Yes It’s Ladies Night

 

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Some say that discrimination lawsuits are out of control. I happen not to think so, yet the story I have been hearing and reading in the news definitely takes it a bit too far to me as well. A lawyer and his client are suing a night club over ladies night. He claims that the practice is gender discrimination and benefits women to men’s expense. Yet you can also look at this from another perspective and even see how stupid this case is by applying it to other types of benefits.

If you look at it from the point of men might be luckier because of ladies night then the men might not be so offended by this practice. Ladies are less likely to frequent bars as much as men and since the men in these particular bars are there for the women and not male company by offering the women an incentive to come out this benefits the men who now have a plethora of ladies to approach. Also, since the ladies drinks etc are half price and in some cases free, the men that want to buy drinks will do so at with less of an expense than other days. Sure these may be small benefits yet if that particular man gets lucky due to ladies nights will be less likely to hate the discrepancy.

Now is ladies night a discriminatory practice? I guess you can look at it that way. Yet, isn’t men holding a woman’s chair out, holding open a door or putting on her jacket acts of discrimination as well since they are done for women and not men? I don’t think so. Some differences are to be expected in the treatment of men vs. women. I know that the feminists are about to explode right now, yet I do feel that these differences do not amount to anything detrimental or hurtful with respects to men. I personally feel that women should be treated as women and love the gestures associated with being a woman. I like for a man to hold the door or bring me flowers etc.

In order for me to agree with the discrimination charge they would have to show me exactly how the men are being injured by the practice of ladies night. Wasn’t the man going to have to pay for entry and drinks etc anyway so whether the women get in free or at a reduced rate isn’t going to change this. It isn’t going to stop men from getting into the clubs or bar, now if the men are being turned away in order for the women to get into the bar for free then I would agree that the men have been harmed or maligned by the practice.

Now what if like the defense attorney said we start to apply this to other types of situations where one group benefits. I don’t mean such as races, I mean things such as Motel 6 allows kids to stay free, should the elderly sue. Restaurants let kids eat free under a certain age and have special priced menus for those of retirement age. I don’t think that anyone is actually being hurt by these practices. No one is being denied income, housing or medical care with these practices. Also, no one is saying that they won’t serve certain people; they are actually making it easier for some to frequent those businesses. If a family is on a budget they are more likely to go to a place in which their children eat free. Or elderly on a budget probably will frequent places where they get a better deal.

If they want to put an end to ladies night, I could care less since I don’t frequent bars or night clubs. But, I feel that the men who are suing are cutting off their noses to spite their face because if the women no longer frequent the bars and club these same men will be upset that there aren’t a larger number of women to make the night enjoyable. I guess next they will be suing for the right to have women open doors and pull out their chairs as well.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Yes It’s Ladies Night

  1. I’d like to register my disagreement with this argument, as well-constructed as it is.

    You say that the discrimination claim should hinge on whether or not men are being harmed by “ladies’ nights.” I disagree, although I do think it’s pretty clear that a man is injured when he goes to a bar or club and has to pay twice as much as a woman. The fact that some men might willingly allow this discrimination in order to be surrounded by more women doesn’t change that. Nor does the fact that the men would pay the same prices on other nights, since clearly the regular drink prices must be higher to compensate for lower prices for women on certain nights.

    The critical issue, though, is how this practice harms women. And surely women are harmed by a practice which sets them aside from other people and suggests either (1) that they are less capable of paying for a night out (harking back to old-fashioned gender roles); or (2) that they can, and should, be lured by cheap drinks for the benefit of other people looking to use them for sexual conquests.

    I think your analogy to promotions involving children is a useful approach to looking at this issue. However, I think it ends up proving the merits of the laws against sex discrimination. Children are fundamentally different in ways that are relevant to many business situations: children under 12, for instance, do tend to eat much less in restaurants, and this is due to biological issues, not to cultural practices. There are no inherent differences between men and women which cause women to drink less, be less able to pay, be less likely to come to bars, or need to be present in equal numbers.

    I think it’s great that you appreciate “the gestures associated with being a woman,” by which you mean gestures still associated by many people with how women are traditionally treated, and I would defend your right to enjoy them. But these gestures aren’t inherent to men and women; they’re merely social conventions which used to be widespread in our particular society, and are still practiced frequently in many parts of it. So certainly men and women who don’t appreciate those gestures shouldn’t be bound by them, any more than you should be prohibited from enjoying them.

    Surely, no one is calling for men to have a “right to have women open doors and pull out their chairs as well,” but no one would want women to be told they couldn’t do these things, either?

    Thanks,

    James

  2. theblacksentinel

    James,

    I don’t think that ladies night has anything to do with women being capable of paying or not. It is a way, just like a sale, to bring the women or whoever to the business. Are men going to sue when women’s shoes go on sale and theirs is not.

    According to a few scientific studies women do drink less than men and less often. So there are inherent differences in the frequency both genders tend to go to bars. This is the reason for the ladies night themes. Men are less likely to visit a bar that has no ladies in it, so the bar suffers and they decided to attract ladies with a special event.

