Friday, 24 July 2015

Garrick Club maintains ban on women members!

The recent vote by members of the Garrick Club not to admit women to membership, has led to some members threatening to resign over the issue. The motion in favour of women, which was proposed by the former Labour maverick MP Bob Marshall-Andrews, was supported by actors such as Stephen Fry, Damian Lewis and Hugh Bonneville. 

Some of those who voted against women members, claimed that it would have been awkward to admit them because women's toilets would have had to be built. One member even claimed that women were unsuitable because they were not good at remembering jokes. Another member said that he had been undecided about how to vote, adding: "I'm a huge supporter of all things anti-racist, non-gender, anti-ageist, but why shouldn't we have one or two places where chaps can get together." And why not! one might ask?

It may surprise some people to know that in spite of all the laws concerning equality in Britain, clubs that only admit men, are not illegal. And there seems to be a perfectly good reason for this. The 2010 'Equality Act' ruled out making these clubs illegal for the simple reason, that to do so, it would have been necessary to have made such things as women only swimming clubs and ladies fitness clubs, also illegal. 

Why the decision to refuse to admit women as members of the Garrick Club should have been so controversial, is fascinating in itself, simply because, it is known that women only clubs are becoming increasing popular and nobody seems to be objecting to this. In London, there is 'GRACE' a women's only club in Belgravia, 'The University Women's Club' in Audley Square and the 'Trouble Club' in Soho.

Objections have been raised by women within the legal profession towards a club that welcomes so many male QCs and judges, yet bars women. Baroness Hale, Britain’s most senior female judge, the first and only woman among 12 supreme court judges (several of whom are Garrick club members), has expressed outrage at the club’s continued exclusion of women. 

“I regard it as quite shocking that so many of my colleagues belong to the Garrick, but they don’t see what all the fuss is about,” she told a law diversity forum. She said judges “should be committed to the principle of equality for all”.

Those of us who are old enough, will well remember those halcyon days of gentleman's tap rooms and vaults which were strictly off limits to women. In those days, it was thought that ladies might well be offended by obscene language so they were put in the snug or best room. Nowadays, it is unlikely that many women, or to be exact, heavily tattooed 'ladettes', will be put off by expletives, simply because they can swear like troopers. 

For many, women's liberation has become an excuse to ape the worst excesses of their male counterparts - the 'LAGER LOUT'. It is now de rigueur to engage in heavy boozing sessions, urinate in the street, curse and swear and engage in fisticuffs. Standards in English life have deteriorated so much in recent years that hussies of this  type, are now a common sight on the streets of England on  a Friday and Saturday evening.

Only recently, I had cause to rebuke a sharp-tongued women or more accurately, an old crone, for interrupting me while I was in conversation with a friend while having a pint. Although she was told politely, not to interrupt, while I was talking, she railed at me, vituperating and snarling, screaming passionately:  "You f...... ignorant c...", as the loose flesh on her neck, shook like a cocks' wattles. This incident occurred, not in some louche drinking den, but in, of all places, a Conservative club in the north of England. 

It was the Roman playwright, Terence, who told us: "We all grow worse if we are given too much license." Fortunately, women of this type are unlikely to become members of the Garrick Club owing to the English caste system, or to mingle with the likes of Baroness Hale or Stephen Fry, in spite of the principle of equality for all. Never the less, one does feel some sympathy with Garrick Club members who have made a stand against barmy political correctness. Who for God's sake, would want to be assailed with impertinences from an irate female judge or to be subjected to some kind of female inquisition, while you drink your mulled claret.

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