I was so proud bopping down Antigua’s cobble stone streets, having not reverted to English for the first five hours of my day. I deserved a treat I thought. I decided to stop at Pollo Campero and since I was the only six and half foot black man in town, it was the first time I hadn’t been stared at. I salivated while going through my food ordering protocol in Spanish.
“Hola, queiro tres piezas de pollo solo por favor,” I said as rapidly and clearly as I would have in English, to keep my hot streak going.
“Si, pollo solo, no beber, no papas fritas?”
“no gracias, pollo solo.”
At this, the young man behind the counter switched to English. He was about my age and handsome, if a little short. His eyes were wider now as he spoke and his excitement may have mirrored mine as I thought of molesting the fried chicken.
“Hey bro, just so you know it’s ladies night at El Mono Loco tonight.”
Suddenly he was a mafia informant. He was your dad smirking as he slides you a condom on prom night. He was Edward Snowden, revealing some almighty (or quite obvious) truth to the American public. He was Mufasa, opening Simba’s eyes to the circle of life. He was that white friend who whispers that you’re not like those other black people, somehow meaning it as a compliment. He was a little of all those things, and a lot of bro.
Ladies night is not an uncommon phenomenon by any means, but I can’t be the only one who is a little skeeved out by it. Certainly, giving the ladies a discount shouldn’t be bad at all. For most of history we have treated women like baby making property and restricted their access to everything from the societies in which they permit men to thrive, to their own damn bodies and feelings. But does anyone seriously think that giving women discounts on alcohol is the kind of reparation the world has been waiting for? Sure let’s make 25 cents a drink for women all night long, what could go wrong? Nothing rapey about that sentiment in the slightest. I find it hard to believe that anyone who has been to a college campus or met anyone from a fraternity can agree with ladies night.
This is not to say that women who want to drink shouldn’t be able to imbibe to their heart’s content without fear of Bill Cosby, or some guy they thought was a friend, or their neighbor or one of their brothers or whoever violating them. It’s more to the point that a system which allows predators to thrive under the guise of benevolence towards the women whom they will prey on is a little disgusting. Hordes of Sleazy men everywhere who wouldn’t or couldn’t hold a conversation with a sober woman rejoice at the thought of ladies night. Trust me I know, because they very often attempt to share their excitement and all I have to offer is a dull stare. Like when co-workers talk to me about sports, sprinting past introductions, bursting with enthusiasm they’ll say “did you see what happened in the game last night?” or “Who do you have for the super bowl?” I can only respond with a dull stare, lest I be reprimanded for my lack of participation in another great patriarchal past time.