Blamer Jennifer alerted me to this gambit by Marriott to use the well-known predatory nature of men to their advantage. Marriott proposes to lure women business travelers to their crappy hotel in Grand Rapids with a ‘women-only-no-men-allowed’ floor. There will also be a women-only lounge where women can “relax over a drink without getting hit on by guys.” Implicit is the notion that women will be somehow ‘safer’ in a hotel where they are segregated from men on the 19th floor.
At first I thought this was a dumb idea. It seemed overly paternalistic, casting adult businesswomen as damsels in distress and Marriott as the chivalrous champions of their virtue. I also considered the possibility that the proposed apartheid might actually impair women, career-wise, in that it would ghetto’em off from the good old boys and reinforce the concept of the binary sex role-based caste system.
But the more I thought about it, the more my inner dyke separatist liked it. Unless one of these comes with the room, I can’t imagine that it will actually make women ‘safer’ in any appreciable sense, but there are precious few dude-free zones in the world, and that alone is reason enough to give it the thumbs up. If there were a women-only lounge in South Austin I’d be there so often they’d name a booth, a martini, and their firstborn spawn after me.
But then I didn’t like the idea again. Because guess what, Marriott is charging the ladies an extra $30 a night for the privilege of freedom from mackdom. The hotel rationalizes this sizable vagina-based surcharge by equipping the rooms with idiotic femininity accessories with which the feminine guest may “pamper” herself. Lard knows a woman who doesn’t “pamper” herself in a hotel room is a man. In other words, “you can have this dude-free space, but only if you agree to buy these superfluous beauty products.”
And naturally there are cries of discrimination echoing throughout the land, especially with respect to the women-only lounge. The male objection is that, in the late 70’s, McSorley’s Pub was forced by the courts to let women in, and dammit, if women can suddenly have their own lounges, they want McSorley’s back.
But of course this cry for equality is bullshit bullshit bullshit. In the first place, ‘equality’ is impossible within a patriarchal paradigm, and anyone who says different is either a moron or has mistaken ‘equality’ to mean “a few concessions to the idea that some but certainly not all forms of discrimination are unjust.” In the second place, threatening in retaliation to bring back men-only clubs is just a way of scolding women who yearn for liberation from oppressive male culure, even if it’s only for the duration of a beer. In the third place, if men actually gave two shits about ‘equality’ there wouldn’t be a 30% pay gap, women wouldn’t do all the housework, tampons would be free, and assholes like Rudy Giuliani who are supposedly “brave’ in their ‘support’ for abortion rights wouldn’t be babbling on NPR at 8 in the morning “abortion is a red herring, let’s focus on the real issues, like kicking 9/11’s ass!”