Monday, August 20, 2012

Breaking News: Women everywhere stop what they're doing and give thanks to Augusta National

I just got back from lunch with my co-workers and while we were out eating I saw on TV (via ESPN) as "breaking news" that Augusta National Golf Club just admitted two female members. One, Condoleeza Rice. The other, Darla Moore.

Needless to say, admitting Condoleeza Rice takes care of a couple birds with one stone. She's black, and she's a woman. Whoopty-do! She's not the first black allowed in but she's the first black woman. Just as a fun fact the first Black was allowed to play at Augusta National in 1975 and the first black was allowed to join 15 years later in 1990. Yes, you read that right, 15 years. And now Condoleeza joins in 2012 as the first Black female member, well yippee! That's awesomely rapid progress, I know. Especially when you consider that Augusta National has been in operation since 1933. Clearly their leadership has a vision for a diverse membership and equal opportunity is engrained in the culture there, CLEARLY. Darla Moore runs Rainwater, Inc and has been rich (and philanthropic, shot out to her for that) for some time. A sarcastic congratulations to them both for breaking the gender barrier at Augusta National.

It's simultaneously pathetic that it took this long and slightly awesome in that it finally happened and now maybe there will be more women in the future that care enough to become a member. But really, what woman wants to be a member of a club that took this long to let women in? How awkward will it be if even though they let ya in, they still treat you like second-class members? My guess is, Condoleeza has given this thought because she's a well-educated Black woman whose had to think about this before from the perspective of a Black person in this country. Undoubtedly in her rise to becoming Secretary of State (albeit under the Bush Administration) she broke down many barriers for both women and Blacks but even when you break down barriers and you get in, you'll still looked at a little funny. I wonder if Darla's thought about this or if the wads of cash she's has make the view a little easier. Both of these women and their accomplishments demand a certain level of respect and perhaps that's what will make them (and women who join in the future) be viewed as "equals"... Perhaps. But let's not be so sure that the good ole' boy system is gonna break completely down when a few women are let in the club.

I'm just thinking out loud here not knowing much about the process of becoming a member or what the benefits are or who their membership consists of. But I don't think I need to know all of that information to know that it's completely absurd that it took this long to let a woman in. It also makes me wonder if any of the male members ever took a stand to put pressure on Augusta to let women become members because it's kind of absurd if not a single guy has ever taken that stance.

Anyway, with all that said, I'm glad to hear that two women have been allowed on the inside but clearly, there's still a long way to go.

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