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Judge Throws Out Case Against "Ladies' Night": Right Call?

Judge Throws Out Case Against "Ladies' Night": Right Call?

A judge in New York City has thrown out a lawsuit alleging that "Ladies' Night" pricing at bars and nightclubs discriminates against men. The lawsuit was brought by an attorney known for his fight against gender-specific constructs like suing Columbia University for its Women's Studies department. (Have you heard the one about the Men's Studies department? It's called "History." But I digress.) Now the gender-equalizer is taking his fight to the $3 cosmo.

The judge tossed the case saying that bars and nightclubs have a right to price their product any which way they'd like because they're not acting as representatives of the state. The attorney's case tried to prove that through the state-run liquor license program, it does just that. After losing, he called the judge a feminist and said that the toss-out was right on par with the deeply embedded gender discrimination in tons of American institutions.

It makes one wonder if this crusading lawyer has ever gotten his hair cut or clothes dry-cleaned. I reckon he makes back the difference in "Ladies' Night" at the bar right there . . .

Does any gender preference signify discrimination? Drinks aside, is the lawyer fundamentally wrong?


Join The Conversation
Perhaps 'Ladies' Night' was a way to equalize drinkin' women's pay with men's pay. Nah. There's too much thought going into that. It's a way to get the gals to come out so the guys will follow...and that equals profit for the bar. Maybe instead of Ladies' Night pricing they could have a Sliding Scale Night and have drink prices based on your pay stub. Somehow, I still think it would be Ladies' Night.
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 8 years
javsmav, that last sentence was beautiful. I completely agree. although this lame lawyer makes a point, there's OBVIOUSLY a difference between discriminating against gender and race. and of course there's gonna be a different reaction.
javsmav javsmav 8 years
well maybe if black people complained to the owner of a bar that there weren't enough white people at a club and said they wouldn't come unless more white people were there, the owner could host a "whitey night" to attract white customers. but that would be weird. Honestly, I do think it's unfair to charge women less--and I'm surprised that this is so common in NY. I haven't seen a ladies night in years. In my experience, it's a certain type of bar or club that have the drink specials and they are clubs that are very meatmarket-y. If the clubs don't have a lot of women, then the men won't come. (And if you don't want that meatmarket ambiance, then go to the gazillion bars in NY where everyone pays the same exorbitant prices). The idea is to attract EVERYONE to come to the club unlike a drink special based on race which is clearly there to exclude members of other races.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Take a break, Woop. Let me field this one. Mich, it's okay because discriminating against men doesn't offend our sensibilities, but everyone knows discriminating against black people is wrong. So, the formula to find out if we care if someone is being discriminated against varies only on pop culture.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
If you're going to say the analogy isn't apt, I think you ought to explain what the crucial difference is in the contexts. I outlined a situation that fit your description of acceptable discrimination. Like I said, I'm a bit confused about how some people make their decisions about which forms of discrimination are alright. There doesn't seem to be an underlying principle.
Woop Woop 8 years
I don't think that's an apt analogy. The contexts of the two situations are quite different. I will say though that a restaurant in a racist town would not have to advertise price cuts in order to attract white customers who have problems with black people eating there.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
Like I said, I'm not a lawyer and no expert. I do know about the legislation governing pricing (as part of my job)and most of it must cross state lines to be an issue. I don't live in NYC and we pretty much never have ladies night here anyway. Besides, don't most women make every night ladies night by expecting the guy (or some random guy) to pay for all their drinks? I think ridiculous lawsuits like this and the one from the t-shirt to school article waste my tax dollars. The guy who brought it earlier hates women and can't get a date or is so uptight about the law he sees it as one big game. LAME!
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Snowbunny, I'm well aware of the commerce clause. It's that tricky little part of the Constitution that the federal government has decided gives them the right to do pretty much whatever they want, even though they were never intended to have those powers.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
"I personally think there is a difference between a practice done with the intent of encouraging increased patronage and enhancing the experience for its current patronage and a practice that is intended to keep out and exclude people. The bars are trying to get increased female turnout on certain nights. If there are lots of females, more guys go in as well. It's like when cell phone and cable companies have different pricing and deals for new customers that aren't available for existing customers." So if a certain restaurant realizes that they live in a rather racist town, and that white people won't eat there if black people are eating there, I guess that restaurant could cut prices for whites in half? I mean, that way it would be done to increase patronage and improve the experience for that patronage. That fits your logic, doesn't it? It just seems like a lot of people have rather confused ideas about when discrimination is okay and when it isn't. There's no underlying principle, you just decide on a case to case basis.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I agree with the sentiment. It frustrates me when I go to a bar, and because I'm a guy, and it happens to be ladies' night, I have to pay twice as much as the other gender. Can anyone explain to me how only making 83 cents to every dollar I make merits a 50% reduction on drinks?
