Condi Rice’s So-Called Banner Week for Feminism

On Monday, Condi Rice became one of two women to become the first female members of Augusta National Golf Club.

Now, I’m with many who had other honors in mind for Condi in her post-Bush career. But I do recognize she’s a good enough athlete that she might one day kick the ass of the misogynists at Augusta who don’t like girls, even if they did let Condi into their exclusive club. In my experience that’s one of the quickest ways to educate men about their impotence.

And today, we learn that Dr. Rice will have the honor of putting lipstick on the pig that is the GOP’s rabidly anti-woman Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan. Presumably, having one of their most respected woman introduce Ryan will draw attention away from the fact that Ryan shares Todd Akin’s beliefs that even women who have been raped shouldn’t be permitted to choose not to bear the child. Indeed, in spite of the GOP’s efforts to drive Akin from his race against Claire McCaskill to downplay his disdain for women, the party nevertheless adopted the Ryan-Akin no rape exception policy as part of their platform.

Yet with an Augusta ground-breaker like Condi introducing Ryan, I’m sure we’ll all forget how systematically the GOP has fought women’s equality and autonomy in both personal and professional venues.

What a banner week for feminism Condi has enjoyed!

17 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    An African American woman as a member of Augusta would be what southern frat boys call a twofer: neither women nor minorities are well represented on Augusta’s august links; they usually enter the club house, if at all, via the servants’ entrance. But to paraphrase an old slogan, Condi Rice and feminism fit together like a fish and a bicycle.

  2. emptywheel says:

    @earlofhuntingdon: As someone joked on Twitter, she’ll be lucky if she’s not asked to bring some wrinkly white guy a drink.

    One of my diss committee members is an African woman who would very frequently get asked to make copies, often by the Spanish nationals in the department (Romance Languages). I imagine for Condi it could be orders of magnitude worse, if she ever gets caught without her MOTU white male friends.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    @emptywheel: Ms. Rice entering as a member the august environs of America’s premier white male country club is rather like Mr. Obama entering the White House through the front door and staying to work at something other than polishing the mahogany. But if there is a desired outcome from such novelty, it is not to change the host institution.

  4. BSbafflesbrains says:

    @earlofhuntingdon: I’m pretty sure Magellan has the claim on the Northwest Passage so Spain and Portugal could be looking good economically in the near dismal future. :)
    p.s. Condi Rice is well known but not for the right reasons i.e. representing Women or Blacks.

  5. What Constitution? says:

    Glad Augusta National has now admitted women. And Condoleeza Rice is “high visibility.” But somebody — oh wait, it was me — had this reaction over on Daily Beast as a comment to Amy Alcott’s contribution about it:

    “Does it matter that Augusta National has chosen to admit the one woman in America who most actively and visibly participated in condoning and authorizing war crimes and torture in violation of international law? Augusta National couldn’t find a woman worthy of it [sic] august approval who wasn’t so burdened by a career meriting incarceration at The Hague? Too bad that after all the delay and all the hoopla, even in “breaking the barriers” the fine folks at Augusta National ignored the moral character of a person they seek to raise up as their would-be figurehead of “civility”: an unapologetic torturer from one of the darkest chapters of American history.”

    My opinion is not held by everybody. But I don’t give Condoleeza Rice a pass for her part in America’s torture regime, and I don’t give Augusta National a pass for their part in ignoring that history (too). I’m pretty sure that if Condoleeza Rice had criticized Israel, she wouldn’t be a member at Augusta today — why, then, is she a member at Augusta who condoned torture?

  6. EH says:

    I’m of a mind that this entire thing is to avoid controversy as next year’s Master’s approaches. Notice that Ginni Rometty still didn’t receive an invite, though perhaps they’re saving that for closer to the event and this one is just cover for that. It’s that southern propriety thing.

