Years and years ago, it was often said against the proposed Equal Rights Amendment that it would prohibit separate toilets. Under the ERA, men and women would have to use the same public restrooms.
Properly interpreted, nothing of the kind should have happened. The text of the ERA stated that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” One does not have a right to a toilet, really, so it shouldn’t have affected restroom construction.
But leaping to absurdity is, alas, a propensity of government. In Minnesota, today, the state’s Department of Human Rights has declared that the offering of a “ladies’ night” by taverns and bars, etc, is illegal, discriminating (as it does) on the basis of sex.
Economist Robert Murphy has carefully explained why price discrimination is not bad — why it is common and why it benefits us. By setting up “ladies’ nights,” certain businesses attract female customers and (shock of all shocks) male customers, too . . . men actually eager to pay extra, if only to be around women.
I don’t see much point in explaining the philosophical basis for not getting carried away over the “sexual/gender discrimination” involved in this. But it may be good that the ERA fizzled in 1982. It would have been twisted by bureaucrats in state after state, and we’d all endure uncomfortable encounters in public toilets throughout the land.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.