This feminist's comedy show didn't allow men. Now a man is suing her for it.

It was supposed to be a funny, lighthearted evening of comedy for women. And it was — until some dudes made it about them.

In November 2016, comedian Iliza Shlesinger hosted a women's-only comedy night at the Largo in Los Angeles. The event, Girls Night In, "was a singular evening that encouraged women to get together, talk and laugh about the things we go through as well as donate some money to Planned Parenthood," Shlesinger said in a statement.

Photo by Brandon Williams/Getty Images for International Myeloma Foundation.


Two men — George St. George, 21, and a male companion — decided to buy tickets to the show anyway. Staff at the theater told the men it would be best to sit in the back row for the event prominently advertised as being "no boys allowed," then later denied them entry altogether.

Now St. George is suing Shlesinger for discrimination, claiming he was not allowed to attend due to his gender.

This is not the first time St. George's attorney, Alfred Rava, has filed lawsuits essentially claiming "reverse sexism."

Rava sued after not receiving the Mother's Day promotion at an Oakland A's game and sued Club Med for a women-only promotion. He's done this dozens of times, both as the plaintiff and the attorney on the cases.

But this lawsuit isn't exactly subtle: In the 14-page lawsuit, Rava even compares St. George being asked to leave to the "...Montgomery City Lines bus company in Montgomery, Alabama circa 1955 morphing into the Woolworth’s department store lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960."

And before you ask: No, St. George was not publicly humiliated, pelted with food, or dragged away and arrested for trespassing. He was simply offered a refund and asked to leave.

We have yet to know if a judge will determine that St. George's claims hold water in the courts. But they simply don't hold water in the real world, and here are three reasons why.

1. Despite his attempt to appeal to ideas of fairness and equality, St. George is filing a case to solve a problem that simply doesn't exist: reverse oppression.

Reverse oppression (be it sexism, racism, or what have you) is not a thing and never has been.

In 2015, Melissa A. Fabello over at Everyday Feminism did a great job breaking down exactly why, but here's the part everyone (especially dudes like St. George) needs to read:

"...yes, all people can experience stereotyping (assumptions that all people in one group are similar), prejudice (dislike toward a group based on those stereotypes), and discrimination (refusing access to resources based on that prejudice).

However, only oppressed people experience all of that and institutionalized violence and systematic erasure."

There you have it. When the Largo didn't allow St. George and his companion into the space to make a mockery of an event, this action was not reverse sexism — or in any way akin to the suffering endured by those in the civil rights movement.

These men have every right to feel hurt or bummed out that they were not allowed to attend (though let's remember: they got a refund), but since no one in the history of time has ever mounted a successful campaign to violate, subjugate, disenfranchise, harm, or forever silence men because of their gender, this incident is by no means oppression.

Please, tell me more about the systemic oppression and erasure of men. I am genuinely curious. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.

2. If St. George wanted to truly stand up for men that day, he could've. But he didn't.

He could have supported organizations that support male survivors of sexual assault, or he could have spoken out against toxic masculinity and the dangerous attitudes and traditions that don't always allow for boys and men to express a full range of emotions. Hell, he could've raised money to support prostate or lung cancer research, the most common cancers among men.

Of course he didn't do that because he's not really interested in bettering the lives of men. He just wants to silence, shame, and disrupt the work of women. Men like St. George and Rava are cowards in activists' clothes.

If he isn't already, St. George's time may be better spent signal boosting the voices of male survivors who have shared their stories of sexual assault and misconduct, like Terry Crews, Anthony Rapp, and countless others. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

3. In fact, it's because of men like this that women need a space to feel safe, encouraged, and supported in the first place.

Living as a woman comes with the emotional burden of sexual harassment, the constant threat of gender-based violence, microaggressions, and a substantial wage gap.

Not-so-shockingly some women just want a space, without men, to celebrate, talk, share, and commiserate, even if just for one night. To the men who understand and support this: Thank you. To the men who can't wait to shit on something that doesn't center them: Do better.

Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Hollywood Wilshire YMCA.

True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

With many schools going virtual, many daycare facilities being closed or limited, and millions of parents working from home during the pandemic, the balance working moms have always struggled to achieve has become even more challenging in 2020. Though there are more women in the workforce than ever, women still take on the lion's share of household and childcare duties. Moms also tend to bear the mental load of keeping track of all the little details that keep family life running smoothly, from noticing when kids are outgrowing their clothing to keeping track of doctor and dentist appointments to organizing kids' extracurricular activities.

It's a lot. And it's a lot more now that we're also dealing with the daily existential dread of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, and increasingly intense natural disasters.

That's why scientist Gretchen Goldman's refreshingly honest photo showing where and how she conducted a CNN interview is resonating with so many.

Keep Reading Show less

Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

Keep Reading Show less