“No, I totally don’t mind that girls get in for free. It’s only fair with all of the sh-t you have to deal with!” exclaimed a freshman boy while debriefing his night at an NYU fraternity party. I have heard so many variations of this statement from different people across campus, which all boil down to the same concept: it is okay that girls do not have to pay to get in at parties and clubs because it makes up for the gender inequality we face in our day-to-day lives. Frankly, this line of thought is ludicrous.
The reason men pay cover charges and women do not is so that there is a larger ratio of women to men, resulting in a greater range of women for a heterosexual guy to choose from. The entire model is founded upon the ideology that women are there to serve as attractions, while the man’s role is to pay for the all-inclusive experience. We are the scenery, and they are the wallets. While the lack of cover fees attract women, the men are inclined to pay more at a party or club that is full of women. It is a supply and demand model of sorts. More girls present means more guys will come, and more guys means more money. While the system may be beneficial for the hosts of the party or event, who are typically men, it perpetuates the values that women have been trying for decades to fight against. A man paying my cover fee is not out of sincerity or respect to the struggles of women, but rather to have a better chance of getting in my pants at the end of the night.
I understand that this system has worked in the past, however, we are at a time where what worked in the past will not make the cut anymore. This marketing strategy operates under the assumptions: men have the money, all people are straight and there are only two gender identities. However, these are false assumptions to make in today’s society. With a global movement towards personal pride and self love, we are starting to see an era where straight men aren’t the only ones running the game anymore.
We have been content with these conditions because they were comfortable. Women would be foolish to deny something that is free, and men would be ridiculous to go out to a club or event that had fewer women. Why would anyone want to change? Sometimes you have to sacrifice your own comfort for a long term societal goal. If we want to see improvement in our society, we better get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
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