Although I don't think I've ever been to a bar on "Ladies Night," I'm against the practice, and I do see it as sexist and discriminatory. As Clark-Flory writes at Broadsheet, it is another "sex sells" tactic, with the end point being that more women will come if the drinks are cheap, which will in turn bring more men, which will lead them to pay for more full price drinks for the ladies. I also agree that although feminists do have "bigger fish to fry," this would be completely outrageous to women if the tide was turned and the men got the cheap drinks.
I'm surprised there haven't been more feminists arguing against ladies nights in the wake of this ruling. Roy Den Hollander, the man who brought the suit, is not the most sympathetic character [...] but there is so much about ladies nights that runs counter to feminist philosophy. Gender-based pricing, really?Gender-based pricing is the least of the sexism that I've seen at some bars. I've seen a stage where only women can dance with a bartender who walks by pouring shots down their throats, and stages with poles on them where a woman will dance and an employee shines a light up their skirt. I'm sure you've seen others.
However, cheap drinks for women is not the only form of discrimination that goes on in bars and clubs, as a reader to the Dish wrote in recently:
Many establishments enforce policies against certain racial groups through use of a selective dress code. I once tended bar at an upscale nightclub in the South that had a dress code that stated: "No sports jerseys, Timberland boots, baggy jeans, do rags, baseball hats, gym shoes, or sleeveless shirts." Now, this was clearly a racial dress code. Every weekend I would see plenty of white and Asian men in the bar wearing fashionable Nikes and occasionally sleeveless shirts or undershirts on really hot nights. Any black man who came to the club had to be on his best behavior and wear his most conservative and expensive outfit. This double standard basically told black people that as long as they could "act white" they were welcome in the club. White men who "dressed black" were also welcome as long as they could afford the cover charge.I'm reminded of the part in Knocked Up where Leslie Mann and Katherine Heigl (very, very pregnant) try to get into a nightclub. The black bouncer rejects them because Mann is "old" and Heigl is pregnant. After Mann reams him out, he pulls her aside and confesses that he hates his job, and that he can only allow a certain small percentage of black people in. He makes a joke about hoping for a black dwarf in order to meet his quota.
Bouncers seem to reject people for all sorts of reasons- inappropriate clothing, already being drunk, not being good looking enough, and, sometimes, just for being a guy, as I've heard guys only have a chance of getting in to the hottest nightclubs if they are already with girls. And the reasons people go to these clubs are specifically because of the types of people that will be there, which are the types of people that the bouncers already allow in. It becomes a cycle, although it still is discriminatory.
Now, going to the more exclusive clubs that make you wait behind a velvet rope are, of course, optional. You can go to a club that doesn't have a bouncer for screening purposes, go to a local bar that employs a DJ, or have a dance party in your house with an Ipod and some liquor. Plenty of people stay away from the velvet-rope type places because they don't want to wait around to be judged to get an overpriced drink.
Anyway, back to Ladies Night. It may not be the only form of discrimination at bars, but it is definitely the most overt since it is the one most explicitly advertised- and the one that seems to be the most widely acceptable. As Chris Bodenner uses as an example, discounts on drinks for white people would never happen.
I'm surprised at the courts ruling that this isn't discriminatory, but apparently there have been several of these cases across the country.