/ Travel & Leisure

Discrimination on the door – why should men pay more?

Dressing to the nines this New Year? Will you be as prepared with your party rights as your outfit? I’m not joking – you might need to stand up to nightclub bouncers if they charge different prices for men and women.

This story started as the Which? youngsters let down their hair and lab coats in time for our annual Christmas party in mid-December.

Forever methodical, one of them researched an after-hours bar to visit should the celebrations continue, checked the entry fee advertised online – just £5 after 10pm – and put his name on the guest list.

Why should men pay more for bar entry?

Determined not to let the 30-something side down, I stilettoed my way on the promises of a chic laid-back venue, but was soon brought back down to earth as the last tube rumbled home beneath my feet.

There was no mention of a guest list but, like goats, the men were herded to the left and told it would cost £10 to enter, while ‘the girls get in for free’. What’s more, while the blokes shivered outside for ages for no apparent reason, we jostled down to glasses of red wine vinegar (I know, I never learn) and music to match.

Not your usual query to Which? Legal Service, but one of our lawyers simply can’t fathom why the women would have been disadvantaged by paying £10, or why the men couldn’t have got in free as well.

Your right to party

Under the Equality Act 2010, how can a bar (which is providing a service) get away with such blatant sex discrimination? Gender is a ‘protected characteristic’ and a public provider shouldn’t offer its services differently.

Ok, I don’t recommend you argue with a Goliath bouncer at 1am this New Year’s Eve, either about discrimination or charging a different price to the one advertised (which in itself could breach Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008).

However, a quiet word and a more sobering follow-up call might persuade venues to stop this outdated practice – and there’s always the chance for you gentlemen to launch legal challenges if they don’t.

Of course, a tube home and a cup of tea would have been the sensible option. Nevertheless, I’ll be avoiding the clubs this New Year’s Eve and will be joining 40-somethings in a hotel where we’ll spend a silly, but equal, amount on the best wine I’ll have this year. Whether I’ll keep up with them into the early hours remains to be seen…


Sarah you’re obviously correct but it’s always been the case if you get the women in, men will follow. Maybe they deserve to be treated like goats

Shadow K says:
13 March 2012

Because everybody say so doesn’t means it’s true. If you could point me to a stat. that would help.
I have a friend in London who organises event, clubs in london are ready to pay people to bring some crowed, so obviously clubs are struggling.. So, I get invitation to the best clubs in London. At first I didn’t pay attention to the price as I would just get in and pay or event get in for free. I realised over time, by actually reading an invitation that only “gentle”men ( or suckers) have to pay. I simply stopped going to these events.
I was going to these events every weekends. I noticed that there were A LOT MORE women than men. I was truly wondering why, because I thought like you… “bring the women, the men will follow”… so where are the men ?
Also, women, as they are getting used to get in for free, drink for free, they don’t really spend on drinks.
I got yet another invitation today…. 8 of my female friends are going to a party, and they invited me and my other male friend. Where they will get in for free and get a goody bag and a free drink. Men have to pay £20. so, WE the 2 only men in the group, aren’t going.

I’m pretty sure there will be mostly water drinking girls and a few desperate guys holding their drinks. And the club owner will wonder why he’s not making money. And he will think… maybe we should bring more girls !!
I went to a event were there was actually just about 5 or 6 guys in the whole club! (AURA in Mayfair) which was packed with sexy young women !! it was actually pathetic to watch. Girls were hitting on us (obviously there were no men there to pay for their drinks and entertain them)

near to where I live, there is a great little venu, I like it because there’s a karaoke and stage for live music. Guess what.. men and women pay the same. Entry is cheap but drinks are rather expensive and guess what… there’s always more girls than guys and this venu is doing well. women do not get any special treatment — I’ve seen the bouncers telling some hot chicks not to jump the queue, passing in front of men without asking ( obviously used to get special treatment) —

so… by experience going to pretty much every major venus in London that this bring the women men will follow is bulls**t. It probably was true, but it’s not the case anymore.

I’m glad to see that men are no longer the suckers they used to be.

skye (male) says:
24 October 2015

I agree, I and my friends boycott any institution that would use this type of discrimination to attract more business. This should be illegal and i’m sure a lawsuit can be filed and

They had better not try this on at our local club. It would ruin the tea dances.

I get really annoyed by this – no matter what the reasons for it, it’s discrimination based on gender and therefore I think it’s completely unacceptable.

On top of that it seems like an odd business decision – I rarely (if ever) go out in a single-sex group, and there’s usually a mix of men and women. If we came across a bar that held a bunch of us outside while letting the rest of us in, we wouldn’t bother. We’ve come out together, so we want to drink together! I hope that people start voting with their feet and stop frequenting bars that do this.

Chris Korzee says:
24 June 2014

As it happens, begin a woman is a protected characteristic by law. Being as a man isn’t. This is entirely legal. I don’t mind fwiw. In fact I think it’s hilarious.

Jonno says:
20 May 2015

I hope you’re not a solicitor. “being a women” is not protected as a characteristic, however, gender is. If you brought a test case for this it would no doubt win. There are only few grounds in which you can positively discriminate. Entry to a night club is not one of them

richie says:
9 February 2015

Recently started clubbing in liverpool ! always dressed in a suit (one of the few nowadays ) turned away from a club near concert square called THE HOLD ? because i was a SINGLE bloke on my own !! have you ever heard any thing like it ? I think a word with licensing is in order ?