    It is the same as the fact that older people tend to eat less and earlier in the day. So the restaurant businesses started offering early bird specials etc. This is to attract an otherwise lost income stream. So this is done not with the intention of hurting the middle class people who eat early and small amounts. Even though by your analysis would be hurt since they are paying more for their meals.

    I think that this is a very fine line type of case. I can see how men would feel left out, yet I still don’t see the injury to the men. If anything when the women decide not to frequent the bars not only will the bar suffer the men will as well.

    Thanks for the reply.

  3. I think it’s one thing to have a sale on a product designed to appeal primarily to women. It would be another thing altogether to ban women from buying the product, or to require them to pay regular price while men pay a sale price.

    It’s true that, in our society, women on average drink less than men. But that’s not an inherent difference; it’s just the opposite, a difference that comes about when a particular society has cultural norms that encourage different people to behave in different ways, and only for those people who follow those norms.

    Ditto for your argument about elderly restaurant patrons. It’s a good analogy, except that this in an inherent difference, with a biological basis (both eating less and earlier). And please note that restaurants are careful not to charge elderly customers less, but instead to offer discounts at times which tend to appeal to the elderly (and to families with children, as well).

    I don’t blame bars for wishing that more women would visit, because some of their customers are, no doubt, men who would like to see more women. But that’s no excuse for violating anti-discrimination laws, any more than it would be to encourage underage drinkers, on the theory that some customers would like to see them around, too.

    The fact is that “ladies’ nights” do not serve the interests of men who aren’t single, or who aren’t looking to “hook up” with women, or who aren’t interested in women in the first place. And they don’t serve the interests of women, either, if they bring them in as bait to lure more men, which is the business rationale being presented.

    Perhaps your most interesting statement is this: “I still don’t see the injury to the men.” Can you really not see the injury to me, if I’m paying more than a woman for my drinks? You can assume, for the purpose of this discussion, that I’m not interested in meeting women in bars for casual sex, or any other purpose, and I’m certainly not drawn to women who come to “ladies’ nights.”

    What would we think if we came across a bar which offered half-price drinks to whites (on Tuesdays only, of course)? It’s easy to think of economic rationales for such a promotion, as odious as it would be. Would you agree with the bar that blacks aren’t “really” suffering any harm, since they’re only paying the regular price for drinks?

    Thanks,

    James

  4. william

    So what if I had a night club that I wanted to have more white people in it so I could have a more mix crowd of people, because I had to many blacks and mexican there. Could I just let white people in for free to even out my club, and charger blacks and mexican to get in.

  5. Damien

    When did we (men) become such cry babies?

    I say, let the women have their night.
    To me, the whole argument that men are being hurt by this is ridiculous. If a man is frequenting bars enough to get upset about ladies night and the price of a drink. That man is being petty, nothing more or less. If anyone goes out to to bars you’re gonna get charged for those drinks. Which, it would be cheaper to buy a bottle at the liquor store.

    Men treat women in a certain way… it’s called chivalry or just plain courtesy.

    I can see were the argument for discrimination is but damn. I think it’s a win win situation. Like Sent said. More woman for playtime. From what I know people go to bars to hang out and do the whole single life thing and some do not but I’ve never heard anyone complain about the price of a drink. If you’re complaining about the price of a damn drank then you need to go to church and leave the bars alone.
    If you’re the type of guy that brings about this type of suit then he must be the type of guy that has a grudge.

  6. Damien

    I must say that the “black/white” thing is a lot deeper than the “man/woman” thing.

  7. theblacksentinel

    James,

    I don’t think that the goal is for the men to be able to meet women for casual sex, I think it is just a way to make sure that women are present.

    I could understand if the bar did this every night, but it only does it on the night that women are supposedly less likely to attend.

    Like I said, men “can” feel maligned by the practice. I think women feel maligned by the fact that they can take the exact same type of business clothes to the cleaners and be charged 5 times as much. Nobody is suing them. This is what I am discussing.

    I feel that this type of practice goes on all the time when someone feels that they are trying to bring in business or whatever. I never said it was right or wrong, I am trying to figure out if there is another way to look at it.

    William,

    You are losing site of the point. Do the blacks and Mexicans want more whites in the club in order to serve some point? The ladies night is to ensure that there is ample women so the men will stay longer etc. What is the purpose of having more whites for the blacks and Mexicans?

    So that point is fruitless. I see where you are going but it is not a good correlation. Try a better scenario. The clubs aren’t just trying to have a better mix. They are doing it to ensure that the men stay and spend money. The majority of men at night clubs are meeting women so it would behoove the club to make sure that is achieved.

    I do not frequent clubs but this seems to be the mode of operation good or bad. Will you both let me and others know how this is going to hurt those men by having a ladies night? They are coming to meet people who might not otherwise come out. Remember I am not for or against it, I am putting it out there for you to decide.

    I will play the devils advocate though.

    Thanks for the reply.

  8. I think you raise a great point about women’s clothing at drycleaning businesses. It’s arguably a more serious problem, and there have been lawsuits, and they generally win: women can usually be charged more for haircuts and hair styling, because their hair tends to be much longer, but similar clothing can’t be charged different rates based on gender.

