Jamie Keiles of The Seventeen Magazine Project fame* just posted a clever chart about frat party politics (particularly iterations of the "ladies drink free" ideology) on her new blog Teenagerie. Check it out!
She makes a good point, especially, about the way men pay for access to women in these situations; the cover and drink charges function then as a kind of fee securing their place in a space where, presumably, many women have flocked, lured by the prospect of free alcohol. What she doesn't really bring up, though, are the issues of consent that go along with a "ladies drink free" philosophy. Without an economic incentive to stop drinking, "ladies" might get drunker than their male counterparts ergo it will be that much easier to take advantage of them. Of course, women have just as much agency over their alcohol consumption as men do--free or not--but that doesn't change the implications of this idea. And the fact is that many college students (at whom this type of advertising is primarily aimed, even when it's a feature of a bar rather than a frat house), male or female, will find it difficult to pass up free alcohol.
* In another life, I had planned an interview with Jamie for the Ms. blog, but I think she got swamped with requests as her website took off and that, unfortunately, never came to fruition.