And a club that wouldn’t have me as a member

In Others
August 17, 2009

Well, it’s Monday night, it must be time to visit a gentleman’s club. In fact, I have *never been* to a gentleman’s club before I started doing this project, but asking people to take me to their favourite places has now resulted in two. Tonight, it was the Oriental Club with my friend Richard. Here he is, although he doesn’t usually look this stern and blue-tinted.

Lovely place, nice dinner, hilarious portraits of Eastern Potentates of the British Empire. Unlike the Athenaeum, the Oriental doesn’t admit women as full members. But apparently the wives, unmarried sisters and daughters of members can become ‘associate members’. This means that you can’t go into the ‘painted room’, but you are allowed into the ladies’ parlour (pictured below):

It has a sewing box! Someone should set up a Stitch ‘n Bitch night here. Anyway, apparently the fee for male members is £800 a year, while the fee for female associate members is £100 a year (although obviously the man who owns you has to be a full member).

It made me think about the pay gap, that women still earn only about 70% of men’s wages. Clearly, if employers aren’t changing their ways in paying men more than women we need to look at alternate arrangements. Perhaps shops could introduce men’s prices and women’s prices, in which the women’s prices are 30% lower! Or… women should have free travel on all public transport, which would start to even it out. Or let’s just introduce a lower tax banding system for women!  If the Oriental Club can introduce preferential fees, surely it’s time for the feminist movement to start thinking more radically.*

*Warning. It is late and I am tired. I very much doubt I mean any of this. It’s probably just the influence of the women’s parlour on me. 

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