Gender equality and earnings in sport

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  • LeoliansBro 9 Apr 2013 09:46:05 44,506 posts
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    So, here's what I want to talk about today:

    There's the age old argument about men getting bigger prize pots and earnings generally in sport than women, usually citing Wimbledon and usually tied into the 'but women's tennis is only three sets'. This I think misses the point in several ways. Here are my thoughts on the matter:

    - Earnings are linked only partially to how good you are, they are also linked to how many people want to watch you. Wimbledon is actually a pretty bad example here, look at the earnings gulf between men's and women's football, and then look at the audience figures for the answer.

    - The slightly chauvinist example is to say, well fine let's have equality of prizes, by making every sport unisex and then allowing the best person win. (I've heard it cited that our England football team got further in the women's world cup than the men's, which makes them better. Fine I said, so let's let the women play in the men's cup and vice versa, since they're clearly our A squad now.) This always gets an extremely bad reaction, because men would win almost everything (which is an uncomfortable truth) but also because it creates a nasty atmosphere where male dominance is emphasised (which is entirely inappropriate).

    - It's been pointed out to me that the paralympics is a good analogue, disabled people can't run as fast, jump as high etc, so should they be penalised. Aside from equating being a woman with being disabled, which is a whole different metal barrel of mongolian death worms, this also misses the point. I can't run as fast as Usain Bolt, should there be a sport for overweight lazy bankers with (crucially) the same prize money, so I can feel included?

    - Are there any male-dominated sports where women could participate on an equal level, but don't. There are plenty of female jockeys and a fair few racing drivers. Why are there no top level female snooker players?

    So, cat + pigeons, and mods: sorry about the inevitable mess.

    Edited by LeoliansBro at 09:47:14 09-04-2013

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Murbal 9 Apr 2013 09:48:02 22,375 posts
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    Wimbledon prize money is equal for men and women; women arguably get paid the same for less work.
  • chopsen 9 Apr 2013 09:48:50 16,125 posts
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    Have you just called all women disabled?
  • Deckard1 9 Apr 2013 09:49:32 28,713 posts
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    I read that as earrings.

    And thats all I've got to say about that.
  • billythekid 9 Apr 2013 09:50:56 11,196 posts
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    We should have no winners in sports, it just makes the losers feel disabled.
  • LeoliansBro 9 Apr 2013 09:51:40 44,506 posts
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    Chopsen wrote:
    Have you just called all women disabled?
    That's the point I had made to me when it was boiled down. Pretty weak, isn't it?

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • President_Weasel 9 Apr 2013 09:51:57 9,452 posts
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    Spurious argument. They're just not as good as tennis; there's one Open tournament with a large prize pot, and then a second tournament just for the ladies so that they can have a go too, with a smaller prize pot.

    If you want true equality in sport, abolish all women-only competitions.


    (Shooting? I think they're as good at that. Not the biathlon though. Archery, maybe, if you don't worry about the pull weight of the bow.)

    Edited by President_Weasel at 09:53:45 09-04-2013
  • monkman76 9 Apr 2013 09:52:46 4,729 posts
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    I agree with what I think is your underlying point - that it's OK that male sportsmen earn more, because ultimately they're much more popular. And frankly that's probably because in general, as you say, they're better.
  • THFourteen 9 Apr 2013 09:53:44 33,834 posts
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    billythekid wrote:
    We should have no womens in sports
    fixed
  • billythekid 9 Apr 2013 09:54:45 11,196 posts
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    THFourteen wrote:
    billythekid wrote:
    We should have no womens in sports
    fixed
    There we go, problem solved!!!
  • LeoliansBro 9 Apr 2013 09:55:43 44,506 posts
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    I'm not sure I have an underlying point, it is, I suspect, unsolveable.

