Jamileh Kharrazi Toos

Women are not Allowed to Play at Presidents Cup

Women are not Allowed to Play at Presidents Cup

Underlying tone reveals sexism in golf

Women are not allowed to participate in the biennial President Cup Golf Tournament. The tournament lasted from September 26 to October 1. Like much of golf, women are seen as the side attraction with the PGA and LPGA games played separately. Women not being allowed to play at the tournament highlights the sexists undertones in golf.

You Hit Far for a Girl

Who is the first person you think of when you think of a famous golf player? More than likely it was not a woman. Golf has always seemed to be a sport dominated by men.  In an article written by Anya Alvarez on The Shadow League she talks about the bigotry she encountered being a female golfer. She also talks about how she has tried to overcome it and make golf a safer place for women.

“The majority of golfers are white males, and its ties to elitism are so deeply rooted that to challenge it disrupts the entire foundation on which golf was built,” wrote Alvarez. “Currently, only 20 percent of women make up the golf population in the U.S. and it’s an area that the game struggles to grow. For women of color, less than two percent make up those who play.”

She added, “And the golf industry plays into the insecurities of these young female golfers, taking advantage of their sexuality to promote golf in a “sexy” way. They’ll use the images of the young golfers for their pages, and then quickly move on to the next hot golfer.”

Jamileh Kharrazi Toos
Past Presidents at the 2017 President’s Cup Tournament Via (CNN)

She concluded with saying, “Each day, as I encounter more women battling in the crusades against misogyny and sexism, I try to grasp onto their energy, and stuff it into the pockets of my heart.”

An article written on EmployAid, touched on two different encounters with sexism in golf. One of them is about a man named Stephen Hammond. According to the article, he was playing golf with a group of male friends were a number of sexist comments were made.

“They apparently made comments such as ""hit it like Ike"" in reference to Ike Turner's physical abuse against his former wife Tina Turner and quips about the slow pace of the game because there was a group of women ahead of them.”

Even on an article written on Golf by Alan Shipnuck, the stereotypical bigot came out.  On a top eight list on how to revitalize The Presidents Cup, number three was rather disturbing.

“Let's incorporate the WAGs, too, “he wrote. “Hey, they already have matching uniforms…..This retro enforcement of gender roles actually offers a way forward: a Miss America style competition in which the WAGs give short speeches about world affairs and have a talent competition. Since the Cup's TV ratings are abysmal I ’suppose we should throw in a swimsuit competition, too. This could easily replace the first day of the golf competition and nobody would complain.”

This reinforcement that women are nothing other than an object to look at parading on the grass is medieval.  

Integration of both the PGA and LPGA into tournaments like The Presidents Cup would mean a more diverse group of players. One that is not an old, white, man.  

Integrating the women with the men

 

PGA and LPGA should be working together to allow women to play against men, as fair and equal.  Juli Inkster, U.S captain for the Solheim Cup, talked about her thoughts on women in the league the New York Times.

"I just think as women golfers we always get shortchanged, and it irks me," Inkster told reporters at Des Moines Golf and Country Club after the final day of the competition. She added, "From the PGA Tour down, I just don't think we get the respect we deserve. And I just think, hopefully, as it goes on, hopefully things start to change, especially in sponsorships."

Jamileh Kharrazi UK
Juli Inkster addressing the crowd after her team won the Solheim Cup Via (Golf)

If the cup was broken down equally it would be more interesting. With six of the best men and women from the US, battling it out against their foreign competitors, that would make it more interesting. Change is good. With women competing, the field of inequality in golf would level out.