Friday, February 23, 2007

Love All

Wimbledon will now pay men and women equal prize money.

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Genteel and old-fashioned Wimbledon discarded one of its longest traditions — unequal pay. The All England Club yielded to 21st century realities Thursday, agreeing to pay women the same as men and falling in line with the other Grand Slam tournaments.

Six-time singles champion Billie Jean King, a pioneer for women's sports, said the decision was "a long time coming."

"With women and men paid on an equal scale, it demonstrates to the rest of the world that this is the right thing to do for the sport, the tournament and the world," she said.

The U.S. Open and Australian Open have paid equal prize money for years. The French Open paid the men's and women's champions the same for the first time last year, although the overall prize fund remained bigger for men.

"This is an historic and defining moment for women in the sport of tennis, and a significant step forward for the equality of women in our society," WTA Tour chief executive Larry Scott said.

Phillips said "broader social factors" played a part, noting that 55 percent of Wimbledon's spectators were women and the club will host the 2012 Olympic tennis tournament.

Checking out the Wimbledon web site, I found this:

Centre Court ticket prices:

Saturday 7 July £80
Sunday 8 July £87
Hm. Spectators must pay £7 more on Sunday than on Saturday. Sunday’s events must be of more value to ticket buyers than Saturday’s. What is scheduled on those two days?
Sat 7 July

Ladies Singles (Final)
Men’s Doubles (Final)
Mixed Doubles (Final)

Sun 8 July

Men’s Singles (Final)
Ladies Doubles (Final)
So ticket buyers must pay more to see the men’s final than the ladies’ final. This makes sense, if for no other reason than that the men play the best out of five sets, whereas the ladies play the best out of three sets. Could the original disparity between men and women’s prize money have been connected to the fact that people want to see the men’s final more than the ladies’ final?

I can’t blame Wimbledon for caving to political correctness. The bad publicity and ill will from the cultural establishment that result from unequal pay probably make equal pay worth it. And men will continue to play Wimbledon regardless of the prize money, simply because it is the most prestigious event in tennis. But it is interesting that in our egalitarian age a sporting event must make a decision that might not make economic sense just to keep everyone happy. The fact that the ladies are, in effect, parasites on the men does not matter (or is not understood). Men and women get equal pay, and that makes people feel good.

1 comment:

madmax said...

I would think that prize money would be proportional to the revenues brought in by each gender's matches. I don't know for sure, but I would imagine that men's tennis draws more interest.

As for paying off the multi-culturists, I agree that in today's age it is sadly cheaper in cost and headaches to cave in just to shut the gender police up. I think this is what the NBA has been doing for a decade by subsidizing the WNBA.

I have noting against female sports leagues, but they should compete on finacial merrit not on politically motivated subsidies. These stories always remind me of what Ayn Rand wrote about the femminists' hatred of the distinction between the metaphysical and the man-made.