The contempt for the principle of freedom
Since the International Declaration for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against WomenConsideration towards women has improved substantially in much of the world, with the exception of Islamic countries. Even so, in not a few of those countries some steps, albeit modest, in that direction have begun to be taken some time ago. An example is the recent authorization in Saudi Arabia women to drive cars. Other countries, like Afghanistan with their Taliban, they remain in impregnable positions that are absolutely inadmissible because they are retrograde for universal culture.
Not all gender issues promoted by the change in customs and their reception in the Law are, however, free of controversy within the Western culture that we share. One of the most obvious, due to the clumsiness with which it has been conceived, is the one that seeks, in the name of an equality that is out of the question, the aberrant deformation of the language we speak and write. The effort to attack the internal logic of that language elaborated over 15 centuries is as artificial as it is difficult. It is denounced even by the very name of the political faction that irresponsibly stirs up the issue and presents itself in vernacular politics as the Frente de Todos.
Correct is what they do by adopting the masculine as generic, but they have had to relegate “all” to more secondary positions in official communication. In such a way they show the gratuitous problems that trying to force the expressive naturalness of the language entails. There is too much delusion in the will to break the linguistic unit by which 500 million beings on the planet are linked today. Let us now take the case, equally extravagant, of the onslaught of the General Inspection of Justice (IGJ) against the traditions that have ennobled an Argentine institution founded 140 years agowhose first president was the first head of the gringo State of the Republic: Carlos Pellegrini.
This is not the first stumble that the jockey-club had to face with a Peronist government. In April 1953, government gangs burned it down. The fire destroyed the stately home on Florida Street and countless works from a collection that included paintings by Goya, Fantin-Latour, Monet, Corot, Fader and Quinquela were lost. It is not surprising that some other assets have been lost, apparently, during the intervention that executed the law of dissolution and extinction of the entity in such a colossal outrage by Peronism.
The IGJ instructed the Jockey Club to “respect gender diversity” and, consequently, that the governing bodies of the entity be made up “by the same number of female and male members”
As a result of a presentation made by the club on the occasion of internal elections, the IGJ instructed him to “respect gender diversity” and, consequently, that the governing bodies of the entity be made up “by the same number of female and male members”. The IGJ refrained from giving a preview of its decision to the jockey-club and he was thus in a defenseless state.
The paradox of the case is that no clause in the statutes of the Jockey Club prohibits the affiliation of women. By tradition, since its inauguration in 1882, it has had only male members, along the same lines as so many English clubs, such as the White’s, which is already over four hundred years old, having been founded in 1613. St. James Street has been a street famous for such splendid venues. So the Jockey cannot by definition comply with the “equal” quota that the IGJ seeks for the integration of the governing bodies, since it does not have female members. It will not be intended that he go out into the street to recruit them.
At a time when the country is falling apart due to the ineptitude of its rulers, the IGJ foolishly interferes in the internal life of an institution that has given the country prestige in the world. And in addition, it forgets that in this same matter, and specifically for the composition of the directories of commercial companies, the Commercial Chamber issued on August 9, 2021 a ruling adverse to the claims of that Inspection.
The regulatory spirit of the Kirchnerist bureaucracy has overlooked the fact that the supreme principle of freedom is also at stake here. It is not, of course, the first time that freedoms have been attacked from a Kirchner government: both the freedom to trade and the free movement through the national territory have been violated at different times by those administrations.
The regulatory spirit of the Kirchnerist bureaucracy has overlooked the fact that the supreme principle of freedom is also at stake here.
Just as, regardless of any political affiliation, people invite to their homes those who result from their friendship or sympathy, so at the collective level, social institutions, without the need for express rules, protect their privacy, conferring identity by which are recognized in time. The IGJ would do well to investigate in towns and cities of the interior if in the peñas, those free associations in fact that are constituted by hundreds, once or twice a week, to share the pleasant habit of sociability and the gastronomic excuse, someone can join without a substantial majority approving it. Men’s clubs, on the one hand; women’s clubs, on the other, almost without exception.
Naturally, the Jockey Club has some rules regarding the incorporation of members, but not gender. The candidates to enter must be presented by five partners with no less than five years of seniority; afterwards, they hold an interview with the board of directors. Who is going to enter my house, right? Then the name of the candidate is made known to the partners. With two partners who oppose entry, the candidate must wait two years for a second chance.
Without a defined identity, what would a newspaper be, for example? If the entrance door to a rigorous club with its immemorial customs and style were open to whoever wanted to enter, what difference could there be over time between the Jockey Club and Boca Juniors or River Plate? They all equally fulfill a social function, but they regulate it in a way that satisfies the expectations of those who founded it in the exercise of their freedom and left it as a legacy to subsequent generations. Until not many years ago, the American Women’s Clubwith an absolutely clear name about the meaning of its existence.
The University Club of Buenos Aires had by statute reserved the condition of partners only to men. In keeping with the times and as a result of internal updates of the entity, this was modified in 2018, with the possibility of also including women on the board of directors, but it is not known of women who frequent its headquarters in Viamonte. The squash-club, founded in 1929, operates in Florida at 600. It is a men’s club and it says something, very different from those other sports areas in which bloody shootings take place -like last weekend-, the fact that the lockers of the players have no key. They are prohibited by regulation. The reciprocal trust between the partners is the cement on which the morality of the individualities that congregate there rests. What public authority could dictate the best rules of coexistence for Squash? Does the IGJ understand what that means in a city where an older adult cannot go out into the street with the certainty of returning without first having been assaulted by a criminal or a child protected by the anachronistic immunity of criminal law?
In a country where the crazy rule has been established that everyone is what they perceive themselves to be, pretending to break the more than centenarian uses and customs of an entity ignores the sound judgment that should be expected from the public authority
The Jockey Club has until the 28th of this year to answer the summons from the IGJ. As a civil association that it is, it will appeal, depending on the final decision of the administrative authority, in court. The presence of women and families is frequent in some of its halls on Alvear Avenue, and even more so, at its headquarters in San Isidro, where a hockey field was recently inaugurated, intended in particular for use by women.
In a country where the crazy rule has been established that everyone is what they perceive to be, pretending to break the more than centenarian uses and customs of an entity dispenses with the sound judgment that should be expected from the public authority in the application of general laws such as Law 26,485 on Comprehensive Protection for Women. Even more so when in this way the principles of freedom enshrined in the National Constitution are violated.