Here’s another example of our fight to free men from discrimination is becoming global!
Every victory, large or small, offers hope for a future free from senseless if not debilitating stereotypes. This also clearly demonstrates how NCFM members work together to overcome discrimination regardless of the differences between us, geographically and otherwise, truly a wonderful thing of which our civil rights movement is beginning to realize in a large way. Stay tuned, things are starting to heat up… Congratulations Eyal!
SHALOM, my American colleagues!
I am glad to report that lately, the Supreme Court of Israel had ruled that the discrimination against men at public accommodations on the ground of their sex is strictly prohibited. By doing so, the Supreme Court had overturned two previous judgments which permitted such discrimination.
I am not sure whether you remember the circumstantial background of the case in question, and thus, a brief description will follow.
My client’s only wish was to be allowed to spend some time at a local nightclub. Yet, the club’s policy at the time was such that women were granted entrance under the condition that their birth year be at least 1984, while men were required that theirs be at least 1982. Since my client’s birth year is 1984, he was denied entrance to that nightclub. “Had you been a woman – your entrance to the nightclub would have been granted”, he was told, at the nightclub’s doorstep.
My client had filed a lawsuit with a Small Claims court, yet his complaint was dismissed since the Small Claims judge did not correctly understand the cause of action: he had mistakenly considered the case as being brought upon solely on the grounds of age discrimination (in Israel, age discrimination is being perceived as more legitimate than discrimination on the grounds of gender).
At that stage, my client had contacted me and we have filed a request to appeal before the District Court (in Israel, appealing on a ruling of a Small Claims Court requires the appellant to first obtain a leave to appeal from the District Court). Yet, that motion for leave has been denied as well – the District Court had stated in its decision that the discrimination in question was legitimate, since, in its opinion, male patrons are more prone to misbehavior than their female counterparts. Additionally, it had been stated that men tend to have slower mental development phases than woman of the same age – among other stereotypical arguments.
We refused to give in, and filed a second leave for appeal – this time, before the Supreme Court of Israel. In Israel, the possibility of being granted a third review of a case which had already been reviewed by two instances is very unlikely and slim – all the more so, with respect to a case which was first filed with a Small Claims court. Yet, due to the public significance of the case in question, the motion for leave to appeal has not been rejected outright – instead, the case has placed for hearing before a panel of three Supreme Court justices.
Ultimately, to our gladness, the judgments of the two lower courts were completely reversed. Our position had been unanimously accepted, with the Supreme Court declaring that all forms of discrimination against men at public accommodations are strictly prohibited. At the heart of the ruling’s rationale were several considerations (e.g.: discrimination against men reinforces harmful stereotypes, the lack of relevant difference between men and women, the adjudication that discrimination against men is harmful to women as well, etc.). I am unable to discuss all the said considerations in detail, since the judgment is relatively long (39 pages), however, the judgement is attached: Israel gender discrimination victory in Hebrew.
He said judgment constitutes an important precedent, as that is the very first time that a case on the subject of the very widespread phenomenon of discrimination against men at public accommodations had been brought before the Supreme Court in Israel. Now, it is possible to spread the rumor that Israel can be reckoned with other developed states (at least, in the gender equality sense)!
Finally, I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude for your kind assistance in the research I had to undertake while working on that case. It is without doubt that the judgments you had referred me to, about a year and a half ago, had an enormous contribution to my effort. Indeed – the present Supreme Court judgment includes significant references to these decisions.