Imagine walking into a supermarket and seeing two price tags for, say, an apple: One for men and one for women. Nearly all of us would find this discriminatory.
As with ethnicity, gender is biologically defined, and to subject men and women to different prices at a store is unfair.
The hypothetical scenario seems absurd but, as a parallel, I went to a games cafe not long ago that was offering a Ladies’ Night promotion, where women played for free and men had to pay the full price.
After that instance, I began to notice that discount pricing for women is prevalent in numerous sectors in Singapore.
Besides the classic Ladies’ Night at clubs, many restaurants, bars and even some gyms offer varying forms of ladies’ discounts.
The most blatant form of price discrimination against men is women’s-only credit cards, which offer discounts on clothes, food, recreation and so on for women. The analogy of different price tags is, perhaps, not that far-fetched.
All I am suggesting is equality and not that we not price discriminate.
Train operators should by all means offer student and senior citizen discounts, governments should tax the rich and poor differently, and bookstores should charge different prices for members and non-members.
But when it comes to innate biological differences such as race and sex, the line must be drawn. The relevant authority should look into this issue.
Sex should be treated the same way as race and there should be a law against gender and racial price discrimination.
After all, I hope we will never see a Chinese-only credit card, a restaurant offering discounts only to Malays or a club in Singapore offering “Indians’ Night”.