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Hi, I’m Kevin Coupe, and this is MorningNewsBeat Radio, brought to you by Webstop, your first stop for retail website design services.

I spend a lot of time in hotels, so it was with some interest that I’ve been reading the stories about how Marriott, in a new hotel opening in Grand Rapids, Michigan, decided to make the 19th floor a “women only” floor. No guys. Ever. And, for an extra 30 bucks per night, they will get special, enhanced amenities such as better hair dryers, toiletries and even a women-only lounge where they don’t have to put up with men hitting on them.

Marriott says it is doing this to cater to the ever-increasing number of female business travelers who want to feel safer and more secure, and also want to be pampered in a different way than men, who tend to be happy with a big screen TV and a ballgame on ESPN.

Of course, there are naysayers, with some feminists saying this is nothing more than one form of discrimination – against men, go figure – that will, in the end, enable discrimination against women by allowing men’s only clubs, hotels, bars, etc…

To be honest, I have no idea how I feel about this one. Never having been a sexual predator – or having been the target of one – I’m not sure I’m in the best position to decide what makes sense. I think the Marriott idea makes perfect sense, though I might not feel that way if I showed up at one of their hotels with a reservation and found out that all the remaining rooms are on the women’s-only floor, and therefore I was out of luck.

Where does something stop being good business and common sense, and start being discrimination? Is it a short trip from women’s-only floors to whites-only water fountains? I can’t imagine it is, but then again, it is hard for me to imagine that kind of discrimination at all.

It is a reality of modern business that not only do we have to try to make smart decisions for today, but we have to examine scenarios and possibilities that exist far on down the line. There are always implications, and we have to plan for as many of them as possible. Von Clausewitz wasn’t talking about retailing, but he might have been when he said that one should prepare for what the enemy can do, not what you think the enemy might do. Or will do. Something like that. You get the point.

I will tell you this, though. One of my favorite places in New York City, though I rarely get there anymore, is a bar called McSorley’s Old Ale House in Greenwich Village, which I think was the last bar to be men’s only before the courts forced it to allow women in back in the seventies. To this day, there is only one, coed rest room, which makes going to bathroom a sometime adventure.

I do know this. It is a vastly more interesting place with women then it would be without women. And that’s something you can say about life.

What I’m not sure is if women feel the same way about men.

For MorningNewsBeat Radio, I’m Kevin Coupe.
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