forward. Thank god we don’t know who made the new name for Dyke Night, imagine how shit they feel right now? I’m not a huge fan of the name, but that’s neither here nor there. Please apologize.

    anonymous said:
  • Oh dear. An embarrassing choice of name if ever there was one.
    My interest in going has dropped about 78% now.

    shauna said:
  • Dear anon. If you have something that’s either an explanation or constructive criticism then by all means, “let us know in the comments”.
    Blaming tabula rasa for what other people have come up with and even wanting an apology (may it be that anon is the person that came up with the Pussy cat club in the first place?) is far fetched and rather immature. I suggest you apologize.

    Lee said:
  • but but love dyke night! :(

    blue said:
  • By all means, Lee, people are responsible for their own comments, but so are journalists for putting these comments together in one article of hatred.

    I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of Gaelick, and the journalist themselves, I’m not seeking to be petty. I do think Gaelick have made a huge mistake here though.

    One would never see, in a newspaper for instance, someone being commented in an article calling someone a “god awful fuck up”.

    There’s a reason for this. In the NUJ Codes of Conduct it says:

    2) A journalist strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair.

    and

    3) A Journalist does her/his utmost to correct harmful inaccuracies.

    Both clearly broken.

    I know some of us would see Gaelick as less of a journalistic site and more of a blog. Fair enough, but this still isn’t on. In this case its cyber harassment, and it’s not on.

    The comments used are obscene, vulgar and indecent. There was no need for some of them to be used, they’re not in the public interest. Namely, this one, “What god awful fuck-up thought “Pussy Cat Club” was a good idea for anything associated with Pride?”

    This article should be revoked and an apology made by Gaelick.

    anonymous said:
  • Anonymous, I think you are missing the point: this is an opinion piece, and thus the writer and any subsequent commentators are entitled to say what they like(within reason obviously)

    Why is criticism of the new name “vulgar” and indecent? I think you are being far too sensitive here.
    Furthermore, I doubt that the writers of gaelick would describe themselves as journalists- they are bloggers first and foremost-so why judge tabula rasa on the basis of an unrelated professional code of conduct?

    Finally, why are you hiding behind “Anonymous”.? I am afraid to say it destroys any credibility your argument may hold.

    Shauna said:
  • Bullying is a personal attack, this is a collection of criticisms. Doesn’t follow, anon. I mean, I wrote an article for this site in whichI was invredibly critical of the TV show Glee, but that doesn’t mean I am bullying Naya Riviera, you know?

    Dolanchap said:
  • Ugh.
    How sleazy.

    Must we have a name that is dripping with sleaze/vulgarity?

    Why not use a bit of imagination when naming a night for gay women? Last year’s title was succinct enough and made no apologies. I liked it.
    This year’s proposed title? ‘The Pussy Cat Club’? Come on. Seriously?

    I am not a helpless James Bond Girl screaming Jaaaaaaames each time something goes wrong and this is exactly what the title suggests to me, ‘The Pussy Cat Club’. A club for women full of learned helplessness, and anxious to please the punters.

    Ugh.

    mystic said:
  • 1. We’re not journalists. We’re bloggers. This is not a grey area.
    2. This is an opinion piece.
    3. Tabula Rasa is expressing her opinion (which seems to be quite a popular one, actually).

    I’m one of the people who couldn’t be bothered either way. I’ve never been and it’s unlikely I’ll ever go. But it seems enough people are upset and alienated by this decision that it merits frank discussion.

    CanuckJacq said:
  • Hi CanuckJacq,

    Sorry for causing such a stir, I’m not looking to get anyone’s back up.

    Gaelick’s a blog, I understand, I shouldn’t have referenced journalistic practice.

    Commenting a person is a ‘god awful fuck up’ though, is going too far, and this comment should be removed. The comment is highly offensive and appeals to cyber harassment. I’m really surprised that Click Here would refer to someone like that, and especially on such a welcoming and inclusive blog.

    I’ve always found Gaelick to be a safe haven as a young LGBT person, but looking at all the incredible work Dublin Pride does, I can’t find any reason for Gaelcik to name call any volunteer of Pride like that.

    It’s hurtful to the organization, not least the person involved. I, like a lot of you was bullied at school for being LGBT, don’t bully others here who are trying to help. This is a fantastic blog, don’t ruin it.

    anonymous said:
  • It’s an opinion piece. People acting in a public capacity need to be able to take some criticism, even strong criticism. I say that as someone who has been a news reporter and an activist, so I’ve been on both sides. (I’ve been called worse myself in both capacities.)

    It is not bullying or harassment. If someone were contacting the organizers repeatedly, intruding on their personal lives, following them around, spreading untruths about them, that would be bullying or harassment. Strongly disagreeing with a single decision is simply not.

    I’m sure reading this did upset the person, or more likely people, who came up with the name. But surely they knew it would be controversial. Surely they are adults who understand that when you change a longstanding, popular event, you are going to get some flack.

    They have a tough job. They will never please everyone. But they need to make an effort to be in touch with the community and be inclusive, and this name suggests to me that they failed on that front. So they can get up, dust themselves off and do better next year.

    okitty said:
  • Ah, we’ve gotten to the heart of it: so it was my potty mouth that caused this consternation.

    Well, I have to say, I’m not necessarily proud of how I expressed myself, but that was my initial reaction: I decided that I wasn’t going to censor it, or present it in a more eloquent way to make myself sound better. Tabula rasa asked for my reaction (as well as from others), and that’s what poured out of my brain.

    The article as a whole is an opinion piece. And it’s one which quotes other people’s opinions. As far as I’m concerned at least, people are free to express their opinions on this blog (short of incitement to hatred and other illegalities). Also, this is a blog: by its nature it’s pretty much all opinion. Just to be absolutely clear: Gaelick doesn’t speak with “one voice” or anything like that. It’s a group blog, with the diverse and differing opinions that go along with that.

    As for the decision of Dublin Pride: just because I utterly reject with every fibre of my being this new name for the club, doesn’t mean I don’t support the rest of the work Pride does. (Also, I seriously doubt that a couple of expletive-filled lines from me could or should undermine Dublin Pride’s work.) But, since the name (presumably) was considered and agreed to by committee, that’s what prompted me to call it a “god awful fuck-up”.

    In short, okitty, in her comment above, sums things up far better than I could have in my rant.

    click here said:
  • In your face haters , the pussycat club this year had the second highest turnout of the last 5 years , beaten only by the 2010 party in the tripod.
    Why is it as soon as anyone has balls enough to make a change ppl like you with no actual back story to the idea just leap on it and shred it , I bet you didn’t even contact pride and offer them the right to reply / explain .
    Things move forward things change , it’ll either work or not but at least they had the guts to try

    Forward thinker said:
  • Hello.
    I’m pussy galore.

    Agreed with forward thinker, was a good night. It’s only a name. A reboot now and then is no harm. Identities are far more fluid now than they were 10 or 15 years. you could’ve picked worse names.

    Shoegirl said:
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