Nello is an upscale restaurant on the Upper East Side of New York City frequented by the rich and famous. But no matter how rich or famous a woman is, she won't be treated the same as the restaurant's male patrons.
According to reports, Nello will no longer allow women who are dining alone to sit at the bar. No, it's not 1893, but it might as well be at Nello.
Sign now if you'd like the NYC Commission on Human Rights to do an investigation into the clearly illegal act of discriminating against women.
The reasoning for why single women may not sit at the bar is even worse. The restaurant fears that solo women could be confused for upscale sex workers, and it doesn't want that to ruin its reputation. I wish I were kidding, but this whorephobic owner apparently thinks a beautiful woman sitting alone at the bar sends the wrong message.
It's hard to know where to start. But first I'll say that obviously not every single woman wishing to dine at the bar alone is an escort and this sweeping assumption punishes all women. But even more importantly, why does this owner think that discriminating against sex workers is OK? Sex work is work, and even though some sex wok exchanges are illegal — but not all — that is no reason to shame and discriminate against those who do it.
This all came out because a regular was asked to move from her favorite spot at the bar twice and then realized that men were free to sit at the bar. This double standard is infuriating, especially because it assumes that only women do sex work, when in fact there are plenty of male escorts as well, especially in New York City.
This is no different than not letting a person of color sit somewhere in a restaurant. If the patron can pay, why does Nello insist on hiding them away? And what does that say about the owner's view on sex work and women in general? A lot, I think.
Prominent artist, comedien, stripper and sex worker rights activist Jacq said the following: "You can't kill the oldest profession but you can sure as hell out yourself as a misogynist business."
She's completely right: this move is at its heart pure misogyny.
Please sign the petition to ask the New York Commission on Human Rights to open an investigation into this policy.