Muirfield women ban: it’s only sexist for girls
Why anyone plays golf is beyond me. A friend interested in joining a club was put off by what he called a strong whiff of anti-semitism around the place. He never complained. He didn’t want to hang out with bigots. So he gave up on golf and built a snooker room at home. But some people – not all racists, I’ll give you that – do want to play golf and chat in an actual golf club. And some of them want to play in a club just for men. The Guardian’s Laura Bates writes:
Muirfield golf club has lost the right to host the prestigious Open championship after taking the stunningly regressive step of voting against reversing its ban on female members.
If it’s what the members want – and we mean members in every sense of the word – what’s the issue?
In fairness, Muirfield members seem to have some very real concerns – a letter circulated by those campaigning against the change revealed the terrifying prospect that “lady members” may pose a threat to such noble traditions as “our foursomes play, our match system … our lunch arrangements”. Quelle horreur.
Do the French play golf?
The news has prompted intense debate about male-only spaces and whether or not they should still be allowed, with one major argument cropping up again and again in most of the discussions I have heard. “Why shouldn’t men be allowed their own space, when women have women-only gym and swimming sessions? Isn’t that sexist?”
The answer is that these two things are not the same. In fact, they couldn’t be more different.
One sports club wants just women; one sports club wants just men. How is that different?