CA Adventurers' Club Votes to Keep 93-Year Tradition of Excluding Women

Illustration for article titled CA Adventurers' Club Votes to Keep 93-Year Tradition of Excluding Women

Sit down boys and girls, and let me regale you with a tale of how an organization of curmudgeons dedicated to adventure voted to keep women out of their boys club.

Last Thursday, the Adventurers' Club of LA, a gentleman's club/"Gathering Place for Those Who Have Left the Beaten Path in Search of Adventure," voted on whether or not they were going to allow women to join for the first time in club history since its inception in 1921. (Well, technically, they do allow women, but only on Ladies Night.) The measure failed to win two thirds of the vote. KCAL9 reports:

"It was massive resistance. I mean, people stood up. I gave my pitch as to why it should go through and people stood up and argued against me quite vehemently," Marc Weitz, a former president of the group, told Goldberg.

Weitz was one of the members that led the charge to attempt to include women as members.

"We're not changing the qualifications. They still have to meet the same standards that men have," Weitz said of the proposed change.


Members who wanted the club to open up to women had recognized Andrea Donnellan, a geophysicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and (someone most likely far more qualified than many of the club's actual members), as an "exceptional candidate." Donnellan, who has traveled all over the world studying earthquakes, has attended various events at the Adventurers' Club despite her condition (of being a woman) and would be delighted to join if they let her. According to the Columbian:

"I get them and I think they get me," [Donnellan] says, adding adventurers, male or female, make up a special breed.

But before Thursday's vote, she said will harbor no ill will if the answer is no.

"It is kind of surprising in this day and age, but I'm OK with it," she says of the no-women rule. "I like the people, regardless."

But nope. They voted against her.


First of all, it should be known that gleaning from their delightful website (complete with this gif and auto-playing beach sounds), the Adventurers' Club seems like it's run by a bunch of men who watched a lot of Johnny Quest and read a lot of Tintin as children (their use of ancient Egyptian imagery on the site says enough). They can rig a tent in the forest with a pile of sticks and the skin of a deer they killed with their bare hands, but they use Netscape. It seems like the Adventurers' Club is a group of truly accomplished men—I mean, Buzz Aldrin is a member. But clearly, if they can't let a perfectly qualified woman into their club, they're not as adventurous as they like to think they are.

Image via KCAL9.

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While that's a disappointment, it's their prerogative to set the rules for membership if they're a private organization. And I was glad that my women's only gym enjoyed the same prerogative. Yes, the reasons are different, but we have to be okay with private organizations doing things for whatever reasons they please including "girls are icky."

Seriously though, it is a profound joy to be alone with women in a female space, whether it's girls' night in or our ladies' wine and crafts club or my mom's women only book club or the women's spa where we can all just be nude and body positive and talk about whatever. It doesn't bother me if men want their own spaces to talk about how vaginas prevent one from being a real adventurer. Why don't we just make our own LA adventure club that's coed?