It should be the best news for women golfers since, well, ever. St. Andrews Golf Club, hallowed ground in the world of golf, is opening its boys' club to the ladies after 168 years of no vaginas allowed. So why are the ladies on the links just rolling their eyes and sighing?
Turns out joining a venerable men's club is not on their agendas ... ever. Shona Malcolm, chief executive officer of the Ladies Golf Union, told the Guardian:
We have absolutely no problem with single-gender clubs at all. We're very supportive of single-gender clubs: what it does is allow golfers the freedom to choose what kind of club they want to join.
What? Aren't we supposed to be whipping off our shirts and baring our sports bras Brandi Chastain-style? Heck, women have BURNED bras for less than this. Is this just a Scottish thing? Some sort of United Kingdom, hey, our entire nation stopped to watch a girl get married this morning, so what do we care about feminism, thing?
Nope and nope. It's actually a way to protect ladies and their right to enjoy a pleasant atmosphere out on the green. Sheila Hartley, company secretary of the Scottish Ladies Golfing Association, told the Guardian, "Many female golfers had experienced more unfairness and sexism when their previously male-only clubs admitted women as full members." Gee, sexism in mixed company? Whoda thunk it?
While women fight every day for equality in sports, if you ask the overwhelming majority what they're aiming for, it isn't to play on the same field as the boys at all. Sure, there are some. The Billie Jean Kings. The Danica Patricks. But most are content with separate but equal play, the premise behind Title IX in American schools.
What women really want isn't to share a basketball court with a bunch of guys who are taller or a soccer field with men with longer legs. What they want is respect for what they do, their own personal version of play. They want the comparisons to end.
And frankly, they want someone to pay attention. To watch the USA women's hockey team win its THIRD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN A ROW and value what an amazing accomplishment that is. To admit that Nancy Lopez winning 49 LPGA Tour events matters, that it isn't diminished because it was the LPGA Tour rather than the PGA Tour.
So the guys in Scotland can keep their snooty golf club and its he man woman haters feel. Just do us a favor, the next time a woman walks out on the green, don't look at her as a woman ... look at her as a golfer.
Do you think men's and women's sports should be merged?
Image via Son of Groucho/Flickr