Civil Rights

Why on Earth Would a Topless Pool Charge Women Less Than Men?

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The Nevada Equal Rights Commission has ruled that a Las Vegas health club illegally discriminated against men by charging them more for membership than women. At the same time, the commission said it was OK for the Las Vegas Athletic Club to give women, but not men, a sex-segregated workout area, since their "body parts might be exposed" in the course of vigorous exercise. Todd Phillips, the California lawyer who filed the complaint that led to the ruling and now plans to seek $1 million in damages from the club (he seems to have made a career out of such lawsuits), called the latter part of the decision "utterly ridiculous," noting, "I've got body parts." Women, of course, have more body parts that are traditionally kept covered in public, which you could say is another form of unfair sex discrimination, but surely not one that can be blamed on the gym.

Speaking of which, another complainant, a 25-year-old New Yorker named Adam Russin, wants a topless pool at the Mandalay Bay Resort-Casino to stop charging men $50 for admission while letting women in for just $10. A spokesman for MGM Mirage, which owns the resort, "said in a statement that the company viewed price differences based on sex to be a lawful business strategy and not a civil rights matter." He did not specify the business strategy, but it's a fair bet that encouraging women to take off their tops helps attract more male customers. Businesses like the Las Vegas Athletic Club presumably also want to bring in more women as a way of bringing in more men (although the gym's official motivation is that "men cost the club more, in part because they are more likely to fail to pay their bills"). Ditto the Vegas nightclubs that charge women less, a practice that is now in legal jeopardy.

States are divided on the question of whether this is the sort of thing that can safely be tolerated in a civilized society. While "courts and civil rights panels in California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maryland and New Jersey have ruled that price discrimination against men is unlawful," The New York Times reports, "in Illinois, Michigan and Washington, judges have stated that it can be part of an acceptable business strategy."

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  1. what about nightclubs that are 21 for guys/18 for girls?

  2. Ten bucks says Russin is gay.

  3. Remember when if you suggested that it would come to this, people would scoff “Don’t be rediculous”.

  4. Jeff: Or divorced.

  5. If I had known that women routinely expose their breasts while working out, I would have joined the gym much sooner.

    As it is, I’m signing up today.

    Maybe the truth is that women like having a place they can work out without getting hit on.

    Does this mean that women who choose to work out in the coed section have agreed to be sexually harrassed, er, I mean hit on?

  6. Ideally, of course, businesses would be free to set their prices however they want.

    If, however, it would be illegal to charge men more than women for the same service, or to provide men with exclusive facilities without providing the same to women, then the converse should be true as well.

  7. It is stupid, but no stupider than any other anti-discrimination law suit.

  8. wait?!?!?

    Mandalay bay?!? DAMMIT. I need to go back to Vegas.

  9. $50 to see tits? In Vegas? A fool and his money, I guess.

  10. I always thought it was lame in college when a frat or other house would charge $5-10 for guys to get into party, when girls were free. Isn’t that an outright admission that it’s hard for you to get women to set foot into your house? And who charges for a party unless there is a DJ or live music? Still, I would never have supported a LAW about this. The things that get people legally aroused these days boggles my mind.

  11. If the Senate would just finally vote on my proposed legislation, the Female Mandatory Topless Act, this would no longer be a problem.

    I have already briefed them on the fact that no such suits have been filed in central Africa, where topless women are commonplace.

  12. So does this mean no more “Ladies Night” in clubs? Also . . . hot damn! Mandalay Bay has a top less pool? I’m working at the wrong MGM property!

  13. Ten bucks says Russin is gay.

    Uh, he wants to see tits for $10 instead of $50. That’s gay?

  14. you said “body parts”

  15. the Female Mandatory Topless Act

    We’d better be careful here guys, lest get scolded for scaring away libertarian women. I don’t think I could take another tongue lashing for that.

  16. No more free stuff for the ladies? No joke, that would probably cut down on tourism at least a little.

    My friends and I go to Vegas because it’s a cheap flight from Seattle, and we can essentially drink and party for free. Ceteris paribus, if the freebies went away, we’d probably go somewhere else.

  17. We should be supporting Todd Phillips in his fight against the attempts of exercising women to hide their jiggling and exposed body parts.

