THREE YEARS AGO, Janet Floyd, the cofounder of a Manhattan market research firm, spotted a neighborhood dry cleaner that offered the following deal: Launder four shirts and get the fifth laundered for free. Button-downs are a staple of Floyd's wardrobe, so she returned carrying an armload of oxfords. But when she dropped the shirts on the counter, she was told that the offer applied only to men's shirts, not "blouses." "The owner of the store insisted women's shirts didn't fit on their machines and needed to be hand-pressed," says Floyd. (The cleaner charged roughly $2 to launder a dress shirt versus $6.50 to dry-clean a blouse.) Floyd then asked if she could pay the higher price on four of her shirts and still get the fifth cleaned for free. The owner declined. "It was outrageous. They were giving this huge discount to men, and we weren't getting one," she fumes.