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Effective October 1, places of public accomodation can "offer differential pricing, discounted pricing or special offers based on sex to promote or market the place of public accommodation" and it will not be considered an unlawful discriminatory practice. So if Good Ol' Boys Golf Club wants to charge a $50000 membership fee for all new members, but offer a special discount allowing men to sign up for $100, that's just fine! Not discriminatory at all!

Obviously this will be a great step forward in "clarifying" what many describe as a "loophole" in our current anti-discrimination law.

This was passed a month ago, but I only heard about it now, thanks to the WSOP Ladies Event. The last couple of years, after the departure of former commissioner Jeffrey Pollack and his particular obsession with flaunting state law, they've let men play. The world has failed to end. Much like it has failed to end in California, where the state Attorney General's office explicitly warned cardrooms years ago that men cannot be forbidden from entering poker tournaments on account of their sex. (Apparently a man actually won one of the WSOP Circuit ladies events this year; no world-ending there either.)

Next year, the WSOP will presumably declare that the Ladies Event is a $50000-buyin event with special promotional pricing of $1000 for women, and the scourge of one or two dozen concealed penises in a field of over 1000 players will be over.

The last two years, Rio public relations staff have thrown professionalism out the window, making threats of future retaliation against men who play the event (last year) and insulting their masculinity and attractiveness to women (this year). This year, a man made the final table, and they decided to throw game integrity out the window as well.

The floor called a 30-second clock on the guy every time he thought for more than a few seconds; normally players have at least a minute to think and usually much more before another player can call a one-minute clock on them. Tournament staff also encouraged the crowd to heckle him (including while he was thinking on a decision, which normally gets one evicted), and participated in calling him names themselves. ("Nice going, princess.") They barred a friend from the tournament area for, he claims, doing nothing more than applauding his friend and glaring at a floorperson who was insulting him.

I'm sure this player would have cause for a lawsuit if he cared enough to pursue it, but he probably doesn't.

I could not be happier with my decision to not play the WSOP this year and not further enrich these assholes. (Partly influenced by their behavior last year, which helped convince me of what corrupt punks they are.) While I'm sure they don't care about my piddly few thousand dollars of rake, developing a reputation for considering game integrity and fair play to be optional when they don't like someone is something which will come back to bite them in the ass.

Date: 2011-07-05 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leora.livejournal.com
That's really unfortunate. And it's sad that so many people are willing to act in bigoted ways and harass someone. I'm not really clear what the goal is, since it doesn't support or help women to have men insulted for acting feminine, as it just encourages the notions of rigid gender roles and sexism. It also encourages the notion that femininity is inferior and a male should be embarrassed to be associated with it.

Date: 2011-07-05 03:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fich.livejournal.com
It seems like the guy could have a complaint with Gaming. One of the things the casinos get in trouble for is casting our state industry in a bad light, and it seems taking favorites in a poker tournament they're running and the treatment they gave him does that.

Date: 2011-07-06 12:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] evwhore.livejournal.com
I have so many mixed reactions to this.

On the one hand, I think having women-only and seniors-only events is sorta silly (the later especially so at bridge tournaments :-) )

OTOH whatever, if they want to do them it doesn't bother me a whole lot as things currently stand. I won't rule out that circumstances could change such that they would bother me in the future, but for now, meh.

I thought it was funny when the Tiltboys dressed in drag and played the Bay 101 tournament, but also see why Bay 101 was uncomfortable about it and -- I forget exactly -- requested, forbade? them from doing it the following year or something.

OTOH it does seem like discrimination.

On the gripping hand places like bars etc. already have stuff like ladies' nights. Seniors gets discounts basically everywhere, too.

Although, having different rules (immediate clock, differential treatment of harrassment/heckling) is clearly not on.

Although although, I get the sense the Tiltboys did it because they thought it was funny. If someone's doing it to make a point about reverse sexism, i can get behind that too. If men want to play in the ladies' event because they think, easy money, well, that seems douchier. But we can't really know for sure what someone's motivations are.

In short I have no idea how I feel about this.

Date: 2011-07-08 05:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] evwhore.livejournal.com
"I think discrimination is a wrong in itself, even if there's no obvious immediate harm"

This statement still needs a qualifier of some sort. We make accomodations for disabled people, but we don't let blind people drive or mobility-impaired people sit in the exit row on airplanes, short people are discriminated against when picking basketball teams, etc.

Date: 2011-07-12 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] evwhore.livejournal.com
Would I be putting words in your mouth if I say you think it is wrong to discriminate against blind people by not letting them drive, but you grudgingly tolerate it in the name of public safety?

What about the basketball example?

I don't think that's the case here.

I'm willing to concede the point in the case of gender-specific poker tournaments but I'm still curious about the other things as abstract questions :-)

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