Ladies Nights: Legal discrimination?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Jeff 152, Apr 26, 2011.


Should Ladies nights be allowed?

  1. Yes, as should others (Caucasian Nights, Heterosexual Nights, Under Age 30 nights, etc.)

    5 vote(s)
  2. Yes, but not others. Motivation - ladies nights benefit men and don't harmfully discriminate

    2 vote(s)
  3. Yes, but not others. History - discrimination against men different than against blacks, gays, etc

    0 vote(s)
  4. Both 2 and 3

    0 vote(s)
  5. No forms of "nights" should be allowed - they are all forms of discrimination

    3 vote(s)
  1. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    So it's a question of economics. Kids do pay less at museums. Same principle, different track, maybe.
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  3. Jeff 152 Registered Senior Member

    First let's be clear; I think you misunderstand my position. I am for ladies nights.

    This is exactly my point. You are saying ladies nights are alright, while also saying that any form of discrimination by business owners is not allowed. You justify this obvious contradiction by saying that the men aren't really being discriminated against because they benefit from these ladies nights. I agree.

    But if you are a lawyer or legislator trying to decide the legality of some form of "night," what is the criteria? Deciding whether the people being discriminated against are better off? This is the kind of subjective utilitarian ruling that I said you would need to make without a consistent position.

    You dodged the question of whether it would be alright to make ladies nights prohibitively expensive for men or downright ban the men for the night. I know that this would not be profitable and it wouldn't happen in a free market, that wasn't the question. Assume a bar wanted to do it, even if it lost money. Would you as a legislator step in to stop it? If so, at what point do you deem that the price difference is discriminatory and not just trying to get more ladies in?

    Forgive me if I am misunderstanding you, but gathering from your several posts, you are saying that ladies nights are acceptable because this kind of discrimination doesn't actually hurt the men. My question is, who is the judge of that? What about the married group of guys who just want to go to the bar to hang out and have some drinks and aren't interested in hitting on women. Aren't they hurt by having to pay double?

    To be clear, I am for ladies nights, but as a principle of the owner's right to charge what he wants, not on the outcome of that decision.
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  5. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    im facinated by the assumption that every guy who goes to a bar wants to pick up. I go there with my partner to have a few drinks or with a group of friends from work to socilise and before anyone says "well just get her to buy your drinks" rember that sounds alot like "women dont need to vote because there husbands can just do it for them"
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  7. SilentLi89 Registered Senior Member

    Ladies' Nights are discriminating against men, but if a ridiculously overwhelming majority of the oppressed party doesn't mind then I see no reason to get rid of Ladies' Night. Every thing is relative and you shouldn't help people who don't want your help. Most women don't mind and most men don't mind, so it's really a non-issue. There are lots of price discriminations in society today. Children, college students, senior citizens, the handicapped...etc. Again most people don't mind for various reasons and the discounts are socially deemed fair. Ladies' night fits into that category.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    Well, here's the thing, though: I think you're jumping tracks here.

    I live in an area where Ladies' Night seems to be legal. Indeed, I'm pretty sure I see an advert for LN at a local casino on a regular basis. (Honestly, though, I don't pay attention; it's a casino advert.) However, it's been thirty years since the Supersonics' basketball organization won its ladies' night case about discount ticket prices. So I'm not certain.

    But here's the thing: I don't drink at those kinds of bars. Lowbrow promotions at a bar tend to coincide with loud, obnoxious drunks. Maybe such environments are ubiquitous in Australian pubs, but not in the Seattle area. Functionally, such promotions just don't affect me. Yes, I ought to have the right to drink shitty beer at a dive for the same price as a woman, but I really don't fucking care.

    However, the bit about women's suffrage is a bit of hyperbole, and the sort that makes people think the masculinist movement is just a chauvinists' league. I mean, every measurable proportion about that analogy is off by a mile. Context? You don't seem to be upset about the standing proposition that a man ought to buy a woman drinks. Indeed, I've met women in bars who expect me to buy them a drink for the simple fact that I'm a man and she's a woman. I actually would expect you, personally, to have a problem with that standard, but I could also easily be wrong about it. Ladies' Night, in the context of women buying drinks for men, is a bit like a grown-ups' version of tolo°. Consequence? No, seriously, you're comparing a Foster's or glass of Black Opal to the vote? Really, mate, what is anyone supposed to say to that?

    Really, "(guffaw!)" comes to mind, but I just don't think that would be productive.

