Originally created 11/16/02

Empress has no clothes



Augusta National Golf Club had a good week, no matter how you slice it - due in large part, ironically, to chief antagonist Martha Burk herself.

For one thing, a poll by WomanTrend of Washington, D.C., showed 72 percent of the public believes the club was correct in not allowing itself to be bullied into changing its membership by Burk, chairwoman of the National Council of Women's Organizations.

The poll also indicated an impressive 62 percent go even further and unflinchingly support the club's right to continue its all-male tradition if it sees fit.

Meanwhile, Augusta National Chairman Hootie Johnson was able to point to an "outpouring" of correspondence in support of the club - much of it from the female persuasion.

WomanTrend President Kellyanne Conway said the public support for Augusta National is all the more noteworthy when set against Burk's aggressive public relations campaign against the club.

"What's also striking," she said, "is how few women support Ms. Burk's demands."

More striking still, and utterly revealing, are Burk's own words about the male of the species - words that surfaced in a startling 1997 article she wrote for Ms. Magazine entitled "Sperm stops here!"

In the article, which she defended recently as "great" satire, she ascribed the problem of unwanted pregnancies to "uncontrolled sperm." Her article suggested controlling men's fertility with "mandatory contraception, beginning at puberty, with the rule relaxed only for procreation under the right circumstances (he can afford it and has a willing partner) and for the right reasons (determined by a panel of experts, and with the permission of his designated female partner)."

Interesting, don't you think?

Even if written satirically, the words belie an undercurrent of powerful anti-male feelings.

Imagine if a man involved in this dispute had been found to have written something equally anti-female. Would the news media not be jumping all over him? Would he not be termed a Nazi? Would Burk not be calling for his resignation?

The empress, it seems, has no clothes.

There is a distinct difference between fighting for women and fighting against men. Burk's own words reveal her true agenda, and it is the latter.