Equality in golfing

Grill Power

The struggle for women’s equality comes down to this: the men’s grill in the Phoenix Country Club has television and a bar, while the women’s grill has neither of those amenities—though it soon will, following renovation. The New York Times deems the separate and unequal Phoenix grill rooms so laden with national significance as to merit front-page treatment, which it provided on Saturday.

It’s been a hard year for the cause of female victimhood, as the Times’s close attention to one golf club’s eating facilities suggests. The crusade to show that Hillary Clinton’s abysmally managed presidential campaign failed because of sexism ran up against an inconvenient reality: some of her strongest support came from Archie Bunker states like West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma, while bastions of liberal enlightenment, such as Minnesota and Connecticut, went solidly for Barack Obama. (Of course, the willingness of blue-collar males to vote for Clinton didn’t stop her from claiming that, but for sexism, she would be the Democratic nominee: “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it,” she said to her supporters at the end of the race.)

Clinton’s popularity with working-class male voters is hardly the only obstacle to the perpetuation of the patriarchy myth. Wherever you look, pesky facts suggest that far from being hindered by their sex, women reap benefits galore. Every elite institution in the country—from Wall Street law firms to Fortune 500 companies to major media outlets—tries constantly to put as many women in prominent positions as it can, whether as partners, board directors, editors, op-ed contributors, or talking heads. Whenever the absence of remotely suitable candidates hinders this mission, the same institutions wail a mea culpa and promise to make amends. Federal and state governments pour millions of taxpayer dollars into the production of more female scientists, even though the sex ratio in a microbiology lab will have absolutely no bearing on whether it discovers the cure for cancer or for Alzheimer’s disease. Since many elementary and high schools now function as cheering squads for Grrrl Power, the idea that even more resources are required to overcome some still-unlocated bias against, say, female physicists is ludicrous. Female undergraduates now outnumber their male counterparts, which hasn’t resulted in the closing of a single college women’s center dedicated to providing girls with a “safe space” on campus.


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