I'm planning to attend a shooting event soon that is $70 for men and free for women. The range I shot at back in Seattle had free shooting for women on Tuesdays. Back in the day, Gameworks would have nights where women could game free all night while men paid $20 for the privilege. And of course lots of bars and clubs will have Ladies' Night events.
Well, it's making it easier for women to get involved in some traditionally male-dominated activities, and freebies are always nice. It's a little skeevy when the women are being used as "bait" for male customers, but generally not too bad in practice--the number of women present at these events usually makes them less creepy than the average night out with horny men.
So why do I get a little weirded out by these events? (While attending them, of course; what can I say, I like guns and games and booze and I don't like spending money.) I guess it's just that any distinction between the genders gets my hackles up? It's hard for me to go "aw, what about the men" when it comes to paying small fees for entertainment events, and it's hard for me to see a real downside for the women.
I think my problem might be tangential--the characterization of women who shoot, or play arcade games, or do other "manly" things as "cool girls." I do enjoy a lot of these activities, and I do think they're cool, but the implication that they're cool because they're ungirly bothers me. It implies that it's not perfectly natural and normal for me to like games, that as a woman I must be some kind of prodigy to know how a joystick works. (I know exactly how a joystick works, baby.)
And it implies that women who don't like games are uncool because they're acting too much like women. Which puts girls in a real bind: play games and risk being called unfeminine, avoid games and you're not cool. (Never even mind whether you like games.) I have no problem admiring women for being good at "manly" pursuits, but I also admire women who are good at "womanly" pursuits--fuck, I just think it's good for people to be good at pursuits and I'd like to leave it at that.
This page of TvTropes explains it pretty well: the header quote is "...while most reasonable people see women and men as equals, few (if any) dare to claim that femininity is masculinity's equal."