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    Friday, 19 December 2008

    Men Only Clubs

    Back in December I wrote about my visit to a working mens' club which had a men only bar. Well now I discover that a social club which is totally men only has won a CAMRA club of the year award.

    This is worrying on a couple of fronts. Firstly I thought CAMRA had some sort of inclusion policy, part of which is to encourage women to become members. There's a real desire to shift the stereotypical image of beards and beer bellies that this isn't going to help one bit.

    Secondly who actually drinks in these places? What's wrong with the company of women? Ok we all like a night out apart from our partners ocassionally, but that doesn't mean the whole evening should be spent purely in a male environment. The amount of testosterone in that club must be frightening!

    Close examination of the picture in the article I linked to though, does reveal a woman member of staff. That's right Mid-Boldon Club - your obvious idea of a woman's place is to serve the men. Additionally this quote "There's a great atmosphere here, and we wouldn't want the wrong type of person to spoil it." says a million words for the chauvinists of this Neanderthal part of the World. I sometimes wonder what century we are living in.

    I see no similarity at all here with men only gyms, or womens' swimming sessions. Wanting a single sex drinking den is just not right.


    Superfecta said...

    I'm in an all-female beer club, but we do have men around on a few special meetings a year (and one of the goals of the club is to try out new places, so we go to different bars each week); it seems that that's the more sensible way to run a single-gender club, if they are truly set on it.

    Tandleman said...

    I would say really that it is a bit of a harmless anachronism. There are only a few left in the country and it will change eventually.

    If it suits them - fine, though I am not so sure about CAMRA awarding them.

    Bailey said...

    I don't think CAMRA should have given them an award but if a bunch of misogynistic losers want to hang out together, at least it keeps them out of everyone else's hair...

    Tyson said...

    Ooh, I can feel the hostility from here. Chill out, folks. They are acting within the law and democratically-why the big fuss?

    As to the Camra award, full marks to the local branch for not playing gender politics. Camra is (supposed) to be about GOOD BEER. Any club that sells 4 casks deserves recognition, regardless of whether it fits some people's concept of what a club should be.

    Gazza Prescott said...

    I always thought the primarily criteria for inclusion into the GBG (B stands for beer, not blokes) was excellent cask ales. Now I'm not naive enough to think that most entries are because of this or why would pubs selling shite like Greede Kerching even get a mention... oh, sorry, rant mode engaged there.

    So, if this club serves good beer then it should be recognised, regardless of any silly door policies it may have, although I do agree that wanting to be in an all-male drinking club doesn't do a lot for me.

    Bailey said...

    Yes, I am happy to admit that I'm a bit hostile towards open misogyny being condoned by an organisation of which I'm a paying member. It's just crap.

    Tyson said...


    As camra's remit isn't going to change, you're in a difficult position. It all depends on exactly how strongly you feel about it. Personally, if I felt very strongly, then I couldn't reconclie that with being a member of said organisation. But them everything's black & white for me.

    Gazza Prescott said...

    Cut your card up!!!

    DO IT!!! DO IT!!! DO IT!!! DO IT!!! DO IT!!! DO IT!!! DO IT!!! DO IT!!! DO IT!!! DO IT!!! DO IT!!! DO IT!!!

    maeib said...

    The wrong doers here are the local branch not CAMRA as an organization.

    If it were my area, I'd complain strongly at a branch meeting, and would consider quitting.