3 Men's Rights Activists Sued for Being Denied Entry to a Female Entrepreneurs Conference

Getty Images

When female CEO Stephanie Burns, who runs a company dedicated to helping other female entrepreneurs, reportedly declined to allow men into a recent event in San Diego, California, lawyer Alfred Rava filed suit on behalf of three clients, claiming sex discrimination.

Burns contends that while her company is promoted to women, the men were denied entry to the event because it was full. The suit was ultimately settled; Burns told CNN that it was cheaper than the costs of a trial. 

Rava, an activist in the men's rights movement, has filed over 150 lawsuits over the last 12 years to fight sex discrimination, he told CNN in an email. The vast majority of his claims relate to what he says are unfair discounts and pricing disparities offered as promotions to women but not men.

In many cases, Rava cites California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, enacted in 1959 to prohibit discrimination based on "sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability or medical condition." 

"As a result of all of my lawsuits, the defendants began to treat female and male consumers equally," he told CNN in an email.  

"As a result of all of my lawsuits, the defendants began to treat female and male consumers equally,"

When it comes to pay equality, however, Rava's organization, the National Coalition for Men, takes a far dimmer view. In a 2011 post entitled "Pay Gap," the group contended that the phenomena of wage inequality was used in "misleading ways" by "Power Elite Feminists." While NCFM does not deny the existence of a wage gap, they attribute its cause to a number of dubious metrics. 

"The 'pay gap' only exists because men work far more hours at high-stress jobs they hate with longer commutes, less flexibility, more physical risk, etc., just to be breadwinners and feed their families, only to die younger and get bashed for 'earning more.'"  

To draw attention to the problem of wage inequality, at least one female entrepreneur and activist has deliberately lowered prices on her products for female customers by a percent comparable with the U.S. wage gap. Elana Schlenker, the 31-year-old graphic designer who managed 76<100, said the reaction to her store was mostly positive. 

Source: Whitehouse.gov
Source: Whitehouse.gov

"I've been really pleased with all the different kinds of people who have come," Schlenker previously told Mic. "My very first customer brought her granddaughter in and wanted to talk about the issues with her."

Mic reached out to Rava, who did not respond at the time of publication. 

Correction: Aug. 13, 2015
An earlier version of this article stated that Alfred Rava was "unavailable for comment." However, Rava's lack of response was a function of his residence in another time zone. Mic has updated the language surrounding his lack of response to reflect this.