Friday, December 21, 2007

Ladies' Night

It’s Ladies Night, and that means those who society deems a lady get to waltz in to a bar (often for free), sit down at a stool and order greatly reduced drinks.

One has to wonder why these types of specials happen. Is it that the patriarch is finally realizing that women work damn hard and deserve alcohol in cheap quantity? Or is it because bars want to exude their finest chivalry by allowing women to enjoy life on the establishment’s dime? Or is it because bars want more men to come to the bar – maybe because of age-old stereotypes that man pay or drink more while out on the town?

A club in New York City is being sued for allowing such nights because it is discriminating towards men. A lawyer representing the bar makes many attempts to say that this is not the case, including pointing out restaurants that allow free/discounted food to those who are elderly or children. The lawyer also says how it can be better for men…

Vanessa R. Elliott, a lawyer representing the club AER Lounge, said in court papers Friday that nightclubs recognize that men might not want to visit the clubs if they fail to attract enough women. "Under this theory, male customers may actually benefit from ladies' nights in other ways and be encouraged to attend the club on those nights," she wrote.

Who is really benefiting here?

This type of lawsuit has been going on all around the country. In Denver one male customer won because, well, it does seem particularly sexist. The customer said it was unfair that he had to pay more to get in to the establishment, and he felt discriminated against. Rightfully so perhaps.

[As an aside, the NYC man suing has not been all too kind to feminists, which sucks because true feminists also believe that sexism is a two-way street..."What I’m trying to do now in my later years is fight everybody who violates my rights… the Feminazis have infiltrated institutions, and there’s been a transfer of rights from guys to girls.”]

One writer – who is a serious misogynist in “gentleman’s” clothing – says that men are not men if they can’t saddle up to a bar ready to pay. He goes on to say any man who presses such charges should lose their “status” as a man, and should no longer have the privilege of sleeping with any women. Wow. One can’t be a man if they feel that one way to stop perpetuating sexism is through the abolishment of such women-luring tactics?

What would be interesting, perhaps, is to do undercover work on what the bar considers a man to be – does it matter if they are straight or gay? What do these bars consider a lady? Are they only those who will catch the male gaze, maybe donning a skirt and cleavage-revealing top? Are they only feminine females? Are they heterosexual females? What happens if a masculine-identified lesbian woman walks up to the bar…does she get treated the same?

Important questions.