View Full Version : Men only clubs and societies

montys ex teaboy
4th Apr 2004, 12:18
What is the reason for all these men’s clubs not allowing women members??

Is it because the majority of members belonging to clubs and societies are all closet homosexuals?? Or are they scared of women in general and the mere presence of women is an assault on members and brethren masculinity.

I wander if it is ingrained in the old single sex public school(public excluded) attitude. A breading ground for homosexual activity if ever I saw it.:suspect:

tony draper
4th Apr 2004, 12:27
I know, nowadays we can't get proper crispy bacon here either.

4th Apr 2004, 12:48
Tis a place where men can talk about important stuff such as cars, engines, astronomy and whisky without the risk of a bunch of ladies turning the conversation into hairstyles, babies, clothes, fat bums and cooking utensils ;)

4th Apr 2004, 12:53
I didn't think there were many gentlemens' clubs left these days. I imagine the mentality is somewhat similar to a lads' night out. On a recent stag weekend, I realised that it was actually quite pleasant to be a group of gentlemen rather than the usual mixed group - one could be completely filthy without fear of violence from our better halves...

4th Apr 2004, 12:57
I think there are quite a few "Gentlemans Clubs" still around, like The Carlton club, which only allow female members in at certain times.

tony draper
4th Apr 2004, 13:02
I dunno, In my club from what I can remember of it, the strippers on a sunday morning were alus ladies.


4th Apr 2004, 18:21
At my local bar, all ladies are welcome, as long as they drink in the games room......located inthe basement...except on "Gentlemens Evenings". (Local Rules Apply!)

Send Clowns
4th Apr 2004, 18:51
It is so they can get away from women if they wish to. There are equivalent clubs with completely mixed membership (when I worked for the Reform they elected a female chairman) if the ladies wish to join, and if there was a demand then women-only clubs could be set up. Now I like the company of women (in all ways, from friendship onward :E ) but can perfectly accept that some people want a place apart. I would no more suggest their homosexuality than I would for a girl who was in a bar with other girls turning down offers from men!

4th Apr 2004, 19:00
I would go to a men only club if my wife let me:E


tony draper
4th Apr 2004, 20:23
Yeh! worra bout them Anne Summers parties then?? I tried to get into three of them but the ladies wouldn't let me in.

4th Apr 2004, 20:38
Surely the point of a club is that it's exclusive?

You only ask in the kind of people you want to mix with. Fair enough.

If you only want to mix with blokes at a 'gentleman's club' then that's fine. Why do wimmin want to spoil the fun?

4th Apr 2004, 21:16
I would not join a club that would have me as a member.:)

(Sombody famous came up with that first, can't remember who.)

4th Apr 2004, 21:23
Link for the Carlton Club - no I am not a member, just did a google search and found it.


The Club/ Society (not a gentlemans club) I belong to allows both men and women in. Been a member for a couple of months and its great. :ok:

4th Apr 2004, 21:45
Man 1 : "Do you believe in clubs for women?"

Man 2 : "Yes, if kindness fails"


4th Apr 2004, 21:53
Without looking it up, I seem to remember it was Groucho Marx who would not want to be a member of any club that would have him......

Send Clowns
4th Apr 2004, 23:17
Hence the Groucho club?

5th Apr 2004, 02:53
Was is not Groucho Marx who also said something along the lines of "I have principles, and if you don't like those, I have others"


Takan Inchovit
5th Apr 2004, 04:59
A bloody woman is the last person I want to see in my Erectile Disfunction Club! :*

5th Apr 2004, 12:16
Funnily enough Round Table does not allow women to join or attend meetings. Bloody good job too :ok:

Some hashes are men only as well :ooh:

On On

5th Apr 2004, 12:29
They have mens clubs and lady's clubs in my local golf shop!

