The UNC seniors, who have made names for themselves at bars and clubs like Pulse Nightclub and Cat’s Cradle , are joining other student DJs to speak out against discrimination in bars and clubs.
The movement is targeting the practice of offering free or discounted admission for women, which they believe is demeaning to female bargoers.
“I don’t think a lot of women really realize that they are actually the product being sold,” Sekay said. “By advertising ladies night or by offering no cover to women, that tells the male audience that this is where all the women are going to be. And not only is that objectifying the women, but it’s also commodifying them as well, which is pretty harsh.”
Dougherty decided to become vocal about the issue after an incident at Fitzgerald’s Irish Pub in April. A female patron complained when the DJ played the popular song “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, which has drawn criticism from feminist activists who say the song promotes rape culture .
Dougherty helped orchestrate a small boycott of Fitzgerald’s in April, but he said that isn’t the goal of this movement. The DJs have agreed not to play during any nights that offer different admission rates to men and women.
“As performers and as people who live off of this night scene, boycotting clubs would be boycotting ourselves,” he said.“The biggest thing I want would be to start a conversation with the people who control the night culture in Chapel Hill.”
Sekay said he plans to start a web campaign highlighting some of the sexism he sees in nightlife and approach venues to see if they might engage in this discussion.
“I think that they would be willing to work with us as long as we come at them with an open expression of dialogue and we’re not hostile,” he said.