Women should get the same pay, but only for the same job
Sorry Maria Sharapova but being hot just isn’t enough. The tennis world has lead the way in gender equality, with the current Grand Slam Wimbledon, for example, introducing equal prize money for the men’s and women’s singles titles in 2007.
This is despite the fact the women only play to 3 sets and the men play to 5. Anyone who has ever watched a Grand Slam will agree there is a huge difference between a five-set battle and a three-setter.
Sharapova maintains the equal pay was hard won. “We women have fought so long to get equal prize money,” the Russian champion said overnight. “It was a big challenge and nobody really supported us. It’s been a few years since we’ve gotten that. We’re all really proud of it, and we continue to build the sport and make it bigger.”
This was prompted by comments from French sore loser Gilles Simon, who after coming second in his second round match complained about the pay arrangements, claiming all the men on the tour thought it was unfair.
“Men’s players?” Simon said. “The 128 players here think like me, that’s for sure. Just ask them.”
Serena Williams had a point, if inelegantly made, when she said of Simon’s whinge and Sharapova’s response: “She’s way hotter than he is, so more people will watch Maria.”
The modern reality of tennis is that it’s entertainment, and the women certainly bring eyeballs to the coverage, and thus earn the tennis associations plenty of dough.
But, with women the world over fighting for the right to be paid the same as men for doing the same job, the tennis arrangements to not represent “equality.” It is impossible to put a dollar figure on how a player’s “hotness” impacts the bottom line of the tournaments. That’s what sponsors are for.
So Sharapova and Williams can claim all they like that they earn the equal pay, but they will never be able to prove it.
There is a simple solution to this.
The women should play five set matches.
They’re fit enough, they’re tough enough, and it would inevitably lead to some epic matches that would be etched into our memories the way only drawn-out five-setters are.
It would also shut the likes of Simon up. No one can legitimately complain about the same pay for the same work.
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