Over the past couple of days, Calvin Harris has been accused of three things: he’s either sexist, a feminist or attempting to tackle gender disparity because ticket prices for a number of his US shows vary wildly depending on whether or not you’re a woman.
Harris is playing a show at the Omnia in Las Vegas on May 13th, and should you care to watch him partake in the fine art of DJing; you’ll be forking out more than double if you’re a male. A standard general admission presale ticket for men costs $75 while women only have to pay $40. The VIP bar card package with a $100 bar card costs $150 for men and $115 for women. A weekend package that includes a Tiësto show at Hakkasan nightclub is $100 for men, $55 for women.
It’s worth pointing out that in several US states – California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – gender price discrimination is illegal. Harris was able to bypass this type of legislation because his show is in Nevada, where no such law exists.
Harris has yet to comment on the varying prices, but it has left males feeling outraged with sexism accusations flying left, right and center while some females are fist-pumping the air (we are frequently charged more than men for the same products, after all). So what are we to make of it? Is it a feminist stance (i.e, could he be trying to make up for the gender wage gap) or sexist? What it really is, is likely either/or, depending on your gender – logically, it can’t be both.
In a world where women are frequently dealt the short straw – look at the gender pay gap, the ‘Pink Tax‘ etc. – such a discount should be welcomed, but we’re not too sure what to make of it. What we’re aiming for is gender equality, and this is a step off that track. Yes, you could say that women deserve a break, but the fact that men have to pay 150% more to see the same show is drastic and seems unfair, especially as we don’t know Harris’ thought process behind the decision – it could well be a feminist stance, or it might not be; some online ire are giving Taylor Swift (Harris’ other half) credit.
The Telegraph points out that women are often charged less to get into a nightclub as is, and HelloGiggles noted that this difference occurs in the US frequently; to see David Guetta at XS Nightclub, men are charged double. At Hakkasan, if you identify as a man and want to see Lil John perform, you could be charged up to $45 more. Popular clubs such as 10AK, Marquee, and Chateau also enforce this gender price difference. They point out that this isn’t an attempt by clubs to make up for the gender pay gap, but rather that women are being used as incentives – since there are more women there, this makes it more likely for men to show up – so it acts as another means of exploiting females. Grim.
In response to the backlash unleashed by Calvin Harris’ ticket prices, the company selling his tickets (TicketDriver.com) explained that they created a price difference so tickets can’t be easily transferred, but this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and doesn’t address the issue at hand.
We still have many questions.
What do you make of it?