Written by Jen Offord

In The News

Girls Disallowed

Muirfield golf club has decided to continue to not allow women to become members. Our sports correspondent Jen Offord knows she should be up in arms, but she’s just not.

angry mini-figurine pushing golf ball
As previously discussed, often with reference to Beyoncé at the same time, I am a feminist. I believe in equality; I think it’d be really ace for everyone, not just women, if we could achieve that, and I also think it’s pretty serious bidnis, this equality stuff. As such, I also think it’s important to pick your battles: you know, reproductive rights, public health issues, education, work – the big dogs of the gender inequality world, if you will.

All this means I know I’m supposed to be annoyed about Muirfield golf club, who this week have spectacularly voted to continue not allowing women to become members of their esteemed club, but I just can’t find it within myself.

OK, look, I know it’s sport and I’m always wanging on about how sport needs to embrace equality for the sake of public health, but honestly, I mostly think golf, including mini and crazy (it’s not crazy; it’s just got a totally unnecessary model windmill on the course), is shit so I’m happy for you to keep it. I mean, obviously I’m less happy if someone who doesn’t think it’s shit doesn’t play because those ‘lads’ at Muirfield have made them feel unwelcome in the warm bosom of golf’s embrace.

I also can’t be bothered to stick my dungarees on over this one, because reading Muirfield’s justification for their decision to “say no to ladies” is one of the best things to have happened to me this week.

In what can only really be described as one of the most misguided interpretations of women of all time, members behind the ‘no’ campaign, aimed at preventing members voting to allow women to join the club, described their concerns to other members in a letter.

“I’ve got to be honest with you: never before this moment have I given any consideration to the cock of a man wearing plus-fours.”

The aforementioned letter cited, according to The Scotsman, “risks” such as slow play by women getting in the way of a decent window for lunch. Maybe I’ve not been watching the really good stuff, but isn’t golf by its very nature, well, quite slow? I was also under the impression that golf was predominantly played by people who had – and I hope you won’t take offence at this – seen faster times in their lives.

I’m not sure why women are perceived as being slow in this context either. They’ve never played golf with women, right, so how do they know?

The other primary “risk”, apparently – and it’s good of them to look out for us, here – is that we’d feel very uncomfortable in such a masculine presence. Again, I’m not sure what the rationale for this is; after all, if you let women in, there’ll be a more feminine presence, right? So we won’t have to cower in fear of your testosterone.

But is that what you’re, forgive the pun here, driving at? Or do you think we’ll be SO DISTRACTED thinking about your cocks that it’ll just become impossibly awkward? Because I’ve got to be honest with you, never before this moment have I given any consideration to the cock of a man wearing plus-fours.

As a remedy to this inconvenient suggestion, the ‘no’ campaigners reckon they could instead establish a neighbouring club for ladies, like the St Joseph’s to their Grange Hill – perhaps they would even go and throw stones at each other at the end of a hard day’s golfing.

It’d be just like golf, but for ladies, and they could even have some say in the decor of the club house and the food and drink available to its members, which they say would “no doubt benefit from female input” – good to know women do add some value when you take away those other burdensome distractions.

I feel kind of bad for golf, because it could do with better PR if it’s to convince people it’s worthy of its newfound status as an Olympic sport (the principles for determining these, FYI, are that the sport should be played across a wide range of geographical scope and by both men and women). Also I reckon most golfers are probably OK; I even know a few who I quite like.

But finally, I’m OK with you keeping Muirfield for yourselves lads, because I really don’t want to hang out with you anyway – I doubt we’d get on too well.


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Written by Jen Offord

Jen is a writer from Essex, which isn’t relevant because she lives in London, but she likes people to know it. As well as daft challenges, she likes cats, cheese and Beyonce. @inspireajen