Open Thread: Rape Culture USA

I was so shocked by the “high tech stalking” app that Dakinikat wrote about earlier today that I thought I’d follow up with some more examples of the rape culture American women have to survive in every day.

I missed this story when it first happened, so forgive me if you already heard about it. On March 23, Belvedere Vodka posted an ad on their Facebook page with a photo of a man apparently trying to sexually assault a startled, frightened woman. The ad copy read, “Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly. Women quickly bombarded the page with outraged comments. From Jezebel:

Facebook comments ranged from “tell the cry-babies to shut up… this picture is AWESOME!!!” to “this kinda looks like rape.” Belvedere apparently decided to side with the “kinda” camp, because the photo disappeared from their Facebook page and Twitter account within an hour. An apology followed soon after: “We apologize to any of our fans who were offended by our recent tweet. We continue to be an advocate of safe and responsible drinking.”

The president of the vodka company, Charles Gibb, quickly apologized via Twitter; but really, this was simply inexcusable. Why anyone ever thought it was a good idea I never understand. But as some commenters noted on Dak’s post, some men just don’t get it no matter how many times it’s explained to them that rape isn’t funny or sexy and it’s not a good way to sell your product unless you’re looking to go out of business.

Now there’s more bad news for Belvedere. It turns out the woman who appeared in the ad–which has been plastered all over the internet even though it’s no longer on the company’s facebook page–is suing because she did not give permission for her image to be used in the ad.

Alicyn Packard is a vocal actress living in Los Angeles whose likeness was used in the Belvedere ad….

Packard never gave her permission for her likeness to be used.

In fact, the image of her was stolen from a comic on-line video by her production company, Strictly Viral Productions.

“The repercussions have been huge,” Packard told KTLA in a phone interview. “It’s been a really terrible experience. The whole thing.”

Unbelievable! But of course ads depicting rape are not new. Women are often shown in violent situations in high fashion ads. You may recall the famous Dolce and Gabbana ad depicting what looks like a gang rape in progress.

And you may have seen the series of Calvin Klein ads, which were banned in Australia. Here is one of the banned ads.

Why is sexual violence being used to sell products? The Belvedere ad appears to have been aimed at men, but the Dolce and Gabanna and Calvin Klein ads were designed to appear in women’s fashion magazines lke Vogue. Do women really respond to violent ads by running out and buying whatever product they are selling? I came across a 2010 article at Alternet that addressed this question.

To learn more about this issue, researchers, Barbara J. Phillips and Edward F. McQuarrie, interviewed regular readers of fashion magazines and discovered that most women don’t consider the implications of violent sexist ads, but rather, they gravitate to them for the tantalizing narrative.

They recently published their findings in the Journal of Consumer Research and explain that the women who liked such ads, “Would be transported into the story world set in motion by the ad’s pictures, asking themselves, ‘What is happening here?’ and ‘What will happen next? These women would immerse themselves in the images, examining its lighting, colors, lines, composition, and creativity.”

Unfortunately, the “researchers” only talked to 18 women, so this conclusion is really based on case studies and not particularly scientific. Experts in Australia argued that ads like this could encourage gang rape.

Clinical psychologist Alison Grundy, who works with sex abuse victims, said advertisers were reaching a dangerous new low by using sexual violence as a marketing tool.

“If we continue to subject future generations of young men to great barrages of aggressive, misogynist, over-sexualized and violent imagery in pornography, movies, computer games and advertising, we will continue to see the rates of sexual violence against women and children that continue unabated today. Or worse,” she said.

The thing is, we’re bombarded with these images all our lives. No matter how hard we try to protect ourselves from them, we’re going to be exposed to them at least occasionally. Frankly, the people who create these ads are also products of our rape culture. They have grown up seeing images of sexualized violence. No wonder so many women are raped and murdered! Young women especially are treated by our culture as objects for men to use and discard.

What do you think? Feel free to discuss this or any other topic in the comments.

High Tech Stalking

It seems there’s an ap for that.  It’s called Girls All Around Me and the details as explained by the site Cult of Mac are chilling reminders of the dark side of social media.  The functionality of the ap depends on how open your settings are on Foursquare and Facebook.

“So let’s say I’m a bro, looking to go out for a night on the town and pick someone up. Let’s say I’m going to the Independent around the corner, and checking it out ahead of time, I really like the look of this girl Zoe — she looks like a girl I might want to try to get with tonight — so I tap her picture for more information, see what I can find out about here.”

