Civil Rights Violation Alleged at Fort Vancouver “Guys Only” Event (Updated)

by lewwaters

Blog Note: I initially thought this was a story worth covering. I disagreed that it was worthy of an investigation, but the tip I received said there was an ongoing investigation. Apparently that isn’t so as of yet. Women have been purchasing tickets to attend all along. The more I see about it the more I feel it is an effort to create an issue where none exists in an effort to force a leadership change at the Fort Vancouver National Trust.

UPDATE: The Columbian raises serious doubts as to the existence of the woman, Rebecca Pulliam who is said to have filed a complaint over this event. A name familiar to us all, Marcus Griffith is tied to the matter.

Word has reached CCC that a fundraiser for the Fort Vancouver National Trust is under formal investigation by the Washington State Human Rights Commission for a Civil Rights violation concerning their Suits and a Keg event scheduled for this Friday evening, August 12, 2011.

The issue? It was initially billed as a “Guys Only Event,” that wording having been discarded since the investigation was begun.

Click on image for larger view

As can be seen above, the “Guys Only” has been reworded simply to “this event.” However, the following screen shot taken just now, 12:56 AM Tuesday August 9 shows it still billed as a “Guys Event,” just not “Guys Only.”

The event meant to “capture the spirit of the 1950’s” seems to capture it a bit more than current anti-discrimination law allows by initially billing it as “Guys Only.”.

As a guy myself and beyond seeing this as an incredible waste of precious tax dollars by launching a formal civil rights violation investigation at this time, I don’t see a problem with a “Guys Only Event.” I also have no problem if anyone schedules a “Girls Night Out” for women and the men are not invited.

Far from being a denial of equal rights, I see such “Guys or Girls Only” events as acknowledging the differences between men and women. As much as we want equality in society, we are still different and enjoy different things.

I for one respect and acknowledge those differences between the sexes. That’s a large part of why I labeled this investigation as a huge waste of our tax dollars at this time when our precious tax dollars are dwindling. It’s also what attracts us to each other and helps keep our species going with future generations.

My attitude runs counter to the tipster that sent me word of this. Everybody is entitled to their view, however, whether we agree or not.

Also of issue, Rebecca Pulliam has filed the complaint alleging that she was told this is a “Mens only event” and that Jared Hidden, freelance writer for the Vancouver Voice and who, as a member of the Fort Vancouver National Trust’s development committee came up with the idea for the event told her she would not be able to bring her breast-feeding baby to the event. Why a mother would want to expose her breast-feeding infant to a night of loud music, hors d’oeuvres, cigars, big screens, poker and cold brew isn’t explained, which automatically brings her intent into question, as well as wondering where CPS is in all of this.

Jared Hidden was initially listed a manager for the Vancouver Voice, which is how the Vancouver Voice was listed as part of this investigation. I have
spoken by email with some of the particulars and listed an update below.

This more and more appears to be another attempt at creating controversy where none exists and should just die away instead of wasting thousands of dollars of our taxes.

UPDATE Aug 9: Reply received from Elson Strahan, President & CEO, Fort Vancouver National Trust:

“To your question about a change in our marketing, our publicity materials have always used our tag line of “truly a guys event.”  There was apparently a shorthand reference on a few early receipts that indicated it was a guys only event.  It never was part of our promotional information.”

“Finally, we have not received any formal investigation inquiry, except for a call asking if we were excluding women, to which we answered in the negative.”

“This is a non-issue.  A reporter at the Vancouver Voice apparently stirred this up to create a story, which will ultimately result in a waste of time and taxpayer money if the State’s civil rights staff has to respond.  We invite you – and ALL your readers – to join us this Friday.” (emphasis added)

A “non-issue” is exactly what I feel this should be. I wish the event great success!

UPDATE: Both the Columbian and the Portland Mercury have added coverage of this non-issue now. Comments left by readers are not exactly sympathetic.

One name so far left out of this story is the Vancouver Voice’s Marcus Griffith, who seems to be involved, judging by emails I received from him. Asking what he knew of this, I received the reply off, “I was listed as a witness to an alleged violation of Washington’s anti-discrimination laws. I will comply with my ethical and lawful obligations to cooperate with the investigation,” along with the explanation of Washington State Law as he sees it.

16 Comments to “Civil Rights Violation Alleged at Fort Vancouver “Guys Only” Event (Updated)”

  1. Odd, isn’t it?

    We have an entire chain of businesses that don’t allow men… they’ve been in operation for years, and men don’t care.

    I’m referring specifically to “Curves,” the women-only fitness gyms that guys don’t give a damn about when it comes to discrimination and that women don’t care about because they discriminate in their favor.

    HHhhmmmmm…. maybe it’s time to file a discrimination complaint against THEM, eh?

  2. It’s just political correctness and the old “double standard” running amok, kids. It’s what Liberalism brings.

  3. I said 15 years ago to the CEO of Safeway that the future of society was going to suffer greatly from the harm done when men and women are referred to as clerks. Ladies and Gentlemen are the truly desired roles that each of us should strive for and while doing so find our individual assets inside our souls a compliment to both our assigned sex and our personal lives. We will have a healthier impact on our communications within our culture if we allow ourselves to develope naturally which is more easily accomplished by interacting in all sorts of unique and sometimes segregated groups or events. This achieves “kids are kids” (which we still see when schools seperate 2nd graders from 6th graders) and men are men which we see when they get together for either a men’s bible study or poker night, and women are equally women and we have our nights and clubs. I say let it be… I don’t hang my sex on the hook when I enter a building and I do come in with a perspective that is a derivative of my experiences which occurred while being a woman.

