By Selwyn Duke
Could you imagine lightweight boxers complaining they don’t get the money and exposure of the heavyweights, calling the different treatment “staturism”?
This is essentially the situation at the Wimbledon tennis championships this week, with, for example, Hannah Wilks at the Guardian writing, “A new analysis of matches scheduled on Centre and No 1 courts shows that Wimbledon organisers routinely favour male tennis players over their female peers.” She calls this “sexism” and “sex discrimination.”
Actually, it’s called marketing.
Here’s a question for Hannah and her feminist sisters: Female fashion models command markedly more on average than male models, and the top 10 women in the business earned 10 times as much in 2013 as their male counterparts. Is this “sexism”? Are you going to write about it, kvetching while everyone else is retching? I have a feeling we’re going to hear crickets.
Wilks also opined, “It’s hard to understand the kind of court assignments Serena and Venus Williams have received over the years”; she in addition complains that the BBC devotes far more of its airtime to men’s tennis. Perhaps we can deepen her understanding.
Just consider what journalist Katie Hopkins wrote in her 2016 piece “Sorry, Serena, it’s not the grunting women who are being underpaid in tennis — it’s the men!”: The 2015 Men’s Wimbledon Final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer “took three hours to play and was watched by 9.2 million people. Less than half that tuned in to see Serena Williams…beat Garbine Muguruza in straight sets.”
Moreover, Serena Williams said herself in 2013, “If I were to play Andy Murray, I would lose 6-0, 6-0 in five to six minutes, maybe 10 minutes”; moreover, years ago she did lose to the 203rd ranked man in the world, Karsten Braasch, 6-1 (and he was taking it easy). So here’s another question:
Why would anyone think an inferior product should receive the exposure of a superior one?
The answer is that thinking has nothing to do with it. This is about emotion.
Interestingly, though, I doubt Wilks and womynhood would have trouble grasping market principles in the case of the fashion models, even though the men are every bit as capable in this area. This brings us to the wholly misunderstood notion of “equal work.”
The relevant work of a model isn’t donning clothing or walking up and down a runway, activities which, I suspect, men can do as well as women. The relevant work is satisfying a market. And since female models have a larger market than male ones, they command more money. The same is true of tennis players, mind you, except it’s the men with the larger market.
It’s only ignoramuses who don’t understand this and Marxists who won’t accept it. Today, however, there’s an interesting phenomenon: There are individuals among us who alternatively prefer the market or Marxism, depending on which one happens to benefit their agenda or special-interest group in the given situation. Thus, market forces are peachy keen in fashion. Tennis? Well, not so much.
In fact, not only has Wilks and womynhood managed to finagle equal prize money for the female players at the four major championships, but they also forced the resignation last year of a tennis director who pointed out that the women “ride on the coattails of the men.”
The kicker here is that there’s a simple way to end all this controversy: true equality. Consider: What would your answer be to the lightweight pugilist complaining of staturism? Perhaps, “Hey, if you want the heavyweights’ purses and preferential treatment, compete in their category — and succeed. It’s that simple.”
This brings us to an area where feminists may certainly have surpassed men: unmitigated gall. For they are using equality arguments to derive benefits within the context of supporting — and enjoying — an inherently unequal system: namely, having a separate, protected (from the best competition) little tour for women. It’s akin to the players in a Caucasian-only basketball league complaining that they don’t get the NBA’s money and airtime.
So what say you, Wilks and womynhood? Will you support true equality and lobby to have the sexes compete together in sports? Isn’t sex segregation “sexist” and demeaning? Besides, this idea would eliminate the problem presented by the so-called “transgender” athletes.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for such a lobbying effort, however. Talk about equality is just that — talk. No one who has thought deeply about the principle really believes in it. Equality™ is just a ruse, a con, pulled out of the hat to gain advantages and then quickly put away lest already existing ones be lost.
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