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The Endangered Tiger

Don't mess with golfing's oppressed!


It's the most interesting golfing news to come out since Adam Sandler made Happy Gilmore. I'm not usually one to take notice of the sports world, and in particular the golfing world (even considering how action-packed televised golf tournaments seem). But recent accusations against famed golfer Tiger Woods caught my attention because of the nature of the charges leveled against him. Apparently, feminists have united to stand up for the rights of the most underprivileged and maligned women of the world. Not, as you might think, women forced to endure female circumcision or women who are kept from becoming educated, but a group of women so downtrodden and discriminated against that the rest of the world will weep when their plight is known. Of course, I refer to the predicament of female golfers.Though you may not be aware of the circumstances under which some women are forced to golf, in fact, they have been subjected to dehumanizing conditions in addition to having to see the unattractive golfing clothes popular with male golfers. Such conditions include less than ideal tee times and less total golfing time than men are allotted. And there are even some primitive golfing clubs that do not allow women to golf at all.

Once your tears are dried and you've recovered from the initial shock of this information, you will surely join the feminists in their anger against Tiger Woods, who has refused to condemn such all-male golfing facilities! The nerve of that man! Here he is, reaping all of the benefits of a top-notch golfing career, while women are still getting the shaft of the golf club in many golfing establishments. How can he even sleep at night knowing that such injustices still occur?

But wait. One might ask oneself: why is Tiger Woods getting all the negative publicity? Are there not legions of other male golfers who have also failed to decry the evil of all-male golfing clubs? Are there not even famous male golfers who have, for whatever reasons, not taken up this cause? Has Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer ever spoken out in favor of the beleaguered female golfers? Is Tiger Woods the only important golfer to have ignored the whole issue of sexism in the golfing community?

Of course he is not alone. But none of those other famous male golfers were black. That, anyway, is the implied message of these feminists; Tiger should be against sexual discrimination because he's black and has known discrimination himself.

This isn't a very logical argument. It is also a racist argument, alleging that because Tiger is black he has some kind of obligation to stand up for the rights of the disenfranchised of the world. Let's face reality. Golf is one area where Tiger really hasn't been held back by his race or anything else. If anything, Tiger is more famous because he is the first hugely successful black golfer. So why Tiger Woods should have some kind of special sympathy for people who aren't receiving their full "golfing rights" is beyond me.

And although I do not think this is true, let's suppose that Tiger does have some kind of obligation as a famous black man to fight discrimination. What in history obligates any black male to strive for the rights of white females? In the earliest days of the women's movement and the civil rights movement (which was actually the abolitionist movement at that time), people from both groups tried to work together toward mutual freedom and rights. Although the suffragists were willing to make this alliance with the abolitionists, they suggested that the rights of women must be the priority, despite the fact that slavery still dominated the South. The stance frustrated abolitionists and ultimately meant that the two movements would remain separate. In light of this history, it seems bizarre that women's rights activists would suggest that Tiger Woods has an obligation on any level to protest all-male golfing clubs.

Would I be particularly impressed with Tiger if he made it his personal mission to eliminate sexism in golfing? Probably not. Now, if he wanted to end homelessness or domestic violence or some social situation that causes actual oppression, that might mean something. If you have enough money to purchase golf clubs and those hats with the little puff ball in the center, I seriously doubt that you're oppressed.

Of course, Tiger himself has noted the simplest and perhaps the best argument in this case is the fact that the clubs that are all male are private clubs. Though the "No Girls Allowed" signs aren't exactly politically correct anymore, it's certainly within the rights of a private club to allow or disallow anybody they like. Like Tiger, I don't think anybody has any business telling these clubs what to do or what regulations to do away with.

If female golfers want to end the days of all-male golf courses, they just need to get really good at golfing. As soon as a woman gets to be as popular as Tiger Woods, you can bet that all of the clubs will be clamoring to have her play at their facility, whether it was previously all-male or not. Until then, nobody's stopping you from building your own clubhouse, with a big sign posted out front smothered in Power Puff Girls stickers: Boys Keep Out!

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