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Who are these Neanderthals?

Updated on April 8, 2012
Virginia Rometty, CEO of IBM
Virginia Rometty, CEO of IBM

I actually read the Sunday Paper this morning

I’ve been so busy in my bed and breakfast and finishing up a final edit of my memoir, I haven’t read the Sunday paper in weeks…no, make that months. So I deliberately sat down this Easter morning, on a beautiful sunny day in April to relax with a cup of coffee by my side and do a slow read of the entire paper.

I read the Feature section, then a special section on the Kentucky Wildcats who just won a National Basketball championship, then the front page. Next, I reached for the Forum section. After scanning an article on the Titanic, I scrolled (sorry, I usually read the paper on-line) I mean, I moved to an article at the bottom of the page titled Augusta bogeys gender issue . Next to the text was a photo of Virginia Rometty, who was just promoted to CEO of IBM. At first glance, this made me very happy, as I am a champion of women and their many workplace issues.

However, my delight was only a passing flicker from the candle of hope for future equality of the “weaker sex“… and is now a fleeting memory. It seems Ms Rometty has revived the debate over the Augusta National Golf Club’s all-male membership. What? What debate? Last time that came up was ten years ago. I’d assumed that had all been changed…erased…forgotten. How stupid of me? Wait a minute…we’re going backwards now?

Don't blame Phil,  Louie,  or Bubba
Don't blame Phil, Louie, or Bubba

Who are these Neanderthals? And where have they hidden their clubs? Well, the answer to that may be: on the back nine of the Augusta National Golf Club, where the Master’s golf tournament has been in progress all week and concludes today.

The most ironic part of this whole issue is IBM is one of the few sponsors of the Masters. Whoa... what a dilemma. But, don't worry... they solved it in record time:

“…unless hell freezes over or the men of Augusta do the unthinkable and actually change their minds, Ginny doesn’t get in and it has everything to do with her gender.” (remark from Virginia’s old boss).

The fact that “…she’s a brilliant businesswoman whose performance and charisma have propelled her to the top of IBM…” (Pam Platt, Courier-Journal, Louisville) doesn’t seem to make any difference.

Oh wow, I thought I would feel better after that rant…but, honestly I don’t.


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