Flying Lawyer
5th Apr 2004, 17:43
montys ex teaboy
The CUI which runs hundreds of working men's clubs all over the country voted at Blackpool last Saturday to deny full membership rights to women. Should you visit any working men’s clubs, I advise great caution before announcing too loudly you think they’re all “closet homosexuals” and the clubs are “a breeding ground for homosexual activity.” :D
As ratarrse says, the atmosphere in traditional gentlemens' clubs is “somewhat similar to a lads' night out” (not the ‘completely filthy’ part ;) ) and, as he put it, it can actually be quite pleasant to be a group of gentlemen rather than the usual mixed group.
Most of the top London Clubs don’t have women members, but there are exceptions: the Athenaeum since 2002 and the Reform since 1981. The Carlton, which would probably regard itself as a ‘top’ club, now has lady members. It’s a Conservative supporters’ club and the old rule created an odd situation when a serving Conservative Prime Minister wasn’t eligible to be a member. (I think they made a special rule, making her the sole lady member.) Criticising the old rule, the plain-speaking former Tory MP Teresa Gorman (from Essex), declared: "The Conservative Establishment has always treated women as nannies, grannies and fannies."

As Send Clowns says, if there was a demand, women-only clubs could be set up. So why aren’t there more ladies-only social clubs? It’s often said that women are less ‘clubbable’ than men. Could that be true?
The University Women's Club is one of the few, possibly the only, all-women ‘traditional’ social clubs in London. The only member I know uses it for staying over on visits to London because it’s a fraction of the cost of the adjacent hotels. I was taken there for a drink some years ago and found the beautiful Mayfair building virtually deserted with no ‘life’, no atmosphere.
In contrast, my club (the Garrick) is always busy, always full of lively, fascinating conversation about all manner of different topics and always full of really interesting people - some household names, some unknown outside their own spheres. Members never drink or dine alone – proposers have to vouch for their candidates enjoyment of good conversation. The objective of the founding committee is still strictly applied to this day: ‘that it would be better that ten unobjectionable men should be excluded than one terrible bore should be admitted.’
I enjoy the company of women, but an evening at the Garrick every month or so is extremely enjoyable. The club was founded in 1831 as a club for members employed in, interested in and patrons of, the theatre and the arts. Over the decades, it’s became a club where a large proportion of (but by no means all) members are actors, writers, directors, musicians, barristers (actors? ;) ) judges and, more recently, broadcasters, publishers and politicians.

As LGS6753 says, the point of a club is that “you only ask in the kind of people you want to mix with.” He adds “if you only want to mix with blokes at a 'gentleman's club' then that's fine” and asks: “Why do wimmin want to spoil the fun?”
It’s an interesting question. I suspect most women couldn’t care less if men occasionally want to have dinner and a drink or two at their club, but it’s always struck me as odd that those most strident in their condemnation frequently seem to be the type of women who wouldn’t enjoy the atmosphere of a traditional gentlemen’s club anyway. They have no interest in ladies-only social/dining clubs, but resent the fact that they exist for men.
The typical membership of the top clubs varies. White's is the oldest and grandest – I suspect, not coming from the landed gentry, I’d feel very out of place. Boodle's is also very smart - Ian Fleming was a member and it was the model for Blake's – M’s club in the Bond books/movies. Brook's is renowned for high gambling stakes and can claim 13 Prime Ministers among its members. The Athenaeum is renowned for its intellectual membership – I’d be out of my depth. The Reform was founded by a Whig as a hotbed for radical ideas and is still traditionally a Liberal club. The Garrick is reputed to have the most interesting collection of members and, myself excepted, I believe that reputation to be justified.

Would I support changing the rule to admit lady members? No.
It would completely change the atmosphere - possibly for the better, but I think probably not. It’s so perfect at the moment I wouldn’t want to take the risk. As our American friends say, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

We don’t need the extra members. The waiting list is about 7 years – I think slightly less for people who’ve distinguished themselves in the theatre or the arts which I think is fair enough given the club’s history.
All the top clubs were founded in the late 18th/early 19th Century. It can easily be argued that they are an anachronism in the 21st century – but people who think that needn’t join, and can simply let those of us who enjoy the harmless old tradition get on with it.

Monty's ex - I found this while searching unsuccessfully for the Garrick website. If you happen to be in London on the day .....Link (http://www.londonsociety.org.uk/visit20040504.htm) (You'll be quite safe. :D )

montys ex teaboy
5th Apr 2004, 19:30
Flying lawyer

Many thanks for the explanation. Most informative.

All those clubs are far and away out of my league, I am afraid.

