Girls just want to have fun

A night without men turns into a wild party for women.

Published March 14, 2001 8:36PM (EST)

The mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, Antanas Mockus, is known for making unconventional political decisions. He has declared himself "Super Citizen" and walked through the city dressed in red-and-blue tights. To catch the attention of reckless drivers, he once ordered mimes to be posted at stoplights. But his most recent scheme, Night Without Men, instigated a sex-specific curfew upon Bogotá last weekend. Hordes of wild women were hurled into the streets, where the females acted as police officers, attended strip clubs and partied the night away at the city's central park.

The mayor's plan actually had a legitimate basis -- to cut down on street crime and domestic abuse. And city officials reported that throughout the "Night Without Men," crime was indeed down 25 percent from the usual Friday evening. But the most lasting impression of the chick-positive celebration was that women were astounded at the fun they had.

"It was great," 35-year-old Janeth de Martin told the Associated Press. "You had a large group of people dancing and having fun in the streets, and there was no violence like there would have been with men around."

Bogotá's police and fire departments took the night off, and staff were replaced by women -- including 1,500 female police officers and the police chief. Bars and restaurants offered discounted food and drinks, and strip clubs hired male dancers. The only men allowed on the streets were asked to carry a "safe-conduct" pass, which listed an excuse for being out. (The passes, available at police stations and via the Internet, were quickly nicknamed "passports for love.") If men weren't carrying proper identification, women would give them dirty looks, and even scream "Go home!" to their faces. Cars driven by men were blocked in traffic, and women pounded on the windows and hoods of the vehicles.

"It's a good thing they only did this one night," said a gentleman named Conrado Gomez, who was out to dinner with his wife. "The city can only take one night of this."

Mayor Mockus reportedly spent the evening at home reading to his 4-year-old daughter.

By Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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