Yet the Garrick Club’s strictly male-only membership is now under threat
Now, a female lingerie tycoon has accused the famous gentleman’s club not only of having a sexist membership policy, but also treating women like “second class citizens”, and has launched a legal bid to force the club to accept female members for the first time in its 189-year history.
Emily Bendell, 39, from east London, has instructed lawyers to use UK Equality law to seek an injunction preventing the Club from "continuing to operate its discriminatory policy" which she claims is "unlawful” in a bid to force the club to overturn its ban on women members.
The founder and CEO of lingerie company, Bluebella, told The Telegraph: “This is where QC’s, politicians, journalists are – people of influence and power over our country, right in the middle of London, and it’s not okay that there’s no good reason, in my opinion, that women shouldn’t be members…
“We wouldn’t accept an exclusion like that on the grounds of race, so why should we accept it on gender?”
It’s called freedom of association. It’s right up there with freedom of speech and equality before the law as a cornerstone of a free and liberal society. You get to associate with who and how you wish. So does everyone else.