Equality, from drinks to paychecks

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Well thank you very much, David R. Gillespie.

Because you are unwilling to shell out a $5 cover and a couple more bucks for a beer or two, ladies' nights will no longer be a part of the New Jersey bar scene.

Thanks to men like you in other states, the days of no cover and $1 beers for women may be limited across this great nation someday.

An Associated Press article last week said Mr. Gillespie believed the ladies' night at the Coastline nightclub in Cherry Hill, N.J., violated his rights because there's no "men's night." Apparently, while nightclub-visiting females walked through the door for free and sipped discount cocktails, Mr. Gillespie seethed at the injustice.

I'm guessing ladies' nights haven't been too productive for ol' Dave in the hook-up department.

Nobody likes to see a grown man whine.

So he took his beef to the state Division of Civil Rights, where another man ruled that promotions to get customers through the door don't override the "important social policy objective of eradicating discrimination." The decision carries the weight of a court ruling and affects the whole state.

Give me a break.

American women couldn't even vote until 1920. It was decades after that women began finding their way into executive suites. A year ago, I learned women who want to join a certain social club in Cape Girar-deau are encouraged to join a different chapter, where they'd be more comfortable, wink wink.

Here's the kicker: Just last week, the media reported an earnings study based on census information. Women earn about 74 cents to a man's dollar.

A woman can drive as many miles, yank as many bad teeth, write as many columns, mow as many yards and, on average, she'll still make only three-quarters what a man does.

I hate discrimination against anyone. Those who have the same talents should have the same opportunities, regardless of their physical attributes.

But when two articles come out in the same week -- one about some man complaining about ladies' nights and one about inequities in women's earnings -- there is a real problem. And when we start penalizing private businesses for legitimate promotions, there's a bigger problem. What's next? Every time a department store offers a sale on jock straps, they'll have to offer one on bras?

Let's say we leave the ladies' night concept alone and deal with real issues.

In the meantime, I'll take those discount drinks as reparations for my gender-based income.

Heidi Hall is a former managing editor of the Southeast Missourian who now lives in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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