Country Club - Exclusion Based On Gender

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Exclusion Based On Gender

Golf, like the majority of sports, was once male dominated. Therefore, keeping with the confines of social class, women were generally excluded from the course and clubhouse.

There is a very apparent gender aspect to social capital. This is promoted by country clubs and puts women at a disadvantage. The exclusion of women prevent them from attaining the high-class social identity created by country club membership, nor do they have access to make business connections that so often present themselves on the green. This prevents the success of women in the social and business world and further perpetuates the phenomenon of the glass ceiling. Women were considered to be slower and weaker and the direct cause of athletic delays. Men often criticized that sport was far too demanding for women and that they should have their own institutions. Competitive females contested this segregation and despite earning acceptance on the course from their ability and talent, they continued to be exiled from the masculine sanctum of the clubhouse. Women, like racial-minorities, were limited to specified and restricted times in which the facility was made available to them. This often resulted in females being unable to play during the weekends. Furthermore women did not have a voice pertaining to club affairs. Therefore, although “ladies golf” developed, it was never wholly independent from men. Although the number of independent female members (not associated with a family membership or their husband’s membership) began to increase over time, it was always regulated, preventing the deterioration of male middle-class dominance. Increased fees, such as the $250 tournament entrance fee for women entering the Charlottetown Charity Golf Tourney, regulated female population. Furthermore, reducing women’s playing time regulated the presence of women and insured a male-dominated environment.

Although exclusion based on gender is becoming less common, the women that are gaining access are predominantly white and middle-class. Therefore, although gender equality is now a social norm, it is among women with a certain socioeconomic class, further perpetuation class exclusion.

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