Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Funday: Finding Peace

Hunting through the weeds of the news as we prepped for today's edition, we were reminded that  millions of Americans will be celebrating Easter or Passover this weekend. We immediately thought of all the Easter egg hunts, Passover seders, family dinners, and religious ceremonies - as well as holiday horror stories - that will be going on. We were also pleasantly reminded by our resident Rockies fan that it's also Major League Baseball's opening weekend, as well as the weekend of the PGA's Masters Tournament.

On top of all of those things, this weekend also begins with President Obama, Mitt Romney, and even Newt Gingrich all agreeing on the same topic: that women should be allowed to be members of the Augusta National Golf Club, where The Masters Tournament is held every year.

We're not thinking this single moment is a universal kumbaya moment that will suddenly turn the 2012 political season into a modern-day peace festival. It is, however, a moment that we'd like you to focus on for just a minute, if not in the spirit of the weekend, then because it's good to think of the potential, of what things could be.

As we noted, on Thursday, President Obama, Mr. Romney, and Mr. Gingrich all made comments or tweets regarding the issue of women becoming members at Augusta. All three men agreed, and none took a swipe at any of the others on the issue. For once, we had a moment of complete agreement, across the board, in the 2012 Presidential race, where everyone agreed: women are great people, they could be great golf club members, and there's no reason to deny women membership to the premiere course in the world of professional golf.

In short, women can golf as well as men. In truth, quite a few women golfers could beat the men on our staff, without question.

That didn't stop Billy Payne, the Chairman of Augusta National, at his annual press conference, from still trying to duck the issue of why women continue to be denied membership to Augusta.

Veteran journalist Christine Brennen wrote a fantastic piece about Payne, and how he used to be a huge advocate for women golfers - even pledging, long ago, to one day get women membership at Augusta. It may make you sad that he's apparently abandoned his former role as an advocate for gender equality in sports - but we prefer to focus on the positive this weekend.

Women have made huge strides in professional sports, and in professions of all kinds. IBM just named its first women CEO ever, Virginia Rometty - though unlike nearly every other IBM CEO, she has not yet been granted an automatic membership to Augusta. This snub, of course, does nothing to diminish her achievements, her experience, or her value as a woman or a professional. If anything, we think the prominence, clout, and visibility enjoyed by her and so many other powerful women makes Augusta - and other discriminatory organizations like it - look less and less relevant every year.

If you were watching the NCAA Women's basketball tournament this past week, you likely saw Brittney Griner and the Baylor Bears accomplish a feat NO other college basketball team - men's or women's - has EVER achieved: a perfect 40-0 season.

Make no mistake; even in the midst of all kinds of successes for women, there are indeed plenty of misogynistic men and women who continue to try and take away many of the hard-won rights of American women.

With all the talk of the 'War on Women' though, we wanted to point out that women - and even some men - who might not otherwise agree on almost anything, seem to have found some peace and common ground this weekend.

Hope springs eternal.

We hope you have a good weekend, and that you find lots of Easter eggs. Preferably fresh ones.

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