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LADIES IN FREE?

By Viviana Corbisiero


In Miami's nightlife, it is com­mon for women to be offered free dinners, invitations to yacht parties, no-cover club admission and complimentary beverages. These rewards are promoters’ marketing tactics that have been in place since the early 2000s, intending to attract more wom­en to their events, maintaining a lively and young image, and ul­timately boosting sales with the men who will follow.


Even though these benefits can seem alluring at first, there are often social constraints and ex­pectations attached to them. Since their presence is effective­ly utilized as a marketing tool to draw in male customers, some women feel objectified and com­modified.


Clubs from Miami to Holly­wood like Liv, Vendôme, El San­to and Daer invite “hot girls” to their clubs for free. Restaurants like Kiki on the River, Bagatelle, Mau and Myntu offer these same women dinners for free— but they need to dress sexy to be able to get this advantage.


“I love this privilege because women tend to have a lot of rights here in Miami and can have fun without paying any­thing. These free perks make me able to go out more because I would never have the money to pay for all these perks by my­self,” said Betsy Pimentel, a ju­nior majoring in translation.


Some regard them as empower­ing chances to partake in opu­lent activities without having to worry about money. Some see them as exploitative, contribut­ing to the perpetuation of in­equalities in nightlife areas and gender stereotypes if women are denied getting in for free or par­ticipating on a free dinner be­cause they might be not hot or skinny enough.


“I am shocked about Miami’s nightlife. I am not used to it; that I need to get approved if I am sexy enough to get in for free or to receive a free dinner. At the same time, I like that girls get a lot of advantages here over men and have the possibility to save money everywhere they go,” said Deb­ora Krasniqi, a re­cent graduate from the University of Zurich taking a gap year to study English here at EF Education First in Miami.


If a woman does not meet the beauty or dress standards, she will not be giv­en free perks and can even get denied altogether. This ex­plicit criticism can cause insecurities and other horrible consequences like eating disorders, depression and un­happiness.


Women are fre­quently given free dinners as rewards to dine at establishments, too. Even while these dinners could seem like a luxury, women might feel pres­sured to pay it forward in some way, like continuing to come back with more girls and pro­moting on social media. Boat parties, which frequently include stunning panoramas, music and unlimited beverages perfectly capture the majesty of Miami's nightlife.


While the luxurious surround­ings of these gatherings may appeal to women, they also run the risk of awkward situations or unwanted advances. The club scene in Miami is lively and diverse, with many places pro­viding free drinks and entry for women. But in certain settings, women might experience objec­tification or harassment, which would take away from their en­joyment in general.


In a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine in January, 58% of 307 partic­ipants (both women and men) reported having experienced sexual violence on a night out in the nightlife area; 44% report­ed that they had experienced sexual violence in the past 12 months. The study also found significant associations between experiences of sexual violence and sex, age group, and sexuali­ty and regularity of nightlife use.


Nico Vellani is another English student at Education First in Miami on a gap year from his third year studying law in Italy at University of Bologna while working as a promoter.


“Promoters in Miami make a lot of money bringing pretty girls to dinners, parties and to yachts. In my opinion, I think it is cra­zy that we need to analyze every girl if she is good enough to get those free perks. Miami’s night­life is such a big business, and it is shallow,” he said.


In a Buccaneer poll conducted to get a feel for what other Mi­ami students think, out of 121 Barry students, 55% responded that women receiving free perks in the nightlife industry is just fine while 45% think it is prob­lematic.


This prejudice, which presents women as the objects of attrac­tion and men as the pursuers of their attention, maintains established gender norms. In nightclub environments, the gender bias is further reinforced by the expectation that women must demonstrate beauty and charm. If they do not demon­strate that, they cannot join the free dinner and must pay for their own ticket to enter the club and their own alcohol.

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Apr 16
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Super interesting story

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