5th Apr 2004, 19:43
Hmmm - I was once taken for a drink to the Carlton by a member, and a very odd experience it was too. Don't fancy repeating the experience. I would also totaly agree with Flying Lawyer 's assessment of the University Women's Club - stayed there not long ago as the guest of a work colleague and found it decidedly dry!

For that reason, I'm dead jealous of you chaps having the likes of the Garrick (haven't you even got the odd bishop as well?). Maybe if there were as many women's as men's clubs then each would develop its own character, but I must say I am not currently tempted by the only choice available to me in London, despite the relative affordability of membership and accommodation - I'd have more fun checking in to a hotel and spending an hour or so in an internet cafe JBing!

It's a similar case in Edinburgh - until very recently, there was only the New Club and the Carlton Club; the latter has now closed, and the former has gone to the risible half-way house of allowing women "associate" members!

Maybe I should start one - with membership criteria along the lines you describe, FL !

Send Clowns
5th Apr 2004, 20:05
I had lunch in the Carlton. Was a very satisfying, fascinating experience, as an 18-year-old. My boss at the Reform was a member, and he bought me lunch with some decent wine followed by port the day I left. The day I left to go to the US and learn to fly :)

Of course I have also eaten at the Reform, in the Coffee Room (the members' dining room) when I had to work late. Had grilled trout and chips.

5th Apr 2004, 21:05
I don't have a problem with it. Women are bloody good at socialising and networking any way.
I can see why they would be popular and sought after by men. It would let them communicate with each other without feeling "threatened" by women and the niceties that many men feel they ought to extend to women. Nothing wrong with that.
it's nice to have a place where you can feel comfortable.
I am a member of the AWPA (Australian Women's Pilots Association). It's a good thing. I really ought to join the BWPA just because I am here in the UK and it's nice to be around like minded women every now and then.
I suppose it's the same for blokes. They like to be around like minded folk occassionally too. It's certainly not a slight against women and nor should we take as such.

Flying Lawyer
5th Apr 2004, 21:16
I was a member of the Carlton for a few years, but hardly used it. I only renewed my membership not to offend the friends who'd proposed me, and let it go when I got into the Garrick. It's a beautiful building in a good location, but it had no 'club' atmosphere. I only ever used it as a place to meet friends by arrangement, which isn't the idea of a club.

People often think traditional clubs are stuffy (and some are) but the Garrick isn't and has a wonderful cross-section of members. I'm watching Room 101 at the moment. I was prompted to post by the sight of Paul Merton sitting there resplendent in a dreadful floral shirt and his very new Garrick tie. What better illustration of the diversity of the membership:D

(Apart from knowing Merton's just been elected, I noticed his tie didn't have any spots on it. He obviously hasn't worn it much yet - it's impossible to keep the distinctive 'salmon and cucumber' striped tie clean. :) )

Click (http://www.garrickclub.co.uk/images/ugh.gif)

montys ex teaboy
5th Apr 2004, 21:27

My Jallaba, tea towel and fan belt wouldn't look too much out of place then!!

5th Apr 2004, 22:04
It's only fair, women have a club that men can't join. At least not yet......... ;)

5th Apr 2004, 23:06
I used to belong to the Caledonian United Service and Northern Club in Edinburgh. Some old chaps resided there and to have lunch with them was a wonderful experience. One had been with the British forces trying to catch that uncatchable German general in East Africa in WW1. I used to spend hours in the library. It still had the annual lists of the Honourable East India Company, with notations on such and such a cornet of horse as being "on leave". How long did one have to away on leave before it got printed in the list? The books were such as I have never seen anywhere else.

Another old chap's grandfather had been born before Napoleon. The Club is gone now, but I hope the books are safe.

6th Apr 2004, 01:44
You're right ORAC - I too was blackballed by the Mother's Union... ;)

Haven't tried the Women's Institute yet - and they do say the view from the back of the Aerobics Room is very interesting.

9th Apr 2004, 00:46
Thank you Flying Lawyer for informing me what the Garrick club is. I doubt you read the magazine "Viz"(April #134), however, in the latest issue there's a reference to it. Pg 25 "Raffles the Gentleman Thug". :))