An exclusive London gentlemen’s club has defied its 150-year-old tradition as a male-only bastion, by allowing a woman to join – but only because she was born a man.
The Savile Club, in Mayfair in central London, has never accepted women since it opened in 1868, but bent its rules after one of its existing members transitioned into a female.
Rather than being hailed as a step towards gender equality, the decision was derided by some Twitter users, who argued the club still discriminated against women who were not born male.
“Another #FirstWoman is, yet again, a man,” posted Twitter user @WomenCanSee.
“Right. So you’ll let women in, as long as they’re men. Waow – enlightened,” wrote another Twitter user Charlotte Perkins.
The move comes as a women-only college in Britain’s prestigious Cambridge University changed its admissions policy to accept transgender female students.
In July, the British government announced a reform of LGBT laws.
It proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, to allow gender reassignment surgery without a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, a mental health condition where someone’s gender identity does not match their physical body.
In 2016, The Lancet medical journal estimated that there are about 25 million transgender people globally.
– Lin Taylor @linnytayls – Thomson Reuters Foundation