Friday, June 23, 2006

Love Deuce

Well, it's Wimbledon time again, and while I'm no tennis fan, it's interesting to see that feminists will appropriate almost anything as another cause celebre to convince everyone how hard done by they are, even though Western middle-class women (because let's face it, that's who feminists are) wallow in privilege. An article in today's Independent, called 'The Big Question: Should women players get paid as much as men at Wimbledon?' is more even-handed than most I've come across.

There has been a furore over the last couple of decades because apparently the female players don't get paid as much as the male ones. At first sight this looks like a clear-cut case of injustice, and as with everything else that feminists say, we are being invited to take their statements at face value and not ask too many awkward questions. As a non-tennis fan, it wasn't until I read David Thomas' book Not Guilty: In defence of the Modern Man (remarkably difficult to get hold of it seems), that I discovered that the women only play the best of three sets, whereas the men play the best of five. So in other words, the men do more work. You don't hear the equal-pay harpies saying much about that. Today's article quotes Ian Ritchie, the new chief executive. "He points out that, because they played shorter matches, women players were actually paid more per game than men at the 2005 Championships. The last eight players in the women's singles took home £1,432 for every game they played, while the men were paid £993 per game." Hmm. So the women actually get paid more than the men. I see.

To be fair, it also quotes Billie-Jean King as saying "When Wimbledon first started off, women did play best of five sets, but a woman - probably wearing a corset - fainted, and the all-male board decided that we could only play best of three sets. We have offered to play five-set matches any time they want". She makes it sound like some kind of evil mysogynist conspiracy, which is no doubt exactly what she believes. But let's think about it. At the time when this fainting happened, the tennis authorities (all-male! Oh my God! The injustice!) had a choice. They could have ignored the incident and done nothing, but they might have found themselves facing the wrath of conservative and women's groups for their insensitive, uncaring negligence. They could have chosen to ban women from playing altogether. This would not have been unreasonable from their point of view, because they were leaving themselves open to public criticism, even litigation, if women used their facilities and got injured or became ill. They were potentially damned whatever they did, a position that men often find themselves in when dealing with women. What they did was actually very generous and reasonable at the time. They said to women, you can carry on playing tennis if you want, but we will relax the rules to make it easier for you. King and her fellow feminist harpies have a talent for making privilege sound like punishment.

I wonder if she really fainted anyway, or if she just wanted to throw the game because she was losing.

However, times have changed, and it seems to be a problem easily solved. Let's take King at her word. Everyone plays five sets and everyone gets paid the same, and if you faint or otherwise suffer, that's your own lookout. No female privileges.

Another juicy fact mentioned in the article was this: "The leading women - particularly if they are considered glamorous - are in huge demand by sponsors. Maria Sharapova earned more than £10m last year, most of it off the court. Maria Kirilenko, another 19-year-old Russian, is ranked only No 20 in the world but is set to make a fortune out of her looks".

One thing that the feminist equal pay lobby never mention is that women have many socially-acceptable ways of making money other than by working for it, whereas men do not. Men work because the only alternative open to them is complete social exclusion. If you want to know why men occupy most of the top jobs in society, it is because men have greater incentives to work hard and get ahead. By demanding ever more material goods in exchange for sexual access, women are largely responsible for creating those incentives. If the cap fits, wear it, honey.

While we're here, let's not forget the Glass Cellar: Men also occupy all of the lowest jobs in society too. When is the last time you had your bins emptied by a feminist?


Richard said...

Let the women share their modeling fees with the men. Then we would have real equality!

jbgood3 said...

Maria Sharapova earned more than £10m last year, most of it off the court. Maria Kirilenko, another 19-year-old Russian, is ranked only No 20 in the world but is set to make a fortune out of her looks".

This isn't fair. First she has to do less work than men when playing the game then she has to prostitute herself to earn £10 million. I smell the patriarchy (tm) at work (sarc).

Anonymous said...

Men can model, or be actors, too. That involves them making money off of their looks.

Anonymous said...

Feminism is no fascist movement.fascism itself is misogynous and patriarchal.why did u call feminism a fascist sort of movement.feminism is sort of anarchistic and deconstructionistic.i think u should make ur mind first.u r giving false knowledge and information to every is smells like misogyny