  4. If this goes out as a serious violation of civil rights, I am going to agree here with the above responders. There are people even in MY generation that have male or female only events. Its called Bonding?

    Now if there was an event for educational purposes of SOME kind, THEN I would bet there would be a bigger story. Honestly, I think its a waste of tainted trolling.

    Its just a mens night out to raise money for a cause. No one is being hurt if they don’t attend. Why not have a women’s night for the same thing to raise money?

    What an utter waste of time and significance. Why doesn’t the state civil rights people go direct their aim at some thing serious than this? I would believe if this was a private event at the Fort, it would not be a FEDERAL issue?

  5. State law labels discrimination matters as “civil rights” issues. As for the men only fundraiser… why stop there? Why not limit attendees to rich, white, straight men who are all anti-light rail? Why not ban minorities from all Clark County business? I bet if Mexicans couldn’t shop anyone in America, they stop crossing the boarder. And while we’re at it, let’s make sure no mother breasts feeds her child in more revealing than a full body Burka.

    Clark County… not seeing whats wrong with gender discrimination is just sad.

  6. Just a little over the top there, aren’t you Tim?

    While we are at it, why not sue the Miss America Pageant because men are not included as contestants?

    As for this event at the Fort, women are not shut out, as explained by Elson Strahan.

    And from where I stand, I don’t see any problem with a “Guys Only” event any more than I do a “Gals Only” event from time to time.

    The event is fundraiser, not a business connection or party for advancement on the job.

    So, why is someone creating a problem where none exists? To make a name for himself? To try to sell an alternative newspaper?

    With all of the problems we have in society today, making a fuss over this event doesn’t add any solutions to anything.

  7. Old men smoking cheap cigars is going to appeal to too many women. Or men. So I don’t think advertising the event as “guys only” was needed to keep the event a sausage fest. That being said, there’s a clear state law prohibiting discrimination by gender, relegion etc.

    I wonder if you would support an event that was limited to non-veterans? You know, because veterans and non-veterans have different interests?

    As “civil rights violations” go, this one isn’t the most heinous offense, but it is an violation.

    What ever the costs on the tax payer are for the investigation, I hope the Fort has to pick up the tab.

  8. Wow Melissa, how many anti-war protests do you think I fight to attend? That’s a really pitiful effort.

    Now, as to the rest of your rage, why are you people trying to build such a non-issue into some major civil rights violation? Where is the outrage over the Medical Center’s Pink Power, Cameo (Girls Night Out Charity Event), 1st Independent’s “Bella Voce”, and other such programs that select women as their target audience? Where is your outrage over Miss America and males excluded from competing?

    Allow me to enlighten you to something, okay? WOMEN HAVE ALREADY PURCHASED TICKETS TO ATTEND!!!!

    There is no discrimination here, just some poor people trying to make themselves look relevant and build something out of nothing!

    Now, go burn a bra or something. You’ll accomplish as much.

  9. Fort Vancouver may be past due for a change in leadership.

  10. Is that what this was about, Jennifer? A sneaky underhanded way to create a problem where none exists in order to see someone you want ousted gone?

    Is that why you sent me the tip?

    Surely you can come up with something better.

  11. No Lew. The Fort’s handling of this mess is less than stellar.

  12. Jennifer, the more I hear about this the more it appears to be feigned outrage over a non-issue.

    Why only outrage over an event targeting males and not the several other events with females targeted?

    Does everything have to invite females, while females are allowed to exclude males?

    And, did you miss that women have already purchased tickets to attend?

    With all of the problems we are facing as a nation and a community, why is this even being pushed when there is no real problem?

    So what if early mentions said “a guys only” event? It’s been corrected and women were always welcome. And as said, some have purchased tickets to attend?

    So what is the real intent?

  13. So Jennifer, when you say “the Fort,” are you aware that “the Fort” and the Fort Vancouver National Trust (who is putting on the fundraiser) are two separate entities? The Fort is run by the National Park Service, while the Trust is a private, non-profit organization.

    If you think the Fort needs new leadership: talk to NPS and good luck with that. On the other hand, if you don’t like the direction the Trust is taking, join its Board of Directors – I’m quite certain there are openings. Making a comment on Lew’s blog seems unlikely to change either organization without more activity.

  14. James, be sure to check out the Columbian for some interesting updates. There are now some very serious doubts as to the existence of the woman, Rebecca Pulliam, who is said to have filed the complaint.

    Also of interest, referring back to the comments of Jennifer and Melissa, they both just happen to share the same exact IP address.

  15. If there is such a problem with this event, why did this woman not come forward and into the light to assert this charge? I don’t care if she is deaf or not, you don’t make a charge of this kind without some serious causation.

    If this isn’t true (some serious doubs are being raised) I hope they do find the person whom made this allegation and if this is not true, hang then out for public shame.

  16. I suspect a lot of Columbian FB “commenters” share the same IP address, Lew. There are just as many phony sockpuppets posting to the FB Columbian as there ever were despite fat-headed Lou’s “crowing” over the supposed “success” of the FB “move”.

    You can smell a sockpuppet a mile away. Maybe Brancaccio’s “smeller” is “broken”, or he needs to take off his glasses that have pictures of his own face on the lenses.

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