Men Only

Ahead of meeting up with some mates for dinner tonight, I called in to The Midnight Shift on Sydney’s Oxford Street for a G&T. I’d arrived early, and I figured a G&T would be a nice way to kill 15 or 20 minutes. To my surprise, Deni Hines was also there.

Although I “grew up” with Deni Hines, I’m more familiar with her mother, 1970s Australian pop icon, Marcia Hines. “When I told my mother I was playing The Midnight Shift, she told me she played here when it was Men Only. I’m proud to say I’m second generation to play The Shift”, she said.

I also remember when The Midnight Shift was Men Only. Unofficially for many years, but also officially, as they usually excluded women for footwear reasons. “You’re wearing open-toed shoes” they would often explain as the reason why women were not allowed to enter.

I wish they had been a little more honest, and just said something like “There are times when women want a women-only space, and times when a men want a men-only space, so I hope you can appreciate that”. Not only would that have been a little more honest, I think that would have also have led to much less conflict. I can imagine there would have been more occasions when people would have said,, “OK”, rather than get into fights about definitions, as I know my friends and I sometimes did.

2015, and life is different. And on a Queen’s Birthday Weekend, I couldn’t help but notice the bars on Oxford Street were awfully busy. On a normal Sunday night, there would often be handsful of people at bars like The Midnight Shift and The Oxford Hotel. But tonight the bars were full, and even places like The Oxford which normally struggle for patrons were charging a $15 entry. So after a G&T, some Deni Hines, and dinner, it was home for bed (and some blogging).

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