In the wake of #TimesUp and #MeToo, you would think that events that facilitate groping and sexual assault would be taking cover. Unfortunately, two women from Financial Times revealed that instead these kinds of events are only getting more secretive and under the table in the wake of the movements, and what they saw during their investigation is equally shocking as it is disappointing.
The event in question, The President's Club took place on January 18th, just last Thursday, at The Dorchester Hotel in London and the host of the event, Jonny Gould started the event by welcoming attendees with a welcome, claiming the event to be "the most un-PC event of the year." The event itself was a fundraiser, where attendees were raising money for the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
The charity event was a male exclusive night and a black tie affair, and the attendees ranged from men in business and politics to finance. What kind of men are we talking about exactly? The kind that were bidding on a lunch with Boris Johnson, one of the men behind Brexit.
In total there were in and around 360 attendees, and 130 hired hostesses that were specifically hired for the occasion. These hostesses were told by event planners to show up in "skimpy black outfits" with matching underwear and high heels. More specifically they were required to wear "black sexy shoes, black underwear and do their makeup as they would if they were going to a 'smart sexy place.' The requests didn't end there, considering multiple hostesses were not only propositioned at the after-party but were also groped and sexually harassed throughout the evening.
The two undercover women at the event noted that over a six hour period, the hostesses working the event were subject to groping, inappropriate comments and repeated requests from attendees to join them in the bedroom. Other hostesses offered more detail reporting that men continuously tried to put their hands up their skirts. One hostess event noted that a man had exposed his penis to her during the event.
Not only were the hostesses subject to such treatment throughout the event, but even before the event started they were required to do things that alluded to the nature of the undercover charity event. The woman behind hiring the hostesses, Ms. Dandrige, noted that hostesses were required to give their phones in to be "safely locked away" throughout the night.
On top of that, Dandrige advised the participating women to lie to their boyfriends about the event being male-exclusive and to say it was just a charity dinner. They were also required to wear a five-page non-disclosure agreement before the event even started and weren't even given the chance to read the document in full or take a copy home after signing.
Even the auction items were tainted, ranging from nights at a strip club to a gift certificate for plastic surgery with the title "add spice to your wife." The night ended with hostesses claiming it was the "worst night of their life." Though considering the event is in its 30th year, it's unlikely it will cease anytime soon, and new girls unknowing of what they are getting themselves into will sign up come next January. Here's hoping the exposé gets in the hands of women who could have been in the same situation next year, but are now more aware of what really goes on behind closed doors.
Source: Financial Times