How Do You Feel: Augusta Controversy

  1. The Augusta golf course, where the Master's is played, is a private country club with a policy of male only membership. Bear in mind, the club is private, and receives no federal or state funding. Recently, the president of the National Organization for Women has started a campaign to force Augusta to accept women members. What are your feelings?

    Here are mine. Since Augusta is private, NOW has no right to try to force the club to do anything. NOW claims to be all about equality, but I have never heard of the organization doing anything to open all female anything, be it colleges or whatever, to male participation. Somehow, an all female anything is OK in their book, but nothing can be exclusively male. Why is that? For example, there is a private health club here in Wichita Kansas that is for women only. Why isn't NOW beating down this club's door demanding that they admit men? The club states that women are more comfortable working out when men are not around. I can understand that. I even agree with that. So, why can't there be some men's only enclaves? While I enjoy golf, and have no objection to women joining, there are times when I really enjoy a round with only men. Is there a problem with that?

    Kevin McHugh
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  2. 51 Comments

  3. by   CMERN
    I am a woman...I say let Augusta be as it is.. If women want a Golf club let 'em start one.If the politicaly correct want a co-ed club..so... start one. I have a white male 18 year old senior son...you oughta see the scholarship applications he CANT apply for because he is #1 MALE...#2 white... So ..that is just the way it is..my words for him...apply your self in acedemics..go for the scholarships you can go for..and BIG DEAL!!!!!!
  4. by   CMERN
    OH I forgot...the BIG DEAL is money.... start a law suit, go to court, WIN some money. (that aint yours from the beginning)..oh..oh.. and U get to play golf too. whatever....
  5. by   jacolaur
    I am a woman also, and I agree whole heartedly with you Kevin...We have an all womens health club here too and I have been saying the same things you so eloquently stated in you post"why isn't NOW demanding them to be "fair" and "equal". NOW has been doing more to hurt the plight of women in this society than help. By starting all this nonsense, people are apt to turn a deaf ear to them whenever they do decide to make a valid point in a truely worthwhile forum. This is so ridiculous, they look like men haters and I for one don't want them representing, for me, how the world should treat women. They are just too hard core.
  6. by   ShandyLynnRN
    I think it's ridiculous! I even heard that jesse Jackson got involved and wanted Tiger Woods to boycott the tournament (or whatever it's called), for the sake of minorities (women). The thing is, is that women ARE allowed to play there, if they come with a member!

    I will admit, I am not a feminist, or a womens lib activist per se.....I mean, I am really glad that they got us the right to vote and such! But this is going too far! WHy not spend the time and money that has been involved in this on something that will actually help people?

    I agree that there is nothing wrong with having specific clubs for men, or women. I think these people are making total fools of themselves by making such a big deal. I could see if it were funded by local or state governments, but since it is PRIVATE, then that is their choice!

    But I guess that someone has to make waves like this. If not, we would never have been allowed to vote, right?
  7. by   fergus51
    As a woman, I could care less. It seems silly that we would be worrying about a golf course as opposed to childcare, equal pay for equal work, sexual harrassment, domestic violence etc.
  8. by   canoehead
    This Master's tournament- are women allowed to enter or do they need a male to let them in before they start to play?

    I could care less, unless those guys are trying to give themselves a winning title while excluding half the golfers. That would be a sign of swollen head syndrome.
  9. by   christianRN
    Im with you, Kevin. Private is private. You can do whatever you want, include, exclude whoever, with YOUR money. Who cares?
  10. by   llg
    As a private organization, Augusta National has a right to be exclusive in its membership. But, as this is a free country, NOW has a right to protest their exclusion of women.

    The reason NOW is going after Augusta National (and not a lot of other clubs) is political. Within the golf community, Augusta National holds a unique status -- it is a symbol of an a closed world in which all the power is held by white men. It's only been recently that African Americans have been allowed to be on the course doing anything other than serving as caddies, waiters, and groundskeepers. It took a lot of political pressure to get African Americans (and other racial & ethnic groups) into Augusta -- and subsequently into other golf clubs around the country. Lee Elder, VJ Singh, and Tiger Woods had a lot to do with it. It's only natural that the political pressure is starting to build for the inclusion of women.

    Why is it an important women's issue? Well, for those who don't know it, a LOT of economic activity goes on in those clubs. By excluding women, the "good old boy network" thrives and women are hindered at their attempts to to advance their careers. By the time the women get to sit in on a meeting, many of the issues have already been decided -- discussed and decided on the golf course or in the locker room at the club.

    I grew up in that environment -- not at Agusta, but at another club where everyone was lilly white and Protestant and women were not allowed the same status as men. While things have improved there, it's still not perfect. Oh, there is more diversity in skin color and religion, but women are still second-class citizens.

    For example, my sister is the women's club champion and pays the same club dues as the men, but is not allowed to play on weekend afternoons. Why doesn't her money buy her the same membership privileges? It can't be because she is a "slow" player who would clog up the course. She and many of the other women are better golfers than most of the men. No, it is descimination against women that is just as hateful as racial discrimination -- and we should not accept it. What if Augusta National were still saying "No blacks allowed?"

    This is NOT a question of legality, but of morality. Augusta National has a legal right to remain exclusively male. However, does society WANT to give the club so much prestige when it is behaves in such a discriminatory manner? To whom do we want to give such honor (and TV revenue)? That's a moral and political question that NOW has every right to ask.

    llg
    Last edit by llg on Dec 2, '02
  11. by   LasVegasRN
    Hmmm. Interesting thread. I'm going to read more posts. At this point I'm split.
  12. by   l.rae
    By the time the women get to sit in on a meeting, many of the issues have already been decided -- discussed and decided on the golf course or in the locker room at the club

    the locker room will always be off limits....l hope, and if pplwant to decide issues in private, whats to stop them?...just because you are on the golf course doesn't mean you will be privy to all the issues being discussed....if they want to resolve issues in private, they will do so anyway over lunch drinks etc....what then...are we going to sue to invited to private get-to-gethers?...I don't want to be a member of anything soley based on the fact that l am female...l think THAT is insulting....unless there is PROOF that unethical behavior is going on behind closed doors that discriminate in the public arena, it is foolish to persue this...but y'all know what l think of PC..........LR
  13. by   Stargazer
    Thank you, llg. You managed to articulate some of my problems with this. Like Vegas, I'm ambivalent. I do agree that legally, Augusta has every right to do whatever it pleases, but I also have to wonder why we continue to reward it so handsomely with advertising dollars, fees and prestige despite its well-documented history of minority discrimination.

    Just curious, Kevin--what do you think of the struggle of African-Americans to be allowed to play there? Do you feel, as Tiger Woods has been quoted as saying, that discrimination against women, and discrimination against African-Americans are 2 different things? And if so, why are they different?
  14. by   Gomer
    Very simple solution to this mess.....year's ago the government (state) used this technique on those "private" men's clubs to make them intergrate (white vs. non-white issue at that time).....here's what the gov't did....You are a private club?, You want to discriminate against another person because of their skin color? Fine...oh, there is just one little thing....the liquior license you are using is a state license and this state has a policy of non-discrimination, so we will be revoking your liquior license and you can no longer serve/sell/distribute alcoholic beverages. That little hick-up in the law opened alot of private clubs.

    Golf is a stupid game anyway....made up of white men, who wear white boxer shorts, white socks, use the missionary position with their wives, doggy position with their mistresses, and allow tokens in their little male sanctuaries to make them feel superior. And what's this about Tiger being Afro-American? I thought he just had a great tan.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    That being said....I agree with you llg.

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