    Like him, I have body parts too and I get in trouble when they are exposed. This travesty of injustice must stop.

  18. Gotta agree with you on that one Epi. Why doesn’t he just carry around Mardi Gras beads? They work, oh they work.

  19. When women stop making 73 cents on the dollar for the same job, we can consider this. Until then, it is just payback.

  20. If this isn’t discrimination, then would it be to charge Blacks, or Italians or Jews more?

  21. I remember some idiot in NJ successfully sued over “Ladies Nights” in bars, although I forget what year, or his original name (his new name is “Why does every man in NJ HATE ME ?”)

  22. “My friends and I go to Vegas because it’s a cheap flight from Seattle, and we can essentially drink and party for free. Ceteris paribus, if the freebies went away, we’d probably go somewhere else.”

    What the fuck are women’s lib-ers on about? They obviously already control everything men do, how much more do they want?

  23. My friends and I go to Vegas because it’s a cheap flight from Seattle, and we can essentially drink and party for free.

    You being drunk and easy is why they give you all that free stuff, and I 100% support that.

  24. And who charges for a party unless there is a DJ or live music?

    When the party is all-you-can-drink open-bar, with you and your buddies footing the bill for the booze, you bet your ass you charge for admission.

    Why charge the chicks less? Because you’re hoping they express their gratitude in other ways, that’s why.

  25. Frederic,

    If this isn’t discrimination, then would it be to charge Blacks, or Italians or Jews more?

    This is clearly discrimination, the question is whether discrimination should be illegal. I say no, so if someone wants to charge blacks, italians or jews a higher admission price, that is up to them.

  26. Still, I would never have supported a LAW about this. The things that get people legally aroused these days boggles my mind.

    That’s because you don’t understand the mentality of people who aren’t libertarians, i.e. all of their qualms should be fixed by government.

  27. I remember a German newspaper cartoon showing a little girl saying to a little boy, “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours,” and the little boy answering, “No way, I’m no fool! Women who show theirs get money, but men who show theirs go to jail!”

  28. What the fuck are women’s lib-ers on about? They obviously already control everything men do, how much more do they want?

    Dello,

    FWIW, I’m not a “women’s lib-er” (in part because I’m about 25 years too young for that phrase to have any relevance). Just pointing out some possible economic consequences, dude.

  29. Michael | August 14, 2008, 1:08pm | #
    I always thought it was lame in college when a frat or other house would charge $5-10 for guys to get into party, when girls were free. Isn’t that an outright admission that it’s hard for you to get women to set foot into your house?

    Not necessarily. It might be an acknowledgment that too many guys want to party at your house.

    And who charges for a party unless there is a DJ or live music?

    Everybody? Seriously, just opening your doors incurs expenses that need to be covered. And just out of principal, if people are willing to pay they should be charged.

  30. I always thought it was lame in college when a frat or other house would charge $5-10 for guys to get into party, when girls were free. Isn’t that an outright admission that it’s hard for you to get women to set foot into your house?

    Or an admission that there are too many guys coming. The way to fix the problem are to charge guys more than girls. Guys are usually drawn to free booze more than girls are, so it makes sense to charge guys more.

    There is a dark side to this. When I was in school, we would occasionally have to call other fraternity houses to send guys over because there were too many girls. Once the ratio goes to the other extreme, the girls will start leaving and go to a party with more guys. It’s all a science.

  31. About the topless pool strategy: what kind of woman pays $10 so that guys who paid $50 can ogle her breasts?

    I mean, if you want your breasts ogled, a woman can usually get paid for it, or at the very least, get it done for free.

  32. You being drunk and easy is why they give you all that free stuff, and I 100% support that.

    Exactly. If our drunk and easy-ness helps their business, they should be free to attract our patronage accordingly.

    :

    Are you calling us sluts?!?

  33. Dagny T.,

    Pay him no mind. Some men don’t understand that women using their bodies to control what men do is actually a positive thing.

    Besides, you’re the only one who appreciates my elf condom jokes.

  34. Sullum! Get in here!

    Yes, sir?

    Go find me a story that justifies running this picture.

