Sunday, April 10, 2011

Historically racist and sexist golf club is, indeed, still sexist


An important golf tournament happened this weekend at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. I don't know who won because I don't watch golf. I do know who lost, however: women.

After the tournament, journalist Tara Sullivan of The Bergen Record--who happens not to have a penis--was denied entry into the locker room for an interview with a golfer named Rory--presumably because she doesn't have a penis--while her male colleagues were granted entry. In an inspiring display of solidarity, they went right ahead with their interview. She tweeted:
Bad enough no women members at Augusta. But not allowing me to join writers in locker room interview is just wrong.
I guess it is somewhat outside of the scope of this blog to be talking about sexist shit in sports--we've already got our hands full documenting all of the racist shit out there. But, after all, it wasn't until 1990 that Augusta National admitted its first black member. As Sullivan notes, to this day they still do not admit members without penises.

Tara Sullivan: journalist without a penis
From this perspective, it shouldn't be at all surprising that an actively sexist golf club enforced one of its sexist policies. The better question is why the PGA Tour continues to use Augusta National as its venue for the Masters. Yahoo.com sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski wondered the same thing:
Augusta Nat. has long been a disgrace on so many levels and now barring @Record_Tara from locker room interviews. How does PGA allow that?
Perhaps it is because the PGA Tour is run by a bunch of rich, old white guys who really don't care about this kind of stuff very much.  Maybe the rich old white guys who run the PGA Tour are even friends with the rich old white guys who run Augusta National, and they don't want to make their friends look bad. But one would think that these kinds of controversies make both Augusta National and the PGA Tour look bad enough already. From a PR perspective, there must be a point at which this kind of bad publicity outweighs the benefit of hosting the Masters at a venue with a "strong tradition" like Augusta. Plus, I have a hard time seeing what's so great about the tradition of a place that didn't admit a black member until 1990 and still doesn't admit women.

If Tara Sullivan's fellow golf writers had any principles, they would refuse to cover any future PGA Tour events at August National until A) Augusta changes its policies towards women or B) the PGA Tour no longer uses their course for the Masters if they don't.

Fuck it, while we are suggesting ridiculous things that will never happen, I think General Sherman had the right idea when it came to dealing with the state of Georgia.

General Sherman says "burn the motherfucker down!" 

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