Though the 2019 golf season started last September (no, don’t ask), this week sees the first ‘major’ of the season, the only one that has the same home every season, the Masters, at Augusta, Georgia.
Its fair to say that until recently, the people who run golf at Augusta were a little behind the time, would be putting it mildly. The first to break the race barrier at the golf course, 1975, and only then because they had no choice, because he’d qualified for the Masters. Just imagine if they said Tiger Woods couldnt take part, well… 1990 saw the first African American member, only after numerous complaints by members…about letting them in! Lovely people, but this is the deep South, so…?
For women, it was even worse, the first female member, with all the consternation it caused about having a woman on the grounds, not until 2012. The first competitive rounds by a woman at Augusta? Yesterday! Yes, a small number of female amateur golfers were given the ‘honour’ yesterday of being allowed to play competitive golf at Augusta. Wow!
I’d love to say this was the exception to the rule, but it isnt. Muirfield, near Edinburgh, only permitted women to be members in 2017 when they were told they would be taken off the Open circuit if they didnt. Even then it took 2 votes to ‘convince’ them to agree to this, and the secretary of the course described it as a sad day when they did eventually approve it, what a lovely gentleman, not!
Of course, whats happened now is that the ‘gentlemen’ in charge of Augusta are claiming this as a very special event, and in 1 sense at least, it is. But at the same time, the fact that it should have happened about 50 years ago is irrelevant to them! So congratulations are due to Jennifer Kupcho, for becoming the first woman to win a competitive tournament at Augusta (only last of 3 rounds, for leaders played on course), but Augusta, dont be so proud of being such a dinosaur that its taken you until now to catch up with the modern world.
How to annoy a bunch of grumpy, white, misogynists with a video? Oh, easy!
Yes, I’m doing UK Politics, ooh! But before anyone gets over excited, or panicked, its not modern politics, and very strictly its not even a matter of politics. And oh, its an event that happened 100 years ago today!
Yes, on February 6th, 1918, for the first time, an act was put forward to allow women to vote. In truth, it wasnt the complete victory for equality, that would only come about 10 years later, but as a day when the right to vote was first offered to women, this is the anniversary one.
As I say, hollow victory. Whereas at the same time, all men of 21 or over was given the right to vote, only women of 30 and over, and who had to live in the same property as a man who could vote, or who was certified in some way (remembering that at this time, most womens education was inferior to that given to men) were able to cast a vote.
From there, as I say, it took until 1928 before all women aged 21 and over (the voting age at that time) had the legal right to vote.
Of course there are a few famous Suffragette stories, one of them being of course the sad fate of Emily Davison, who threw herself under the hooves of the King’s Derby runner in 1913, and died. Its fair to say we will never know whether this was a deliberate act, and if it was, its hard to believe she could pick out one horse at the speed they would have been travelling at. The fact that she had purchased a return rail ticket, and had tickets for an event that evening would lead you to assume she expected to go home that night. In truth, the answer to these, and other questions are never going to be answered now.
The biggest question is, but for WW1, would it have happened when it did? Its fair to say that the sudden need for women to do all the work at home in England let to a change in authority attitudes, and this may have been an agreed compromise, to keep everyone happy? If not for that, when would women have got the right to vote, who knows? I’d like to think it would have happened at some point, but exactly when…?
But today, lets just remember all those brave women, from so long ago, who helped to give women the right to vote.
The video, there is a clue in the blog title, and its why 1 word is in brackets, shall we say? Paul McCartney made some great videos back then, and this was one of them.