It is indeed a shame that with the success enjoyed by the D.C. Chapter of the National Organization for Women in battling real cases of sex discrimination must come their continued, silly attack on the Cosmos Club {Metro, June 24}.

Sure, this 109-year-old club has prestige, and any of us, male or female, would be honored to belong. But the Cosmos Club is one of the few private organizations in which all the money and power in the world won't guarantee membership. Its founders sought to establish a club where men who have achieved intellectual recognition could meet with other learned men. Women have never been admitted, not because they are incapable of qualifying intellectually, but because the club has chosen to retain its all-male status.

I attended one of the most prestigious women's colleges in the United States. I choose to exercise at an all-women's health spa, and I belong to several social and professional women's clubs. As devastated as I would be to learn that any of these institutions had gone "co-ed," so should members of the Cosmos Club feel that something sacred would be sacrificed were the club to bow to this pressure to admit women. The comradery that emanates from these single-sex fraternal organizations is something special which contributes to a healthier coexistence of men and women in our society.

The members of NOW are accusing the Cosmos Club of denying executive women the opportunity to "network." Surely we must question the breadth of their initiative. Haven't they heard of "power breakfasts" at the Hay Adams?


In the June 24 Post is yet another article on the ceaselessly foolish debate about the Cosmos Club. The article features a photograph of protesters lunching outdoors across Massachusetts Avenue from the club. A member of the National Organization for Women is quoted as saying, "Here we see women and men eating together, an event we would not see across the street at the Cosmos Club."

To put the facts on record, which The Post article did not do, scenes of women and men eating together are wholly typical in the Cosmos Club at lunch or dinner, although not so much so at breakfast.