I tapped on Zoe. Girls Around Me quickly loaded up a fullscreen render of her Facebook profile picture. The app then told me where Zoe had last been seen (The Independent) and when (15 minutes ago). A big green button at the bottom reading “Photos & Messaging” just begged to be tapped, and when I did, I was whisked away to Zoe’s Facebook profile.

“Okay, so here’s Zoe. Most of her information is visible, so I now know her full name. I can see at a glance that she’s single, that she is 24, that she went to Stoneham High School and Bunker Hill Community College, that she likes to travel, that her favorite book is Gone With The Wind and her favorite musician is Tori Amos, and that she’s a liberal. I can see the names of her family and friends. I can see her birthday.”

“All of that is visible on Facebook?” one of the other girls in our group asked.

“More, depending on how your privacy settings are configured! For example, I can also look at Zoe’s pictures.”

I tapped on the photo album, and a collection of hundreds of publicly visible photos loaded up. I quickly browsed them.

“Okay, so it looks like Zoe is my kind of girl. From her photo albums, I can see that she likes to party, and given the number of guys she takes photos with at bars and clubs at night, I can deduce that she’s frisky when she’s drunk, and her favorite drink is a frosty margarita. She appears to have recently been in Rome. Also, since her photo album contains pictures she took at the beach, I now know what Zoe looks like in a bikini… which, as it happens, is pretty damn good.”

My girlfriend scowled at me. I assured her Zoe in a bikini was no comparison, and moved on.

“So now I know everything to know about Zoe. I know where she is. I know what she looks like, both clothed and mostly disrobed. I know her full name, her parents’ full names, her brother’s full name. I know what she likes to drink. I know where she went to school. I know what she likes and dislikes. All I need to do now is go down to the Independent, ask her if she remembers me from Stoneham High, ask her how her brother Mike is doing, buy her a frosty margarita, and start waxing eloquently about that beautiful summer I spent in Roma.”

Author John Brownlee calls this a “creepy ap”.  I’d say it’s dangerous.  I think about all that information out there on youngest daughter’s Facebook and then consider she’s smack dab in the middle of a university campus and its student slums 24-7.   My mother’s radar is off the scale.

Girls Around Me is a standard geolocation based maps app, similar to any other app that attempts to alert you to things of interest in your immediate vicinity: whether it be parties, clubs, deals, or what have you. When you load it up, the first thing Girls Around Me does is figure out where you are and load up a Google Map centered around your location. The rest of the interface is very simple: in the top left corner, there’s a button that looks like a radar display, at the right corner, there’s a fuel meter (used to fund the app’s freemium model), and on the bottom left is a button that allows you to specify between whether you’re interested in women, men or both.

It’s when you push the radar button that Girls Around Me does what it says on the tin. I pressed the button for my friends. Immediately, Girls Around Me went into radar mode, and after just a few seconds, the map around us was filled with pictures of girls who were in the neighborhood. Since I was showing off the app on a Saturday night, there were dozens of girls out on the town in our local area.

Fortunately, an update to this piece shows that FourSquare actually read it and stopped the access to the ap.  However, it should serve as a cautionary tale about checking exactly what your social media sites are sharing with other vendors.  As the mother of daughters,  I’m going to go wicked crazy making sure their privacy settings are set to kill.

Lazy Caturday

Good morning, news junkies… I’m sort of figuring out how to do a photo bomb more space-efficiently, and I’m not particularly fond of the “slideshow” feature on wordpress… so I’m trying out the “gallery” feature instead. I’ve only used it a couple times before, so let’s see how this works out! (If you’re familiar with the slideshow format and prefer that over this, let me know…!)

Oh, and… it’s still my birthday week. So the link dump (following the Lily+Rue photo spree) is gonna be really paltry this Saturday! Enjoy the less-homework like recommended reading while it lasts… 😉

Click on thumbnails to view photos:

Super shrinked Linkage (any puns, unfortunate):

Today (March 31) in Women’s History:

  • Event: 03-31-1776, Abigail Adams wrote her husband when he was in Philadlphia helping plan the Declaration of Independence:
    Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could… If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”

Okay, before I go, I have a question for the Cat Peeps segment of our Sky Dancing population (I’m pretty sure that segment is upwards of 80% of our community… 😉 )… Anyhow, here’s the q: How do I get Lily to eat her dental treats? She won’t bite! Rue is eating all of them! (Alas, ’twas the same story with the pill pockets…) Is there something else I can use/apply on Lily besides dental treats? I’m talking to her vet, too, of course! Just want all the help I can get.