    Wow…you can count on me, sir.

  35. joe,

    I hope someone is wearing a green visor in that scenario. And talking around a cheap cigar.

  36. perfectly perky titties should get in free, men should be charged a nominal admission fee, and national geographic-style saggies should have to wear bras.

  37. Are you calling us sluts?!?

    I don’t believe in the “slut” concept. I do believe in the “perfectly willing to have sex” concept. And I like it.

    I have to get myself out to Vegas soon. Maybe after I visit my sister in Tuscon.

    (I already know the joke you will make, NutraSweet, so you have no power over me)

  38. Aw, come on. I’d never make fun of a guy’s sister.

  39. discrimination against men is unlawful

    That’s because the Constitution does not guarantee property rights and freedom of association.
    Wait, yes it does. I’m so confused now.

  40. Fair or not, this is not for the government to decide. Private propertt rights, consenting adults, yada, yada, yada.

  41. The Urkobold is offering a threesome with Scarlett Johansson to two winning Urkobold employees. He knew better than to discriminate–employees of either sex can win. I’m opting out as a happily married man, but I understand that other Urkobold minions are ripping up their resignation letters thanks to this generous gesture.

    We’re hiring, by the way.

  42. But without “ladies’ night” and other similarly-transparent promotions how would I know which businesses to run far, far away from? At least on those days when I’m not in the mood to hang out with the sweaty guido and whip-em-out crowd.

  43. wait?!?!?

    Mandalay bay?!? DAMMIT. I need to go back to Vegas.

    At the Wynn resort, one end of the pool has a “European-style Sunbathing” section. It is mostly filled with upper middle-aged Europeans.

  44. Agree or Object? Health club campaign Ladies Join Free is discriminatory, illegal [VOTE] – http://www.thriveorfail.com/a8836

  45. SugarFree | August 14, 2008, 1:50pm | #

    joe,

    I hope someone is wearing a green visor in that scenario. And talking around a cheap cigar.

    Kid, I like the cut of your jib. You’ve got grit! Spunk! Moxie! And great gams!

  46. Once upon a time, baseball teams would have ladies day, letting the fairer sex enjoy an afternoon of entertainment for a discount. It was just an attempt to broaden a fan base. As more and more women became ballpark patrons, that practice was discontinued. To this day, I have a hard time feeling discriminated against.

    Plus, I didn’t own the baseball team so my feelings were irrelevant.

  47. Rhywun just implicitly admitted she has days when she IS in the mood to “hang out with the sweaty guido and whip-em-out crowd.”

    EEEEEEWWWWWWWWW

  48. Rhywun’s a dude, dude.

  49. Uh, he wants to see tits for $10 instead of $50. That’s gay?

    The tits are there in the quality and quantity that they are because of the price differential. Making the prices even will make it into a sausage fest.

  50. If this isn’t discrimination, then would it be to charge Blacks, or Italians or Jews more?

    This certainly is discrimination. That’s not what the argument is about — the argument is about the government’s role in preventing discrimination. According to private property rights and the right of free association, it’s none of their business.

  51. Reasons why fraternity houses charge dude’s more (or don’t let them in in the first place).

    1) We are guys, you are guys, we are all looking for the company of young attractive women. As competition why would we let you in for the same price?

    (Clearly we are taking advantage of our monopoly position/property rights. Another good strategy is to let most people into the regular party (with crap drinks, overcrowded and hot). And then have a special area with reasonable seating and better drinks only accesible to attractive women/members of the fraternity.)

    2) On average college dude’s drink way more. Why should I pay for your drinks?

    3) College dude’s, when inebriated, can get into fights, cause damage to the property, bring about unwanted police attention. We need to be paid for this risk.

  52. When women stop making 73 cents on the dollar for the same job, we can consider this. Until then, it is just payback.

    I’m confused. Since women already make more than 73 cents on the dollar for the same job, are you demanding that women be paid less than 73 cents on the dollar?

    I mean, the only way people can come up with the “73 cent” nonsense is to use “comparable worth”, and it’s ridiculous to claim that a teacher with a four-year degree is doing the same job as a nuclear engineer with a four-year degree.

