Thoughts Of The Week – featuring Sharapova, del Potro, feminism, and the Augusta Masters
This is late. Blame Easter.
It seems a long time since Maria Sharapova flirted with the idea of smashing her racket and instead settled for a frustrated tap. Of course, it was barely a week ago, but most Sharapova fans have long moved on, putting yet another crushing loss in the past by looking forward to the clay season with tentative hope. But next time Sharapova finds herself in a final, those ugly memories will return, and questions will swirl over her mental strength and her lack of a Plan B. Mental strength used to be something Sharapova fans could rely on. But much like her once consistent and powerful serve, Sharapova’s mental game now comes in crests and troughs. While she’ll always be a fighter, her unflappable confidence is no longer.
I didn’t watch it, but if I believe what Twitter tells me, Juan Martin del Potro’s return to Davis Cup was a hard-fought, messy affair. Despite a blood nose and a decent if not overwhelming opponent in Croatia, del Potro pulled his country one step closer to the Davis Cup title – a cup any patriot is proud to hold. With David Nalbandian’s career slowly winding down, this could be Argentina’s last big chance to take the trophy they covet so much. Can they do it? It won’t be easy, and del Potro will have to do more than his share of carrying a nation’s hopes.
I read an article a few weeks back about feminism, and how it is a title feminists need to reclaim as their own. As a strident feminist myself, I nodded in agreement as the author questioned why feminism was still being shunned by an overwhelming majority of women. The comments section told the story: many women consider feminism an ugly word, and the rest of the non-feminists believed feminism was no longer needed – that we already live in an equal and fair world, and to claim anything else would to be playing the victim.
I don’t watch many golf tournaments, but I do watch the Augusta Masters. Not only is it a beautiful course, it’s been the scene of some of golf’s most dramatic comebacks, chokes, and victories. Unfortunately, Augusta is also the setting for discrimination, sexism, and rules so outdated it’s a crime they’re still allowed in this century.
Women can’t play golf at Augusta. Only ten percent of golfers surveyed last year believe women should be able to play at Augusta. Women want to play at Augusta. Augusta won’t let them.
It is hard to imagine a “whites-only unless they’re caddying” rule being tolerated, or a law that declares greens cannot be trod on by homosexuals. So why is that Augusta is allowed to ban half the world from their stunning golf course? If women think feminism is a done and dusted concept, think again. We will only be equal when we can walk the same path as men, and that includes those paths that wind freely between holes at Augusta.