After finding out that the Playboy Mansion charged dudes $1,000 to get into their “Leather and Lace” party but let “gorgeous ladies” in for free, Steve Frye, who attended the party, is suing the mansion. According to TMZ, he’s claiming that the entry fee amounts to sex discrimination.
To give Frye the benefit of the doubt, I suppose I could see where charging men and not women looks like reverse sexism at first glance. But digging even a tiny bit deeper, we’ll note that the women who weren’t being charged presumably had to meet the Playboy standard of “gorgeous,” which means thin, bosom-y, tan, with their hair done, makeup done, nails done, and outfits perfect. If we really want to play tit for tat, it’s safe to say that those women actually did spend $1,000 to attend the party, they just didn’t spend it at the door.
But more than that, why do you spend $1,000 on a ticket to the Playboy mansion? Oh, because you’re expecting to see Playmates. And so is everyone else. Otherwise you would have (or perhaps, should have) gone to your local bar. And that’s why they got in for free.
All that said, Frye certainly isn’t the only man to ever bust a gasket over ladies getting in places for free while men have to pay. But aside from being indicitive of self-loathing, woman-hating assholes, these men all seem to miss the point that letting women in to clubs, bars or Playboy mansions based on how they look isn’t fair to anyone. Didn’t he see “Knocked Up”? The women who get the pass are young, they conform to a narrow standard of beauty, and the set-up is such that those women who don’t make the grade are humiliated at the door.
In other words, this isn’t about having a vagina or not having a vagina. It’s about our cultural standards for female beauty, and our cultural beliefs about male desire. But here’s a tip for you, Frye: you probably don’t want to launch into this discussion from atop a soapbox that you erected whilst paying $1,000 to get into a party at the Playboy mansion.