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Women's group asks CBS to drop The Masters golf tournament
August 31, 2002 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Women's group asks CBS to drop The Masters golf tournament With all the issues facing women today in America, I have a hard time believing that getting a female member into the Augusta National Golf Club will help the cause of women's rights. It now appears that the National Council of Women's Organizations are also going after the employers of club members. Have they never heard of the old saying: "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." Wouldn't fighting for equal pay in the workplace for women do more for the average female than getting female members into Augusta National Country Club?
posted by jasonbondshow (61 comments total)

 
Considering the description I read said Augusta's membership was made up of the "power elite", I doubt their employers will do a damn thing, considering many of the members are also likely the boss.

The whole thing is silly.

I think it showed a lot of class by instead of dealing with corporate griping, just drop the sponsors and do it themselves.

It's likely that in your town you have a "women only" spa or health club. Funny how those are never brought up as institutions that have to be toppled.

In the workplace, I am 100% equal pay for equal work, and not just concerning genders.

But a private club? Bah.

Looks to me like they have run out of issues to fight for to be going off on a fringe element like this.
posted by Ynoxas at 2:11 PM on August 31, 2002


It's likely that in your town you have a "women only" spa or health club. Funny how those are never brought up as institutions that have to be toppled.

But that's because men haven't undergone the same struggle for emancipation that women have, isn't it? The principles are different... in health clubs you sometimes get nekkid, and women might well not men oggling them.
That aside, I agree it's a bit of a finicky issue. Why can't men be allowed exclusive clubs? Sometimes it's nice to have an all-male environment. There's not a whiff of oppression there, just a totally justifiable desire to provide a relaxed single-sex atmosphere. Why don't they set up their own club in opposition? Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness and all that.
posted by RokkitNite at 2:23 PM on August 31, 2002


Maybe I'm old fashioned or out of the pc loop, but it's never struck me as something horribly wrong for male-only clubs (of any kind) to exist. There are definite fundamental differences between men and women, and, as most of you can probably attest, the dynamic of a group is usually shifted greatly with the inclusion of members of the opposite sex. It's not as if we're talking about something that's going to adversly affect somebody's chances of making a good life for themselves. We're not even talking about something that's going to adversly affect somebody's chances of playing golf. To me, issues like this have always smacked of women's groups looking for media attention.

On Preview: There's also the issue of women-only clubs that Ynoxas raised. I, myself, would raise several (possibly) valid points about these issues, but I have no idea whether or not those health spas are actually women-only or whether men just haven't been breaking down the doors to get in :) Finally, an issue I can really sink my teeth into. Men's lib, here I come.
posted by The God Complex at 2:24 PM on August 31, 2002


If the Masters were receiving money (or other favors) from the state/local/fed government, I could see an issue - otherwise, talk about misallocation of resources.
posted by owillis at 2:32 PM on August 31, 2002


There was a MeFi discussion about this issue back in July.
posted by dejah420 at 2:33 PM on August 31, 2002


We had the same issue this year in Scotland at Muirfield.

This article might give some perspective on it.

Particularly, see the bit about the woman who was reprimanded for daring to enter the premises of a men-only club after her husband had a heart attack on their golf course!
posted by Flitcraft at 2:35 PM on August 31, 2002


I think that dropping their sponsors showed that they don't have a case to make to the larger world. Let's just get this over with, for all you people that think that this is OK, 1) are whites-only golf clubs also OK, or 2) what's the difference? So far I don't see anything that the first three posters have said that wasn't said by the old school racists. This was already covered previously on metafilter, BTW.

This isn't just an average golf course is it? It's an old, rich, nice course full of local elites who probably do business. Probably the small percentage (10% 5% 15%?) of women at the top end of the income spectrum (CEOs etc) should just build their own institutions. Or if they can't do that they can just wait until they aren't a minority in the highest paying jobs and they have enough peers that they can get together and make these sorts of places. Until then decent folk have no responsibility to welcome them into their groups.

p.s. Please don't talk about misallocation of resources. Unless you're really contributing to "women's issues" then talking about how someone else isn't doing what you would do, or isn't doing enough just makes you seem like an asshole.
posted by Wood at 2:36 PM on August 31, 2002


1) are whites-only golf clubs also OK, or 2) what's the difference? So far I don't see anything that the first three posters have said that wasn't said by the old school racists.

White-only golf clubs would be excluding people based soley on the color of their skin. People of different colors are not fundamentally different than each other. They're the same people, they just look different. Men and women are, in fact, fundamentally different. Go figure! I know sometimes the PC-media in North America (I'm from Canada) would have you believe otherwise, but it's true. That doesn't mean men are better than women or women are better than men, it doesn't mean either should make more money than the other, it doesn't even mean that one should be afforded opportunities the other isn't. It just means they're different and to argue to the contrary seems sort of silly to me. I'm not proposing we segregate men and women on some grand scale, simply that there's nothing wrong with men having a club where they can go "hang out with the guys." I hardly find the idea offensive.
posted by The God Complex at 2:47 PM on August 31, 2002


I belong to a women-only gym, and I like it that way. The National Council of Women's Organizations needs to learn to choose its battles more wisely.
posted by swerve at 2:51 PM on August 31, 2002


Not bad, the god complex, although I don't believe in the "PC media". However, separate but equal is rarely equal. It clearly isn't here. There are no women's institutions at this level. (We're not talking about an average club or an hang out place or some 24 hour gym.) We're talking about one of the premier golf courses in the country.

