One of the last bastions of maleness has fallen; Stuff reports:
For the first time in its 80-year history, Augusta National Golf Club has female members.
It was inevitable that Augusta National would eventually bow to pressure and renounce its ways. Whilst it was of course the club's preserve as a private organisation to set whatever limits on members it wished, current chairman Billy Payne has brought Augusta National at least into the late 20th century.
And at least he's invited someone with profile to join; read on:
The home of the Masters, under increasing criticism the last decade because of its all-male membership, invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets when the club opens for a new season in October.Both women accepted."This is a joyous occasion," Augusta National chairman Billy Payne said Monday.The move likely ends a debate that intensified in 2002 when Martha Burk of the National Council of Women's Organisations urged the club to include women among its members. Former club chairman Hootie Johnson stood his ground, even at the cost of losing Masters television sponsors for two years, when he famously said Augusta National might one day have a woman in a green jacket, "but not at the point of a bayonet."The comment took on a life of its own, becoming either a slogan of the club's resolve not to give in to public pressure or a sign of its sexism, depending on which side of the debate was interpreting it.