Equal choice

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John Rowe’s explanation of the workings of the Speculative Society (Letters, 7 November) was most interesting and informative; it sounds, in fact, just the sort of group I myself would enjoy. However, I’m completely against the idea of forcing acceptance of women members on it.

I understand that this requirement stems from Edinburgh University, which grants them use of premises for meetings.

That is fair enough, given its commitment to equality, but it doesn’t justify presentation in the press of the situation as a matter of general principle.

I’ve never understood why people would wish to join an outfit which doesn’t want them.

In any case, I read elsewhere that there is no such ban on women. Now I learn from Mr Rowe that members are proposed and then either accepted or rejected. It would be helpful, therefore, to know if any female applicants have in fact applied for membership.

If so, and they are sincere in their desire to engage in such activities, they could do us all a favour by setting up their own club if they can find suitable premises; I doubt whether any movement to admit men would materialise from that, but it would strike a powerful blow for freedom of choice in leisure activity.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road

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