’Guys like to go to night clubs where there are a lot of unattached
girls, girls like to go to night clubs where they can get in free -
seems like a pretty equal opportunity to me!’ One male view on the
recent Equal Opportunities Commission crack down on ’ladies’
Following complaints fromover 100 disgruntled males, the commission has
written to clubs warning them that it is illegal to give anyone
preferential treatment on the basis of sex. This means an end to free or
cut-price entrance and drinks for ladies.
’Capturing hearts’ in terms of public opinion has never been achieved
with the sledgehammer approach, the mighty arm of the law or the issuing
of ultimatums. While it might be a fundamental principle of the
commission that men and women should receive equal treatment, is life
ever quite so black and white?
What woman doesn’t enjoy having a door opened for her, a seat given up
or a drink bought? Just because we are capable of doing these things
ourselves, do we need such issues handled in quite such a hard hitting
manner to ensure fair play?
Compare the heavy letter approach adopted by the commission to that of
the Mirror which campaigned to ’save the girls Big Night Out’ - no
prizes awarded for guessing who captured hearts here.
Targeting consumers is a basic marketing discipline. If the mid-week
night club market is predominantly male it makes sense to offer some
added value to attract the missing 18- 35-year old female element.
Money-off shampoo and conditioners in major multiple retailers,
depicting heads of long swaying tresses does not seem to be deemed
discriminatory. Nor it seems does targeting greying males 35 to 55 with
male specific hair colouring agents. Is female half price admission to
clubs really so very different?
While clubs with named DJs and expensive promotions attract a paying
gate others prefer to - as Peter Stringfellow says - ’keep laying down
my cloak for the girls to walk over’. Who’s right? Is it a matter of
Or is this an issue which would have been handled better with with the
velvet glove of swayed opinion rather than the heavy hand of the law?