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Sea Otter Still Going to Court the Ladies

Published April 6, 2011

MONTEREY, CA (BRAIN)—In what many people read as a belated April Fools’ joke was actually quite real, as the National Coalition for Men in San Diego objected to the Sea Otter Classic “Ladies Day” celebration.

It wasn’t so much the celebration itself, but rather the semantics behind the celebration. The NCFM’s president Harry H. Crouch said he was “puzzled and disappointed” Sea Otter would sponsor a sex-based promotion such as Ladies Day…”

Sea Otter president and CEO Frank Yohannan decided to meet Crouch somewhere in the middle by changing the formal name to “Ladies Activities.”

Despite meeting all demands from the NCFM, Crouch contacted media outlets within the Monterey area claiming that "Ladies Day" was cancelled and that this could be considered the avoidance of a grave gender-based injustice. Yohannan labeled Crouch's post-agreement efforts as "petty" and "certainly outside of the genuine spirit of cooperation from Sea Otter."

Although operating under a different name, this special day for women and girls remains the same. "We love women who cycle and simply want to get more on bikes,” Yohannan said.

Programming for Sea Otter's Ladies Activities includes skills clinics, demo rides, a nutrition seminar, maintenance classes, and much more. And yes, men are also welcome to attend, Yohannan added.

—Jason Norman
jnorman@bicycleretailer.com

RESPONSE FROM NCFM:

Dear Editor,

The article "Sea Otter Still Going to Court the Ladies" (4/6/11) incorrectly implies that the National Coalition For Men (NCFM) objected to the language of Sea Otter's Ladies' Day event or to Ladies' Day itself, and that Sea Otter defied NCFM by holding the event anyway, neither of which is true. What NCFM did is notify Sea Otter that charging a fee only to men violates the Unruh Civil Rights Act. In response, Sea Otter announced that men will be allowed to participate for free. NCFM was pleased with this outcome and thanked Sea Otter for it.

NCFM combats sex discrimination against men in all forms, including child custody, paternity rights, domestic violence policies, criminal sentencing, military conscription, public benefits, and other areas, even supposedly "harmless" sex-based pricing in public accommodations. Women's groups have long sued to stop similar discrimination in sporting events, and even in salons and dry cleaners that gave men discounts to attract more men. Likewise, NCFM has successfully stopped thousands of night clubs, restaurants and others from giving discounts only to women, which feeds into the larger forms of discrimination against men and conditions men to accept it as "normal."

But NCFM has no issue with Ladies' Day itself. In fact NCFM celebrates International Men's Day every November 19 and welcomes Sea Otter and others to do the same.

Marc E. Angelucci, Esq.
Vice President
National Coalition For Men
http://www.ncfm.org

Topics associated with this article: Consumer Expos and Rides, Sea Otter Classic

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