  7. greengiant says:

    This is an entertaining post, but seriously speaking abortion is still an issue that would make otherwise progressive liberal voters fall into the Akin/Ryan camp. Anyone who buys into a fetus being a living person will tell you there have been more abortions in the US than people killed in Hitler’s camps. The Baptists and Catholics of Missouri make odd allies on this issue.
    I suggest those supporting McCaskill redouble their efforts, a Monday flash poll still had Akin ahead by a percent.

  8. JTMinIA says:

    No-one could have predicted this.

    Well, maybe everyone who noticed that the CEO of IBM is female and that IBM is the main sponsor of The Masters could have predicted it. But that doesn’t change the fact that no-one could have predicted this.

    tee hee

  9. MadDog says:

    It’s hard not to see Rice’s membership in the Augusta National Golf Club as anything but cynical crusty old white guy tokenism (no, not Tolkienism, but after reflection, maybe that too).

    I would note that none of the reports I’ve read seem to suggest that the gender barrier to membership at Augusta National Golf Club has been lifted wholesale and that entrée is available to all.

    As a matter of fact, such a statement of a wide-open admissions policy is conspicuously absent.

    If the gender barrier was indeed truly lifted, one would think that the Augusta National Golf Club would be loudly and self-congratulatorily trumpeting such a policy from every tee on the course.

    The silence from those tees tells it own truth about this “so-called banner week for feminism”.

  10. MadDog says:

    And totally OT, news from the DOJ about our supposed “honest as the day is long” polling organizations:

    US Government Joins False Claims Act Lawsuit Against the Gallup Organization

    “The United States has joined a whistleblower lawsuit against The Gallup Organization, the Justice Department announced today. The lawsuit was filed by Michael Lindley, a former Gallup employee, who alleges that Gallup violated the False Claims Act by making false claims for payment under contracts with the U.S. Mint, the State Department and other federal agencies to provide polling services for various government programs…”

  11. rosalind says:

    @MadDog: soo, entering data into my “Whistleblower Do’s & Don’ts 2012 App”: alleged acts revealed by Whistleblower embarrassing to company contracted by Gov’t + not for acts BY the Gov’t = good! prosecute! off with their heads!

  12. MadDog says:

    @rosalind: If the Gallup folks are willing to fleece the US government with false payment claims, it isn’t much of a stretch to think they’d also be willing to skew the polling data for a price.

  13. MadDog says:

    OT – Worth a read from Shane Harris in the NYT and with some tidbits that I wasn’t aware of:

    Giving in to the Surveillance State

    “IN March 2002, John M. Poindexter, a former national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan, sat down with Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the director of the National Security Agency. Mr. Poindexter sketched out a new Pentagon program called Total Information Awareness, that proposed to scan the world’s electronic information — including phone calls, e-mails and financial and travel records — looking for transactions associated with terrorist plots. The N.S.A., the government’s chief eavesdropper, routinely collected and analyzed such signals, so Mr. Poindexter thought the agency was an obvious place to test his ideas…

    …But what Mr. Poindexter didn’t know was that the N.S.A. was already pursuing its own version of the program, and on a scale that he had only imagined. A decade later, the legacy of T.I.A. is quietly thriving at the N.S.A. It is more pervasive than most people think, and it operates with little accountability or restraint.

    The foundations of this surveillance apparatus were laid soon after 9/11, when President George W. Bush authorized the N.S.A. to monitor the communications records of Americans who analysts suspected had a “nexus to terrorism.” Acting on dubious legal authority, and without warrants, the N.S.A. began intercepting huge amounts of information.

    But the N.S.A. came up with more dead ends than viable leads and put a premium on collecting information rather than making sense of it. The N.S.A. created what one senior Bush administration official later described as a “mirror” of AT&T’s databases, which allowed ready access to the personal communications moving over much of the country’s telecom infrastructure. The N.S.A. fed its bounty into software that created a dizzying social-network diagram of interconnected points and lines. The agency’s software geeks called it “the BAG,” which stood for “big ass graph…”

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