First, let me go on record as saying I have a daughter. I believe my daughter, as I know many of you agree concerning your own children, should have the chance to grow up to become whatever they choose regardless of their sex. Period. I do not want her to experience discrimination based on the fact that she is a female. Now, with that said...I also think it's important to note that I have tried to impart a sense of history and tradition regarding certain things in this world, especially sports. I've said it before - she wants to be the next Erin Andrews and watches ESPN constantly (which, of course, endears her to daddy even more). Yet again, however, the debate over women and their membership (or lack thereof) at Augusta National is making headlines and being covered on the evening news. It's an election year, too, so the candidates and President feel compelled to join the debate. My comment is as it always has been - "Here we go again."
There has been further speculation that Chairman Payne, someone who is more progressive than his predecessor, might offer a membership to Rometty after all, though only after the tournament has ended and the gender debate calms. Burk, ever the activist, commented upon hearing this news that, "Sorry, but that dog won't hunt. Telling Rometty to wait a little longer and be a good girl with IBM's collusion would be a disaster - not only for the company's image, but for Rometty's credibility as its leader." Okay, again, I have to disagree. This, in my opinion, would be a win-win situation and this argument by Burk further proves my point. What is the real goal? If it is to have Augusta National admit women as members, does it really matter WHEN it happens? Or, as I am more inclined to believe, is it about the headlines and being able to thump her chest to show that she 'beat them good ol' boys, damn it.' Let's face it - it's about a good fight. If it isn't about women's rights, it's about racial discrimination. If not about race, it's made to be about religious background. Activists are in it for the fight, not the result. THAT is my issue with their so-called activism. If Rometty is NOT granted membership, please tell me how that diminishes her credibility as a leader? Are we missing the big picture here? She is the top executive at IBM for goodness sake! Can you imagine saying that 30 years ago?? Now that she is in that position, though, we have to find more to fight about...and believe me when I tell you, Ginni Rometty has plenty of credibility, ability, and clout within the walls of IBM whether she is a member of Augusta National or not.
By the way, now that I am WAY up on my personal soapbox, I want to note, too, that women spectators at Augusta National were, in fact, asked the question about membership. The majority of them, even if they said, yes, women should be admitted, went on to say that they are also understanding of the tradition of the club. They aren't as eager as the 'activists' to actually 'fight' for this. They'd rather walk the lush, gorgeous grounds among the magnolias, sit around the picture-perfect greens, and watch some of the finest golf in the world this weekend. Here's to you, ladies. We'll be sitting where we should be - not in front of you, not behind you, but, rather, right beside you.
Until next time.............