You know how you watch an unfurling catastrophe, shouting “Noooo!” in helpless frustration? I speak here of events such as watching your best friend getting involved with a Train Smash Woman, or a lady friend taking up with a rancid Bad Boy, or another friend announcing with pride that he’s just put down a deposit on a Ferrari or cabin cruiser.
You know it’s all going to end horribly, with pain, tears and destruction in various forms, but you’re helpless to prevent it happening.
That’s how I feel about this development:
A crown green bowls club which has never allowed women to join as full members in its 100-year history is set to vote on whether to admit them.
Ilkley Bowling Club has about 1,700 full members, all of whom are eligible to vote in the ballot at the West Yorkshire spa town’s King’s Hall on March 3.
Women can only enter the bar of the club – which was founded in the early 1920s – as guests of members, and are banned completely during the week.
The main bar area – where a pint of beer costs less than £2 – is an entirely male preserve on weekdays and women are permitted to drink as ‘associates’ after 5pm from Friday to Sunday and on bank holidays.
Their mistake was in allowing female members in the first place, and allowing women onto the premises at all.
It’s not helped by the fact that lawn bowls is a game at which women are generally on a par with men in ability (see description here). But a bowling club is not just about the game, is it? Without the womyns, Ilkley B.C. would most probably be a happy place, where men can drink to excess, swear like troopers and in general act like the hooligan which lies not far beneath the surface of all of us.
If they open up membership to include the other sex, that will all change. I know that if I were a member, I’d resign if they did — as I would in any men-only club of which I was a member.