Posts Tagged ‘equality’
Here’s a piece I wrote for my sports column in today’s The North West Star about the vast gap between prize purses in men’s and women’s sport.
Why is there such disparity between the prize money offered to male and female athletes?
Last year’s Australian PGA Championship offered $1,500,000 in prize money to the men who donned their funky golf outfits and battled the Hyatt Regency Coolum Course.
The winner, Greg Chalmers, pocketed $270,000 for his 12 under par victory.
In February, only $500,000 was offered in total for the Gold Coast RACV Australian Ladies Masters.
Holland’s Christel Boeljon scored a one-stroke victory at the event but only received $75,000 as recompense for doing so.
Both the Hyatt Regency Coolum and Royal Pines courses are par 72.
Chalmers completed his four rounds in 276 strokes, while Boeljon went around the Gold Coast course four times in 267 strokes.
The Australian PGA Championship and Gold Coast RACV Australian Ladies Masters are this country’s ultimate golfing events for men and women respectively, yet the boys get to play for about three times the prize money.
By offering so much more for competing, are event organisers suggesting Chalmers, Robert Allenby and Adam Scott are three times better than Boeljon and other female players like Nikki Campbell and Sarah Kemp?
Of course not.
But if that’s the case, why is there such a ridiculous difference in prize money being offered for exactly the same amount of golf, based purely on whether the player sits down to pee?
The answer is advertising.
Professional sportswomen don’t get the media coverage that male athletes do. As such, they don’t have the public profile advertising executives look for when throwing money around.
Money that ends up in prize pools.
Essentially, less public recognition undoubtedly means a smaller prize purse.
Advertisers want a brand, and without increased media exposure, female athletes will never be able to become a brand.
Unless they are, to put it boorishly, hot.
Everyone knows who Tiger Woods is.
Can you name the world’s current top female golfer?
No, me either.
We have been conditioned by advertising and the media to recognise male athletes by their strength and ability with a club, a bat or a ball.
With male sporting stars, it’s all about the actual sport.
As far as our best sportswomen go, society as a whole only recognises them as exceptional athletes if they have great legs or look sensational in a beach volleyball outfit.
In a nutshell, we are told men are apparently tough and should receive maximum reward for their athletic performance, while women should, it seems, get paid peanuts for their sporting skill and rely on sex appeal to supplement their income via endorsements.
Am I the only one who finds this very 19th century?
If you are in the upper echelon of players in the country in your chosen sport, why should your ability to earn money by competing in said sport be influenced by whether you are male or female?
Tennis is beginning to come around as officials start to offer equal prize money for the guys and girls, but a lot of sports have a long way to go.
Without getting into the economics of male versus female sport and advertising, there’s an incredibly simple answer to the prize money gap: pay the girls more to play.
If they are playing the same sport as their male counterparts, why shouldn’t they be getting paid equally?
Shouldn’t it be about skill and not gender?
Sexual abuse can cause innumerable physical and psychological problems to those subjected to it, including homosexuality, if you subscribe to the views of tennis racquet-waving representative of God, Margaret Court.
In her interview in today’s The Sunday Mail, the three-time Wimbledon winner suggests that one of the things that causes gays and lesbians to be as such is sexual abuse, because, from her experience, “many, many of them have been abused.” Them? They’re people, Margaret, not carnivorous plants intent on overtaking the planet. As well as sharing this nugget of genius, Pastor Court has previously alluded to a belief that homosexuality can be cured, as if it was some influenza-like affliction.
As twisted and ludicrous as her views are, we shouldn’t be surprised: after all, this is the woman who tells us that the Bible “is our TV guide to life”. Really, a television guide? Can it tell me what’s on at 8:30pm on Monday? It is The Simpsons or Dexter?
I recently published a piece called ”When should free speech and personal beliefs take a back seat to the greater good?”, in which I defended Margaret Court’s right to free speech. That post was about freedom of expression and when the line should be drawn, not what she actually said. This article is about her opinions and what she’s said. Game on, my serve.
Why are the mainstream newspapers continuing to devote so much column space to this woman and her skewed views? Not only are they continually reinterviewing her and getting updated comments (Author’s note to media: her views will never waver, even in the face of evidence and common sense), the Herald Sun published her 975-word rant that’s about as balanced as me attempting a handstand. It isn’t an insightful, engaging piece. It’s nothing more than a sermon: a one-dimensional, religious vociferation that should have been trapped inside the walls of her church, and serves no benefit to the wider audience than to demonstrate just how unaccepting and uncompromising Margaret Court is. To the editors: are the increased sales and website hits generated by the controversy that she spews forth worth making your publications look like the personal journal of a bigoted, Bible-wielding sexagenarian? That’s right, Margaret, I said sex. While I’m not married. I also masturbate and count several of them homo folks as my friends. Strike me down.
In her article, she affirms that “a person’s sexuality is a choice”, and that the Bible states “homosexuality is among sins that are works of the flesh”. Is that the same Bible that says women shouldn’t speak in the church? I guess one way around that little doozy is to start your own church. Is there a chance I’ve misinterpreted the scripture? Yeah, the Bible’s funny when it comes to interpretation and ignoring the parts that don’t align with your personal agenda.
Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (New International Version)
My favourite part of the piece is where she suggests that, if Australian society continues on its wicked path (a path that apparently includes wanting to treat people equally, regardless of their sexual preference) into damnation, “God will take his hand off our nation and the lights will go out”. No, Pastor Court. The Almighty doesn’t make your lights go out: that’s the lovely people at Synergy when you fail to pay your electricity bill.
With this publication in the Herald Sun, Margaret Court has gone beyond expressing herself freely. She’s now publicly preaching to the masses, aided by newspapers that seem happy to print narrow-minded, prejudicial and discriminatory opinions in the guise of newsworthy stories.
Here’s the thing, Margaret: you aren’t the self-appointed beacon of light for humanity. Those of us who believe that someone’s sexual orientation or lack of religious conviction doesn’t make them less of a human being are sick of you using your public profile pulpit* to continually tell us we’re all damned. Sure, we recognise your right to voice your opinion, but please use your inside voice. Inside your church, where people want to hear your views. Hell, I’ll even throw $10 at the Victory Life Centre if you just shut the fuck up.
* Author’s note: try saying that five times quickly while drinking vodka and juggling kittens.
I hadn’t planned a TDoT post for today, but it would be remiss of me to not congratulate the Queensland Parliament for passing the bill that will allow same-sex civil unions to be recognised in the Sunshine State. It’s finally a step in the right direction, but between the amount of media coverage that the decision is receiving and some of the comments that it has provoked, I have to ask the question about where we really are with equality, tolerance and genuine open-mindedness. In my current sleep-deprived, emotionally drained condition, the most succinct way I can phrase it is this: why does there have to be so much speculation and debate about whether people deserve to be treated equally in the first place?
Isn’t this the 21st century? The question about same-sex unions shouldn’t even be an issue: it should be a basic right as human beings.
There won’t be any new TDoT posts until early next week, as I’m heading away at the weekend for my 31st birthday. Yes, I’m getting old.