The Wrong Way to End Sexism

It won’t be any news to you that things aren’t equal between men and women. The toll of sexism on everyone, regardless of gender, is huge, although it lands differently on different people. But this guy is trying to deal with it in exactly the wrong way.

Roy Den Hollander is a lawyer who’s all worked up about gender-based discrimination. His problem though, isn’t that women make less money than men, that they’re judged for their looks more than men, or that women are much more likely to be sexually harassed and assaulted than men. No, his beef is that bars and clubs often offer women free or discounted admission and gosh darn it, it’s not fair. So he filed a lawsuit. Fortunately, the court saw through his nonsense

The suit, filed in federal court, was dismissed, and so was a subsequent appeal. Mr. Den Hollander then submitted a petition to the United States Supreme Court on the same issue. He said he received word on Wednesday that the court had refused to hear the case.

He seems to be of the opinion that feminism is a religion. In fact, he’s even filed a class action complaint in court based on that notion. Dude needs to read the Wikipedia entry on religion, which starts:

Religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of life and the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency, or human beings’ relation to that which they regard as holy, sacred, spiritual, or divine.

Unless I’m missing something, feminism isn’t making claims about the meaning of life. And let’s take a look at some of his pearls of wisdom, as quoted in the NY Times article:

“The feminists have taken control over every institution in this country — they want to take control over men,” he said. “I’m going to fight them to my last dollar, last breath.”Mr. Den Hollander said he does not hate all women; only feminists.“When I go to a club and I’m looking at some young babe, I do not have malice in my heart,” he said. “When some great looking 20-year-old babe is walking down the street, it is not malice in my heart that I’m feeling.”Mr. Den Hollander refused to reveal his age because it might hurt his chances picking up younger women at bars. He said he looks younger than his true age and that “I want to continue to exploit the infinite capacity of females to delude themselves.”

He sounds like a real winner.

The thing that he’s missing (well, one of many things he’s missing) is that clubs and bars have “Ladies Nights” or different cover charges because they’re trying to create an incentive for women to show up. There are a number of reasons that women are less likely to go to bars than men, such as the fact that women generally receive lower wages for similar work so they have less disposable income. Women are more likely to be targeted for sexual assault, especially when alcohol is involved, so they’re less likely to go out by themselves. Plus, they have to deal with douchebags. Giving women a discount is simply one way to try to overcome those barriers. It’s not going to do anything about men who want to exploit women like this charming fellow, though.

Separate from those pragmatic justifications for a practice that, on the face of it, treats people differently based on gender, what Hollander and other “men’s rights” activists don’t get is that the way to create fair treatment for all people is to change the deeply entrenched bias and discrimination that our culture rests on. Want women and men to be treated fairly? Then work to end sexism, whether that’s on an individual scale, the larger socio-cultural scale, or somewhere in between. Work to end rape, sexual harassment, cat-calling, differentials in wages, or differentials in health care. But whining because you have to pay more to get into a bar, just so you can “exploit babes”? Yeah, that’ll make the world a better place.

Here’s a tiny violin, playing just for you, Mr. Hollander.

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3 Responses so far.

  1. Cam says:

    wow, how clueless.

  2. Loveofmystery says:

    He is complaining because bars are giving incentive to get women in and help men get laid, really?

    We have to waste the Supreme court over this?

  3. Aislinn says:


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