There will never be a womens-only golf course of this caliber.
posted by Wood at 2:58 PM on August 31, 2002


White-only golf clubs would be excluding people based soley on the color of their skin. People of different colors are not fundamentally different than each other. They're the same people, they just look different. Men and women are, in fact, fundamentally different. Go figure!

would you be able to tell the women from the men on this board if names / pages didn't tell you?" Can you say absolutely that the feeling of a group of black people and the feeling of a group of white people is definitively exactly the same? Race and gender both have some elements that differentiate them and some elements that are the same across the board, or that are as varied within the race / gender as across. All black colleges are still okay; why not all white colleges?

The reason is the same that all-women enterprises are considered ok but all male ones are generally not. White male institutions were a way of keeping blacks and women out of the power structure. Business was conducted at the country club, with the good old boys. Women who wanted to break in to business did not have access to the places business was conducted. All female or all black institutions do not keep people out of an established power structure. All male groups are not inherently wrong, but groups in which business or networking is conducted among the elite but where certain groups are not allowed is clearly not fair.
posted by mdn at 3:06 PM on August 31, 2002


1) are whites-only golf clubs also OK, or 2) what's the difference

1) Yes, as long as they receive no public funds.
2) There is no difference.

There's absolutely no problem with any private organization admitting only the members it wants to admit, regardless of what their criteria may be. When public dollars are involved, however, the equation changes.

On the other hand, groups who are excluded also have the absolute right to protest to the sponsors of events held at exclusive clubs, boycott said sponsors, and generally raise a fuss about the admissions policies. That doesn't require that the organization change their policies, though.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:12 PM on August 31, 2002


Wouldn't fighting for equal pay in the workplace for women do more for the average female than getting female members into Augusta National Country Club?

Yes. So? There's no way to win the war without fighting the battles: and the fact is, the Augusta club is unfair and sexist. If you don't have a problem with that--i.e., you hold the (very reasonable) position that a private club should be allowed to establish its own membership criteria--that's one thing: but I think its unreasonable to condemn the National Council of Women's Organizations for following their ideals to their logical conclusion.
posted by kjh at 3:13 PM on August 31, 2002


1) are whites-only golf clubs also OK?

If the club isn't supported by public funds, then yes, it's OK.

If the Smiling Sons of the Friendly Shillelagh only want to admit Irish-Americans, that's OK.

If the members of the Adrienne Barbeau Fan Club want to limit their numbers to actual fans of Adrienne Barbeau, that seems pretty reasonable.

This is covered by the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to peaceful assembly.

You may not approve of the existence of groups that choose to segregate themselves from the larger community. But their right to do so is not tempered by your lack of approval. If it were, it wouldn't be much of a right at all, would it?
posted by SPrintF at 3:16 PM on August 31, 2002


Crash and sprintf, I think you took the word "OK" differently than I meant. I know that there are folks who believe in the right of groups to associate with whomever they want. But the context of the article is entirely non-governmental. Do you actually think whites-only golf clubs are "OK" in the sense of morally respectable? Populated by decent people? Good choices for corporate advertising (heh)? Those are the terms on which people are defending the Augusta course.
posted by Wood at 3:38 PM on August 31, 2002


*Farts, belches, then continues scribbling notes concerning phase 2 of the male agenda for the continued supression of women on the borders of his Maxim.*
posted by Stan Chin at 3:55 PM on August 31, 2002


Wouldn't fighting for equal pay in the workplace for women do more for the average female than getting female members into Augusta National Country Club?

Firstly, other than that it makes for wonderfully excessive rhetoric, is there any reason why women can't do both? Secondly, maybe a woman golfer at the Masters won't advance the cause of women's rights. But why shouldn't a professional woman golfer be as ambitious as a man? Why shoudn't she want to play at the Masters? Thirdly, even if the Augusta Club has the legal right to exclude women, why should they want to? What's in it for them? Arguments like this are too often made merely on the assertion of rights. But the existence of a right, doesn't necessarily demand it's exercise. Let's hear some reasons why the Augusta Club should exclude women golfers (reasons other than "because they can").
posted by octobersurprise at 4:00 PM on August 31, 2002


The ladies oughta stick to the spas. None of 'em can drive 250 anyway.

Never forget: it's old white farts talking business - sometimes over golf, sometimes at the neighborhood brothel - that made this country great in the first place.

