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Last Bastion of Male Privacy Falls: British Gentlemen's Club Admits Women for the First Time in Nearly 200 Years

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Photo: Last Bastion of Male Privacy Falls: British Gentlemen's Club Admits Women for the First Time in Nearly 200 Years. Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko
Photo: Last Bastion of Male Privacy Falls: British Gentlemen's Club Admits Women for the First Time in Nearly 200 Years. Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko

The private men's Gentlemen's Club in London has voted to allow women to join. This happened after an article in the Guardian, the publication claims. 

193 years after its foundation, the Garrick Club finally voted to allow women to become members. The vote took place at the end of a private meeting, during which several hundred members discussed for two hours whether to allow women to join. Almost 60 per cent of members supported the move.

The club is located in Covent Garden in London's West End. It has been under scrutiny since the Guardian published a list of about 60 names of the club's most influential members.

The list included Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Skills Michael Gove, head of the MI6 spy agency Richard Moore and Simon Case, who as cabinet secretary is the prime minister's senior policy adviser and leader of nearly 500,000 civil servants. Case and Moore were among those who resigned their membership following the Guardian's coverage.

Earlier, the club's leadership said it had received letters and emails from more than 200 members telling them they would resign if the vote went against women.

There have been sporadic attempts to change the club's rules on women's participation in the past.

In 2011, Hugh Bonneville invited fellow actress Joanna Lumley to become a member. His decision to include a woman's name in the book of proposed candidates caused such anger among some of the club's 1,500 members that the page was ripped out of the nomination book. 

In 2015, the club voted to continue its policy of not allowing women to become members. Although 50.5% voted in favour of allowing women to join, the club needed a two-thirds majority to change the rules.

 

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