    I think there may be some confusion about why these bars are trying to attract women. You say it’s not so that men have a chance to meet women for casual encounters. Yet you do say the men (and therefore the establishments) will benefit from having “ample women” whom the men are there to “meet.” Do a lot of men go to bars to meet women for stimulating conversation, or long-term friendship, or because they’re likely to find their soul mates on a barstool?

    My point is that many men won’t benefit at all from having more women in bars, and many women feel that being offered discount drinks in order to be available for men to meet isn’t exactly respecting them, either. The fact that the bars may do better business, and men on the prowl may benefit, doesn’t change any of that.

    And I appreciate that you’re raising these issues for consideration, and not trying to establish right and wrong. I don’t mean to suggest that these are your views, just ones you’ve put out for thought.

    And Damien, I think you’re just proving my point by referring to these promotional nights as offering “more woman [sic] for playtime.” As outdated as it may be to call sexist behavior “chivalrous,” I don’t think there was ever anything chivalrous about viewing women that way.

    James

  9. theblacksentinel

    James,

    You are correct that the women are there for men to “meet”. I am just saying that the goal is to meet the women not necessarily to produce a sexual encounter for the men. That would be more along the lines of the club becoming a brothel of sorts. So I want to steer clear of “what” the men want. Since it is probably different for some.

    You are also correct about the chivalrous behavior which is not bringing women in the clubs etc. But, if the women are OK with it and the men seem to like it (at least some). Why the big deal?

    Just writing the last question is a double edged sword for me, as I can just see the same questions for those who would like to have this argument play the same for racist situations. Yet I do feel that this is very different indeed. I still see it in the same boat as the age discrimination with restaurants etc.

    Thanks

  10. Thanks for the clarification about sexual encounters. I guess my point was that the goal of those men who need to see more women in their bars, whatever it is, is necessarily fairly shallow. It’s not important.

    I think the key point is that the only men who might experience any benefit from “ladies’ nights” would be those who are:

    – straight;
    – single;
    – looking to meet someone; and
    – interested in finding that someone in a bar

    And even men who have all of these qualities won’t all appreciate the trade-off.

    You also ask, “But if the women are OK with it and the men seem to like it (at least some). Why the big deal?”

    I think the answer is very clear: some women are probably all right with that policy, and some men probably are, too. But that doesn’t make it right, does it? It’s like saying that some men, and some women, are all right with sexual harassment. That’s undoubtedly true, but it doesn’t make it right: it’s wrong on principle, and it genuinely works against the interests of many people.

    I really appreciate your honesty in saying that you don’t see this type of discrimination against women as being on a par with similar situations of race, even while you recognize that the arguments are quite similar.

    I suspect that this ultimately comes down to what people are concerned about, and sensitized to. People who are more accepting of traditional roles for women, and who are more likely to see those roles as natural, rather than the product of social customs, are more likely to see “ladies’ nights” as harmless expressions of how men and women are, and less likely to see harmful stereotyping. Just as those who see blacks as people, but with different natural characteristics than whites, are much more tolerant of notions like “separate but equal” or relegating blacks to a different set of opportunities in society than whites.

    (I’m not trying to suggest that any of this describes you, of course. As you said, you’ve just put these issues out there, and to some extent played devil’s advocate. But I’m trying to get behind the ease with which some people seem to accept different roles for men and women as “natural,” and practices like “ladies’ nights” as appropriately even-handed and harmless, despite the laws forbidding them.)

    Thanks!

  11. Damien

    I would have to say from my experience that men aren’t the only ones looking for playtime. I look at the matter from a mans point of view, yet, that doesn’t mean that woman aren’t there for the same thing. And just because I said playtime doesn’t have to mean sex. Dancing or just mingling with each other in an adult atmosphere to me could mean playtime.
    I hope I don’t offend anyone as I say this but I mean if you want to look at the subject in a hyper feminist point of view which I think I’m capable of… although I’m not a woman… but the whole point of chivalry was to treat woman as if they couldn’t defend themselves or needed a mans help… some would look at this as being “respectful” of the “fairer” sex. That is what I meant by chivalrous.
    Ultimately, what I’m try’n to say is that if we’re moving to a point where woman don’t receive any “special” treatment for them being woman then we should do away with “Ladies Night”.
    I take it with fun… I didn’t know the origins of ladies night… taken from what Sentinel said… Businesses make certain decisions to make more money… I don’t think it’s hurting any man that goes out to attend ladies night… I’m sure there most men doesn’t mind. I don’t think it’s a form of discrimination either.

    Thanks for replying James.

  12. theblacksentinel

    James & Damien,

    You both have made so many great points. You both have given me a lot to mull over. I will have to think real hard to figure out how I feel about this situation. I am torn since I do see both ends.

    Thanks again for all your replies.

  13. Pingback: Ladies Night Out

  14. lilkemet

    A very interesting article thank you.

    If black women want see something you may find uplifting please visit:
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