A small, silent protest of Franklin Street bar Deep End’s “Country Night” took place across the street from the bar Tuesday night.
Student protesters objected to the different rates of admission for male and female patrons of the bar. The protest, which was advertised through a Facebook event, drew an intimate group of participants.
Student disk jockey and UNC senior Trevor Dougherty organized the protest. Dougherty said the silent protest is a way to peacefully object to Deep End’s practices.
“It’s different because we’re going to be quiet,” he said.
“It’s just going to be a very simple statement of we’re watching and we don’t approve. And I think it’s going to be much more powerful than us all shouting.”
During its Tuesday night “Country Night,” Deep End charges $3 for male and female customers who are aged 21 and over. The bar also charges $5 for females aged 18 and over, and $10 for males aged 18 and over.
Deep End owner Howard McDonald said the “Country Night” prices have nothing to do with attracting more female customers, but are a way to protect the bar.
“Typically it’s an industry standard, underage guys are the worst thing for the bar — they’re more destructive, we have to kick them out more and they get alcohol more,” he said.
“We have more problems from underage guys than from any other part of our business.”
Doughtery, along with other student DJs, are speaking out against what they see as sexist admission practices in Chapel Hill bars and clubs.
But McDonald, who said he met his wife at the bar, said he doesn’t think the different prices contribute to a sexist bar culture and that Deep End has always been a respectful place.
“We always treat our staff and customers with the utmost respect,” McDonald said.
Laura Klein, a foreign exchange student, attended “Country Night” on Tuesday. She said it’s hard for people who are underage to find a place to go because the bars can’t sell them alcohol.
“I think it’s a good idea. I think at least you have the possibility to go in the club,” Klein said.
Dougherty and those who support his views say the lower prices objectify women and contribute to rape culture.
“It perpetuates the culture that undervalues women and treats women as sexual objects,” he said.
“The main argument we have is this practice of ladies nights or unequal admission commodifies women by basically bringing guys out for a higher price and guaranteeing that more women will be there because of their lower price.”
Sam Wilson, a senior anthropology major, participated in the protest of about a half dozen people. He said he doesn’t disagree with “Country Night,” just its prices.
“I don’t really have a problem with ‘Country Night’ per say, but I think they need to change their policy, and I think the pressure needs to come from the student body as their primary clientele.”