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I’d almost agree with David on gender discrimination

Written By: - Date published: 3:02 pm, December 6th, 2012 - 38 comments
Categories: blogs, dpf, humour - Tags:

David Farrar says:-

Tracey Chatterton at Stuff reports:

A partner in a Napier legal firm is boycotting the annual Law Society Christmas party because it is being held in a club that will not allow women as members.

Alison McEwan, of Langley Twigg Law, recently tweeted: “The Law Society is having their annual Xmas do at Hawke’s Bay Club which does not allow female members – so I won’t go.”

Ms McEwan was reluctant to talk to The Dominion Post because two of her senior partners were “stalwarts” of the club, but she did say: “Women had to fight to get the vote. I’m not prepared to let that part of our history go, I’m not prepared to take that for granted.”

President Alan Cooper confirmed that the Hawke’s Bay Club, established in 1863, had never had a female member.

“It’s been this way for 150 years,” he said. “Why would a woman want to be a member?”

He said it was not deliberate discrimination. “There’s areas of the club where you can entertain women.”

What the bedrooms?

Now don’t get me wrong. I support the right of the club to be exclusionary in its membership. They are a private club.

But what I don’t get is why would anyone want to belong to a club that bans women?

I couldn’t think of anything worse to belong to (well maybe Grey Power).

Indeed. Of course I completely support the right to make a protest. My parents keep threatening to join me up to Grey Power as apparently I’m now eligible. I’d protest about that as well 🙂

hattip: vto 😈


38 comments on “I’d almost agree with David on gender discrimination”

  1. Jackal 1

    Well I would have to disagree that a club should be able to exclude certain people from its membership on the basis of sexuality.

    Unless there are good reasons for the segregation, and in this case I cannot see any, woman should have the same rights as men to join clubs and organisations. Unfortunately these clubs and organisations are often set up to give members an unfair advantage in the real world, and like it or not (and I know a lot of men don’t like it) woman now compete for the same positions as men.

    If there are selective clubs that inhibit the ability of woman to achieve the same opportunities through denying them membership then that is clearly discrimination.

    Some might argue that these organisations don’t promote the old boys club and that there’s no discrimination… However while woman are still being paid less than men and have less opportunities to gain employment in high level positions despite statistics showing woman are on average more highly qualified and studies showing woman are able to grow businesses faster than men, how can this dynamic be anything other than discrimination?

    Such discrimination should not be acceptable on any level, and any organisation or club that allows such sexism to thrive should be ostracized not only by woman, but also by men who want to see New Zealand develop into a equal society where nobody is discriminated against by those with a vested interest in keeping the status quo.

    • karol 1.1

      I think you’re missing the main issue, Jackal.  it’s not so much about clubs excluding on the basis of gender, it’s because this particular event is strongly employment/occupation related. 

      I have no criticism if someone sets up a men-only Top Gear club. That’s their choice – and I’m more than happy to be excluded.

      This event is a Law Society Christmas Do. the society doesn’t exclude women, and they need to get special dispensation to go to the Society’s Xmas event.

      The Hawkes Bay Club can do what they like as far as I’m concerned –  Although there may be something of a an old boys network that cuts across the Law Society and the Hawkes Bay Club.  

      The Law Society should be attempting to open up such networks and have their social events at places where women, and all groups represented in the Law Society, are welcome.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        That I’d agree with. The local Law Society should be racked and stretched for picking a venue that actively discriminates against their members.

        Not that I actually join clubs or societies outside of the NZLP, but if I did then I’d be raising hell about the choice of venue.

        • Chris

          Perhaps you should make a complaint against the NZLP for supporting policies that discriminate against the poor?

    • lprent 1.2

      The key issue is what is in your statement

      Unless there are good reasons for the segregation…

      Now it’d be interesting seeing what good reasons that this club in Napier has, or indeed why Grey Power restricts people of DPF’s age from joining. He does seem to me to be a perfect old man in most of his comments.

