Sexism impacts on female golfers
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