Friday, April 6, 2012

The Masters and Gender

Here's the situation: Augusta National Golf Club doesn't allow women members. But the chief executives of sponsors of the Masters- which is held at Augusta- is automatically made a member of the club. IBM is a sponsor, and all four of it's previous male CEOs got to put on those little green jackets.

IBM's current CEO is Virginia Rometty.


So, now there's a question over whether or not she'll be made a member. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have both weighed in in favor of doing so, which is hilarious, because I'm sure a black guy and a Mormon have a lot of pull in a discriminatory golf club. Of course, Obama and Romney are right; there's no good reason to keep Rometty out, since everyone else who's had her job got in, and the only difference is gender. I don't see how this could possibly be controversial. In fact, it's kind of disheartening we have to even talk about it.

I do worry that Augusta will take the easy way out; let Rometty in because she's a wealthy sponsor and there's a public controversy now, but hold back on letting in other deserving women until another controversy bubbles up. That's the problem when the issue revolves around wealthy, powerful people; it kind of delays when the equality trickles down to everyone. But, we have to start somewhere, and as near as I can tell, Rometty is as deserving as anyone. And anyway, I'd rather wait to condemn Augusta until they actually do that, rather that complaining based on my own predictions. There's nothing wrong with a slower, more deliberate pace. We'll get there eventually.

UPDATE 4/10/12- After some conversations, it occurred to me that the text didn't exactly convey my thoughts, and might have been dismissing the issue too much.

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