Three cheers for crony capitalism.
posted by samozvanetz at 4:05 PM on August 31, 2002


I would guess that there aren't many Jews who are members. Hell, they may not even let Catholics in. There was a country club in Pittsburgh that didn't 'til recently.

And you know what. It just doesn't matter. It's a private club.

For too long the left has allowed social grievance to trump economic class in picking the battles to be fought.

There is a difference between public and private and the issues that matter are public. Like public schools for instance. How about all elected officials (the definition of public) send their kids to public school.

This is a campaign I could get behind. You'd better believe the quality of public education in this country would go up.
posted by Mack Doggy at 5:06 PM on August 31, 2002


Octobersurprise, Augusta is obviously excluding women because that's what its current members prefer. They're acting like a rational business. No one defending Augusta on the grounds that their current policy is the most moral (although I consider it less flagrantly immoral than the NCWO does). But its their right. Its similar to freedom of speech- if the first amendment protects Maureen Dowd, it also protects the KKK.

And women golfers most certainly should be as ambitious as male ones, but its not Augusta's job to serve as a catalyst for social change. If women can convince Augusta to change its mind, bully for them, but they shouldn't kid themselves that they're being denied some fundamental right. Augusta is a business entity.
posted by gsteff at 5:11 PM on August 31, 2002


SportsFilter thread on the topic (full disclosure: I am associated with SpoFi, and there are far fewer comments on this topic).

Here are my questions for the women's rights organization putting up this fight (and posit them to all of you): Can I, a man, hold an officer's post in the NCWO? Or does the NCWO only hire/elect women to those posts? Are men even allowed to join the NCWO as members? Does the NCWO discriminate based on sex? Does the NCWO receive public money?
posted by msacheson at 5:15 PM on August 31, 2002


msacheson, the NCWO is actually not a person-based membership, but a coalition of several dozen other organizations, as can be found in the charter here.

Yet, as the first group on the list entails, I would assume you have to be, at the very minimum, an African-American Clergymember; I think there's plenty obstacles for me even before being a guy.

That said, the issue you're avoiding is that this isn't just a club or group that serves just that purpose: Black clergywomen furthering the goals of black clergywomen. This is the Masters, a concept associated with the highest prestiges of golf. Its goal seems to be to present a challenge of the game to the best players... that doesn't seem to needfully eliminate women from the equation without any explanation.

Augusta's official goals are not supposed to be the furthering of the goals of white Protestant golf players. The AAWCA is very clear on what it's mission is; when is Augusta going to explain how not allowing women is part of their goal to achieve excellence in the sport of golf?

In light of what gsteff said, of course women are not being denied a fundamental right. But like gays in the Boy Scouts, they are being denied the right to participate in an activity that the mainstream accepts as appropriate and representative of American social quality. They do have the fundamental right to be pissed as hell about that, and they're expressing that.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:39 PM on August 31, 2002


MD and gsteff: I think both of your answers fall into the "because they can" category. I'm willing to concede that for the sake of this discussion. Fine. You're right too that it isn't Augusta's "job" to be a catalyst for anything other than their own bottom line. But if it comes down to a battle of rights then the obvious reply to the original question: should the National Council of Women's Organizations try to hound the Augusta Club into admitting women, is: sure, by any legal means necessary. They have the right to, right?

But the larger question here for both the Augusta Club and the NCWO is should they?

And on preview: what XQUZYPHYR says.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:01 PM on August 31, 2002


Quite a few people argue that since the club does not receive public funds, they should be allowed to keep women out. Having grown up in Augusta, I can tell you that the local government allocates a great deal of resources to support the Augusta National, particularly the Master's tournament, which, as has been widely reported before, gives nothing back to its community, and I believe it is the only golf tournament that does not support a charitable cause.

Speaking of causes, I believe many here are a bit too charitable with the National regarding their policy on women. The club long fought admitting black members, the first not being admitted until 1990. Augusta is a very right-wing city (as reflected in its daily newspaper) where women are still second-class citizens, their primary role felt to be serving men (in what, ostensibly, is god's work). At least it's not without a price: while other Southern cities have grown and thrived in the past few decades, Augusta has stagnated, and is pretty much a city without a soul.
posted by troybob at 6:13 PM on August 31, 2002


Men aren't denied privileges by all-female organizations? My ass.

I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again: My sister attends an all-female private school, normally US$25-30,000 per annum, for free, because my father teaches there. I ended up in shitty public institutions because the school doesn't allow me to attend.

You can argue that female-only groups are acceptable, but don't turn around then and say that male-only groups are unacceptable.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 6:22 PM on August 31, 2002


"Do you actually think whites-only golf clubs are "OK" in the sense of morally respectable? Populated by decent people? Good choices for corporate advertising..."

I suppose I should take these one at a time.

Are whites-only golf clubs morally respectable? Any club is only as respectable as its members. To comment on their morals without knowing each of them personally would be presumptuous.

