That's What She Said

Stop wasting time on this trivial issue and start tackling real inequality

Can a marketing ploy aimed at using women to attract men to bars really be discriminatory towards men?

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 April, 2016, 9:16pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 April, 2016, 7:30pm

For women, the tradition of discounted or free drinks during ladies’ night is a culturally accepted – nay, welcomed – event. Who doesn’t love free drinks?

So imagine one man raising his sword to cut off the taps to our cheap drinks night.

The Equal Opportunities Committee filed a case last October on behalf of the male complainant who accused an unnamed karaoke and disco club of breaching sex discrimination laws by charging men more for a drink than women.

The system isn’t based on what women want, it’s grounded by what men want.

A night in Lan Kwai Fong chatting with strangers about it led to one conclusion: he’s an idiot, taking a marketing ploy too personally and wasting the court’s time

While women may enjoy the perk, the concept is actually quite unnerving, a small favourable symptom of a larger dangerous tumour called sexism.

Women go to bars for ladies’ night – on a weekday when LKF would be empty if not for the promotion – then men follow to those same bars. The system isn’t based on what women want, it’s grounded by what men want. The idea exploits inequality.

Hong Kong bar operators angry at ‘ladies’ night’ discrimination ruling

There’s nothing fair or equal about the EOC putting time and effort into supporting a man’s sex discrimination claim seeking damages for “injury to feelings”.

Men are paid an average of HK$2,500 more than women, according to the most recent data from the Census and Statistics Department. The wage gap is now HK$500 wider than in 2011.

From 2007 to 2014, there were 5,800 fewer women employers, stated the report.

Perhaps an investigation into women’s opportunities in the workplace, which would affect 3,573,300 people, would be a better use of the EOC and the courts’ resources.

In a city where women in lesbian unions are denied dependent visas and gay couples are denied the same health care as heterosexual couples, the EOC has a lot of work to do. Instead, the EOC is entertaining this man’s sense of entitlement.

Ladies’ nights: a woman’s right to cheap drinks or reflection of deep-rooted discrimination and commodification of women

Exactly what opportunity does paying full price for drinks restrict for a man? Does it diminish his quality of living? The fact that one man’s view can bring about a court case demonstrates how long the road is before Hong Kong achieves equality.

Ladies’ night will end when we achieve real equality, when women are no longer receiving free drinks to bait men to bars. I look forward to that day, but it will never happen as long as the EOC coddles men with “hurt feelings”.