Alcohol and Civil Rights

What motivates women to hang out in bars? Is it the scintillating conversation they encounter from their male counterparts, or the fact that they can drink for half price while putting up with it?

Ladies Night has seemingly been a foundation of our culture for quite a while, and now the custom is safe. The Second Court of Appeals, in Manhattan, has ruled that Ladies Night is neither sexist nor discriminatory. The suit was brought by a New York attorney, Roy Den Hollander, who describes himself as an “anti-feminst lawyer” and claims that the practice of giving drink discounts to women violates the Constitiution.

I was intrigued by this, and actually skimmed the Constitution to see if Hollander’s complaints had merit. There was nothing in the original document, or in the amendments, that guaranteed the right of individuals to pay the same price for a cocktail, beer or glass of wine. Perhaps the right was so fundemental that it was assumed, and thus taken for granted.

Hollander’s lawsuit was the culmination (hopefully) of a long string of legal actions going back to 1979. In 1985, the California Supreme Court actually ruled that Ladies Night discounts were disciminatory and amounted to a violation of civil rights. The issue has been litigated at least one dozen times since then.

As you might imagine, Hollander has not received gentle treatment in press coverage of the case and has been roasted mercilessly on the Internet. One commentator noted that “trying to take freebies away from women isn’t a terrific dating strategy.” I have further bad news for him. Should he ever get married (which seems unlikely, given some of his attitudes), he’ll discover a perspective on financial matters that will make Ladies Night pale by comparison.

Hollander has vowed to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. When asked what he thought the odds were that they would agree to hear the case, he observed that they were “about the same as some pretty young lady paying my way on a date.”


Facebook Comments