Blogspot @ Head-over-Heels

The travel blog for the backpackers guide to the world

Where men can be men …

Posted by | Evil Kristos | November 4, 2009 | No Comments

Good news everyone; the Supreme Court yesterday decided that the Portmarnock Golf Club can continue restricting full membership to men and all I can say is: Thank you judges. I am relieved.

It confirms that it is still possible in this country to be the boss of your own business and to have a say on who is and who is not permitted on your premises. I did start having my doubts. And this has nothing to do with the Equal Rights Act or discrimination. It has to do with the freedom of speech and the freedom of choice.

To explain this: Portmarnock Golf Club restricts full membership to men and was sued over this. The Equality Authority thought that this would be a violation of the Equal Status Act and they actually won the first court case in the District Court. Portmarnock Golf Club appealed against that decision and the High Court now agreed with them.

As you would expect this lead to some whinging and moaning among certain commentators (Carol Coulter of the Irish Times for example). They are complaining that this decision violates the very idea of the Equal Status Act. Interesting is how they argue the case. They grant everyone – even men – the right to meet and they may also form associations with people they like or have something in common with or share an interest or whatever. They even grant people the right to exclude people from such clubs BUT only if they don’t exclude women.

The Portmarnock Golf Club asked a very valid question: What about women-only book-clubs and gay rugby clubs? Will you sue them as well? In fact will they sue any women only club in the country since they seem to be everywhere. Because if they don’t some might think that the Equality Authority are a bunch of hypocrites. I am glad to hear that there are some judges left in the country that have some common sense.

I may not be a member Portmarnock Golf Club – and I never will be since I enjoy the company of women – but I will fight for their right to invite the members they want. This is not about Equality this is about freedom. I sincerely hope that the Equality Authority didn’t do any damage with their silly law suit. Technically all the golf clubs in the country could decide – with the High Courts backing – to exclude women again. We then would be back to the situation we had 20 years ago.

The Equality Act was a good thing and it has all my support but please remember, equality means all of us. It’s not just about women. Where I work the majority of supervisors, managers and directors are female and still we have a Women Initiative Network to represent the career interests of women but none for men. Should I call the Equality Authority over this? Male is a gender too and I might feel discriminated.


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