Are whites-only clubs populated by decent people? See answer to number one.

Are whites-only clubs good choices for corporate advertising? They are if you're only advertising to whites. If you're advertising to blacks I'd say a whites-only club would be a poor avenue to choose.

Look, my opinion (and yours) doesn't mean squat. Until and unless we're talking about clubs financed with public monies, they're free to associate with whomever they choose, by whatever rationale they choose, just as you are free not to associate with them, and free to demonstrate against them, including boycotting the sponsors who keep the event profitable.

I'm willing to bet that the "rich white men club" is less "white" than it is "rich". The possibility of losing those sponsorship dollars due to a boycott (and the profits they generate) is no doubt weighing heavily on the minds of those who would stand to lose if such an event were to occur.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:24 PM on August 31, 2002


As some one who grew up in Augusta and who still drives past the National every day on the way to work, I thought I might add some local perspective to the discussion. Personally I have mixed mixed feelings, but in general I agree with the people who are saying the National has every right to exclude women if they wish and the the NCWO has every right to complain about it. It seems as if both sides are over-reacting, and in doing so, Hootie Johnson is giving the NCWO additional publicity.

For those who wondered about public funds, the National does not receive any, but it does cost the city a good bit to deal with the sudden influx of visitors every April. This is more than made up for by increased tax revenues, though. Another issue that hasn't been brought up is that during the tournament restaurant business quadruples near the course and it really makes a difference for the servers; most of these are, of course women and it really helps them financially.

Finally, here is the local paper's coverage of the situation. Incidentally, I don't play golf, so I view the whole thing with an air of bemused detachment.

On preview, the National is definitely less white than rich as crash started
posted by TedW at 6:35 PM on August 31, 2002


Let's not forget that Augusta National also discriminates against the lowest 99.9% of population in terms of income and social status. Thus, even though I'm a man, I stand less of a chance of ever becoming a member at that club than does, say, some future CEO of GE (on the assumption that it is inevitable that someday a woman will be a member).

For those of you who aren't in tune to the golf world, this is as much about a pissing contest as anything else. Augusta National is standing firm because it resents -- above all else -- being told what to do. If you try to tell it what to do, it'll fight back hard just on principle. That's the prerogative of a private club.

And here's another thing -- Augusta National could very well say "the hell with everybody, we don't need to televise the tournament, but there will still be a Masters at Augusta National every April." You know what? All the great players would still come.

One final observation -- Augusta National is one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth. It's manicured down to each blade of grass, and the azaleas bloom every first week in April. I was fortunate enough to attend the tournament one day, and I flew from Detroit just to experience it. To me, the people that envisioned the course, envisioned the tournament, and took the risk of creating a masterpiece deserve to call the shots. No one is preventing anyone else from starting their own club. No one is preventing anyone else from playing golf somewhere else.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:40 PM on August 31, 2002


Pardonyou, the history of Southern (and otherwise) institutions resenting being told what to do when comes to racial integration is legion. That's the prerogative of a bunch of assholes. I see your point. You have to know how other people would think of you for your "stand".

Crash, it's entirely your prerogative to stand aside and watch humanity progress without you. Lots and lots of people felt that the integration of private clubs was important. As far as I'm concerned their efforts made the world a better place, where there's a bit less discrimination against Catholics, Jews, blacks. I'd have to agree with you that your opinion (such as it is) doesn't matter. And I doubt a whites-only club would be the best place for a corporation interested in selling to wide audience of whites. Most whites don't have your sanguine attitude towards (affinity for) racism.
posted by Wood at 6:59 PM on August 31, 2002


Aug 31. Augusta, GA. The Augusta National Golf Club announced today that in addition to exluding women, all visitors to the grounds will be now checked for cooties. Asked to comment on the Golf Club's new policies, chairman Hootie Johnson would only reply "Cootie. Cootie. Cootie. Nyah!"
posted by octobersurprise at 7:14 PM on August 31, 2002


Wood, I don't think the KKK should be forced to allow black members either, but I'm quite certain that's not the same as demonstrating "an affinity for" racism. Your comments are way out of line, and I demand a retraction.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:25 PM on August 31, 2002


I find the entire issue of closing membership to one gender or another quite archaic. It reminds me of the "no girls allowed" sign on a boy's treehouse club.

It bothers me that organizations exist that deny membership to a particular genders exist. Sure it is their club and they can make their own rules, but I just don't get the point of excluding women. I mean if the men played golf and hung around the clubhouse in the nude, I can understand. But I assume this does not happen.

Same with single sex schools. I don't see what advantage a woman would have in the workplace by attending a school without men. I can see the historical reasons when women we're not allowed in schools, but today they seem to be an anachronism.

What NCWO should do is instead of going for sponsors or CBS, they should get Tiger and other top golfers to skip Augusta. That would get those good ole boys to allow a token woman into the club for sure. I know the Augusta course is supposed to be kick ass, but the players don't have to play it. Augusta can keep its rules and the PGA can play their game somewhere else.
posted by birdherder at 7:38 PM on August 31, 2002


If you boil this down to brass tacks, the question is in the most simple terms: should a private organization be able to choose its members according to ANY criteria it sees fit?

