Should Women Soccer Players Be Paid the Same as Men?

US Women’s National Soccer Team win their game against England on July 2, 2019.

A couple of weeks ago, a male friend forwarded me an article about how Hope Solo, a US World Cup winner and two-time Olympic champion, has said Fifa is ‘entrenched in male chauvinism.’  His friend had commented above the article: ‘What a f&%king dumb c&%t, man.’  Lovely.

The article explained how although after being sued, Fifa has increased prize money and benefits to female players. But the money and benefits are still unequal.  If I got my friend’s friend’s reasoning correctly, he thinks she is a dumb c because she shouldn’t expect to make as much as men in sports.  My friend explained that it wasn’t HIS view that she was the c word, but his friend’s. However, he basically agreed with him because he went on to agree with his friend’s premise. He used, and I am not joking, PORN and MODELING as examples of two fields where women make more than men, and says he doesn’t complain about that.  A. Is that even true and b. if it is true, who cares? If true, ok… so there are TWO WHOLE FIELDS where women make more than men. Does that level the playing field for the thousands of others where women make less for the same amount of work? And to use PORN as one of them? Do I really need to explain why this is a terrible example?  I mean, I will, but is it really necessary?

So let’s break down certain people’s arguments (usually men but women are often guilty of internalized sexism) against equal pay in sports shall we?

Men bring in more revenue. The only reason men on the whole bring in more money to the organization is because their teams are marketed more often and with more gusto. Put as much money into marketing women, and then let’s compare.    

Men’s sports are more exciting to watch.  Says who?  I will never forget the US Women’s Soccer Team’s World Cup win in 1999.  That was one of the most exciting games I have ever seen. And I wasn’t a fan of soccer (or as the rest of the world calls it, football) at the time.

There are tons more reasons but that’s not really the point of the post. I’m mostly just curious where all the anger comes from. I think it comes from fear.  Every emotion really only ever comes down to fear or love, and these dudes are coming from a place of fear.  They’re raised to never show their feelings (except for anger—anger is acceptable), they can never cry or say they feel lonely, they have to always be tough.  It must be really hard to live that way.  So if they see women excelling or stepping into what has historically been ‘their turf’ (sports), I guess it freaks them out? I dunno, men, help me out here. Why all the anger? Why do you care if women are paid their due –in ANY field, not just sports?  What are you afraid of?  That there will be less for you?  

I have been witnessing lately that a lot of rational, seemingly smart men become these angry souls when topics like this are brought up, and it is usually them bringing up these topics.

Just a guess, but maybe (straight) men feel like if women are self-sufficient that we won’t need them anymore? That we won’t want them? I’m not sure if it comes from some innate place within them or just centuries of conditioning. My guess is the latter. What do you think?

A quote to consider:

‘When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.’

No one seems to be able to pin down who said this, but it raises a great point.  Equality isn’t pie, you aren’t getting less just because someone else is claiming theirs.  Good for the women who are only asking to be paid their worth.

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