    There's a bit of a role model argument as well, in that we need high prize money to attract top female athletes who will in turn provide strong positive examples for children.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • monkman76 9 Apr 2013 09:57:33 4,729 posts
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    Nonsense man, get off the fence!
  • nickthegun 9 Apr 2013 09:58:11 60,440 posts
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    There are skill sports and there are strength sports which women will never be as good at.

    Women will never be able to play football, rugby or golf at the top level, but theres no reason why they shouldnt play snooker or darts. In fact, im quite surprised that there isnt a top level female F1 driver yet. Their smaller frames would make them better candidates for driving.

    Theres one already in Nascar. Google Danica Patrick for more details.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    My man gives real loving that's why I call him Killer
    He's not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he's a thriller

  • Deleted user 9 April 2013 09:58:35
    Women could potentially compete with men on an equal basis at darts. I think they have there own tournament though - maybe they are not up to standard yet.

    Completely agree that the prize money is related to audience figures. Womens tennis can be very dull in the early rounds and even from the quarter finals onwards many matches are one sided drubbings.
  • Trane 9 Apr 2013 10:00:32 4,056 posts
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    Women should not be paid the same as men when it comes to tennis, at least. The prize pots come from sponsorship and ad revenue, ticket sales, TV rights etc.

    They play less, and are less watched, I don't really understand why they are paid equally to be honest. I'm an avid tennis fan, so I've had this discussion many times.

    Growing up my heroes were Agassi and Sampras. At this time the top women were Graff, Hingis, Sanchez-Vicario - and they used to have great games, at this point in time I found women's tennis entertaining.

    Now it's just 6 foot Russians/the Williams brothers dominating everything, there are very few quality rallies, LOADS of unforced errors and aces. I really struggle to enjoy it. The men's game at the moment is fantastic value I feel, any of the top 4 can beat each other, and when they do play - a lot of the matches have been all time classics.

    The Wimbledon 08 final was still the greatest sporting event I've ever seen.

    Edited by Trane at 10:01:00 09-04-2013
  • nickthegun 9 Apr 2013 10:00:52 60,440 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    There's a bit of a role model argument as well, in that we need high prize money to attract top female athletes who will in turn provide strong positive examples for children.
    This is the problem. People dont want to watch women compete against women, so there will never be top prize money for anything other than tennis.

    I dont really know how that happened, to be honest. Tennis is such an anomaly. Absolutely no one gives a shit about womens sports bar tennis. How did that happen?

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    My man gives real loving that's why I call him Killer
    He's not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he's a thriller

  • Deckard1 9 Apr 2013 10:01:06 28,713 posts
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    I think womans football would be more popular if they played a musical soundtrack over the top of it. Like circus music, or the theme tune to Steptoe and Son.
  • Deckard1 9 Apr 2013 10:03:26 28,713 posts
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    nickthegun wrote:
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    There's a bit of a role model argument as well, in that we need high prize money to attract top female athletes who will in turn provide strong positive examples for children.
    This is the problem. People dont want to watch women compete against women, so there will never be top prize money for anything other than tennis.

    I dont really know how that happened, to be honest. Tennis is such an anomaly. Absolutely no one gives a shit about womens sports bar tennis. How did that happen?
  • LeoliansBro 9 Apr 2013 10:03:49 44,506 posts
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    Fine, I'll apply capitalism. Prizes are decided purely by audience demand. If more people want to watch women's sports, then they will earn more. If more want to watch men's sport, then they will eanr more.

    This I think isn't far from where we actually are. The fact that it's uncomfortably close to existing anachronistic gender inequality may be a side-effect rather than anything malicious, but it does cut close to the bone.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • kalel 9 Apr 2013 10:04:05 88,405 posts
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    Trane is basically right, although women's tennis is actually very well viewed, but generally women's sport doesn't command the same viewing figures, and therefore not the same sponsorship, and therefore the same prize money isn't available.
  • MrTomFTW Moderator 9 Apr 2013 10:05:13 38,666 posts
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    There's got to be a split for some/most sports. It's undeniable that the top men are faster, stronger, can jump higher etc. And while I am happy to see them competing alongside men in some areas (NASCAR driver Danika Patrick comes to mind first) I don't think I would want to see man vs woman boxing.

