We all want it: The right to be free from someone telling us what we can and can’t do. As long as it is within the law and does no harm to someone else, it should be no one’s business what we do in our daily lives. The Open Championship was held at Muirfield this year, a private men-only golf club. A lot of people in the press and public office decried the fact that the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, which runs the championship, held the tournament here.  How can you put on such a public event at a location that discriminates against women, was the cry! I think sometimes people read into the meaning of words a bit too much. To discriminate means simply to differentiate between things. One can, however, put intent behind a word and elevate the meaning, but there has to be an expressed intent. I see no evidence that male-only clubs were formed with the express intent to hurt women or vice versa. There are female-only golf clubs in existence. The Ladies Club in Toronto a prime example. Sometimes, people like to be together with others of similar background, beliefs, and, dare I say it – gender. So what? Stop making a federal case out of it. It’s the Girl Scouts, the National Organization of Women, the Ladies Professional Golf Association, or any number of associations geared for specific forms of activity or recreation. As a society, we should only be concerned when such groups raise the dialogue to intentionally exclude or harm others. I don’t see any evidence that the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, who are based at Muirfield, are going around trying to keep women from playing golf. If they want to have a men-only golf club, they should be free to do so. That is what freedom is all about, as long as there is no intent to harm anyone else. Time to lighten up a bit. I take the stance of Groucho Marx, who said, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”
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