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Women must learn to play the game of golf if “The golf course is the boardroom of the 21st century”, I believe that gender is an obvious difference that places women in a position that classifies them as weak. Physically, women are biologically at a disadvantage and in the early days when the world was filled with mankind fighting over themselves for territory, it is understandable that this was how things were, males dominating over females. Over the centuries and the last few decades, women have proven themselves through courage and determination that their brains could match those of men and are actually capable of voting and running for public offices, as well as being professionals in all fields and running corporations. But how far has women truly gone? In professional settings, women have indeed shown their intelligence and capabilities that could equal those of men, and at times, even surpass them. I believe though that regardless of all these obvious arguments that I have stated, women are often over-ruled by their emotions and could not be quite as ruthless as men are, as I am a firm believer that ruthlessness is necessary in climbing the corporate ladder. So what is golf to do with anything, really? As it is still only a sport that people with money are known to indulge in.
Office politics is typical and I believe that no one in any organization, regardless of its nature could truly belong if you are not in. As Tiffany Brew has said, conformity makes you a member of the group. It is also known that those who play golf with the chairman of the board are often the elite group in any office as they will most likely be. I believe that the reason for this is the mood that the bosses are in while they are playing golf. They are more relaxed and even light-hearted as to be able to give you tidbits of information that you could find useful. With the setting of golf, you are actually in the position to build rapport with your boss that you could later on use to your advantage. It seems hypocrital to play golf with the boss for these reasons, but on the other hand, I still believe that playing golf is a chance to build genuine friendship with your colleagues.
The reason why golf is such a phenomenon in the business world, I believe, is because it has turned into an institution that is also symbolic to those in the business world. In the golf vocabulary, there are two terms that really strikes me; drive and par. As they say, drive for the path and par for the gold.
You would wonder why golf is so significant in the business world and why so many business deals get closed in that greenery. For one, if you have to play and walk all day, I really don’t see why you can’t persuade anyone at all to your way of thinking. Just as well, imagine the jovial mood of the individual you are trying to strike a deal with and the scale just got tipped in your favor. The informal setting also fosters camaraderie that makes it easier to strike an arrangement.
According to Daniel Bayssassew, the original acronym of golf is “gentlemen only ladies forbidden”. Why is golf still a man’s world regardless of the many amazing women playing golf nowadays? First and foremost, it is probably because women are often dolls expected to pretty themselves up and not appear sweaty and their makeup melting. Golf like all other sports mean that women can’t be real dolls and in the business world, women are expected to be the epitome of elegance, sophistication and all that. Females, no offense intended, are also expected to be damsels in distress. This is also due to the body language of women as was mentioned in the lecture.
One of the many reasons why women should be a part of the “golf world” is the way it could disperse many disparagements and sexism. It is a way of proving that not only do they have the brains to show-off in the boardroom but that they, like men, do not mind intense heats and long walks to finish and win the game. As mentioned in the lecture notes, we can learn a lot from sports leaderships and also, if you are cheering for the same team in baseball as a male colleague, then I agree that he will indeed be more likely to support you in a business plan. The mere statement of women who refuses to at least pour the slightest interest in sports like “it’s for men” creates their own sexist intonations. For the past decades, many things have been for men but there is no reason why it should remain that way. There is no longer any male or female domain.
Sports talks about team work and those who play any form of a team game understand that without the cooperation of the other, they will not be able to win. It is the same with companies. The company will not succeed if there is one flaw in their team because that one hind leg will burden the rest of them and it can only pull them behind. Sports also teach a player to take risks. In any game, you could never use the same strategy over and over again. The first time you use one tactic may succeed but the second, it will most probably loose its momentum and can be easily evaded by the competition. It is the same with business; you have to keep on trying and risking one strategy after another before striking the pot. Another of the important values that can be picked up from sports is sportsmanship and understanding the concept of winning and losing. It is a part of life, failing and getting back up again. “No pain, no gain” and I believe in the saying that you could never get better if you haven’t failed first. Failures make you stronger and better equipped to overcome battles. These traits in sports can only make women better and stronger and better capable in dealing with the corporate world. Women are biologically more emotional than logical. Women are often over-ruled by their hearts rather than their brains and the straits I have mentioned above could make them more capable.
In addition to all that, being in sports and speaking the so-called language of men will make them “one of the boys” and this will give them advantage over women who don’t play sports. They will also take the idea of men that they have to treat you with gloved hands, but rather, someone who is actually their equal, especially if you beat them.
Men have their own language and yes, they were honed to be what they are now while women were for another. Women to Barbie’s and men to ball games. The differences in the upbringing should not create too much problems but they do. Men were brought up to believe that women are delicate creatures that need their protection and it is the same philosophy that makes it difficult for men to accept of female boss. Women should prove themselves, and I do not mean just their brains but also their independence. They should prove that they can have the same interests and that they could also play the same game. Games with all the things they imply; sportsmanship, risk taking, team work, loosing and winning. It is a game of the world and life, not just sports. It is a game that women can play, and even if the boardroom is in the golf-course, then there is nothing that should keep a woman from playing if that’s the only way to win.
It is not just about the game nor about taking advantage of the golf course setting but being able to play the game head on with no handicaps and climbing the corporate ladder not as a woman but as a person capable of meeting the demands of the competitive world.
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