      • Populuxe1 1.2.1

        I’m not sure there even needs to be a good reason. It’s very old fashioned, yes, but just as we have women’s only spaces which are respected, I can’t really see the harm in men’s clubs. The problem is with the law firm booking the function there – that really is insulting to female partners and staff.

      • Dr Terry 1.2.2

        May I please suggest that contributors take care not to move from one form of discrimination to another. Older people can be very sensitive toward negative assumptions concerning what they might be like with the onset of age.

  2. Skinny 2

    Very poor form of the Law society, goodness me how inappropriate a venue. A complaint to the Human Right tribunal perhaps? 

     Well that is typical of some Law Firms. Women are usually under represented as partners in the business. There mostly fronted by middle aged sexiest white males.  I have heard of appalling treatment to women in the workplace by these pigs. The males club bully women out of their firms if they make waves. The ones that take them on you don’t get to read about harassment grievances as they settle confidentially.     

    • I am going to assume you meant sexist white males…

    • Lou 2.2

      Appalling. But not surprised. Law Society are a bunch o boys, they are often white middle class, bigger picture – they contribute to law making and with their white middle class attitudes ultimately feeding (earning) off the backs of people less well off and less likely to be amongst their own white middle class priviledge. Yep, i am a working class woman and wouldn’t be caught dead in a mens club in hawkes bay even under a dispensation. BOYCOTT the boys.

  3. unpcnzcougar 3

    The essence is that this is a private club. I applaud them for having a men’s only club. I am more than happy that my hubby goes off to poker nights which are men only. It can get tiresome for european middle class males here in the Women’s Republic Of New Zealand.

    • felix 3.1

      It’s nothing to do with the club. They can have whatever medieval goat-fucking rules they like.

      The issue is with the Law Society holding their xmas function there.

    • Skinny 3.2

      You refer to your partner as ‘Hubby’ reminds me of a guy that refers to his Wife as ‘Mum’ both references are demented under the thumb terms to me lol.    

  4. higherstandard 4

    Get a life.

    • felix 4.1

      hs you’re a doctor (or you play one on the net). Let’s say the NZMA decides to hold their xmas function somewhere with an IQ restriction and you have to get a special dispensation to get in.

      Fair enough? Get a life?

      ps a response along the lines of “I wouldn’t want to go to their stupid party anyway” would be dishonest weaseling, as this is just an analogy and in the real world example the people involved do want to go, k?

      • higherstandard 4.1.1

        felic you’re a retard (or you play one on the net).

        Let’s say I don’t give a fuck that there be clubs for men and clubs for women but if someone invited me along to one or the other for a bit of a do and I was in the mood for a chat over a glass of wine or a cup of tea it wouldn’t bother me

  5. xtasy 5

    Are we in NZ in some regions still in the “stone age”, I ask?

    Farta**e may have a point there, for once, so I commend him on that. It is unbelievable that the Law Society chooses a venue that bans women. That is so stupid, ignorant and incompetent, whosoever organised this deserves to be sacked!

    Ok, clubs as such have their rights to admit members they choose, but it is totally ingnorant for a legal profession organisation to book a X-mas party in a place that discriminates against some (maybe half) of their members.

    Damned, when do people involved get a wake up call???

    Tar and feather them!

    • felix 5.1

      “Farta**e may have a point there, for once, so I commend him on that.”

      I don’t. It’s just one of the “raw meat” posts he likes to throw to his animals now and then.

      When he writes stuff like this, he knows exactly what sort of vicious, bigoted, nastiness he’s going to stir up in his comments section. Same “neutral” tone he uses when he posts on gay or maori issues.

      He’s spent years carefully feeding and nurturing those hatemongers so he can walk away with his hands apparently clean while they do all his dirty, filthy work for him.

  6. Reagan Cline 6

    The Hawkes Bay Club is a lovely old white wooden building with high ceilings just over the road from the sea in Napier City.

    Very convenient for workers at Napier law firms at least, and a 10 minute drive from Havelock North and Hastings.

    Put the sexist resentment aside and “think of England” – good practice for survival at Twigg etc etc.

