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PGA Golf

Martha Burk Calls Everyone At Augusta ‘Chauvinists’, Needs To Get Back In The Kitchen

Calm down, people. I’m just kidding. I don’t even know if Martha Burk truly “needs” to get back in the kitchen. In fact, I’m not even sure whether Burk even enjoys cooking or doing the dishes, so “need” might be a little strong.

So, Augusta National has found itself back on the front page after Tiger Woods announced he would make his return to competitive golf at The Masters, and wouldn’t you know it, Martha Burk has seized the moment to take advantage of the increased attention the course is currently receiving for her own self-promotion. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Burk argues that Augusta National is a “perfect fit” for Tiger’s return, because everyone associated with the golf course are “chauvinists.”

That’s an awfully broad brush she’s using there, and I am using the term “broad” for obvious reasons. You know, because I’m a sexist asshole.

As you probably recall, Burk made headlines in 2003 when she went toe-to-toe against then-chairman Hootie Johnson as she rallied against the Augusta National’s  “male-only” members policy. Creating a media circus across the street from the course during The Masters, Burk’s personal war with Johnson made headlines and brought increased awareness to Burk as well as the causes she supported.

Now that Augusta is back in the news, Burk is back on the attack once again. Now the director of the Corporate Accountability Project for the National Council of Women’s Organizations, Burk will undoubtedly piggyback on the increased attention Augusta National is currently receiving and shine her spotlight on perhaps the most revered (and to be fair, one of the most exclusive) golf courses in America.

To a certain extent, I somewhat supported Burk’s stance and admired her courage amidst the negative publicity she was forced to endure back in 2003, but my ingrained misogyny prevented me from wholeheartedly supporting it. And now, as I have aged and gained more wisdom and perspective in life, I have to now balance my more mature outlook with my job with perpetuating the belief that all sports bloggers are chauvinistic, dimwitted and only seek to objectify women, so you can only imagine the conundrum I find myself in regarding this issue. Tough spot to be in, my friends.

Putting the precarious position I find myself in aside (poor Weed!), below is Burk’s opinion as to why Tiger returning to golf at The Masters makes perfect sense to her:

“I think this is a safe haven for him,” Burk says. “They’re all chauvinists themselves. It’s a perfect fit. He’ll be welcomed. These people have a fundamental disregard for women. What produced Tiger Woods as we now know him goes back a long way. He played a lot of golf at a Houston club, Lochinvar, that didn’t let women in.

“Inside the grounds at the Masters, I don’t think there will be any heckling or protests,” she says. “The people who go there are such golf devotees, they feel like kissing the ground when they get inside the gate. And if the media pursues the issue … it’s such a dictatorship, officials are completely capable of barring any reporter from the tournament who brings it up at the pre-tournament interview.”

Grr.

While Burk’s work in bringing awareness to the causes she works so hard to support is certainly admirable, there appears to be an extra level of hostility from Burk towards Tiger, as evidenced by how she claims he declined to support her in her efforts at Augusta in 2003. She was apparently informed that Nike was open to creating some sort of ad campaign promoting her movement, but Tiger refused to go along with it.

The nerve of the guy not to automatically accommodate every request made of him. And further, I find it surprising that the Nike corporation would have ever agreed to get involved with such a politically-charged issue.

Whether her disappointment in Tiger turning her down is all in the past now or not, Burk was not at all surprised at all by Tiger’s dalliances once she heard about them.

“He always seemed to be super disciplined, an automaton,” she said. “But once it came out, it wasn’t so shocking. This kind of behavior is part of a fundamental misogyny that is displayed by many people in power. We see this a lot with politicians, your Eliot Spitzer … They get to thinking they are above it all.

“Tiger Woods just outdid everybody.”

It’s always easy to say something didn’t shock you after the fact, especially when it can be so easily manipulated to conform to a person’s beliefs and attitudes as well as help perpetuate their view that the world is set up to oppress them.

But what in the hell do I know? I’m just a chauvinistic misogynist. Or is it misogynistic chauvinist? I always get that mixed up.

Tiger At Home In The Lion’s Den [New York Daily News]