THE BLOG
05/25/2011 06:08 pm ET Updated Jul 25, 2011

Discrimination In Plain View: Walking Out of a Restaurant

Imagine sitting down at a restaurant, scanning through the food menu and coming across a section labeled "For white people only". This overt discrimination is illegal, socially unacceptable and few would accept this situation. Many would walk out of the restaurant and never return.

What if a section of the restaurant's menu said, "For ladies only"? I confirmed that this wasn't a joke. Because I am a man, the waiter would not allow me to order food from that part of the menu which was specifically priced much lower than the rest of the menu. This was the restaurant's version of a "Ladies night special" a policy with highly questionable legal standing.

In college, a professor once taught us a simple lesson about discrimination. He said, "If you make a statement about a group of people and are unsure if it is racist, sexist, ageist... just substitute a different group. If you find the new statement is offensive or inappropriate, then the first statement probably was too."

This "For ladies only" section of a menu is an incredibly mild form of discrimination. I am well aware of the fact that there are millions of other more serious issues to deal with as a society.

On the other hand, why should labeling a section of a restaurant menu "For ladies only" and offering preferred pricing be acceptable or even legal? As a customer, you get to choose where and how to spend your money. I chose to walk out and never return until they remove their "For ladies only" section of the menu.

Note: In order to avoid giving this restaurant any publicity, I have chosen to not name the location.

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