Alrighty, guys! I’m gonna wrap this baby up and turn the soapbox over to y’all… what’s on your Read+Rant list this Saturday?

Late Night Open Thread: Did Rick Santorum Almost Use the “N” Word While Referring to Obama?

I saw this video this morning, and I wasn’t sure. But this recording clearer than the one I heard earlier. I really think Santorum started to say “government ni**er” and then caught himself.

Remember this?

And here’s something else I found on-line about that phrase. I also found a reference to the phrase on a racist website that I don’t want to link to.

What do you think?

George Zimmerman was Fired from his “Under the Table” Security Guard Job for Aggressive Behavior

George Zimmerman

More details keep dribbling out in the Trayvon Martin case. This morning the New York Daily News published an anonymous account from someone who worked with George Zimmerman between 2001 and 2005 [UPDATE: The Zimmerman family moved to Florida in 2002, so the 2001 date at, at least,must be incorrect.] when they acted as paid security guards for “illegal house parties,” earning between $50 and $100 per night, paid under the table. Zimmerman would have been between the ages of 17 and 21 during those years.

Zimmerman, at the center of a firestorm for shooting an unarmed black teenager a month ago, worked for two different agencies providing security to illegal house parties between 2001 and 2005, the former co-worker said.

“Usually he was just a cool guy. He liked to drink and hang with the women like the rest of us,” he said. “But it was like Jekyll and Hyde. When the dude snapped, he snapped.”

Zimmerman was fired and his class G security license was revoked after a particularly violent incident:

“He had a temper and he became a liability,” the man said. “One time this woman was acting a little out of control. She was drunk. George lost his cool and totally overreacted,” he said. “It was weird, because he was such a cool guy, but he got all nuts. He picked her up and threw her. It was pure rage. She twisted her ankle. Everyone was flipping out.”

As the Daily News points out, 2005 is the same year in which Zimmerman was arrested for fighting with a cop and also had a physical fight with his former fiance Veronica Zuazo that led to each of them taking out restraining orders. The anonymous source said that Zimmerman “loved the power” that came with the job.

When I read this article, I had no idea what “illegal house parties” were, but via Google, I learned that they are drinking parties or maybe raves? thrown by underage kids, perhaps when their parents are out of town–like in the movie Risky Business perhaps. According to the Daily News article, there are actually agencies that provide security for these parties.

Times sure have changed since I was in high school. I admit I’m biased, but is anyone else getting the feeling that Zimmerman is a much better candidate for being called a “thug” than Trayvon Martin?

Joe Oliver

More recently, Zimmerman has been working as a “forensic loan review analyst” (an underwriter) at Digital Risk, LLC. One of his co-workers was Joe Oliver, a man who has been appearing regularly in the media to defend Zimmerman. Oliver, a former local and CNN news anchor, has worked at Digital Risk for the past three years as a “forensic chart review specialist.” According to Oliver’s Linked-In profile, that involves “process loans in default for forensic underwriting.”

It sounds like Oliver could have worked closely with Zimmerman. Given that Oliver’s wife is a close friend of Zimmerman’s mother-in-law, I wonder if Oliver helped Zimmerman get the job?

Friday Reads

Good Morning!

I have a few odds and ends to share with you this morning.  The first comes from Slate: How to kill an abortion bill
Step one: Wait for a politician to say something stupid. Repeat.

Activists in other states that have successfully beat back anti-reproductive rights laws have noticed a similar pattern: A legislator says something terrible and condescending; women use social media to stoke nationwide outrage about the comment; and the legislators, cowed by the unexpected attention, back down.

Yup.  It’s got all your favorite hits including the asshole that compared women giving birth to livestock.  There’s a few more too.

But antiabortion legislators are actually on the defensive against angry constituents for a change, which means they have to explain themselves. And that means they’re often getting themselves into trouble for being a little too honest about their misogyny, like the Alaska Republican state representative who said, “I thought that a man’s signature was required in order for a woman to have an abortion,” only then to see mockery of an “abortion permission slip” ricochet around the Internet. Or the Wisconsin senator who just said that all women who can’t afford contraception need to do is Google it.

