Why Male Golfers Hate Women, And That Little Matter Of The Castration Complex : Outrage At Kenya’s Limuru Country Club

Limuru County Club members (from right) Martha Vincent, Rose Mambo and Caroline Ngugi who were expelled from the golf club speaking to the press after a meeting with their lawyer Philip Murgor (left) in Nairobi February 14, 2103.(Photo Billy Mutai/Daily Nation).

Limuru County Club members (from right) Martha Vincent, Rose Mambo and Caroline Ngugi who were expelled from the golf club speaking to the press after a meeting with their lawyer Philip Murgor (left) in Nairobi February 14, 2103.
(Photo Billy Mutai/Daily Nation).

Why do male golfers hate women? A few days ago, Kenya’s Limuru Country Club expelled three female golfers for opposing a new a rule denying women a voice and a vote in the general assembly – and then speaking about it to the media!

It doesn’t matter what the status of the three women are, but it makes a point to explain who they are. There is Central Depository and Settlements Corporation Chief Executive Rose Mambo, businesswoman Martha Vincent and molecular epidemiologist, Dr Caroline Ngugi.

In other words, they are among the most educated and professional women in the world. Before you ask in which cave the Men of Power at the Limuru Country Club live, it will do well to note that many golf clubs in the world don’t allow women as members.

It was only last year that the otherwise vaunted Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia, in the US voted to allow its first women members. Bear Creek Golf Club in Colorado, like another 20 or so clubs in America, still doesn’t allow women to play.  Some golf clubs in the US are so extreme, they will not even permit a wife to drive into the parking lot and drop off her husband.

In countries like the US, you could almost be sure that golf courses that locked out women, also didn’t allow African-Americans to step there; as Augusta and Bear Creek did.

In the UK, for nearly 170 years the prestigious St Andrews Golf Club did not admit women as members.

Limuru Country Club. This what the boys want to have to themselves (Photo Phil Inglis).

Limuru Country Club. This what the boys want to have to themselves (Photo Phil Inglis).

It is understandable that golf clubs did not admit women in the backward past when they were considered second-class citizens. But it is extremely unusual that a sports club can vote in 2013 to roll the clock back 100 years as Limuru has done.

This is particularly galling because in Africa, in the early colonial era, many golf clubs did not allow “natives” to be members or to play – they could only serve at the club bar, mow the green, and be subservient caddies. At a wider level, they were part of the same prejudices that excluded Jews and the Irish from such places in the past.

There is more to this sport-misogyny, I think, than just the old boys wanting to hang out in smoke-filled rooms and cut business and political deals without women nearby hearing them and going to “gossip” about it, as they would say. Nor is it because female golfers wearing low-cut tops could distract them. The women – and men – of golf all play almost fully covered up. Golf is not beach volleyball.

There is the usual discrimination at play here, no doubt. Also, I have heard feminists argue that this anti-women behaviour of men is some kind of castration complex.

My suspicion though is that the fact that golfers walk off beating and looking for a small white ball on fairways with forests and water puddles on the edges, transports men to the Medieval Age when they were hunter-gatherers and the women stayed home waiting for them to return with the day’s kill. Thus golf offers the blokes a sweet connection with their ancient primitive selves.

A history of discrimination: Today, it is women. In the past it was Jews and Blacks. (Dailykos).

A history of discrimination: Today, it is women. In the past it was Jews and Blacks. (Dailykos).

However, the progress of women in the world – with very many now richer and out-studying and out-graduating men in many countries – sport is going to be the final battle ground.

Not too many people question the fact men and women play separately in nearly ALL professional sports – in athletics, football, basketball, motorsport, volleyball, tennis (at least it has mixed doubles), swimming, gymnastics, boxing, name it.

One of these days a male “traitor” or some feminist group calling itself the Pussycat Army, will ask that most subversive of questions; “Why?”

So, the feminists say, some of us guys have a castration complex. Imagine then, for example, that you opened up boxing and allowed men and women to fight against each other. And in a famous heavyweight clash, a female boxer knocks out the man in the first round to take the world heavyweight-boxing crown. The blow to the collective masculinity of the men of the world would be devastating.

So I am not surprised that you have a Limuru Country Club voting to kick out women. The boys are closing the stables before the horses bolt. Still, the idea that women can be presidents, lead some of the richest companies in the world, fight in wars, go into outer space, and of course be mothers, but can’t be allowed to hit a little ball with a crooked metal club is preposterous.

What puzzles me is that there isn’t a lot of outrage over the action of the Limuru Country Club. Consider what might happen elsewhere in Kenya. For example, the Nairobi Gymkhana Club is one of the oldest clubs

Can we expect this sign to go up at the entrance of the Limuru Country Club soon?

Can we expect this sign to go up at the entrance of the Limuru Country Club soon?

in the city, and home to one of its most famous cricket grounds. Sixty years ago it was largely an Asian club, and Nairobi was still a city where Africans were locked out of whites-only establishments.

Imagine then that today, the Gymkhana decided that no black Kenyans could be members. Or the Exchange Bar at The Stanley Hotel decided that no “native” should step there. There would riots in Nairobi. But Limuru Country Club can go back to this past, and get away with it. Kenyan women would be right to be very afraid.

*Follow the author at twitter@cobbo3

14 Comments on “Why Male Golfers Hate Women, And That Little Matter Of The Castration Complex : Outrage At Kenya’s Limuru Country Club”

  1. Ciiku
    February 20, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    I think we can agree that golf is considered an elitist sport but you put forth a very valid argument: Why does Limuru Golf Club want to set themselves back 100 years?

