The irony of two major news events occurring at approximately the same time last week was not lost on me.
The announcement last week that Augusta National extended memberships to Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore was monumental to women in this country.
Please don't misinterpret. This is not a knock on Augusta National for not admitting women up until this point. This is rather a joyous acknowledgement that professionally accomplished women are being recognized as valuable and equal in prestige to their male counterparts.
We know that this is not about golf, nor has it ever been. It is about access to the most powerful people in this country, and now women have a seat at that table.
Unfortunately, at the same time this announcement was made, Missouri congressman Todd Akin, a current candidate for the U.S. Senate, was desperately trying to retract his statement from the previous Sunday about "legitimate" rape, stating that "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Those ignorant and misguided comments shed light on what all women already know: No matter how powerful, how wealthy or how influential we may become, or what club we may be invited to join, we are the hunted, and, at any point in time, without constant diligence, we could be a victim of rape.
I will venture to say both Rice and Moore have a security detail, and, therefore do not worry about being preyed upon. However, I feel very certain that was not always the case for either.
I guarantee you that there were many times in the lives of both Rice and Moore that they carefully parked their cars so as to not put themselves in potential danger going in or out of a building. I guarantee you that at some point in time, both felt uncomfortable when entering an elevator with just a man and themselves, or seeing a lone man in a hotel hallway as they looked for their room.
Regardless of age, race, or affluence, that fear never goes away, and yes, it is a legitimate fear, Congressman Akin. You reminded me that on a day when women should be celebrating a true milestone, just like that, a man can take it away.
Our respective anatomies guarantee that, statements like yours perpetuate it.
So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
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