Beginning this week there will be at least two women teeing it up with the boys from time to time at the Augusta National Golf Course, home of something called the Masters tournament, where the uniform-of-the-day is a golf grass green blazer.
I find golf narcoleptic. So the wonder to me isn’t that this country club has denied women membership for the 80 years of its existence, but that anyone wants to play this expensive, exacting, and slow-moving game at all. But there’s no accounting for taste. So I wish all golfers well. And I hope the new experience takes a few strokes off of Condoleezza Rice’s game.
You’d think by the amount of media coverage of this event that we’ve taken a great step in civilizational uplift. I can see how charter members of NOW can finally go happily to that great assertiveness training class in the sky. And Gloria Steinem’s life now has meaning. Otherwise it seems a victory for years of cultural nagging and bullying more than anything else. After years of resistance, Augusta finally wearied and gave a meek, “Yes, dear.” Let freedom reign.
I’m not clear on why the guys at Augusta have not wanted to hang out with the likes of Rice and financier Darla Moore. These accomplished women are both comely, and for all I know great company. But in our “land of the free,” as we celebrate it in song before every baseball game, we used to be able to associate with whomever we wanted to. You would think, if we’re going to continue to ham it up about freedom, it would be sufficient to say, “No, we’re not going to do that because we don’t want to, and that’s reason enough.”