You may remember this scene from the classic baseball movie Sandlot, when one of the main characters launched the ultimate insult at a rival player he disliked.
Of course, when you’re a kid, the gender that you’re not very often has cooties and the theme on both sides of male/female relations is a resounding “ewwwww” when it comes to dealing with one another, but all that tends to dissipate as we get older.
At least, that’s the theory.
Yet, in many cases, adults continue to use the opposite gender as an example of what not to be. For example, the term “pale, male and stale” has been used recently to describe the lack of females and minorities on corporate boards of directors.
If you go by the numbers, people who use that phrase are absolutely correct that white, older males do hold the majority of powerful positions, but it’s also insulting and carries the negative connotation that people in that group have nothing to offer any more.
Does any bright mind, no matter the gender or ethnicity its wrapped in, left behind make sense? Should somebody be vetoed from a bright future because it’s automatically assumed that he’s part of the “Old Boys’ Club” we hear so much about?
Or maybe we should take a chill pill and just understand that such phrases are being used to emphasize a valid point and that we shouldn’t be so sensitive to descriptions with such negative connotations.
The solution to such a problem has yet to be found obviously, but name-calling may have impact, but being confrontational takes us back to the days of cooties and playgrounds and these days, it seems we never grew out of it.
The Ted Bishop incident last week is a perfect example.
Bishop went after Ian Poulter on social media for criticisms he’d made of Tom Watson and Nick Faldo as Ryder Cup captains, calling him a “lil girl” on Twitter and expanding that on Facebook.
“Sounds like a little school girl squealing during recess. C’MON MAN!” wrote Bishop, who was dumped Friday evening as president of the PGA of America. You can read more from ESPN about the incident here.
The LPGA made a statement of its own following the decision to oust Bishop.
“The PGA of America’s quick and decisive action sent a strong message – reinforcing a consistent belief that with so many positive gains being made among golf’s leading organizations, there is simply no room nor willingness, to take a step backwards.” it read.
Suzy Whaley, who could become the association’s first female president, said on the Golf Channel she supports the board’s decision here.
Others, such as Alex Miceli of Golfweek, opposed the removal of Bishop here, while Rex Hoggard reported here on the Golf Channel that club professionals and players at the PGA Tour’s McGladrey Classic in Sea Island, Ga., disagreed as well.
Others such as Bishop’s daughters said to Tim Rosaforte of Golf Digest here that their dad is far from the sexist person that this situation would indicate.
About everyone agrees that Bishop never should have used “lil girl” statement on social media, which has offered a form of media that was never available before and Bishop isn’t the first to be burned by its use.
If nothing else, this incident should be a lesson for those within the golf industry inclined to use it, but now that it’s done, Bishop has reinforced the “male, pale and stale” stereotype in a game that doesn’t need it
Yet, as Whaley pointed out, male PGA members were supportive of her as she was growing up, so what’s going on isn’t fair to them or anyone similar to them in all the shouting from both sides of the debate about whether Bishop should have kept his job.
From the outside looking in, it appears that the schoolyard has been separated with boys and girls on either side of the line sticking their tongues out at one another and that’s leads to the very real possibility that women thinking of taking up the game have been turned off of it.
Negative stereotypes, no matter what side of the schoolyard you’re on, only cause us to move farther apart on issues, when we should be making every effort to resolve them together.
You’d think we would have learned that in recess instead of still carrying it on today in a business environment.