Condoleeza Rice was provided a membership to Augusta National, a premier golfing location that plays host to the Masters tournament. This is a huge honor (or so I am told… I personally prefer football but I digress) that is only magnified by the golf club’s history. In the past, the club has not allowed women to become members and has had a past that has been called racist and sexist. The former Secretary of State is only the second woman to be awarded membership, both females being admitted within the last year.

As a woman, I find this to be a huge step in the journey toward acceptance and equality of pursuits. Yet, there are those on the left that have provided harsh criticism to Rice and her acceptance of the green jacket. Things like traitor and turncoat are among the nicer of objections to her membership, which goes beyond confusing to downright frustrating.

I am a woman. I am proud to be a woman, no matter what discrimination I may or may not run into. I have been faced with looks of confusion when I walked into a political science class dominated by males and actually had an opinion that was coherent and did not revolve around what casserole to bake (the looks only became more puzzled when I then asserted I was a conservative and not a bra-burning, tree-hugging, non-armpit shaving female). Most of the time, however, the reception was warm and welcoming. I learned early on, and due to my own ignorance I admit, not to jump to conclusion about discrimination, sexism, and racism. I learned that sometimes it takes proving yourself by being who you are that is trailblazing and breaks barriers, not becoming angry at a person who is learning to break down their own internal prejudices.

That is why this outrage on the left angers me. I am not a woman of color, but I am a female who sees this as a wonderful chance for growth. Augusta National is taking a step in the right direction, in my opinion. They are opening their doors to females and women of color. They are setting a precedent, and turning from their practices of the past and moving forward. Maybe they chose a high profile, smart, educated woman because they wanted her to get them clout in the media or maybe they chose her for membership because she, in and of herself, is all of those things. Why should we not celebrate a woman breaking ground instead of breaking her down? Why does the left say they want change and then slam an institution because they have made that change? Should they have not responded to the criticism that was placed upon them? Would that not have been worse? The beauty of the past and precedent is that it CAN be changed and I applaud Secretary Rice for opening the door for women of the future. Well done.