How to Bring Back Men's Clubs
Updated: Sep 29
I'm just curious, do you remember when the Elks Lodge was popular? How about the days when the New York Athletic Club only allowed men? How many mainstream social clubs can you think of that still enforce a men-only rule? This is all by intention. Between the shortage of these places and the Boy Scouts recently "breaking down barriers," America has spent the past few decades cracking down on male spaces. Even men have been brainwashed to look down on clubs for their own, calling them gay or misogynistic. Just the idea of a men's club nowadays brings discomfort and accusations of sexism. Actually making one brings shutdowns and declined licenses. Meanwhile, the pendulum has been yanked in the opposite direction, with women's clubs, gyms, train coaches, etc. popping up everywhere with few accusations of sexism. Here is a way to bring back the male groups. In Helen Smith's book, Men on Strike, she talks about meeting the president of a men's law group at a major university. Matt said that the founders decided to form the group when they noticed that the university had groups for Black law students, female law students, etc. They figured that they would be allowed to have one for men. The administration reluctantly let them have their group, under the condition that women would be allowed to join, just as men could join the women's groups.
The group was for men to hang out for golfing and male-dominant activities of that nature, as well as do charity work for men. Their charities including raising money for heart disease research and for after-school activities to keep boys out of trouble. Outside the school grounds, they could say and joke about whatever without fear of saying the wrong things to get the whole club labeled as sexist. The group had about 84 male members. As for female members, only a couple of women showed up on occasion. According to Matt, the reason why universities have so few men's groups is because men don't ask. The more of us that act in spite of the naysayers, the more acceptable male groups will be, and the sooner men can get out of the "man cave" and into real men's clubs.