    I honestly cannot begin to understand what the motivation behind the movie is….. do they think they will get more male members? Make more money?

    As for outrage, I think the elections have overshadowed anything else happening in this country.

  2. ARIAKA
    February 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Heheehehe!!!

  3. Ann
    February 20, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    I like your observation, “My suspicion though is that the fact that golfers walk off beating and looking for a small white ball on fairways with forests and water puddles on the edges, transports men to the Medieval Age when they were hunter-gatherers and the women stayed home waiting for them to return with the day’s kill.”
    Would it also explain –tongue in cheek- why it’s a pass-time of mostly rich, old successful men or executives eyeing the top of the ladder; and is it safe to conclude: The richer and more successful one (men) becomes, the smaller their balls leading to poor esteem, consequently resulting to an escalated appetite for a connection with stone-age, where they were in total control. In that time women, children and their properties were at their beck and call. They develop a greater appetite for masculine domination, uh oh and snooty attitudes too. Men are fighting for exclusivity, on the golf course, because women are “party poopers” in all the other areas:) Indeed, there’s a lot women to be afraid of

  4. Levi
    February 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    LIMURU COUNTRY CLUB RESPONDS/CLARIFIES, SAYS ONLY 3 WOMEN EXPELLED, OTHERS STILL MEMBERS
    Mr. Charles Onyango-Obbo, I am disappointed. I am a member of the Limuru country club and while there are some truths in what you have written above, a lot of it is consistent with the misinformation that local media houses have been spreading about this issue. I’ll try to be brief:
    1. Women are not barred from voting or vying for leadership positions at Limuru country club.
    2. The 3 women that were recently expelled do not constitute or represent the entirety of women members of the club.
    3. Men do not hate dislike or disrespect women at this family club; indeed it is a requirement that any married man seeking membership at the club must join together with his wife. As such, our wives are members too and we respect them both at home and at the club.
    4. The expulsion of the 3 ladies is not simply a matter to do with opposing a new by-law. They engaged is acts of misconduct which as clearly spelt out in the club rules are liable for disciplinary action.
    5. This action was taken against them as offending club members not because they were women. If a man had done the same, he would have faced similar disciplinary action.
    6. We currently have over 60 active women golfers happily enjoying their golf and other activities at the club and are not discriminated against in anyway.
    It is sad that a lie or series of lies have been repeated over and over by the media and especially NMG and in the court of public opinion, Limuru Country Club has been judged and condemned. I have respectfully tried to state the correct position in the comments section of the online newspapers where Limuru has been covered, but the moderators have seen it fit to trash and not allow for publication some of these comments.
    Remember, the 3 ladies that were expelled are aggrieved and embarrassed by this action so we do not expect that they would be speaking of Limuru Country Club in glowing and flattering terms.
    Looking at how this issue has been handled in the media I am inclined to believe that the writers and editors covering it have been guided by the old journalistic principle: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!

  5. moses
    February 20, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    it is also where men gossip and are not comfortable doing it within earshort of women.next we’ll hear of golfress clubs.

  6. Evans
    February 20, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Obbo you nailed it. At time and age, we sincerely need to reexamine some of archaic traditions that were intended to block other human beings from enjoying equally. Good piece.

  7. bankelele
    February 21, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Hi Levi I’ve been eager to hear the Club’s or other members’
    side of the story – as they seem to have decided that they won’t engage with the media or in public

    – Without being specific, could you say what by-law the 3 ladies were charged with violating?

    • Levi
      February 28, 2013 at 9:46 am #

      While I am commenting on issues affecting the club I am a member of, I am not speaking on behalf of the club. As such, the title that Mr. Obbo decided to put above my comment appearing as if this is Limuru Clubs official position is wrong.

      Based on that, I cannot go into details but many members that attended that golf meeting in December witnessed some actions by 2 of the 3 ladies which to say the least were despicable and totally unbecoming of a respectable adult within the confines of a members club or elsewhere. I believe action taken on the 3rd lady was on different grounds.

      As with any othet organized group or association, when one joins you voluntarily commit to adhering to the rules and regulations governing the said association. The minute you contravene the same dont be surprised when the consequences catch up with you.

  8. Levi
    February 21, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    For those that think Limuru is bad: http://bit.ly/ZtwKns and http://golfdig.st/XzHSv5

  9. Tawanda Moyo
    February 21, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    That’s why I’ll never play golf. This stupid western sport turns our men into savages by the day. Shameful to see things like these in the 21st century

  10. Eliza
    February 25, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    well I am not sure now what the truth is but I attended Nyali golf club in Mombasa at invitation of a friend and I felt very uncomfortable. Old men sorrounded us ( I am not against age) but my friend kept on telling us how we should control our children not to talk too loudly or play anyhowly because she was afraid of being fined for being disordely. I hope these women are not being expelled for being women with young children or grandmothers. Some of the funny rules like being fined for picking a call are achaic, colonial and yes nearthendal

  11. bankelele
    February 28, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    There is nothing bad with the game of golf, which millions of women happily play around the world at public and private golf courses.

  12. Nelson Kirimi
    February 28, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    At the onset let me tell you something Clubs are looking for New and innovative members reason is the old guys are getting phased out by age fact is that Membership clubs are like churches subscriptions keeps the club running and the greens in order. I am looking at it as an issue of Ego more than discipline if we have to be honest.

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    May 9, 2013 at 11:28 am #

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