It’s about time this sort of thing happened, women only clubs and organisations being called out over their innate sexism. If we’re going to have rules against such things then they must be impartially applied – the rule of law being vastly more important to society than any particular political tergiversation which might try to defend such practices.
And such logic bending does exist. Black only clubs and organisations are not only allowed but pushed by some, for only in that manner can the historic oppression by the pinkish types be fought. Women only is just fine but men only isn’t. Because, well, because really.
That rule of law thing though, really it means sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander:
The New York human rights commission is investigating a women’s only work space and networking club for breaking the city’s strict anti-discrimination laws.
The Wing was founded in founded in 2016 as a private social club and co-working space for women, and currently has more than 1,500 members working from three offices in New York, and now one in Washington DC.
If such a club existed purely and only for men and it would face such an investigation as a result then a women only one should, indeed must, as well.
The correct answer here is quite different of course, it is to be liberal. As we are, true and proper, liberals. Which is to say that private organisations, as long as there is no direct third party harm, can just get on with things as they wish. Career misses as a result of not being part of a select club are not direct harm, at very most they’re indirect, and so don’t count. The rest of us have to tolerate the existence of those private clubs but not join them, and we’ve also that same right to set up our own such however we damn well like.
Yes, this doesn’t accord with the modern and progressive meaning of liberal but then the progressives aren’t liberals, are they?
There is though a wondrous defence available to The Wing:
The club’s glamorous founders Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan, both 30, have cultivated a circle of social-media celebrities that includes the writer, editor and actress Tavi Gevinson, and the transgender actress and Gucci model Hari Nef. Lena Dunham, writer of Girls, was bridesmaid at Ms Gelman’s wedding to Ilan Zechory, a founder of Genius, the music website; Chelsea Manning is a member of the club.
“We have a diverse, culturally-rich, positive environment,” Ms Gelman told The Telegraph.
We’ll bet heavily that the one thing that isn’t diverse is the range of cultural and political views. Still, there is a certain amount of gender diversity there, isn’t there? Although the use of this defence would run straight into another progressive idea, that gender is whatever people say it is. With two trans women there it’s at least arguable that they are admitting men and therefore there’s no sexual discrimination going on. A tough one to argue with a straight face given the current progressive insistence that no, really, they’re women, but we can imagine a lawyer trying it on as an argument in court.
In fact, we’d love to see a lawyer trying that on in court just for the jollies of it.
But to be back and serious again. If we’ve laws against gender discrimination in club membership – something we shouldn’t have but we do – then they should indeed apply to women only organisations just as much, equally so, as to men only. And if people like Lena Dunham come out against such equal application of the law then they’re even dumber than I thought they were.