Thursday, April 5, 2012

Curves Ought To Be Forced To Let Men In

It's sad, really, that in this day and age, health clubs can discriminate against men and refuse them membership.  Yet, that's exactly what's going on at Curves health clubs around the world.  I mean really, when will this multibillion-dollar privately owned company step out of the dark ages and admit men into all of their clubs?
Even I am at a loss


And why, in the face of a public outcry and multiple protests, has this good-old-girl network of fatcats fatties refused to publish a list of its members?  Should their rolls remain private when, in the public interest, they should be released?  People have a right to know how they use their private land and other resources, and also have a right to determine if this privately-held group of private clubs can discriminate against nearly 50% of the American population.

It's really an absurd argument, isn't it?  Even for those who aren't libertarian, forcing a health club that refuses membership or even entry to men seems idiotic.  Those women have a right to go and work out at a club they want to, and if that means a private one, so be it.  Why, then, is the Augusta National Golf Club being pilloried in the media for their membership policies?*  Have they prevented any group from opening a similar club?  Have they prevented anyone from playing golf?  Have they, in any way shape or form, harmed an individual or diminished anyone's civil rights?  The answer to all of these questions is a resounding "No."
A former greenskeeper, now about to become Masters champion.

I lived in Augusta for two years.  It's a wonderful town with a rich and vibrant history.  There are private clubs of all stripes there:  The National, womens' social clubs, black social clubs and other mens' clubs, and yes, there is a Curves in Augusta.  I think it's high time we leave these private organizations alone and stop trying to take away their right to free association.

*By the way, Augusta National has no exclusionary membership policy and never has had one.  And while they did not admit their first black member until 1982, and have never had a female member, they have always maintained an open-door policy to the guests of members.  Also, the Augusta State womens' golf team and the UGA womens' golf team have enjoyed access to the course.  I've personally seen women swinging clubs on the 12th Tee as I inspected temporary stands near the 11th fairway and green.

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