Tara Sullivan, a female reporter covering the Masters was barred from the men’s locker room. Tara sent out this tweet after the incident “Bad enough no women members at Augusta. But not allowing me to join writers in locker room interview is just wrong.”
She’s absolutely right…..it’s just wrong. Women reporters have been allowed in men’s locker rooms since the mid 1980’s so it’s amazing to me that this happened in 2011. So I pose this question; should women be allowed in the men’s locker room? The obvious answer to this question for me is yes. Not only do I feel like women should be allowed in men’s locker rooms, but I feel like men should be allowed in women’s locker rooms. Women reporters have been allowed in men’s locker rooms since the mid 1980’s and I don’t see why that needs to change in 2011. Of course publicized controversy such as the Ines Sanez incident attempts to give reasoning for those who are opposed to women in the locker room. Ines stated that while waiting to conduct an interview with Mark Sanchez she was harassed by members of the Jets football team. Some people felt that she brought that upon herself because of the way she was dressed, but all in all that is a terrible reason for grown men to act inappropriately. The Jets organization responded saying that they would “take any appropriate steps necessary to maintain a respectful environment for the media.” That statement would leave people to believe that women are not respected in the locker room which is unfortunate. Just as men go into locker rooms conduct interviews and do their jobs, women do the same thing. Everyone in those locker rooms are professionals and should act like professionals, whether it be a player or a reporter. There is no excuse for showing disrespect to a female reporter, regardless of how she was dressed, just like there is no excuse for Tara Sullivan not to be allowed in the Master’s locker room.
Augusta National Communications Director Steve Ethun made a public apology and stated that it was a complete misunderstanding and I’m sure that it was just that…a misunderstanding. I don’t believe that it was done to be malicious or anything of the sort, but as a woman it is still disappointing to see something like this happen in this day and age. All reporters, male and female, work off of the “equal access policy.” Just like women are allowed in men locker rooms, men are allowed in female locker rooms, so it’s hard for me to imagine a situation where a female reporter that is covering an event is told that there are “no women allowed.” Regardless of how you feel about the opposite sex being in locker rooms the fact remains that you cannot bar a reporter from conducting an interview, whether it be in the locker room or not, based on sex. It is illegal and the last time I checked female reporters have the same rights as male reporters.