It pains me to report that my paper recently printed a blatantly sexist item that insulted countless female persons.
This was brought to my attention by the sharp-eyed blond with whom I live, when she stormed into the room while waving the sports section and said:
"Have you ever seen a woman golfer throw a club when she makes a bad shot?"
I have no such memory.
"Have you ever seen a woman golfer slam a club into the ground or throw it into a pond?"
"And have you ever heard a woman scream filthy four-letter words on a golf course?"
No, not even a "damn" or a "hell."
"Then tell me why your paper would print something as insulting and demeaning to women as this."
And she read from Wednesday's special golf page. It was an article giving advice to the growing number of women who have taken up the game.
The advice included this tip: "No temper tantrums -- even if you miss your first shot."
"Has your paper ever told male golfers that they should not have temper tantrums?"
Of course not.
Because everybody knows that emotional outbursts are part of the male golf tradition.
When a man botches an important shot, or even a trivial one, he is expected to cry out as if undergoing abdominal surgery without an anesthetic.
As his ball sails toward a pond, he might scream: "Turn, turn, you lousy (bleep)."
And when it splashes toward the depths, he might turn his frustration on himself, shouting: "What a (bleeping) (bleep) head I am."
Or he might direct his fury at the world in general, braying as many four-letter words or combinations thereof, as he can think of. As in: "Oh, (bleep, bleep, bleep), why the (bleep) did I ever take up such a (bleeping) stupid game? (Bleep) it forever."
Different men have different styles of expressing their agony. A friend of mine named Jim unfailingly follows a botched shot by emitting an ear-splitting: "Jimmy . . . Jimmyyyy . . . JIMMEEEEEEEEE!"
Another turns his rage on outside forces of evil. "Those stinking birds," he'll shout, "they start chirping in the middle of my backswing. Why are birds allowed on a golf course? And those church bells ringing in my follow through. Why can't they bury someone without clanging bells? Show some respect for the living, for Pete's sake."
It is a reasonable guess that golf courses are the scene of more male temper tantrums than any other place in our society, with the possible exception of the goofs on the Internet.
But the blond is right. Male golfers are never told to avoid acting like a kid denied a visit to Chuck E Cheez.
Only women. And why? Because temper outbursts are part of the female stereotype. In movies, a macho guy will say to an angry woman: "Has anyone ever told you that you're beautiful when you're mad?" But a woman never says: "Has anyone ever told you that you're handsome when your eyes are bulging, your teeth are grinding, and you are shouting obscenities?"
I will probably be condemned by many men for saying this, but it is my observation that on a golf course men are a far greater nuisance than women. And women can be more civilized golf companions, especially those who look good in tight shorts.
The greatest of golf sins are (1) slow play (2) cheating and lying and (3) telling really bad dirty jokes.
The fastest players are women and real old guys because they don't waste a lot of time twisting themselves into what they believe is a classic stance, when they look more like constipated hunchbacks.
And the slowest of all male players are Yuppies, strutting and posing as in Docker commercials. Or trying to dazzle each other with wisdom nuggets they learned while getting their MBAs.
The law should prohibit any Yuppie from being on a golf course until he has become fat and bald like a decent guy.
Women don't hesitate letting faster players pass them. They believe that as lesser creatures they must stand aside. But most men act as if waving someone through would leave them impotent for life.
Women count all their shots and sink even the shortest of putts. But the average male hacker acts as if a curving three-foot putt is not worthy of his incredible skills.
I have never heard a woman tell a dirty joke on a golf course, or even a clean one. But in every male foursome there is a guy who mistakenly believes that he is the second coming of Henny Youngman.
However, I must point out something that the blond, in her anger (she looks awful when she's mad), happened to overlook.
The offensive phrase in my paper was written by one Patricia Baldwin, editor-in-chief of Golf for Women magazine.
Tsk tsk. I guess some of us are just more sensitive than others.