Seaside restaurant's "romantic" gesture branded sexist

The restaurant has been taken to court over its treatment of women. [Photo: Getty]
The restaurant has been taken to court over its treatment of women. [Photo: Getty]

An upscale seaside restaurant is currently going through legal proceedings after offering different menus to men and women.

La Rosa Nautica in Lima, Peru, gave a menu to its male guests complete with the prices of each dish and a separate menu to its female guests without the prices on.

Our eyes are rolling so hard right now. It’s 2019, and even if one of you chooses to pay for the meal, taking the choice away from women seems a little archaic.

As it turns out the National Institute for the Defense of Free Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property agreed.

It ruled that the restaurant must give women the same access to prices as men and fined La Rosa Nautica $62,000.

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The restaurant defended itself by saying it wanted to “extoll the position of women, considering it a pleasure for them to enjoy a romantic evening with their partner, without taking into account the cost of the services”, Associated Press reported.

In response to its defence, Liliana Cerron, who is part of the agency that issued the fine said: “These small things may seem harmless but at the end of the day they are the basis of a chauvinistic construct reinforcing differences between men and women.”

If we re-visit restaurant standards in the 1950s, the “ladies menu” was a fairly common (and rather depressing) feature of high-end restaurants in Europe and America.

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In 1980, however, a court case by three women against a New York restaurant brought about an end to the “sexist” tradition.

Nowadays, this strange tradition is thankfully extinct and La Rosa Nautica’s attempt at reviving it has left the restaurant $62,000 worse off.

The debate about whether or not a man should pick up the tab at a restaurant is still going, though. Whatever choices people make, they should be able to do so without the added pressure of a price-less menu.

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