Our favorite anti-feminist lawyer is back, and for once, he's gloating rather than complaining. According to the Star Tribune, Roy Den Hollander was pretty excited to hear that the Minnesota Department of Human Rights has cracked down on Ladies' Night.
If you will recall, Roy Den Hollander was the guy who tried to sue Columbia University for including an entire department dedicated to Women's Studies, but no corresponding Men's Studies. In typical angry white male fashion, he first became annoyed with women when he realized his younger Russian bride was just marrying him for his green card. Ouch. Anyway, he made it his prerogative to fight for men everywhere, against the oppressive forces of feminism and the evils of cheap drinks and female-friendly college courses.
Unfortunately, when it comes to Ladies' Night, the asshat might have a point. As much as it pains me to say it, Hollander's statement that different fees based on sex is the "basis of discrimination, and it shouldn't be allowed," is not that far off the mark.
And the Minnesota Department of Human Rights agrees with him, on the grounds that clubs are denying men the right to "full and equal enjoyment" of their businesses. "Gender-based pricing violates the [state] Human Rights Act," said Commissioner James Kirkpatrick. However, the law is not very well enforced, and the state typically only gets involved when someone complains. Seeing as the prevailing attitude is something akin to University of Minnesota student Ross Reynolds' statement - "For the most part, a lot of guys end up buying girls drinks. So ladies' nights saves us money" - reports haven't exactly come gushing in.
Most of the people interviewed by the Star Tribune understand why Ladies' Night is problematic, but they don't care enough to truly analyze the problem. But Reynolds inadvertently hits the nail right on the head: because men are still expected to make more money, they are also expected to pay for us ladies. Ladies' Night can be seen as a holdover from the time when men were the sole providers. Similarly, I have a friend who justifies her "make 'em pay" approach to dating with this argument: "When we are no longer paid 80 cents to the dollar, then I will pay for myself." Women are discriminated against, so let's right the balance with cheaper drinks and outdated dating standards - or so the logic goes.
This is not to say I've never accepted a free drink, but when it comes to dating, I tend to believe in the whoever asks approach (if I invite someone to a movie, hell, yeah I'm paying). This is partially out of pride, but I also have a hard time aligning my feminist beliefs with contemporary dating practices. Assuming a man will always pick up the tab, or getting reduced-price drinks at Ladies' Night, feel an awful lot like consolation prizes for the major injustices. Men having to pay more for booze does not make it okay for women to pay more for healthcare. A free meal will not make up for the gender gap. Getting rid of Ladies' Night might be bad for my wallet, but ultimately, it is good for equality. Just don't tell Roy Den Hollander I said that.
Ladies' Night Not All Right, State Says [StarTribune]