In this day and age of heightened paranoia and stringent drug policy, none of us are strangers to an overly eager security search when entering the club. Usually, we don't think twice if the back of a gloved hand brushes a scrotum or if a nipple gets tweaked by mistake, so long as we manage to sneak whatever it is we're hiding in a location either too obscure or too obvious to find. The handsiness, grabbiness, gropiness and general invasive bas vibes can be a violating process, sure, but it's one we've come to accept as part of clubbing. But some punters in New York City have had enough...
Swanky Manhattan club Flash Factory is being sued for allegedly groping clubbers during entry searches, and the case has been filed with New York's Supreme Court. Two individuals, Jonathan Corbett and Elise Domyan filed a suit this week stating that while visiting the club recently, they were assaulted by security who overstepped their bounds and got a little too deep into Corbett and Domyan's business.
The suit alleges that security "grabbed Corbett's genitals and lifted Domyan's bra off of her chest to feel her breasts beneath" as they were searched. Corbett told THUMP that "Although by far the most invasive I've seen as a regular attendee of music events, Flash Factory's security is endemic of venues who use their responsibility to keep drugs from their dance floor as an excuse to conduct overly invasive searches."
Although some will lament the fact that you can sue anyone for anything in The States, it is true that there needs to be some standardized protocol instilled into the process. Even travelling on a plane requires less of a fondle than going out clubbing. Speaking of, Corbett is actually no stranger to issues of the body and security searches. He once filed a lawsuit against the TSA over their full-body scanners. In the suit, he claimed that the scanners could not even accurately detect weapons and that we're all being looked at naked for basically no reason--a claim that was corroborated by researchers.
Corbett and Doyman are seeking $100,000 compensation for "battery and negligence from management." A hundred grand?! Shit, maybe we should sue as well! "I enjoy attending nightlife events," Doyman stated yesterday. "But I should not have to be violated in order to do so, and neither should anyone else."
No doubt, it's good to see people from the scene taking a stand against what has become a truly invasive procedure at many clubs. There is little procedural discipline in these searches, often you're left at the whim of a (usually bald and grumpy looking) individual as to what are the appropriate boundaries for a search and what constittues a violation of physical space. In fear of reprisal, night clubs have taken on full-body searches to limit liability, but it seems they've found themselves liable for something else entirely.
Anyway, this conversation is largely moot. Real clubbers know to stick the drugs up their rear ends anyway, so unless these security guards want to don a latex glove and ask us to bend over and cough, the security search is more of a show than anything else. I've just learned to enjoy getting some hanky panky before the rave...