Target: Chicago area men-only golf clubs
Goal: Allow women at men-only golf clubs
Many golf clubs, such as Augusta National, are at last emerging into the twenty-first century by allowing women to become members. The recent media attention these events have received provides an opportunity to publicly protest for equality in clubs across the United States by asking organizations that do not allow female members to reconsider their stances. To have separate male and female organizations is acceptable, but to forbid women from using property for recreation simply because of their gender is outdated, if not worse.
Augusta National, a famous golf club, recently offered membership to two powerful females, politician Condoleezza Rice and financier Darla Moore. After 80 years of banning women from becoming members, this well-known club thwarted tradition, and other clubs across the nation should follow suit. For too long, such exclusive organizations have claimed that membership is not discriminatory, using the excuse that all private clubs have the right to choose their members. They compare themselves to fraternities and sororities that are separated by gender, yet there is a notable difference between clubs that recruit for membership alone and those that recruit members who have exclusive access to property. There are few expensive and highly aesthetic golf courses that admit only women, and those females who do aspire to play on such courses are still doing so in vain. Currently, Old Elm, Bobolink, Butler International, and Black Sheep courses in the Chicago area will not allow women to golf on their property, and in some clubs, women are not even allowed to drive into the parking lot.
If such clubs choose to exclude people from membership due to their race (and Augusta National did until 1990), there would be uproar. Clubs may choose their members, but a recreational property should not exclude females from playing the course simply because of their gender. This policy should raise a red flag, and not the one on the putting green.
This can change if Chicago area men’s only golf courses reconsider their prejudiced stance on membership. Ask these clubs to open membership to women and allow both genders to use beautiful and historic courses for recreation. If Augusta National Golf Club can open its doors to both men and women, then other courses can surely do the same.
Dear Chicago-area golf clubs,
Please open your membership to women. This issue is bigger than a private organization’s right to selectively choose its members. This discriminatory policy prevents women from participating in a sport at certain locations, and consequently they are restricted solely due to their gender. This is unjust. It is no longer respectable for men to hold themselves above women, and so athletic organizations must stand for gender equality in every way.
Change your policy immediately and open your doors to both genders. To do anything other than this would be prejudiced and unfair.
[Your Name Here]
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