    • xtasy 6.1

      Are they going to have a “free sex” evening there by the way? It is all a bit of hyped up nonsensical story, I am sure the media will come up with that next.

    • Kevin Welsh 6.2

      Fark, 10 mins from Hastings/Havelock to the HB Club?


  7. QoT 7

    You know, sure, private clubs can have their own rules, so I’m not going to make much of the hilarious preciousness of a men’s-only club (believe me, boys, you’re more than capable of creating a women-hostile environment without whinging about “tradition”.)

    I’m just going to point this out:

    He said it was not deliberate discrimination.

    Yep. They just accidentally created a rule barring women from membership and the club meeting agendas are always so full they just haven’t got around to fixing it yet, or something. 🙄

    • Populuxe1 7.1

      Are women’s rooms at universities and women only gyms hilariously precious? No, obviously not. Don’t begrudge the old fossils a bit of homosocial space and respite from a more evolved world they no longer understand.

      • vto 7.1.1

        That’s right pop. Viva la difference! People naturally congregate with their own types – in all types of settings, byt religion, by sports team, by gender, by age, it is a natural human phenomenon and to legislate against it is to set ourselves up for failure. Which is all of course a subtlely but strongly different issue from discriminating (in a nagetive, oppressive and unrelated manner) against people due to that difference.

      • QoT 7.1.2

        No, because men haven’t historically formed men’s only clubs largely based around needing safe space.

        • Populuxe1

          Pfff. Historical determinism.

        • kiwi_prometheus

          “largely based around needing safe space.”

          Here we go again,the “Men are DANGEROUS VIOLENT MURDERERS AND RAPISTS!” mantra from Team feminists.

          Is Curves gym for women about keeping them safe from being brutally gang raped on the bench press in the men’s gym?

          Their website says they are all about “a commitment to help women around the world become strong and healthy through diet and exercise.”

          Nope, no claim about “safe space” there.

          QofT obviously has a problem with men.

          • QoTViper

            The fact you think there’s no good reason why women might want a women’s-only space when working out speaks volumes for your understanding of how women are treated in our society, k_p.

            But it’s okay, no one really needed further proof of your lack of a clue.

            • VindowViper(RL)

              I get my aged bod to a Pilates class on a fairly regular basis and on the odd occasion when I’m the only bloke in the room full of 15-20 women … it’s interesting to see how the conversation changes if I keep a low profile. It get’s quite raucous, and explicit in a way that never happens when there are two or more blokes around.

              I’ve no problem with this at all; apart from it being quite fun :-). But it would be reasonable if men were allowed the same homo-social settings occasionally without it always being conflated with the whole patriarchal power structures that would have commonly inhabited them 100 years ago.

              I’m thinking that most remaining ‘men only’ spaces are these days are pretty well removed from the real levers of power in our society. Maybe the odd bit of local back-scratching and lobbying goes on, but I’d think that they no longer represent the towering ramparts of privilege they once did.

  8. vto 8

    Gawd. Imagine being a white middle class male.

    • kiwi_prometheus 8.1

      Gawd, imagine being an angry, black Lesbian.

      • QoTViper 8.1.1

        I understand your horror, k_p. If you were, you might have to deal with actual discrimination in your daily life, not just the shit you and your men’s rights mates make up so you can whine about the world no longer being run purely for your benefit.

  9. Murray Olsen 9

    Have any male lawyers decided they won’t be attending? That’s what I’m waiting to see.

  10. vto 10

    Well mr prent, I think we now have enough fodder for examination of the issue at hand, namely the difference in comment type between kiwiblog and the standard on the same issue, to reflect on general differences between the left and the right in their approach to life in general.

    Now what we need is a psychologist / sociologist type to analyse and conclude ……

    all in a wholly scientific manner of course.


  11. AsleepWhileWalking 11

    Having a club that has only one gender type as members isn’t discrimination.

    • QoTViper 11.1

      Well, in pure linguistics terms, it is. Legally, though, you’re right. The question isn’t whether it’s illegal, it’s whether it’s appropriate for one group which does allow people of all genders to join to hold an event at a venue which doesn’t.

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