If the Blue Eyed Barbershop Singers of Bangor only accept blue-eyed barbershop singers from Bangor... what is the problem? Why do I, as a green-eyed barbershop singer, "deserve" to be a member? How does it even come up that I WANT to be a member?

And more importantly, WHY should I care? And, why should I go and protest to the company that buys ad space in their yearly concert program?

I swear, I truly do not get it. I am a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, and will be until I die. But I simply for the life of me cannot understand this.

You get to decide who you go to dinner with on Saturday night. It is in essence a "club". Would YOU want to be harassed into bringing people with you whom you did not implicitly want to be there? It doesn't mean they're not nice people, but dammit, can you not even decide who you wish to socialize with?

The more I think about this, the more it irks me. It is a private group picking who they wish to socialize with. End of story.

I would also love to hear msacheson's questions answered about if a men's group can be a member of the NCWO. If it is a "body" then it has at least some administration. Is any of this administration male?

Is the NCWO free to choose its members? Can they use ANY criteria they choose to pick their members?

If Augusta can be pressured to accept females, then I think the NCWO should be pressured to accept the barbershop singers above.

I as a white male would not be voted into the local black fraternity on campus. I also would not be voted into the white sorority. I also would not be voted into Augusta.

Whom should I start protesting against first?
posted by Ynoxas at 7:39 PM on August 31, 2002


You all are missing an important component here - Augusta National doesn't actually have exclusionary membership policies. There are no 'No Women' or 'No Catholics' rules. The current membership simply gets to vote on whether to allow a new potential member in to the club.

Personally, I'd like to see a few women who actually tried to join Augusta (and had the money required) step forward and tell their story. Were they just shunned? Or perhaps there haven't been any female's trying to get into the club.

NCWO is jumping all over Augusta when they haven't presented a shred of evidence that a single woman has every been denied membership. Is that not relevant here?

And pardonyou?, Augusta doesn't discriminate on the basis of wealth either - they turned down Bill Gates when he applied to be a member.
posted by schlyer at 8:21 PM on August 31, 2002


Augusta doesn't discriminate on the basis of wealth either - they turned down Bill Gates when he applied to be a member.

Now how can you dislike any group that does that? Party on, Augusta!
posted by Stan Chin at 8:25 PM on August 31, 2002


birdherder: Same with single sex schools. I don't see what advantage a woman would have in the workplace by attending a school without men.

At the collegiate level, I'd agree. At the younger levels, particularly the junior high level, many all-girls schools function as "hothouse" environments, where girls are encouraged to excel without the distractions caused by the first heave of burgeoning hormones. In addition, and more importantly, they can learn without having to compete with boys in areas such as math and science where there still exists a ridiculous to aoid pushing girls to excel in those areas under the presumption that they aren't going to seek careers that will require strong math or science backgrounds.

they should get Tiger and other top golfers to skip Augusta.

Not going to happen. Tiger's already said something along the lines of the argument being offered all too frequently in this thread, a shrug of the shoulder and a "Well, they're a private club, if they don't want women..."

Ynoxas: If you boil this down to brass tacks, the question is in the most simple terms: should a private organization be able to choose its members according to ANY criteria it sees fit?

So long as those criteria don't fly in the face of the notion that discrimination against people based upon ingrained issues of their personhood: their gender, their race, their religion or their sexual preference.

It's one thing to reject membership in a group because someone cannot be what the group is meant to promote, in other words, a man wouldn't have any reason to want to break down the doors to Le Leche League, a woman wouldn't need to be a part of Promise Keepers. I shouldn't expect to be a part of the Mormon Tabernacle choir if I couldn't sing or wasn't a Mormon, or both. I can't expect to be a part of the local public soccer league (which has men's, women's and coed teams); I can't play.

But I do golf, if poorly, and I do business on the golf course from time to time. It's not my preferred way to do business; I'd rather sit down and hash things out over a nice meal in my country club dining room. I do that, too. Why, exactly, should my ovaries keep me from being able to do that at Augusta -- moreso than my (brown) skin or synagogue membership? (Are there Jews at Augusta yet?)

Schyler: The current membership simply gets to vote on whether to allow a new potential member in to the club.

