As the figurehead of the drive for Scottish independence, as well as First Minister, Alex Salmond is steadily killing off any chance of achieving it with his vacuous nonsense on “gender equality being enshrined in all golf clubs in Scotland”. He’s already lost my vote, for sure.
What he’s really arguing for is a ban on all-male clubs, however, that would be undemocratic, given the natural right of freedom of association.
How would this equality be brought about? Suppose Muirfield, for example, failed to appoint any female members following a law requiring this.
Would the club be closed, or have women imposed on it? Applicants are voted on by members, after all.
More seriously, inclusiveness can’t be implemented selectively in our society: it would have to apply across the board. Separate men’s and women’s teams and competitions would be banned.
Masonic lodges would have to open up membership to ladies on demand.
The Queen’s Bodyguard in Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers, would have to become “Yeopeople” of the Guard.
I’ve always supported Scottish independence, but if Salmond’s shallow vote seeking is backed by the bulk of his party, I’d just as soon stick with the bunglers at Westminster.
It has been interesting to see various groups and individuals seeking to demonstrate their credentials as opponents of choice in such things as Muirfield’s men-only membership rule.
I remember when there were men-only pubs and a wife knew that, if her husband was in one when she rang to tell him to be home for his tea by a particular time, he was not gallivanting with another woman, so both genders benefited from the arrangement.
In those days of yore, much was made of silly women and dumb blondes in television advertising, until the change that took place in that regard around 20 years ago.
Nowadays, I note, men are the butt of jokes in advertising, as we are, apparently, stupid, malingering and clueless in any respect you care to mention (or invent).
Perhaps we could have some kind of arrangement reached by Messrs Salmond and other champions of gender equality.
Muirfield (and all the private ladies’ clubs too, of course) could allow both genders to become members and television advertising could change its anti-male slant. Too much to hope for? Probably.
Andrew HN Gray
Your social engineering journalists should realise that many, perhaps most, of the Muirfield and Royal and Ancient members would prefer not to host the Open, and certainly not the Scottish Open.
It is most fortunate for the game of golf that these clubs are prepared to host these events, and have ladies fully integrated during the week.
Do your journalists realise there are more ladies-only golf clubs in Scotland than men-only clubs?
In this age, when apparently it is a joy to have single- sex marriages, is it not weird to be appalled by single-sex golf clubs? I believe freedom of association is still a basic human right.
James F Rait
I recollect the feelings of resentment that I felt as a child and in my early teens when my mother insisted that my younger siblings should join my pals and me in whatever enterprise we had planned on our sortie “up the public park”.
This usually involved tree-climbing and “jumping the burn”, both of which were beyond the capacity of the “bairns” we had been lumbered with and so they detracted from the enjoyment of our venture.
I would suggest that critics of one-sex clubs must have experienced similar annoyances.