“Every time a politician says something terrible, people respond emotionally to that,” says Luther. “It makes people in Florida care about what’s happening in Idaho.” It was harder, she adds, to get people fired up about Utah’s mandatory waiting period, maybe because there was no single tweetable moment.

A 27 year-old homeless woman who was arrested for trespassing at–of all things–a hospital later died in jail.  If this isn’t a parable for our time, I don’t know what is. This is from Raw Story.

A woman who was suspect of abusing drugs and arrested for refusing to leave a hospital died of a blood clot shortly after being put in jail, according to St. Louis Today.

Anna Brown, a 29-year-old homeless African American woman, had gone to St. Mary’s Health Center in Richmond Heights, Missouri complaining of leg pain after spraining her ankle. Doctors performed an x-ray of her knees and an ultrasound, but detected no blood clots. She was given pain medication and discharged.

About eight hours later she returned to the hospital by ambulance complaining of abdominal pain. The hospital told her she had already been treated and discharged her again, but Brown refused to leave. When police officers arrived on another call, the hospital told them that Brown was claiming she “did not receive adequate medical attention and did not have to leave.”

The officers said they waited about three hours before a doctor told them Brown was healthy enough to be arrested.

Brown told the officers she could not stand, so they carried her by her arms and legs. Police suspected Brown was on drugs and left her laying [sic] in her cell on the ground.

About fifteen minutes later, a jail worker found her dead. An autopsy did not find any drugs in her system.

Yup. Nothing like being young, homeless and a woman that spells drug abuse and not to be taken seriously.  Alternet has another cautionary tale that’s a bit more metaphorical.  It’s about the Horrors of an Ayn Rand World.

In an Objectivist world, the reset button would be pushed on government services that we take for granted. They would not be cut back, not reduced — they would vanish. In an Objectivist world, roads would go unplowed in the snows of winter, and bridges would fall as the government withdrew from the business of maintaining them — unless some private citizen would find it in his rational self-interest to voluntarily take up the slack by scraping off the rust and replacing frayed cables. Public parks and land, from the tiniest vest-pocket patch of green to vast expanses of the West, would be sold off to the newly liberated megacorporations. Airplane traffic would be grounded unless a profit-making capitalist found it in his own selfish interests to fund the air traffic control system. If it could be made profitable, fine. If not, tough luck. The market had spoken. The Coast Guard would stay in port while storm- tossed mariners drown lustily as they did in days of yore. Fires would rage in the remnants of silent forests, vegetation and wildlife no longer protected by rangers and coercive environmental laws, swept clean of timber, their streams polluted in a rational, self-interested manner by bold, imaginative entrepreneurs.

Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan publicly worship Ayn Rand.  So did Allan Greenspan and of course, the Pauls.  Here’s a little something on that from the Harvard Political Review.  Check out Down with Tryanny to see how icky Cantor looked in high school with his quote “I want it when I want it.

I really hope you don’t have a student loan with Sallie Mae.  This article basically reaffirms my experience with the loan shark company.  Also, rates are low for all the banksters but they want higher rates for students. This is from ProPublica.

Bloomberg reported this week that some federally contracted debt collection agencies have been playing hardball with borrowers who are behind, insisting on payments the borrowers can’t afford — even when federal student-loan rules allow more leniency.

The debt collectors have an incentive to be tough.  As Bloomberg explains:

Under Education Department contracts, collection companies “rehabilitate” a defaulted loan by getting a borrower to make nine payments in 10 months. If they succeed, they reap a jackpot: a commission equal to as much as 16 percent of the entire loan amount, or $3,200 on a $20,000 loan.

These companies receive that fee only if borrowers make a minimum payment of 0.75 percent to 1.25 percent of the loan each month, depending on its size. For example, a $20,000 loan would require payments of about $200 a month. If the payment falls below that figure, the collector receives an administrative fee of $150.

The Department of Education is trying to balance its interest in helping struggling borrowers and stewarding taxpayer dollars, department spokesman Justin Hamilton told Bloomberg.

Striking that balance, it seems, hasn’t been easy. Consumer advocates chafed when President Obama, as part of a deficit-reduction plan promoted last fall, recommended allowing debt collectors to robo-call the cell phones of borrowers who fell behind on federal student loans and other debts to the government.

I’m trying to get mine consolidated over to the Department of Education.

One last story that just won’t go away. The Guardian reports that Apple factories in China are still unhealthy and ignoring labor laws.  Enjoy those Ipads and Ipods!