    There has been increasing motion against Ladies' Night for the last sixteen years, so this horrible injustice against men is on the wane. I'm sorry we can't make it go any faster, but people are only going to get so much done while laughing their asses off. In 1995, California banned sex discrimination in service pricing; other states have followed suit. In '98, New York City prohibited hair salons and drycleaners from sex discrimination in pricing. In 2005, a Canadian Lib MP pushed legislation against sex discrimination in pricing. It's slow going, Asguard. No, we're not going to get the high-heeled boot of feminist injustice off the poor, defenseless men's necks tomorrow, but someday we penile-endowed Y-chromosomes will find our promised land of freedom, in which we are free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, free at last! Someday, sir, we'll put them silly bitches in their place.


    ° tolo — a.k.a. "Sadie Hawkins Dance", "Spinsters' Ball". I actually never, until this very moment, realized that the word "tolo" was regionally specific to where I live. Apparently it comes from the Chinook language. No, really, I had no idea.

    Works Cited:

    Wikipedia. "Sadie Hawkins Dance". April 22, 2011. April 27, 2011.

    Conner-Simmons, Adam. "Is Ladies' Night Legal?" Gelf. September 5, 2007. April 27, 2011.
  9. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    If there's one thing most guys hate, it's going to a bar and finding most of the patrons to be men. The dreaded "Sausage Fest". Ladie's Night helps prevent that and ensures that there are enough drunken females to go around.
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    On the Hunt

    Well, sure, but the one distinction I would draw is that you're referring to men who are hunting.

    Or maybe I'm drawing a regional or classist cultural boundary. But it seems to me there is a significant market segment that either doesn't care, or is actually hostile to the meat market.

    Or maybe it's just me. Aside from the fact of Happy Hour, which is occasionally in effect when I walk into a bar, promotions are only relevant to when, where, and how I drink in such a context as to tell me which bars to avoid. Cheap promotions are generally a sign to me that I don't need to be drinking in a particular establishment.

    The Dreaded Sausage Fest is a chilling reality, in my opinion, to two groups of men: Those who are on the hunt, and those who are insecure in their heterosexuality. That is, unless you're actually looking for a woman to hit on, or worried that some guy might hit on you, I don't see how the sausage fest is problematic. Maybe I'm overlooking something.
  11. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Did I write some sentence that could be construed that way? I don't think I did.

    But, who is being harmed here? You'd expect someone to complain, if someone was being harmed, no?

    There are lots of things that are "unequal" but not harmful, or unjust, or unfair, or whatever.

    I think the key to understanding this situation, is to note that a bar of this type isn't so much in the business of selling a generic, gender-neutral product (the drinks themselves, say), but rather providing a promising environment for finding potential sex partners. And since there are some pretty obvious differences between men and women when it comes to sexual pairing practices and preferences, the premise that the best, fairest way to go about such will involve disparate treatment is not exactly crazy on its face.
  12. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    I have not said either of those things. I have, in fact, made a point of saying things that are incompatible with both of those positions.

    That latter observation is stands on its own - it is not offered in support of any contradictory position, since I haven't advanced such. That is a strawman introduced by you, over my explicit objections.

    Again, you have it entirely backwards: you need to first establish that somebody is being harmed, before you can claim they are being "discriminated against."

    Because, again, those questions are not relevant. What you are describing there, is not a "ladies night." So what I do or do not think about such, has nothing to do with anything I've said about ladies nights, that I can see.

    You are misconstruing me, and you'll have to aknowledge such, stop doing it and apologize for doing so before any forgiveness will be forthcoming from me.

    How many more times do I need to explicitly tell you that such is not what I'm saying, before you'll stop trying to strawman me with this?

    Who is the judge of someone's personal opinion about something? That person, obviously. Who is the judge of whether an action or practice is lawful? Actual judges, again obviously.

    A group of such married guys that wants to go to a singles bar full of single people looking to hook up with eachother is going to experience a variety of negative impacts on their experience, all stemming from their decision to go to a place that isn't catering to their desires. I see no reason that bars need to be equally accomodating of all different social styles. Unlike the right to discriminate on the basis of race or nationality or whatever, it is clearly and legitimately in a business owner's prerogative to decide what type of business he wants to run, and what clientele he wishes to cater to, etc.

    People who want a cheap hamburger for dinner are "hurt" by restaurants that only offer expensive steaks, in exactly the same way. So what?

