Kasumigaseki Country Club ain’t goin’ down without a healthy amount of jewel grabbing and a fight, son!
Kasumigaseki, the proposed Olympic golf venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, has been at the center of a controversy in recent weeks. Since it’s 1950 at the club (rather than three years before the 2020 games), KCC doesn’t permit women full membership.
But don’t worry, they’re allowed to play from Monday through Saturday! At Kasumigaseki, however, Sundays are for the boys.
One of the last bastions of blatant sexism…err traditionalism, the institution of the private country club hasn’t exactly done great things for gender equality globally in recent years. But hell, even Augusta National and the Old Course at St. Andrews accept women as full members now.
So it was in this glorious spirit of inclusion that the 15-man board of Kasumigaseki sat down to discuss the growing pressure from the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee to re-evaluate the policy with a mind toward Olympic golf.
According to the Japanese media reports, the sit-down didn’t result in any substantial changes. The portion of the membership with a foothold in this century felt the club is out of step, while the rest of the chest thumpers argued for more of the same.
Board chairman Kiichi Kimura told reporters: “That this situation has developed is a nuisance for us, it’s really perplexing.”
Perplexing! What’s perplexing? The right course of action? Why so many people care? Well, Kiichi, it’s pretty simple. You know about Muirfield being yanked from the Open rota after a similar vote failed to return the correct decision to grant women full membership earlier this year? For the Olympics, which are supposed to represent the best in sport, the stakes and symbolic import are even higher.
Simply, while private clubs can do what they want legally with respect to membership, it wouldn’t be right to fatten Kasumigaseki’s wallet with Olympic loot while such an outdated, fundamentally sexist policy is in place.
Nothing perplexing about that.