But potential members have to be "sponsored" by a current member to even make it to a vote. They do, in essence, handpick their members, which creates a de facto exclusionary policy. That they've been wise enough to refrain from writing it down doesn't change the fact that it's very real, very wrong and very inexcusable.
posted by Dreama at 8:35 PM on August 31, 2002


very real, very wrong and very inexcusable - unless of course its an all girl elementary school apparently. You can't have it both ways Dreama - either exclusionary policies are OK, or they are not. If we are going to argue of how some exclusionary policies create benefits while others don't then we are into a matter of intrepretation and taste.
posted by schlyer at 8:40 PM on August 31, 2002


It's backward and insensible for long past prime twenty handicapers still answering to their fraternity nicknames (Hootie?) to bar Annika Sorenstam or any other player more skilled at the game than them from their course, even if it is simply a ruse to make certain they don't have to entertain their wives on weekends. However, anyone who ever attended primary school knows a club is as much about excluding people as it is about including people, and a black woman will walk the fairways of Augusta long before white men of my social status (poor occasionally working slob) will be granted rights to buy a ticket to their tournament.

Let the silly men keep their corner of the 1950's, there are much more important and justified places for activists to be advancing their causes.
posted by TimTypeZed at 8:42 PM on August 31, 2002


Tim you can get tickets to practice rounds thru a lottery system and Annika isn't barred from their course (she played it this spring before the 2002 tournament), only from their membership. Augusta is not the same as Muirfield in Scotland as someone mentioned above - women aren't barred from the premises.
posted by schlyer at 8:50 PM on August 31, 2002


I am a woman scientist who went to coed schools. As an undergrad I was often the only female in my science and math classes. I was excluded from study groups and not mentored or taken seriously by the profs (all males). Even my Ph.D. advisor did not give me as much support as he did most of his male advisees.

The problem is that by the time you understand what has happened, it is often too late to recover fully. The analogy would be if we let little kids decide when (or whether) they wanted to learn to read. This would be immoral and cruel because they aren't sophisticated enough to understand the consequences.

If criticizing women for being overly-sensitive makes you feel better, you don't get it.
posted by Sixtieslibber at 9:21 PM on August 31, 2002


Ynoxas:

because despite my green eyes, I'm still a damn good barber who deserved to be allowed to play in the nationally televised, corporate-endorsed, publicy-louded-as-the-best-of-the-best hairstyling championship.

I can't believe I said all that. Nevertheless, refer to my previous post.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:21 PM on August 31, 2002


I don't see what advantage a woman would have in the workplace by attending a school without men.

Um, a superior education?
posted by kindall at 9:58 PM on August 31, 2002


What's the difference between what's right, and what's within your rights?

Reminds me of 'Sun City'.

"I ain't gonna play it no more."

Dash_Slot-

(PS: What percentage are non-white? Gay? Semitic?)

Words fail me.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:26 PM on August 31, 2002


Dreama: Why, exactly, should my ovaries keep me from being able to do that at Augusta

Because they don't want you at their private club. How is this even any of your business?

D:"Can I join Augusta?"
A:"No"
D:"Fine, I'll take my country-club fee to your competitor"
A:"Great. Have a nice day."

This is very different from George Wallace standing in the doorway of the (public) University of Alabama.

Do you want to be able to choose who is in your bookclub? Or would you rather that be dictated to you?

XQflksdflsfpqwezzerv.,mv: because despite my green eyes, I'm still a damn good barber who deserved to be allowed to play...

Then go play in the green-eyed barbershop competition.

The women have their own golf league, called the LPGA. Women and men do not compete directly in majors play.

Not every tournament in the PGA has a corresponding LPGA tournament, and vice-versa.

In sports, men and women are almost universally separated. Men and women do not compete directly in any major sport (except for a couple of examples in auto racing, who's "sport" status is definitely debatable), or in any major olympic competition (except maybe archery?). Hell, men and women are even separated in bowling and billiards.

I still don't understand how that stops all the rich women who apparently are clamoring for membership to Augusta from building their own course and excluding men.

Again, do you deny a private group or club the right to choose their own membership? Should the Southern Baptist Association be forced to include Catholics? There's nothing wrong with Catholics, but surely the Baptists should be able to choose if they want Catholics at their convention, right?

So, the only logical conclusion one can have based on the detractors above is that yes, you want to be able to force private groups to accept people they do not wish to accept. Private groups can not be the sole determinants of who joins their group, so therefore, all groups are rendered "open" and "public". At that point, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PRIVATE CLUB, and there can be no criteria for acceptance of any kind.

Or, is it okay for Augusta to deny membership to white males on a daily basis for trivial reasons, but not deny membership to females?
posted by Ynoxas at 10:33 PM on August 31, 2002


So, there I was, in Georgia, showing Maggie Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth II and Anita Roddick around town, when Denis Thatcher says, "Lets have a quick round down at the club. Oh, not you Maggie, err, or you, Anita, or er, you, your majesty. You just don't have the balls. Sorry."

Meanwhile, back in Grown-Up-World...
posted by dash_slot- at 10:42 PM on August 31, 2002


In the grown-up world, you can choose your own friends and companions instead of having them forced down your throat.

Private club. Foist away, but it is their right to admit whom they please. I can see no other valid point of argument. You cannot infringe upon private gatherings of law-abiding individuals. There is --and should be-- no mandate to force socialization in the private sector.