    Owners have no such right to discriminate. That position is indefensible on its face. There are rather explicit federal laws forbidding it, with good reason.
  13. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Related anecdote: was at a Halloween party some friends threw a few years back. They'd rented out an entire rooftop bar, and the place was pretty packed. I'm waiting patiently in the long line to get more drinks for myself and my girlfriend. As I near the front of the line, some drunk blond walks up to me out of the crowd and matter-of-factly informs me that she'll be entering the line ahead of me. I respond, simply, "No." She looks shocked and angry, and responds by pushing my shoulder backwards so that she can physically wedge herself between me and the patron in front of me. I remove her hand from my shoulder, and lean towards her. She shrieks and demands that I stop shoving her around. I point out that the only person doing any shoving is her. She attempts a passive-aggressive out, by turning around and attempting to catch the eye of the bartender. I remain where I am (at not point is there enough room for both of us to comfortably stand where we are, but I'm much bigger, so...), and after a minute she retreats to the company of her friend nearby.

    So, yeah, those are the sorts of expectations and roles that you'll see women (and men) exhibiting when they go to a bar. Part that I still wonder about was whether she assumed I was single (and attracted to pushy blonds with entitlement issues).
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The Hunt

    It's all related—subordinate—to the ritual. Even if they don't know they're taking part. That is, people can learn to hold an expectation even if they don't know why.

    Once you break the ritual, perspectives change. To wit, as a personal anecdote, I've had my time with women I met in bars. None of those relationships worked out, save the part where one of those women bore me a really cool child.

    To the other, that woman broke up our family because she wanted to pursue a more stable relationship. With a guy she met at a bar. Of course, she had to wait to build that relationship until he finished up his divorce from the woman he married as part of an immigration sham, but that doesn't really have anything to do with anything.

    But I'm pretty much done hunting tail in bars. That is, I never rule out the spontaneous hook up, but I'm not going to pursue it in a bar. Indeed, if getting laid is so important that I have to charm my way in before last call ...? (Clock's ticking—can he seal the deal? Oh, it looks like he's going go sheepish—he shoots! he scooooooooooores! With only two seconds before last call, she says yes! It's a legendary performance here tonight, friends. I don't know anybody who didn't wonder about his game, lately, and tonight he put all the doubters to rest. Just look at that sheepish smile, that devious twinkle in the eye, and when she says yes, you know she's going to rock his world tonight. Atta boy! What a fabulous and unexpected performance leading to one of the greatest comeback victories in the history of the sport!)

    And it always gets more complicated than just shagging for the fuck of it.

    In truth, once you step out of the hunt—I don't even play for "boiz", or however I'm supposed to spell it—its rituals start to seem really, really strange.
  15. Jeff 152 Registered Senior Member

    The ladies nights I am referring to are ones where men have to pay a cover charge which is double the normal cover charge and women get in free. This was the question which you have not answered. Maybe you misunderstood what kind of ladies nights I am referring to. I am referring to when men have to pay a higher entrance fee than women.

    You keep saying that I am making a strawman argument, but it is you who keep changing the questions I have asked you or calling them irrelvant.'_night

    So, for the third time now, what do you make of a bar which makes a cover charge more expensive for men, at what point does it become prohibitively expensive enough to classify as discrimination?

    You are proving my point. What about a bar that wants to cater to white males? Or young people? Or women? How subtle is "cater to" and when does "catering to" an audience become discrimination against those others?

    For people who are harmed, what about a homosexual man who has to pay double when he is not interested in women at all so the ladies nights doesn't help him. Or what about someone in general who doesn't value the company of women enough to warrant paying double to get in and have a beer.

    Who are you to decide who is harmed by this? The fact that this guy is going around suing bars obviously shows that he has been harmed. You telling him he can go to a different bar or telling him that he should be happy since there are more women at the bar is not going to satisfy him.

    You talk about how those men who this does not cater to (married men) can go a to a different bar more akin to their interests. THIS IS EXACTLY MY POINT. If a bar has racist owners patronized by racist people who don't want any black people in their bar, then black people can go to a different bar more akin to their interests.

    And what are these explicit federal laws? How are they defined? Would barring certain genders or races from entering or effectively barring them with prohibitively high cover charges qualify as discrimination under these laws? I think it would. But my argument is that those laws preventing discrimination are unconstitutional to begin with.

    What if I want to invite people walking by my house inside to have some drinks, but I refuse to let any black people walking by inside. Is this legal? I think most people would say it is because it is your house and you don't have to let anyone in you dont want to. What about if I rent out some building and do the same thing? Where do you draw the line on private property dividing a home where you retain the right to discriminate and a business where you cant?

    Going to an even more general case, what about when there is a line outside a bar, so the bouncer only lets in pretty women and his friends, even if others have been waiting longer. Isn't this discrimination? Shouldn't everyone have an equal opportunity to get in? You act as if everyone has an equal right to get in, when it's at the owner's discretion who gets in.
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Discrimination in History and Law

    Which clubs are you referring to that, on ladies' night, actually increase the custom for men trying to enter the establishment?

    Equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment is a curious animal. The strict scrutiny that applies to racial and ethnic questions is not guaranteed in gender cases. Indeed, if it had been, the gay marriage fight would have ended eight years ago.

    None of that, however, changes a basic point I'm not letting you dodge:

    • Yes, Ladies' Night is discriminatory and unfair.

    • No, you do not get to tie Ladies' Night to justification for racial discrimination.​

    Ethnic and sexual discrimination follow very different paths in the United States. Consider that if we compare the outcome to the actual language of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, women were not people for the purposes of the law. That is, given the Fourteenth Amendment, specifically, as well as the already-extant Fifth, the Nineteenth Amendment ought not to have been required in order to secure a woman's right to vote.

    One can always assert that the Fifteenth Amendment screwed up that whole formula, but still, according to the Fourteenth, which applies to the states, and the Fifth, which covers the federal government, the only way you could construe that women should not vote would be to exclude them from personhood and citizenship.

    But that's just the United States. I can't speak specifically to any other countries.
  17. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    In Australia one of the first antidiscrimination acts was the sexual discrimination act. I also believe its a federal act like the racial discrimination act. Tiassa I wasn't comparing them, I was comparing the attitude which says treating one gender differently is okay because its for there own good.
  18. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

    Vlech. Yuck. Vomit.

    I pay for myself, and if someone does pay for something for me I'll return the favor the next time. I don't do the whole 'I'm so precious because I'm physically capable of having a baby, so you should pay for me' crap.
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    This and That

    Indeed. I would only refer you to the topic post

    " This reminded me of the whole controversy with rand paul saying businesses should be able to discriminate and that the provision of the civil rights act which forced businesses to allow everyone in was unconstitutional. He was largely denounced and called a racist of course, but if businesses aren’t allowed to discriminate because of the civil rights act, then why are ladies nights alright? What if a bar had a “Caucasian night” where white people got in free but black people had to pay? There would be complete outrage. Though what is really the difference in the two? Is it just that it is more acceptable to discriminate against white men as a sort of payback for all the discrimination they have done in the past? Or is it the motivation that matters – after all, a ladies night ends up benefiting the guys and the motivation for making women get in free is to help the men. The motivation for a Caucasian night would probably not be as benevolent.

    1. Should bars be allowed to have a ladies night where women get in free but men pay?
    2. Should bars be allowed to have a Caucasian night where whites get in free but blacks pay?
    3. If you answered differently to 1 and 2, what is the difference between them, and does this difference justify a different treatment under the law?


    "Option 1 is for the Rand Paul fans - a private businesses is like your private home - have the right to decide who is allowed to come in and if they have to pay for the privilege. If you don't like it, you can go elsewhere.

    Options 2 and 3 are for the ones who see a difference between ladies nights and other discrimination - the difference is the reasoning.
    2 is for the people who were touching on the argument that ladies nights are not harmfully discriminating against men and in fact they help men. The motive is just to bring in more business and not to exclude some group of people you don't like. This is a possible justification for ladies nights
    3 is for those who mentioned how discriminating against men just isn't as big a deal since we will put up with it because we have always had the upper hand in history, so we are willing to relinquish that control.

    Option 4 is for people who believe both of these are valid reasons

    Option 5 is for the people saying none of these "nights" should be allowed since they are discriminatory.

    —and #52

    "You talk about how those men who this does not cater to (married men) can go a to a different bar more akin to their interests. THIS IS EXACTLY MY POINT. If a bar has racist owners patronized by racist people who don't want any black people in their bar, then black people can go to a different bar more akin to their interests."​

    —the last of which I was responding to directly, and none of which you authored.

    I know you and I disagree on certain gender issues, but I don't recall you ever trying to transform a gender issue into a racial/ethnic proposition.

    Our neighbor, however, seems to want to connect sex discrimination to racial discrimination. This is the comparison I'm hoping to discourage.

    • • •​

    General Comment

    Perhaps I might propose a solution:

    Skirt Night

    If you wear a skirt that hems three inches above your knee, you get the discount. Pantyhose and tights underneath are certainly acceptable. Thigh-high stockings get a free appetizer.

    It seems to me that if Ladies' Night is so tied up in the meat market, this ought to work, as well. That way, if the fact that the women in skirts are getting discounts annoys a guy, he can wear a skirt and get the discounts, too.

