Sex­ism im­pacts on fe­male golfers

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

Flora Jean Thompson’s July 15th let­ter ex­plained that women are not on golf cour­ses as much as men be­cause of the sys­tem­atic sex­ism still em­bed­ded in our so­ci­ety. Women earn less than men and women pro­vide most of the child and house­hold care than men. Both fac­tors would re­duce the num­ber of women golfers com­pared to the num­ber of men golfers.

Such a sys­tem­atic bias, how­ever, would not ex­plain why the num­ber of women in other sports is greater than the num­ber of women in golf – even in other in­di­vid­ual sports that re­quire money and time, such as skiing.

Some other ex­pla­na­tion must also be a fac­tor. My guess is bla­tant sex­ism, not just sys­tem­atic sex­ism. Sex­ism will be more bla­tant where women can “get in the way” of men. A fe­male skier doesn’t im­pede a male skier. A fe­male golfer may im­pede a male golfer.

Just as many men as­sume women are bad driv­ers with­out sta­tis­ti­cal back­ing, male golfers tend to blame fe­male golfers for slow play with­out sta­tis­ti­cal back­ing.

Whether women are on av­er­age slower than men or not (my guess is not – es­pe­cially when fac­tor­ing in hand­i­caps) is ir­rel­e­vant. The main prob­lem is the dif­fer­ence in male at­ti­tudes to slow women com­pared to male at­ti­tudes to slow men.

I have wit­nessed male four­somes yelling at women four­somes to get off the course. I have not seen the same vis­ceral re­ac­tion to a slow four­some of men (a far more com­mon oc­cur­rence).

My point is that bla­tant sex­ism ex­ists on our Is­land and it re­veals it­self on our golf cour­ses. Where this at­ti­tude is preva­lent, women will not feel welcome. If golf cour­ses want women, in­clude on their list of eti­quette some­thing about the harms and ground­less­ness of sex­ism. Mal­colm Mur­ray Stratford

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