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Sexism in UK golf ongoing

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golf clubs, sexism, royal and ancient, women's rightsRecent comments show that sexism is still rife in sport.

My family frequently try to get me to “calm down”, which usually has the opposite effect to the one intended.

But I recognise that my life would probably be easier if I could let more (any?) of the little things slide, so I do sometimes make an effort.

But there are some things about which it is important to get angry.

Things we should yell about every time we see them, so that they stop happening.

Racism, for example.

Assault.

Rape.

And sexism.

Although I thought we had got rid of that now.

I thought we made a decision about ending sexism years ago.

Apparently that news hasn’t reached some people.

Last month’s top eye-roll moment came courtesy of the “great” Sir Stirling Moss, who came out with these gems:

“I think [women] have the strength, but I don’t know if they’ve got the mental aptitude to race hard, wheel-to-wheel.”

“We’ve got some very strong and robust ladies, but, when your life is at risk, I think the strain of that in a competitive situation will tell when you’re trying to win.”

And this week, my eyes have been rolling right out of my head at the rubbish coming from golf’s governing body, the Royal and Ancient (RA).

Earlier this month, the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia in the USA allowed two women to join, ending 80 years of men-only golfing action.

About time, too, you might think.

The UK-based Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) has called for men-only clubs to follow Augusta’s lead and update their policies, which are “damaging the reputation of sport”.

Again, fair enough. Nothing too radical here.

That’s not how RA chief executive Peter Dawson saw it.

Under increasing pressure to accept that women have the right to do things and go to places just like men do, Dawson responded by saying that clubs should not be “bullied” into letting women join.

“To think that the RA might say to a club like Muirfield, ‘You are not going to have the Open any more unless you change your policy’ is frankly a bullying position that we would never take,” he said.

“Personally, I think this idea that it sends out a dreadful message to the world is considerably overblown but that is my own opinion.

“We don’t see it as our role to attack golf clubs which are behaving perfectly legally.”

This is obviously nothing more than drivel.

Following the advice of a charity press statement does not amount to bullying.

Neither is suggesting to respected golf clubs like Muirfield or St Andrews that they maybe, possibly, start thinking about existing in the 21st century.

So Stirling Moss turns out to be another misogynist “product of his time”, and institutional inertia  allows Muirfield and St Andrews to keep outlawing women for the foreseeable future.

This sexism is aggravating enough, but what really enrages me is that it won’t have any repercussions for them.

They will continue to be venerated, and while they are in a position of influence, nothing will change.

So, sports-loving ladies, grumble on.

Grumble louder.

Scoff at the TV whenever Stirling Moss is allowed on.

Make a big deal out of every little thing, no matter how much it annoys everyone around you.

One day they will come around.

One day, it will be normal for women to play golf alongside men.

As it should be.

  1. vicki wharton says:

    Thinking of one group of people as being superior to others by gender, race, sexuality, physicality, religion, age, hair colour etc etc etc is a paradign of superiority/inferiority which most humans position themselves and others on. This attitude, left unchecked always leads to violence against the people regarded as inferior, be it the elderly, the disabled, females, Muslims, Jews etc etc. Male chauvinism leads to violence against women and children and needs to be challenged wherever it rears its ugly head, be it in golf, porn,etc. Its the key attitude that drives domestic violence, rape and sexual assault of women and children. We do not segregate racist violence by victim or type of violence used, nor should we do the same to victims of male chauvinists.

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