    As for the pay... That would be mainly influenced by the money they draw, surely?

    Follow me on Twitter: @MrTom
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  • LeoliansBro 9 Apr 2013 10:07:20 44,506 posts
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    nickthegun wrote:
    In fact, im quite surprised that there isnt a top level female F1 driver yet. Their smaller frames would make them better candidates for driving.
    I thought this until I saw a doc on some Scottish racing driver called Suzie Wolff breaking into F1. Core strength is very important at that level due to the forces on the neck and shoulders through the corners.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Deleted user 9 April 2013 10:07:45
    I think with something like athletics part of the appeal is that you want to see how much the human body is capable of.

    i.e. how far, how fast, how high etc..

    For that reason the mens stuff is more appealing – I couldn’t tell you who won the womens 100m last summer.
  • speedofthepuma 9 Apr 2013 10:09:03 13,302 posts
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    Generally, don't men like watching sport more?

    So isn't it that the consumer wants male sports, therefore the market value rises, and so does the prize money?

    It's just quite simple isn't it?

    I lurk. If I've spoken to you, I'm either impassioned, or drunk.

  • nickthegun 9 Apr 2013 10:10:08 60,440 posts
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    Unless women start watching womens sports, nothing is ever going to change. If women don’t give a shit about womens football, why should men?

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    My man gives real loving that's why I call him Killer
    He's not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he's a thriller

  • nickthegun 9 Apr 2013 10:11:27 60,440 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    nickthegun wrote:
    In fact, im quite surprised that there isnt a top level female F1 driver yet. Their smaller frames would make them better candidates for driving.
    I thought this until I saw a doc on some Scottish racing driver called Suzie Wolff breaking into F1. Core strength is very important at that level due to the forces on the neck and shoulders through the corners.
    Women also cope with G-Force far better than men which is, supposedly, why women would ultimately make better fighter pilots.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    My man gives real loving that's why I call him Killer
    He's not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he's a thriller

  • kalel 9 Apr 2013 10:12:40 88,405 posts
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    It's just one of those things that will take a long long time to get parity. There's such a huge shift that needs to occur for (for example) women's football to reach the same level as men's, and it needs to start right at the lowest level i.e. kids in school.

    The fact that women's tennis is so nearly there now shows it can and will happen, but it will take years and years to get there. Things are already very different now to when I was a kid, so at least we're heading in the right direction.
  • Trane 9 Apr 2013 10:12:55 4,056 posts
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    nickthegun wrote:
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    nickthegun wrote:
    In fact, im quite surprised that there isnt a top level female F1 driver yet. Their smaller frames would make them better candidates for driving.
    I thought this until I saw a doc on some Scottish racing driver called Suzie Wolff breaking into F1. Core strength is very important at that level due to the forces on the neck and shoulders through the corners.
    Women also cope with G-Force far better than men which is, supposedly, why women would ultimately make better fighter pilots.
    It's because they already have a built in G spot, which is specifically designed to deal with it.
  • nickthegun 9 Apr 2013 10:13:30 60,440 posts
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    And the thread just found its level.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    My man gives real loving that's why I call him Killer
    He's not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he's a thriller

  • LeoliansBro 9 Apr 2013 10:17:47 44,506 posts
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    nick - it's apples and oranges. Women deal with G-Force innately better because they are innately shorter. In a jet the typical turn pushes the blood down the body, and in a shorter person the heart has to work less hard to get it back up to the brain.

    In racing the G-Forces don't typically lead to blood deprivation, but rather constantly work to wear down the neck muscles and exhaust the arms which are providing steering input. Neck muscle strength and upper body strength and endurance are therefore key factors.

    Plus F1 drivers are all short arse anyway, removing the baseline advantage women would have. There isn't anything in the specifically female anatomy that otherwise benefits them.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

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