Jewish World Review April 9, 2003 / 7 Nisan, 5763

Martha Zoller

Martha Zoller
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Consumer Reports

Augusta and the Plight of Men | With the media circus surrounding The Masters golf tournament this week at Augusta National, it is time to look at where we are as men and women. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution is running a series this week on where women are, but when is the last time anyone looked at where men are in this country?

Let's get this part out of the way. Women will be admitted to Augusta National on its own timetable, not on Martha Burk's. There are women suffering all over the world for such basic things as food, water and a roof over their heads.

Do not let that be overshadowed by a small minority of people who want to equate a 300 member private golf club with the Civil Rights Movement. The browbeating of Augusta National is a ridiculous cause in light of the world situation and the National Council of Women's Organizations and Martha Burk should be ashamed of themselves for losing sight of that.

Last month, for Women's History Month, I spoke in front of a large group of women at a community college. The speech had been given before (text of speech). The basis of my comments was for women to get an education so they will be prepared when opportunities present themselves. Women can have it all, just not at the same time.

Even with more men taking on non-traditional roles in the family, nothing can change the biological tie that woman feel to their children. Women will make choices to change course in a career to accommodate family needs. It may slow or change a career path but never forget that women in America have the most options and choices of any women in the world. Money is not the only measure of success.

As I looked around the room, I thought, "What have we done to the men in our lives?" There were about 300 women of all ages and educational backgrounds in that room. Would men attend a support function like this one and if they were offered one and would women be pounding on the door, demanding to be admitted?

Education is the foundation of all preparation and the key to equality in the workplace is education and the lifelong love of learning. Education is the thing that makes the American dream possible and the statistics for men are alarming.

In today's post secondary institutions, the enrollment is almost 60% female. If you break it down by race, 75% of Black enrollment in colleges is female and Latino enrollment mirrors that. The population breakdown by sex in the 18-24 year old age group is about even with there still being a few more men than women.

We are doing something wrong in America in the encouragement of all of our men. We began turning the corner since September 11, 2001. We look differently at the firefighter, police officer and soldier. While certainly there are incredible women serving in these fields, the elevation of respect for these jobs elevates men more directly than women.

We must begin at an early age to encourage all Americans, men and women, to seek an education beyond high school. It must become unacceptable on all levels for children to drop out of high school. We must look to the right and the left of us to find a person in need that needs a push and a hand up.

Education levels the playing field, not admission into a men's only 300 member golf club. Martha Burk, put your time and effort in to a cause that matters and that will make the whole country a better place. Lead by example and promote education for all Americans by their own drive and hard work and leave golf to the professionals.

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JWR contributor Martha Zoller is a radio talk show host in Georgia. Comment by clicking here.

© 2003, Martha Zoller