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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Tuesday, December 17, 2002
10:53 PM

Nope, no Burning Tree in tonight's Bryant Gumbel interview with Martha Burk. As I noted earlier today, Gumbel belongs to the male-only Burning Tree Country Club in Bethesda whose policies are far more severe than Augusta's, but for some reason Gumbel never gets around to telling us that. Incredible.

The show was largely a puff piece. He does ask why a website she's created with the names of members and their corporations isn't extortion (Burk: Because it isn't), and he says that just because people disagree with you doesn't make them sexists (Burk: Either that or their "consciousness needs to be raised." Hello, re-education camps!). But at the end, Gumble did challenge her very briefly, nipping around the edges of a key question: Is gender discrimination exactly the same thing as race discrimination?

Gumbel: But you don't worry about safety on this do you?

Burk: No, I don't worry about my personal safety.

Gumbel: That's another difference between race and gender discrimination. If you were fighting race discrimination, yes you would be concerned about your safety because people do get shot over it. Nobody gets shot over women's rights.

Burk: Well, I disagree with that.

Gumbel: Nobody gets beaten or lynched over women's rights.

Burk: What do you think rape is, Bryant? It's a hate crime against women.

Ah, hate crimes, wherein your death or your assault is more horrible because you belong to an officially certified group against whom crimes are....more horrible.

In any case I think Gumbel's point is that Burk does not risk being raped because of her campaign against Augusta, and I'd take that bet.

I haven't sat through many Burk interviews, but just once I'd like to see her defend women's colleges and my financial support of them courtesy of federal financial aid. I mean, I know she'd come with with the Well That's Different defense, but it would be entertaining to see which brand.

You know, a few weeks ago I chose three women's schools at random and found to my non-amazement that all of them permitted students to use federal and state financial aid. I got a couple of emails from people saying they suspected that this or that other women's school also accepted federal grants. But of course. Virtually all do. I say virtually because I haven't checked each and every of the 60 or 70 women's colleges (compared to the two or three remaining men's schools), but over the years I have never found a women's college that didn't take government aid in some form.

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