-Hannah Mead, MCPP Intern, 2008
If anything is keeping women from succeeding these days, it’s our conviction that a clear ceiling separates us from some elusive heights. Perhaps some women climb timidly, fearing at any moment to bump their heads on that glass; perhaps some rise manically, flailing about like a blindfolded child hacking at a piñata, trying to shatter that ceiling; but some of us simply live life to the best of our abilities and squash whatever remnants of chauvinism we do encounter. After the establishment of widespread cultural acceptance that men and women are of equal value and merit, one of the most degrading ideas about women today is that we do not see the sky directly, but only through a lens, a glass ceiling.
All this to say, Heather MacDonald has an entertaining and insightful piece in City Journal.
The struggle for women’s equality comes down to this: the men’s grill in the Phoenix Country Club has television and a bar, while the women’s grill has neither of those amenities—though it soon will, following renovation. The New York Times deems the separate and unequal Phoenix grill rooms so laden with national significance as to merit front-page treatment, which it provided on Saturday.
It’s been a hard year for the cause of female victimhood, as the Times’s close attention to one golf club’s eating facilities suggests.
The Rosa Parks role in this break-down-the-barriers battle is played by the Van Sitterts, a couple who, two years ago, wanted to eat eggs together in the men’s grill room rather than in the club’s formal dining room. Having failed to persuade the board to change its policies—presumably because most members are happy with the single-sex socializing options—they did what any self-respecting aspirant to victimhood does today: they went whining to the government. Instead of resigning their membership and joining another club, they petitioned Arizona’s attorney general to intervene. The AG was only too happy to comply, brushing aside the legal nicety that private clubs are in theory not subject to antidiscrimination laws and ruling that the club was violating those laws, since (pending renovation) the women’s grill room has neither a television nor its own bar. Television and booze are available elsewhere in the club, and women can bring drinks into their grill. But in the spirit of angry young wives who tally every pair of socks that they and their husband fold, the absence of absolute tit-for-tat equality in one room’s appurtenances means that women occupy an unbearable position of inferiority.