Thursday, August 21, 2008

Squandered Opportunities

He is back. I suppose he never really went away, I have just been doing my best to ignore him.

The self-appointed defender of "men's rights" against the tryanny of "feminazis", is now suing Columbia University for offering Women's Studies courses.

Sure, why not. He's sued everybody else from his ex-wife, to his neighbors, to night club owners.

What truly irks me about this guy is that, I essentially think he is (legally and ethically) right when it comes to his suit over the allegedly discriminatory practice of 'Ladies Night' -- that decades-old and for some reason still-holding-on practice of letting women into clubs for free or a reduced cover charge. He and I certainly diverge on why this practice is wrong (he doesn't like that it costs men more, I don't like that it treats women as a commodity to attract "paying customers" akin to a good sound system or drink specials), but, damn, he filed the suit that feminists should have filed years ago. It should have followed on the heels of feminist-sponsored suits and legislation to remove gender segregation from bars and restaurants in the 1970s, but it didn't.

When I interviewed Karen DeCrow a few years ago (former NOW president and leading feminist lawyer pushing for gender equality in public space... including both ending restrictions against unescorted women in bars and adding baby changing stations to men's restrooms in public buildings), I asked her about Ladies Night. She agreed it was discriminatory toward men and only furthered second-class status for women. She said she would absolutely file suit on it, if a male plaintiff approached her. I remember her having hopes for a nice young college man from nearby Syracuse University... she had talked to a few about it even... but the men feared that they would look ridiculous for making a fuss. So nothing happened... except that opponents of feminism, namely a person who seems to have no grasp about the ways in which feminism is about non-discrimination and equality for many (not just women) and not about empowering women through disempowering men, have taken control of the issue for their own anti-feminist crusade.


Matthew said...

This one is completely obvious - there should be some move within the feminist camp (whether that be a few prominent individuals or a collective group) to support and endorse the lawsuit.

It could be a good "teaching moment" and might be a fun way to ruffle the feathers of the anti-feminist lawyer to boot. Could this be turned into a class action suit?

Zoe the Wonder Dog said...

Are you saying you are willing to be a plaintiff?

Matthew said...

Eh, I could be talked into it - but I can't say that it is really something that I feel strongly about.