Light skin vs. dark skin party promoters attempt to ruin it for the rest of us

Poster for light skinned versus dark skinned party with two African American women wearing small tops

News has been circulating over the controversially-themed light-skin vs. dark-skin party in Ohio. I, for one, am thoroughly annoyed that the club space has been co-opted once again by profit-turners who insist on sucking the fun out of a Friday night with divisive themes. I just want a place that I can go where I can enjoy myself without having to contend with endless power dynamics.

It is hard to find a club these days that isn’t capitalizing on the difference between two groups. This is most apparent when you consider the way clubs divide people along gender lines. Ladies are often either drinking for free, paying less to enter or are sexualized in the hand bills for the night’s event. Combine this with the way women are discussed in the musical content blasting from the speakers and in the music videos screened throughout the evening and the result is more time spent on ignoring foolishness than dancing and having a good time.

Now, along with the taxing gender dynamics, some Columbus, Ohio promoters have decided to add dark-skin vs. light-skin into the mix? Young Truph on Twitter predicts that soiree will be a fail. But that still doesn’t address the problem of club spaces becoming increasingly divisive. I am tempted to try my hand at rap music and write a remixed version of “Black and Yellow” entitled “Dark and Yellow” celebrating dark skin and light skin collaborations. But for now, fill this thread with your favorite club spot that really allows you to have fun. My absolute favorite is Marvin’s in Washington, DC. Women are always dressed comfortably, the DJ plays musical hits that span the decades and the African diaspora, and the men are comfortably but not defensively masculine. But what about you? Where do you seek fun after a long week of professional/academic/personal stress?

Join the Conversation

  • aLynn

    1) That remix would be amazing.
    2) I fail to see an actually dark skinned person on that poster.

  • Elise

    When in Rochester, New York, TiLT is the place to go. They have drag shows on Thursday nights and every other night the DJ is great. I never worry about what I’m wearing, which is nice because I’m a pretty modest dresser. and Lux is great, though that’s just a bar….

  • Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    Would anyone even want to go to a party that promoted this kind of thinking? Is this supposed to be seen as somehow “cute” like those oh-so-hilarious “blonde is better than brunette” t-shirts they sell to eurocentric yuppie girls at places like Aberzombie & Felch? Are the same light skin vs. dark skin standards applied to men?

    Oh, and FWIW, their “dark-skinned” model is so highlighted that she doesn’t even look particularly dark-skinned.

  • nazza

    If I’m feeling up to it, I might play music on a weekend night. Or I might have conversation with a close friend at a coffee shop.

    I never was much for clubs, I think because I can’t dance. The older I get, the less I like cigarette smoking and irresponsible alcohol consumption.

  • Candice

    “Ladies are often either drinking for free, paying less to enter or are sexualized in the hand bills for the night’s event. ”

    Usually I would say both. One unfortunate (read:date-rapey) motive behind mainstream clubs/bars Ladies’ Nights is to get as many women in, and get them drunk fast, so they can be picked up by the male regulars (more innocent motives might be that they only give free or cheaper drinks to the women for an hour or so, and the women end up spending money later on, or they want to change the place’s sleazy image by having female clientele). Sexualizing women on handbills and posters is a good way to attract other men so they can try to do this, and will also give the bars profitable business by having to pay to get in and get drinks.

  • Heidi

    That’s just as stupid as the “bikini nights” I’ve seen being promoted. When the guys all show up in speedos, I’ll consider wearing a bikini.

    For a fun night out, nothing beats gay clubs. I never bother going to normal bars anymore, I can’t be bothered to deal with all the grabby hands and stupid comments. In Tokyo, there’s Ring party, Shangri-la, or of course, my friend’s little bar. Anyone in Tokyo or considering going, hit Rehab Lounge in Shinjuku 2-chome.