Updated: Jun 17
Well, ring the bells folks. A men’s club in Sydney has decided not to admit ladies. A well-known Aussie bloke has resigned from the club, and others will presumably follow. Good luck to them – obviously they do not appreciate the benefit of quiet and thoughtful conversation with their favourite tipple in hand.
Relief from gender-specific clubs
Men’s clubs provide a peaceful haven. Many members of men’s clubs go once or twice a week to their favourite club for some peaceful discussion of a variety of important matters. How is their favourite football team going? Is the conservative side of politics doing a good enough job to minimise the chance of a change of government at the next election? What can be done about China’s barbaric treatment of Australia?
I should note that men’s clubs provide more active activities. Driving vintage cars about, playing snooker, billiards or bridge, painting, the list of events is almost endless. Some activities include ladies, by the way.
If men’s clubs are forced to admit ladies, where would it end? What about ladies’ clubs? If there were a push to insist men be allowed to join ladies’ clubs, I predict that all hell would break out. In case non-club members believe clubs should include people of two genders, please note that it is a fact that men mostly prefer fellow men at their clubs. Conversely ladies mostly prefer ladies at their clubs. In each case mixed events do occur on some evenings where people of either gender can admire someone of the opposite persuasion.
It is a fact that men, especially traditional Aussie blokes, prefer the quiet drink and calm discussion with fellow blokes and the occasional ‘event’ such as an interesting speaker or an exhibition of members’ paintings. But in the ordinary course of life, ladies are mostly far better talkers and if they were to be admitted to men’s clubs Aussie blokes would very likely leave the club with ears ringing and a feeling of inadequacy in the matter of chit chat.
Can I point out that the very existence of men’s and ladies’ clubs show that is the preferences of both men and ladies. To be sure there are presumably some clubs of mixed genders, but in Melbourne I have noticed no such clubs. Maybe the situation in 50 years or so will change, but I doubt it. The more likely scenario is that both men and ladies will be under too much pressure to run households, bring up children and keep employed.
What a pity that the quiet tipple and those few drinks for men once or twice a week may disappear. Equally, what a disappointment if meetings of ladies with the occasional gin and tonic and quiet chat about the things ladies like to discuss will also disappear.
Greg Sheridan, 'G7 falls for fantasy that we control emissions', The Australian, june 17, 2021. P 11, column 1.