An audit of Apple’s Chinese factories details “serious and pressing” concerns over excessive working hours, unpaid overtime, health and safety failings, and management interference in trade unions.

In the most detailed public investigation yet into conditions at Foxconn factories in China, which assemble millions of iPhones and iPads each year, the independent Fair Labor Association found that more than half of employees had worked 11 days or more without rest.

More than 43% of workers reported experiencing or witnessing an accident at the three plants audited. Foxconn is China’s largest private-sector employer, and its activities have turned the coastal town of Shenzhen into the electronics workshop of the world.

Health and safety breaches found by auditors and published on Thursday included blocked exits, lack of or faulty personal protective equipment and missing permits, which the FLA said was remedied when discovered.

Despite several suicides, which raised the alarm two years ago, and an explosion that killed three workers last year, Foxconn still failed to consult workers on safety, with the committees “failing to monitor conditions in a robust manner”, the report found.

So, that’s what I’ve got for you this morning.  What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

Late Evening Reads: After the Frenzy

Oh boy, it is late…well then, good later evening!

Today I was cooking those 7 pounds of meatballs, and while I was cooking I got to see three full length movies…funny that is usually how I gauge time while I am in the kitchen. So, I saw Salt, Lone Star State of Mind and Marigold…talk about three movies that could be so different for each other.

Here are tonight’s reads, I will start with the big news that has got a lot of attention. The Mega Million’s Jackpot.

Illinois is selling lottery tickets online, people in California are waiting in line to buy their tickets…and like my family today, when those meatballs were done and the feeding frenzy began…all around the nation, folks are putting their dollar down and hoping that ticket brings them a big payout.

Mega Millions: $540-million jackpot fever sweeps California –

Mega Millions lines

The borrowed pickup truck, a crack inching its way across the windshield, lumbered into the parking lot off Sunset Boulevard a little before noon Thursday. Diana Delmuro parked illegally, grabbed her purse and dashed inside Silversun Liquor. She slapped a crinkled dollar bill on the counter.

“Mega!” she said with a broad smile. “And make it a lucky one.”

Record Mega Millions jackpot sets off ticket-buying frenzy –

Sierra Luchien, left, and Tammy Redlen celebrate as they walk into the Bluebird Liquor store in Hawthorne, Calif., after waiting in line for nearly three hours to purchase their Mega Millions lottery ticket.

Getty Images

Sierra Luchien, left, and Tammy Redlen celebrate as they walk into the Bluebird Liquor store in Hawthorne, Calif., after waiting in line for nearly three hours to purchase their Mega Millions lottery ticket.

With a world record $540 million (and growing) jackpot at stake, much of the nation is gripped by Mega Millions fever.

Millions of lottery tickets are being snapped up ahead of Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing, which could provide a lucky ticket holder with a lump-sum payoff of about $390 million.

From Vermont to Louisiana and New York to California, the jackpot has been the wistful talk of TV, social media sites, office water coolers and dreamy high rollers for the past week, electrifying ticket sales with a frenzy likely to amp up even further ahead of Friday night’s drawing at 11 p.m. ET.

I have to say, I really love that picture of those women dancing with their tickets.

Illinois sells lottery online as jackpot soars –

…Illinois picked the right week to become the first state in the nation to sell lottery tickets online. Others are watching closely to see if the new approach pays off and whether the state takes the next big step: launching online poker, blackjack and other casino games.

It took only three minutes for the first online lottery ticket to sell once the system went live at 7 a.m. Sunday. By Thursday evening, more than $425,000 worth of tickets had been sold online, and officials expected sales to increase by the hour as people take their shot at Friday night’s record prize.

Internet sales on Thursday alone amounted to just more than $64,000 by evening, while the day’s retail sales topped $3.2 million.

Alright, any of you folks buy the winning ticket…just keep the Sky Dancers in the back of your mind. I am sure each of us would be happy with a little token. I’ve already got my agreement with Fannie, one of our readers…Krispy Kreme donuts, for at least a year…if not for life. I wonder what the other front pagers would like if one of our readers won. See, I am pessimistic enough not to think in terms of, if I won a half a billion dollars…my luck would not permit that. But to think that perhaps someone I know would win it, that is a different story.