As a completely irrelevent personal feeling: I believe there is value in men being able to associate with each other away from women. Women introduce competitive frenzy in men on some level, intended or not. Men behave very differently away from the company of women. As someone pointed out, though, this is not the case at Augusta.
posted by umberto at 1:55 AM on September 1, 2002


what happened to Wood? i am waiting for that retraction, because like crash, i certainly believe it is needed, or at the very least some sort of explanation for the ridiculous tone that has been propogated by him (her?) in all his (her?) posts. just because big words are used doesn't mean it's not a troll.
posted by oog at 2:00 AM on September 1, 2002


Ha, ha and WORD! to Kindall.
posted by jfwlucy at 3:36 AM on September 1, 2002


Two things you don't want on any golf course
Paspalum & women
posted by johnny7 at 7:59 AM on September 1, 2002


I'm not sure why some of you think that women-only health clubs aren't controversial - in Massachusetts, a male lawyer recently sued to get into one.

I can't remember how the case came out, but the National Organization for Women got involved - on behalf of the man. And they were right to do so.
posted by transona5 at 2:48 PM on September 1, 2002


The rich, white, Christian [sic] guys want to do play in an all rich, white, Christian environment. They are legally allowed to do so. The NWOC is using public pressure to try to change it. That's legal, too.

A great deal of business is conducted over golf. I'll bet there are a lot of corporate memberships in that club. It does, in fact, put women execs at a disadvantage to not be able to close a deal over a round of golf. Props to the NWOC for exercising some leverage.
posted by theora55 at 3:08 PM on September 1, 2002


Ynoxas: Because they don't want you at their private club. How is this even any of your business?

Because if I were a high-powered woman executive in Georgia, and being barred from membership at Augusta kept me on the outside of the boys-only business discussions that were happening inside, it would be a detriment to my career based on nothing other than my gender. Why the hell wouldn't that be my business?

Do you want to be able to choose who is in your bookclub? Or would you rather that be dictated to you?

See, I wouldn't run a bookclub and tell men, or Christians, or Pagans or transgendered or White or Asian people that they couldn't be a part, because none of those things have anything to do with reading and discussing books -- just like they have nothing to do with playing golf or eating in a clubhouse or discussing business. If I'm going to limit who is a part of my organization, I'm going to have a better reason to do so than "I just don't want _____ people here." That's the difference between me, the Klan and Augusta National Golf Club.

Private groups can not be the sole determinants of who joins their group, so therefore, all groups are rendered "open" and "public". At that point, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PRIVATE CLUB, and there can be no criteria for acceptance of any kind.

That's garbage, at that point, they can still have criteria for admission, and limit admission to those who have the financial means to join. They can still require that new members have sponsors willing to "present" them to the group for admission. They just can't use race, religion or gender as any of those criteria.

I still don't understand how that stops all the rich women who apparently are clamoring for membership to Augusta from building their own course and excluding men.

That's ignoring the entire point of the argument. The idea is to move away from segregation, to stop this ridiculous notion that in social circles there is some legitimate reason to bar people in this fashion. There are plenty of women who could reinvent the wheel, start clubs, and ban men -- what would that solve? We're still playing the same games, still refusing to grow up and learn how to live together. Who the hell would that serve?

As a completely irrelevent personal feeling: I believe there is value in men being able to associate with each other away from women.

Certainly there is. By admitting women to their sacred golf clubs, no one would force any man who is looking to avoid the company of women to sit and have tea with them. They can still have their boys-only foursomes, they can still sweat and bitch about their wives in the sauna, and they can still sit at the bar, drink fine old scotch and tell jokes about sluts and bitches. That won't change. (It happens at my club every damned day.) But the women would be able to do the same thing, just in reverse, on their turf. Strange that such powerful men would be so terribly threatened by that.

Then there's also the question as to whether or not a club that requires a hefty membership buy-in (purchase) and annual payments thereafter, and does brisk business inside (pro fees, pro shop business, cart fees, greens fees, bar and restaurant business) is a private organization or a public business which refuses to serve certain patrons on the basis of criteria which a public business cannot legally use. I think that would be a great tack to take in a lawsuit, though no one has tried yet, to my knowledge. Settle the question of what is and isn't "private" once and for all.
posted by Dreama at 5:14 PM on September 1, 2002


What happened to wood? Sorry, I had stuff to do. Sheesh, he wrote what he wrote, I wrote what I wrote. Anybody can read the one and the other and make up their own mind. I'm not a bomb-throwing "race whore" troll. If you really looked at all my posts you'd see I post on other topics as well.

Anyway, Crash demanded a retraction and went back to "I don't think the KKK should be forced to allow black members either". That's all good and well. But in his second post he wasn't talking about "Should these people be forced to do something by the iron fist of the state." I have my opinion (see above) about someone who can't express a meaningful moral disdain for whites-only golf clubs. Others in this thread have also said these organizations were just honky dory. Any of you want to retract that? No? OK, well I won't repeat exactly what I think of that.