    It would be no different than having a Rocky Horror or Star Wars theme night.
  20. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    The business has a right to run special promotions that will hopefully make him some money and if it didn't work he wouldn't continue doing it. Anybody that doesn't like it can take their business somewhere else. It doesn't get any simpler than that. If he can get the ladies in the guys will follow or maybe the guys will see this as a way to take their woman out and only pay for his drinks.
  21. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    As long as the guys shave their legs...I always did like a hot guy in a sexy skirt...but they ought to make the guys wear heels too, to get the discount, of at least an inch.
  22. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    No, you were referring to some alternative wherein the price differential becomes ridiculously high, to the point where men are economically prevented from participating. That would not be a "ladies night." That would be a "women only bar" or something like that. Different story.

    You do it again, here:

    At the point where the single men who are the target of the event start to complain and refuse to pay. Which is why such will never happen - if you aren't drawing a big crowd of dudes with your ladies night, you're doing it wrong and not making money, and you will quickly stop doing it that way. This being why such a consideration is irrelevant: it never happens. Ladies Nights are always structured such that they will get more men in the door than would have showed up otherwise. They exist to sell a service to such men, and can be relied upon to do so as efficiently as possible.

    It's always "discrimination." It's only illegal if it's discrimination on the basis of gender, national origin, race and some other specific categories. It's only problematic if somebody is being harmed by it. "Discriminating against" people who don't like the style of food your restaurant serves is a non-issue. Discriminating against people whose race you don't like is an issue.

    The supposition here is that charging men more than women represents gender discrimination against men. But that is a superficial reading: the entire purpose of the event is to cater to exactly those men. They would be the biggest complainers if such were to be made illegal. They are more than willing to pay a premium for access to drunk single women. Single women, in contrast, are not generally willing to pay such a premium for access to drunk single women.

    They can drink elsewhere. Nobody is putting a gun to their heads - if they aren't interested in a business that is selling access to drunk single women, then they don't have to patronize such. Same as someone who prefers cheeseburgers to steak - he doesn't complain about steakhouses charging a lot of money for steak and not serving cheeseburgers. He just goes to a cheeseburger joint and eats one.

    Or, heck, they can just wait 24 hours. Typically ladies night is just one night.

    What kind of question is that?

    That, or he's a lawsuit troll, or just has a chip on his shoulder about this issue. The thing about lawsuits is that you don't get to insist that your filing of a lawsuit establishes that the alleged harm actually occurred.

    So what? We have yet to establish that he's a reasonable person on this issue. So the question of whether my views would, according to you, "satisfy" some other person we've never met, doesn't really concern me.

    Yeah, except that sort of attitude is totally unacceptable when the discrimination is on the basis of some innate feature that people have no control over. That bars exist to cater to the interests of people who like certain types of bars, is not the same thing as bars existing to cater to the interests of people who dislike certain races. One of those things is the free market. The other is ideological racism.

    Wikipedia is your friend.

    Generally, yes. Although there are exceptions.

    But nobody is being barred entry on the basis of their gender. Indeed, the entire goal is to get more men to show up than otherwise would have - by getting more women to show up than otherwise would have. The only people that are being excluded are those who are not interested in what is being sold - that's not a gender. That's a personal preference. Plenty of women are disinterested in such, even if they can get cheap drinks out of the deal.

    Supreme Court says otherwise, so you lose that one.

    That is indeed legal, unless your house is a business of some sort. The relevant anti-discrimination acts only cover commercial and government interactions. You are free to discriminate all you like in your personal doings.

    Then you're afoul of the law. To the extent that you're doing business or engaging with the government, you are subject to anti-discrimination laws.

    The line is drawn on commerce. If you're engaged in commerce, you can't discriminate. If you aren't, then you can be as openly racist as you want.

    It's pretty much the same situation - the whole draw of such businesses is that there are a bunch of attractive, intoxicated women inside. While a particular individual would probably prefer to be allowed in, rather than be skipped for some particular hot chicks, the fact is that if said selection wasn't systematically occurring he wouldn't want to go inside in the first place. Everyone wants the system in place, even if individuals are occasionally bothered by individual instances of it. You start letting everyone enter in the order they arrive, you end up with a club full of dudes, and soon enough nobody wants to go there at all. The whole reason dudes are waiting in line outside, is exactly because they know that the bouncer is working to ensure that there is a good stock of attractive women inside. They're willing to pay a premium (in time and money) for access to such. If they aren't interested in that, they can just as well go to any number of dude-packed places without such policies.
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Sounds dangerous

    Sounds dangerous.

    At least you'll know who's comfortable with themselves. The ones who are just chasing tail probably gashed themselves with a razor, or got some Neer where they shouldn't have.

    Depilatory chemical burns are ... brutal.

    And, really, you don't want guys walking around in high heels. It's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

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