Thursday, May 22, 2003

Is There a Story? I'm not sure what to make of the Annika Sorenstam story, now that it is upon us. I guess I'll mark myself as what the media would call sexist, but I agree with Vijay Singh: She doesn't belong there. (I think Vijay was stupid to make such a stink about it, though.) Until a woman qualifies for the men's tour (off the proper tees, thank you) why should we bother letting one play? This is a stunt. The men who play the pro tour week after week shouldn't have to put up with stunts. This is their job, after all. Coming on the heels of the feminist fizzle at Augusta, I think it's easy to hear Vijay's remarks as sexist, but he'd likely say the same thing if a golf-playing chimpanzee that could regularly shoot even par was shoved into the lineup where these men are trying to earn a living.

On another level, this has a whiff of the contrived situation, meant to be a "symbolic victory" no matter the outcome (the only kind of situation feminists seem to like). In that respect, it trivializes not just the men doing this for a living, but also the women. It reminds me of the hullabaloo in professional tennis that pleads to give women the same prize money as the men. Now, I don't particularly have a problem with that, as long as the women step up to a best-of-five-set format. They're professional athletes -- they're not going to drop from the strain. (Look at Serena Williams's physique, for heaven's sake!) Anyhow, to give an athlete any honor that she hasn't earned (like equal prize money for an easier match, or a place in the PGA without having to qualify) is contrary to the very spirit of competition.

No comments: