Sexism in Full Swing

Article excerpt

I want a private club, just like the private club that serviced dear old dad. And I want it now, in 2007. 1 do not want to go to the bother of inventing time travel just so I can go back to 1907.

And why, you may well ask, would I want a private club? Aren't women-only fitness centres and quilting clubs enough for me?

Because fitness centres and quilting clubs don't have lounges to keep men out of. It's not that women who lift weights and do crafts don't drink. In fact, there was a woman in my crocheting class a few years back who regularly showed up just tipsy enough to be interesting.

It's that fitness and quilting clubs rarely have the money to build big, luxurious clubhouses complete with three lounges: one for men, one for women and one for both.

The Marine Drive Golf Club in Vancouver does. Have money, that is. And three lounges. And the august leadership of this club wants to keep it that way. Some of its women members don't. Over the past several years, they have been in and out of the news and the courts as they attempted to get the men-only lounge changed.

It all began in 2004, when 36 women filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal in which they asked for access to the Bullpen lounge. They also documented numerous accounts of alleged harassment that ranged from obscene gestures to a man asking "did anyone else smell that?" as two women walked through the men-only lounge.

In 2005, the tribunal ruled in the women's favour, but both the BC. Supreme Court and the B.C. Court of Appeal found the ruling incorrect because the club is a private place and not subject to a tribunal ruling.

The latest salvo in this New Hundred Years war is that the Supreme Court of Canada recently refused to hear an appeal brought by the women. Said Brian Butters, president of the golf club: "Had the Supreme Court ruled against us ... we as a club would have been subject to the jurisdiction of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal."

Bang on Butters, I am with you. That explains exactly why I want to open a private club. Don't want no stinking human rights tribunal telling me what to do. …