An Inconvenient Truth: The Women’s World Cup
It’s a topic that was likely to blow over after a couple of days – but it hasn’t. And with increasingly flawed arguments being thrown around by increasingly important people it is time to address this issue. Here is the truth about the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
Don’t be mistaken, you didn’t end up in a 1920s cigar shop and as much as being invited to the White House is a punishment these days – this doesn’t apply to the millions of women who do deserve your offence.
‘Equal pay! Equal pay!’ the chants ring through the bleachers as the American Women’s National Team presents their trophy to the fans in New York. It’s been a contentious debate following the team filing a lawsuit for exactly that purpose before the tournament.
Argument 1: Women should be paid equally for doing basically the same job
This might work in the accounting department, but it is easily identifiable as nonsense in the entertainment industry. ’Basically the same job’ doesn’t exist. Don’t buy it? Get up on a stage, banging around on a guitar, warbling a song you just wrote and try claiming Taylor Swift’s pay check. If no one wants to see you, it isn’t going to happen. But, that doesn’t mean mum and dad won’t be proud of you.
Argument 2: Four World Cup titles to none
Direct comparisons between the men’s and women’s game is entirely erroneous and are not in the US national team’s interest. Bearing in mind their loss to an under 15 boys’ side from Dallas, we know that men have a physical advantage to women in contact sports. That wasn’t why they were separated in the first place, but it is why they are now and why manly women are forced to join the men.
So, if Keith tells you women have won fewer world cup titles and would definitely lose against their male counterparts – he should let his missus do the thinking instead.
Argument 3: Fake it ‘til you make it
Women have had a tough time in professional sports. Just a few decades ago they would have been banned from competing, insulted, laughed at, and even physically assaulted (see 1967 Boston Marathon) for having the audacity to want to give it a go.
Now those hairy-pitted lefty feminazis are claiming nothing will change if we don’t disproportionately invest in women’s sports. And, they’re absolutely right. Women in sports have been treated poorly since the dawn of running fast, kicking things and jumping far.
It is fair enough to afford them a larger slice of the pie for a change. And that’s exactly what FIFA is doing. The 2018 Men’s World Cup in Russia earned a cool USD 6 bill in revenue, of which competing teams shared USD 400 million (Forbes). It is true that the Women had to make due with sharing USD 30 million in earnings, but the entire tournament only brought in USD 130 million. Some reasonably easy math tells us that the male teams therefore took home 7% of total revenue, whereas the women made out with a whopping 22%.
Argument 4 women will never be paid the same unless they’re given the opportunity and funding men receive:
Investing in women’s sports is undoubtedly important, but Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t make his millions by moaning about his teammates not scoring and coming 9th in a World Cup. $80 shirts made in Bangladesh and $200 tickets for a friendly game is where the money is at.
And to all the wishy-washy good time fans in those New York bleachers chanting about how much you support women’s football: how about supporting women’s football more than once every four years?
As for players like Rapinoe and Morgan who paint a picture of starving, persecuted, racial barrier-busting underdogs? The difference between a Rolex and a Patek Philipe isn’t the poverty line, and sooner or later the USSC will realise that investing in the women’s team for winning is worth more than investing three-fold in the men’s team for not qualifying.