Needless to say I don't have any "right" to demand of crash or anyone else that they tell me what they think of anything or prove anything to me. But we're have a discussion here and he piped up.
posted by Wood at 8:54 PM on September 1, 2002


Black clergywomen furthering the goals of black clergywomen

Ahh, but white males furthering the goals of white males is reprehensible, is it not?
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 10:11 PM on September 1, 2002


Dreama, the point is people do not always want to band together. Sometime they want to form little cliques. It is their right to do so. You are not the "friend" police, nor is anyone else. Whether it is repugnant to you or not, people may do so if they wish. That is sort of the point of the country. Just as you can own a SUV if you want. That is your choice. [/returning from cheap shot thread drift]

Banning people has nothing to do with their talent, intelligence, or ability to reinvent the wheel. It has to do with engendering an atmosphere wherein people can interract socially in ways that are not possible if those being banned were present. And again, my homespun, dimestore psychology is moot. The fact is: if they don't want to admit someone, they don't have to. And I agree with that. I may not wish to associate with them myself, but no one is forcing me to try.
posted by umberto at 10:59 PM on September 1, 2002


Dreama, you da man!





uh, or not. Either way, you da man!!
posted by dash_slot- at 11:01 PM on September 1, 2002


I assume the people protesting an all-male golf club will also be protesting this sort of thing, too?
There are thousands of private clubs across the US with membership guidelines. Am I about to break down their door and insist I be allowed to join? Why bother, when I can go where I'm welcome instead?

I don't know, I just can't seem to wrap my mind around the idea of forcing a group to accept and spend time with you. I certainly wouldn't want to spend time with people who would rather have nothing to do with me, or at the least want nothing to do with me at that time. If the club is forced to go coed I can't imagine the reception given to the first women members.

The argument that women are being kept out of business decisions made at the club seems faulty. Women are allowed there, they just can't become members. If the men having a meeting over a round of golf wanted to, they could easily bring a female coworker along as a guest of theirs. Joining the club simply to be a part of those meetings seems somewhat akin to pulling up a chair, uninvited, at someone else's lunch meeting.
posted by Kellydamnit at 12:18 AM on September 2, 2002


I have such conflicting feelings about this. Yes, it's their right to have a men-only club as long as it doesn't get public money. Yes, they have the right to admit who they want. But it's still not okay. And I feel that women's groups should protest and not let this kind of thing quietly happen. But I don't believe that what they are doing is the best way to achieve the end they desire. Until the white men they respect of the world stand up and say that it's wrong, they aren't going to change. They don't care what a bunch of women think, they feel women shouldn't be thinking independently anyway! The only way we're going to overcome this is by getting other men to stand up and be men and say that it's wrong.

I've been to many weddings at mens-only clubs in San Francisco and Chicago. It irks me to no end that there are men's only rooms I can't go into. It just makes me angry. I mean, are we in the 19th century or the 21st century?

On the other hand, why would I want to go hang out with a bunch of rich, white, sexist, women-hating men? I guess because I want them to be forced to realize how hateful and wrong they are. Because I want them to be pulled, kicking and screaming (if need be) into this century. To acknowledge that women are equal. That we aren't awful, ruinous to a good time, or bad golfers. As someone said above, they can still have their foursomes and bitch and moan about those awful uppity women, but in the dining room and board room, they would be forced to speak with women on equal playing ground. Bu this isn't realistic and we must wait until other men are strong enough to stand up to them and tell them they're wrong.
posted by aacheson at 10:22 AM on September 3, 2002


aacheson: there are more reasons for men to wish to exclude women from a gathering than thinking that they're awful/ruinous of a good time/inequal to men/bad golfers. Surely you've had a "girly night" at some point in your life? And no doubt you've no problem with the notion of a guy having his male friends round to play poker/drink beer/watch football?

So, if those men happen to be wealthy and play golf instead of watch football, is that where it becomes wrong? What about when they discover there's a lot of like-minded men -- and they have enough money to buy some prime acerage and 'scape their own course? Is that where it becomes wrong?

And who says they're women-hating? I like women a whole lot, and I *really* like my girlfriend. But if I'm going swimming with my buds, I can *feel* the group dynamics change if a woman comes along. Oh, look, we're all doing impressive dives all of a sudden. And, my, aren't we strutting along the poolside?

Sometimes it's nice to escape the constant competitveness of being a sexual male. And I bet when I'm an old guy like these golfin dudes, I'll be really sick of it.
posted by bonaldi at 1:08 PM on September 3, 2002


Jeeze, ladies! Men just need some place where they can congregate with other men, fondle their balls and polish their long ... stiff ... um ... clubs. right. clubs.

right guys?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:31 PM on September 3, 2002


This all reminds me of the endless discussions I used to have with my Ethics professor over the exclusivity of the Masons. "But why would you want to join a group that doesn't want you?"

Because there is nothing else like it open to women.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:10 PM on September 3, 2002


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