Moving on, MSNBC is leading its world news tonight with this story:

Child witnesses to Afghan massacre say Robert Bales was not alone

Here are two versions of what happened the night of March 11, when 17 Afghan villagers were shot to death.

First, the Army version: Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, troubled by marriage woes, drunkenly left Camp Belambai, 12 miles from Kandahar, with a pistol and an automatic rifle and killed six people as they slept. Bales then returned to the base and left again for another village, this time killing 11. He acted alone and he admitted to the killings, according to the Army.

Then there is the account that child witnesses provided Yalda Hakim, a journalist for SBS Dateline in Australia. Hakim, who was born in Afghanistan and immigrated to Australia as a child, is the first international journalist to interview the surviving witnesses. She said American investigators tried to prevent her from interviewing the children, saying her questions could traumatize them. She said she appealed to village leaders, who arranged for her to interview the witnesses.

Dateline video at the link.

This next link is something I would like our resident Ph.D. Boston Boomer to chime in on: Man who evaluated alleged Sandusky victim in 1998 was not psychologist

After State College psychologist Alycia Chambers talked to an 11-year-old boy about Jerry Sandusky showering with him in May 1998, she concluded Sandusky was exhibiting signs of grooming the boy for sexual abuse.

A couple days later, a counselor, John Seasock, met with the boy and had a different conclusion. The showering episode, Seasock determined, was rather the result of a routine that coaches like Sandusky do after a workout.

Centre County prosecutors did not pursue criminal charges against Sandusky after that incident, and whether the competing conclusions factored into that decision remains a subject of conjecture.

But, almost 14 years later, the fact that Seasock wasn’t a psychologist at the time, according to state records, raises questions about how much weight his opinion should have carried.

“To take that person’s word over a psychologist who has been prepared and licensed by the state is, I would say, very surprising and a serious concern,” said Marolyn Morford, a State College psychologist.

Morford said Tuesday she’s been alarmed by Seasock’s representation as a psychologist at the time in question. That’s how the Penn State police investigation report refers to him, and that’s how Seasock has been referred to in media reports after the document was leaked Saturday.

State records show that Seasock has been licensed as a professional counselor since January 2002. Prior to 1998, counselors didn’t need to be registered, and after a law passed that year, Seasock had four years to apply to the state for a license.

Hmmm…interesting, yes?

Meanwhile in other Fukushima’d up news…Remember that phrase from last year, playing on the words “fucked up,” as in a term of endearment…just like the phrase Fukushima Goons…

Still critical: radiation levels at Fukushima can kill in minutes –  I tried to find an article in the Japanese press, but could not. Even though this article here cites a post from NHK.

 A lethal level of radiation has been detected inside one of the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, throwing fresh doubts over the operator’s claims that the disabled complex is under control.

Engineers for Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) say readings of airborne radiation inside the containment vessel of Reactor 2 showed nearly 73 sieverts per hour this week, the highest since the crisis began following the earthquake and tsunami on 11 March last year. Exposure to radiation at that level is deadly within minutes, according to Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK.

Tepco said the find would have “no impact” on the company’s long-term plans to decommission the plant’s six reactors. “We were not surprised that the radiation was this high because the reading was taken from inside the pressure vessel,”a spokesperson said.

I don’t believe a word that TEPCO says, do you? You can read the rest of the story at the link.

And lastly, I caught this story earlier today and it actually made me scratch my head and wonder, what year is this?

Vote: Is it time for Augusta to get first female member?

If there is a drumbeat to admit the first woman to Augusta National, but officials don’t hear it, does it make a sound?

The home of the Masters has found itself back in the speculation business with questions of whether IBM CEO Virginia “Ginni” Rometty will be offered a membership.

Tradition has been that the CEOs of Exxon, AT&T and IBM — the three Masters sponsors — get a membership. But this is the first a time a woman has held that position.

USA TODAY columnist Christine Brennan thinks it is time that a woman walks through the gates as a member.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN:  Columnist says it is time for a female member at Augusta

(It is)…one of the most majestic and beautiful sports venues on earth, and it hosts one of the world’s great sporting events, the Masters. But at its core, it’s a place where change comes by the century, not the year or decade, which is exactly as Augusta’s leaders want it.

At least that’s the way it used to be.

Others disagree saying Augusta is a private club and should make whatever membership rules it prefers.

Say what? There are no…repeat no, female members of this private club? What the hell is it with these people…aren’t there women who are also part of the 1%?

What do you think about all that? Comments are below, get busy!