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What’s in a name?

By Staff | Aug 19, 2011

For years the Shepherdstown Men’s Club (SMC) has struggled with an unusual problem its name. When the Club was lunched shortly after World War II there was also an active Shepherdstown Women’s Club. Both worked closely together to enhance the quality of life in our community.

The Women’s Club has faded away leaving the Men’s Club to “soldier” on. The irony is that the “Men’s Club” really isn’t what the name implies. There are actually more active women in the club than men. So what’s the problem? Many old timers know that “The Men’s Club” is a misnomer, sort of a funny joke in the community. But frequently newcomers don’t have that background and are dissuaded from participating. Others simply find such a chauvinistic sounding organization offensive.

Our town is justifiably proud of its culture and traditions. Many feel that the “Men’s Club” has become a valued institution and that the name is an integral part of its identity. Its alteration or elimination would discard this valuable attribute. Others simply want to deal forthrightly with the issue, recognize the changed circumstances and find a more suitable name. The Club can then rebuild its identity based upon a more accurate and, in the end, more effective moniker that is not problematic.

What then should we call it, if not the Men’s Club? Prior deliberations have come up with: “The Shepherdstown Club,” “The Shepherdstown Metropolitan Club,” “The Shepherdstown Men and Women’s Club” and finally, simply “The Club.”

At a special SMC meeting on Sept. 28 we will address this issue among others. Recommendations are sought from the general public as well as Club members. So please share your thoughts on this. You can express your views by using michael.austin@frontiernew.net or calling me at 304-876-0598.

Mike Austin

SMC President