Gender Discrimination against Men– It’s Coming

Yale University and the University of Southern California are under investigation by the Department of Education for programmes and scholarships for women. An organization to get more women on the golf course—long a bastion of male power and a frequent locale for business deals—was sold and shut down after settling with a plaintiff for holding women-only events. The head of Chic CEO, an organization that hosted online resources for women starting their own businesses, downsized her company after settling a lawsuit alleging the group excluded men from networking events. And The Wing, an exclusive all-women co-working and social space, is under investigation by the New York City Commission on Human Rights for gender discrimination.

The most recent women’s empowerment organization to go public about getting hit with a gender-discrimination lawsuit is Ladies Get Paid a for-profit organization that holds networking events and classes on negotiating salaries and raises, managing money, and building confidence. After two men were denied entry to two women-only Ladies Get Paid events in August and September 2017 in San Diego and Los Angeles, respectively, they filed two lawsuits alleging discrimination.

Had Ladies Get Paid gone to court and lost, the group would’ve had to pay all associated legal fees. That bill could have run into the six figures—which likely would have sunk an organization with just two full-time employees. Ladies Get Paid has crowd-sourced the money to defray legal costs associated with the settlement, and they’ve raised over $100,000 from nearly 2,000 individual donors.

There is a strong distinction between businesses running gender-specific promotions as a way to drum up business (like a ladies’ night drink special in some Pubs in Gurgaon) and the women-focused business, networking, and empowerment events and programs, where there is a legitimate policy, rather than commercial, interest in excluding men.

The law doesn’t prohibit businesses from “drawing distinctions” among different people—as long as those distinctions are “reasonable” rather than arbitrary.

Women activists have called these men as bullies. In the future, feminist organizers targeted by men or men’s rights organizations will band together before settling. If future groups choose to fight back, there’s reason to believe they’ll find plenty of support, financial and otherwise. Such efforts would likely widen, rather than decrease, gender inequality.

[Based on: When Men Sue Women’s Empowerment Orgs for Gender Discrimination; By Rebecca Gale, July 03; Picture courtesy: Slate. Images by Ingram Publishing]



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Mukul Gupta

*Educator, researcher, author and a friendly contrarian* Professor@MDIGurgaon

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