  53. “The tits are there in the quality and quantity that they are because of the price differential. Making the prices even will make it into a sausage fest.”

    Give this man a cigar. Free entry = 100 guys standing around waiting for anything with bare tits to walk in.

  54. When women stop making 73 cents on the dollar for the same job, we can consider this. Until then, it is just payback.

    Doesn’t Reason have a dozen articles explaining that this is a function of taking time off to raise kids, and not a function of discrimination against women?

    If women don’t have kids, or if the hubby stays home with them, then women make the same money as men.

  55. Warmongering Lunatic also likes to tell Catholics the cracker doesn’t turn into the flesh of Jesus after you swallow it.

    It’s dogma, dude.

  56. Without bras, perkies become saggies in short order. The reason we have more perkies per capita in the US than in the Belgian Congo is due in large part to bras. Consider the positive correlation between bra burning at the higher than normal incidence of saggies at UC Berkeley. Face it, without our American heart-crossing underwired aerodynamic engineering, no one past age 30 would have perkies. The Female Mandatory Topless Act must be stopped!

    p.s. That’s why I wear whitey-tighties instead of boxers. I don’t want to be tripping over the boys when I’m seventy.

  57. “in Illinois, Michigan and Washington, judges have stated that it can be part of an acceptable business strategy.”,/i>

    Woot!!

    *i hope you mean the State and not DC

  58. “Rhywun’s a dude, dude.”

    I don’t know that that makes it any less EEWW.

    I keed, I keed!

  59. “I mean, the only way people can come up with the “73 cent” nonsense is to use “comparable worth”, and it’s ridiculous to claim that a teacher with a four-year degree is doing the same job as a nuclear engineer with a four-year degree.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong (because I never went to college), but a nuclear engineer with only a four-year degree wouldn’t be doing much more than a teacher anyway. Don’t they need an additional 2+ years to be able to touch stuff?

  60. About the topless pool strategy: what kind of woman pays $10 so that guys who paid $50 can ogle her breasts?

    One I’d like to meet?

  61. related topic:

    Do women pay more for a health insurance policy?
    They utilize the services a lot more and men pay more for auto and life.

  62. SV,

    Whenever I have run quotes or purchased insurance for my family, my wife’s premiums are much higher than mine, everything else being equal. And this is for coverage that does not cover maternity.

    Auto insurance, on the other hand, gives discounts to unwed teenage mothers.

    As far as the male versus female genital exposure in health clubs: I would bet my male parts are a lot more exposed when I workout than any female genitals ( which are mostly internal). I know some males probably have mostly internal genitals as well, but I do not.

  63. I don’t believe in the “slut” concept. I do believe in the “perfectly willing to have sex” concept. And I like it.

    🙂 Nicely put. But I should have added an “insert faux-outrage here” disclaimer. Or posted as a Random Feministing Devotee, if making fun of them wasn’t a little too easy.

  64. Correct me if I’m wrong (because I never went to college), but a nuclear engineer with only a four-year degree wouldn’t be doing much more than a teacher anyway. Don’t they need an additional 2+ years to be able to touch stuff?

    In the nuclear field, you try to get more education so you *don’t* have to touch the stuff. 🙂

    Most nuclear field workers are like any other blue collar profession – skilled but not necessarily with a formal college education.

    The first line leadership would generally have a B.S., and upper managment a masters (but more often than not in management vice engineering)

  65. >>
    In the nuclear field, you try to get more education so you *don’t* have to touch the stuff. 🙂

  66. SIV,

    I work in health insurance (fuckin’ shoot me).

    Females cost more, everything else being equal.

    Hey, Episiarch. Tucson BEFORE Vegas? Maybe Vegas will help eliminate the stink from the University of Arizona down there. You should hit up Nimbus brewery. Their Old Monkeyshine (8.3% abv) is damn good, although I don’t vouch for the rest of their brews, as they’ve been rumored to be tinkering with recipes.

  67. Id love going to the topless pool with my husband. Just to see his reaction when other men are looking at my bare chest.

  68. forget it
    go to the Nude spa the topless pools and naked pools for couples in LA area
    sea mountain spa
    rules
    a nude spa for couples same price
    http://www.nudespa.com
    it rocks

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