How the Civil Rights Movement Led to a Ban on Ladies’ Nights


Publish Date:
November 1, 2011
Publication Title:
Slate, Nov. 1, 2011
Blog Postings
  • Richard Thompson Ford, How the Civil Rights Movement Led to a Ban on Ladies' Nights, Slate, Nov. 1, 2011.


On May 4, 2006, a man named Michael Cohn filed suit to stop Mother’s Day. The previous year, the California Angels had held a Mother’s Day celebration, which included a “#1 Angels Baseball Mom” contest and a Mother’s Day tote bag giveaway. According to the court that heard Cohn’s lawsuit, “due to the difficult logistics of discerning which women were mothers in the heavy traffic of entry to the game, the team decided to generalize ‘mothers’ as females 18 years and over” and give them—and only them—the Mother’s Day gifts. Cohn didn’t fit that description, and so he didn’t get a fetching Mother’s Day goodie bag. Enraged that he was denied a gift because of his sex, he sued.