Ladies night seems so inconsequential but, with very little digging, you will find that it has been quite a controversy with various lawsuits popping up in the San Francisco Bay area. This subject has seen many a courtroom nationwide and with very different results. What harm could it do? The big elephant in the room is gender discrimination.
A typical ladies night conjures up visions of a bar or club letting ladies in free before midnight, perhaps discounted drinks for them or some other reason to entice. Unless, they offer the same price or discount to men, then it is gender discrimination. Four states have ruled ladies nights events to be unlawful, California being one them. There are loopholes however that are deemed appropriate.
Take Shecky’s Girls Night Out, for example. They frequent Marina’s Fort Mason twice a year, most recently last week with a two day sold out event. This event features huge gift bags for attendees and bottomless drinks. Tickets sell out faster than a Justin Bieber concert. Once inside there is a plethora of vendors, including local designers with sought after chic goods. Anything and everything beauty, skincare, fashion, and designs to inspire every woman’s inner heartbeats.
According to a Shecky’s spokesperson, the company is a “ girlfriend lifestyle and marketing company dedicated to empowering and rewarding women to discover, socialize and shop with their girlfriends. Why? We believe women elevate other women—and that spending more time with girlfriends increases one’s confidence, knowledge and joy in life!”
A similar example is last month’s San Francisco Women’s Expo with Jane Fonda. You can read my review here.
The main difference between these events and the previously discussed bar/club version is found in the intent. And the law always starts with intent. The intent of many of “ladies night” events is to get more females in nightlife establishments in order to get more men into the establishment. A good female/male ratio means patrons stay longer, subsequently buying more alcohol, meaning a great return for the bar or club. Once drinking commences, one could forget about how steep the bill could possibly get. It’s a great marketing tool, some states still allowing it, such as Illinois, citing that “ The court determined that the discount was intended to encourage women to attend the bar in greater number, rather than to discourage attendance by males.”
This is very different from the hopes of women’s expos, ladies nights events and the popular girls night out groups. They allow both men and women into the event at the same price and that means no one gender is getting better or less treatment than another. This is what is most important. If one has a great product, concept and atmosphere to offer, there does not need to be a discount.
Where do you stand?