Misogyny Reigns at 503 W. Burnside

FYI there is a sex workers’ union in Portland which is mostly comprised of dancers at local clubs. That’s the Portland Sex Worker Outreach Coalition (pdxSWOC.net). – Grey Coast A News.

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From Portland Indymedia. Jan 3rd, 2012. author: female.

Misogyny Reigns at 503 W. Burnside

The other night I was walking downtown, when I had to use the restroom. As a former dancer at the now closed down Cabaret on Burnside, I was curious to see what the building looks like after Cabaret was shut down and turned into a seafood restaurant. In the years that I worked at Cabaret off and on, I saw numerous rats, mice, insects and cockroaches in the basement and main floor of the building, and I was grossed out at the thought of people eating in the building, even now. My desire to use the restroom coincided with my curiosity as I was on Burnside, so I walked into Poseidon. Immediately when entering the restaurant of Poseidon, I was faced with two large tanks. One tank had a handful of large, live lobsters inside, moving around in the water. Another tank had a handful of large, live crabs on the inside, also moving around in the water. The things I saw inside Cabaret and the sight of these live sea creatures, along with the thought of eating inside the building, all seemed very unappealing to me. Besides, I just went in there to use the bathroom. The other night I was walking downtown, when I had to use the restroom. As a former dancer at the now closed down Cabaret on Burnside, I was curious to see what the building looks like after Cabaret was shut down and turned into a seafood restaurant. In the years that I worked at Cabaret off and on, I saw numerous rats, mice, insects and cockroaches in the basement and main floor of the building, and I was grossed out at the thought of people eating in the building, even now. My desire to use the restroom coincided with my curiosity as I was on Burnside, so I walked into Poseidon. Immediately when entering the restaurant of Poseidon, I was faced with two large tanks. One tank had a handful of large, live lobsters inside, moving around in the water. Another tank had a handful of large, live crabs on the inside, also moving around in the water. The things I saw inside Cabaret and the sight of these live sea creatures, along with the thought of eating inside the building, all seemed very unappealing to me. Besides, I just went in there to use the bathroom.

The restaurant was completely empty of customers. I asked the man in charge if I could use the bathroom. He told me there were no public restrooms. I told him I was planning on dining in, and just needed to use the bathroom first before I sat down. He told me to go ahead and use the bathroom, and added that I could pick anywhere in the restaurant I wanted to sit. I figured since I was the only non-worker in there, that it was a given I could sit at any of the dozens of empty chairs. After using the bathroom that I used for years while working at Cabaret, when rodents scampered about and drug addicts snorted coke in the stalls, I walked to the front of the restaurant to leave. The man in charge yelled, “HEY!” I did not turn around, but proceeded to exit the building, onto Burnside. That’s when the man in charge, inside the live lobster tank restaurant, ran out onto Burnside, and yelled across the street for everyone to hear,

“Karma will kick your ass, BITCH!”

I guess this man’s logic was that karma will harm me because I used the toilet inside his restaurant without customers after lying to him about my desire to eat his food. I felt like what he really wanted was to kick my ass himself rather than have karma do it, as the aggressive tone in which he used the misogynistic slur “BITCH” indicated as he ran outside and yelled it down Burnside. While I don’t even believe in the Western interpretation of karma, I would think that if karma did exist, it would more likely go after an angry misogynist who shouts sexism down the street at women, a man who murders live lobsters and crabs for a living, before karma would ever go after someone in need of a public rest room.

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Burnside Ave.

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