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
And this guy is SO not getting laid. I just don't get what his legal claim here is? No matter what a double standard you think this is, if you have no legal claim, then yeah, your suit is going to be dismissed. Our country isn't founded on, "what so and so thinks is fair," principles.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Michelin- bars aren't allowed to discriminate based on race because it would violate the commerce clause of the constitution, which the federal govt. has the right to regulate. It must be shown that a certain amount of the bar or restaurants products come from out of state, because it is interstate commerce that can be regulated. The scope of the federal govt. and their power to regulate commerce has been decreased a bit by a more conservative govt. in support of states' rights, and I don't know how states regulate these things. Of course, I don't even know if this is a federal or state court, but it is under the commerce clause that businesses can't discriminate based on race. And theoretically, it is a case-by-case judge-made law based in precedent. The 14th amendment, giving equal rights to the races unfortunately does only apply to the government. Labor laws are different entirely, but also federal, arose during the New Deal...maybe a real lawyer could come explain that!
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
"is that discriminatory to men....hardly." I meant
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
This is a marketing scheme and is not excluding a group of people but giving one group incentive to come in. This business isn't saying "men aren't allowed" in a backhanded way it's saying "ladies here men you know you want to come in". It's like Nordstrom's and the Women's Half Yearly sale is that discriminatory to me....hardly. I mean even on the race issue you don't have to place a "white's only" sign up to run an all white establishment if you are savvy, and targeted in your marketing then it can be done. I use to live in the South and it was just places that non white people just didn't go period!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I agree that common sense dictates that it's very different. That is why I was curious about exactly how the law was worded. I mean, seniors get discounts. Is that discriminating based on age?
Woop Woop 8 years
I personally think there is a difference between a practice done with the intent of encouraging increased patronage and enhancing the experience for its current patronage and a practice that is intended to keep out and exclude people. The bars are trying to get increased female turnout on certain nights. If there are lots of females, more guys go in as well. It's like when cell phone and cable companies have different pricing and deals for new customers that aren't available for existing customers.
tiabia tiabia 8 years
So would people be more up in arms if it were disabled people who got half off drinks? Is it fair that military personnel get a certain % off, is it fair that seniors get a certain % off or that students get a & off as well...this opens up a whole new door!!!
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Oh, okay, Pop. I agree with you. People seem to have a double standard on this one. Like I said earlier, I don't think everybody would dismiss it so quickly if whites got half off drinks.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I'm talking about what the laws actually are. I just think that we hear "ladies night" and think "whatever, no big deal." But if it were "white night" the tone on here would be WAY different. I think we implicitly understand that ladies night isn't some big ploy to discriminate against men, but to me it begs the question of why is it different under the law?
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Pop, are you talking about what the laws actually are or what I think they should be? As of now, you can't deny a person service based on race. The way I think it should be? Businesses should be able to do what they want, even those awful things you listed.
geebers geebers 8 years
I feel like this is a case of common sense. I can understand the whole "discrimination" argument since they are discriminating against men but seriously- take your business elsewhere. Ladies Night is a common theme in almost every bar around here in liberal NYC! If a business is offending enough people - they will lose money and change their policy.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
So based on what I'm reading, an establishment cannot deny entrance based on race, but they could refuse to serve someone once they're in? Or they could effectively refuse to by charging thousands of dollars more for an item? Where are all the discrimination lawyers hanging out? Not on citizen sugar?
tiabia tiabia 8 years
I do understand where this guy is coming from. It's the burden of being a "higher"-salaried man, duh. ;-)
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Bastyle, don't worry, I watch The Hills from time-to-time, too! I won't commit to DVRing it, but I watch it if it's on!
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Woop, I know. I was making a point.
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