And here we thought the world was making progress! The Westerly Yacht Club, in the same town in Rhode Island where Taylor Swift owns a $17 million home, has just failed to pass a measure that would have allowed women to join the club as full members.
Founded in 1927, the club says on its website that it “invites all interested parties to become members of our fine club,” but really, that only means interested parties who happen to be male. Women are able to be associate members, but only through their husbands and while their status allows them to plan parties and organize events, they are not allowed to vote for club measures. Single women (like Swift) and lesbian couples are not allowed to join.
The measure to allow women to join required a two-thirds majority to pass and was defeated by a 207 for to 171 against vote, according to the Daily Mail. Especially in the age of Hillary Clinton, this action confused and upset many. “How do I explain this to my daughters? That you can be the president, but you can’t be a member of the Westerly Yacht Club?” one woman asked.
Though most women (and many men) are displeased by the measure, there could be ulterior motives behind it. “I heard somebody say that some women had told their husbands to vote against it because they were afraid of their husbands interacting with single women,” an associate member who is also a retired women’s studies professor told the Mail. “That’s very sad.”