Whether you are a girl or a boy, you most likely grew up playing a sport or two. Who knows, maybe you even became so good at that sport that you went on to play in college, and even pro! What a life to live, to be doing something that you love everyday, traveling the world, and getting paid for it. Yet, for the people who sit in the stands to cheer these lucky people on have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. A lot of people have no clue what goes on in the dark, until it gets to be so much that some sort of action is taken to bring it all to light.
Inequality, It Is Everywhere.
In this day and age, many people do not truly realize the gender inequality that surrounds us in our day to day life. In the work place, in the classroom, in the stores, in professional sports. Almost everywhere you go, there is an example of gender inequality. People don’t notice this inequality for multiple reasons. Whether it is because of how they were raised, their lack of exposure to the media, or their lack of education, to understand that men and women in today’s society are looked at, hired, treated, and paid differently. That is a concerning revelation. It is important to realize that not everything that glitters is gold. Except, if it is in the hands of a male, it probably is.
Hard Working Women Deserve Appropriate Pay.
About a month ago, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (the most successful female soccer team ever) filed a wage-discrimination action against the U.S Soccer Federation. They are trying to fight for equal pay in concerns to the United States Men’s National Team receiving much higher salaries and bonuses. In an article posted on ESPN’s website, journalist Kate Fagan (2016) stated that, “the USSF’s 2015 financial report, says that despite the women’s team generating nearly $20 million more revenue last year than the U.S. men’s team, the women are paid about a quarter of what the men earn” . That is baffling. Now, how does that work? These women work just as hard at competing and succeeding, yet still aren’t getting paid the same because they are females? The discrimination is uncanny in the decade that we live in today.
The Haters Are Gonna Hate.
One may argue that the women do not face the same obstacles as the men do, therefore they should not get paid the same amount. In a recent article by Beau Dure (2016) from the Guardian, he mentioned that, “equal work isn’t necessarily accurate if you acknowledge that the US men face greater competition to make the roster and greater competition to win games, and they draw higher ratings, higher attendance and more revenue over a four-year cycle”. As factual as that may be, that is not a good enough argument to convey towards this subject. For example, say a male manager at McDonalds works at a faster paced location and has to handle multiple people a day because he works in a major city so he gets paid more versus a female manager who works in a small town that barely sees any customers, but is doing the same tasks as the male. Those external factors are against the women’s control. In the end, the same job and tasks are being completed.
Success Is Limited.
Julia T. Wood talked about the glass ceilings and glass walls that women face during a certain point in time of their careers. These invisible barriers limit their success. They work and work until they get to the highest level of achievement (so they think). However, there is more to go in terms of success, but the discrimination is so strong, it holds them back. A great example in this case would be how these glass ceilings are denying the women’s team access to the same pay wages and privileges as the men who play the exact same sport for the exact same country. Another key concept from Julia T. Wood is that about affirmative action. The only way things are going to change in terms of this discrimination is if the system is addressed. This group of women are fighting not only for themselves, but for every woman and minority that are in the same position. The constraints on their paychecks due to their sexes is a form of inequality that needs to either be taken care of and at least brought to light.
Many people may have guessed or assumed that the Women’s National Team gets paid a lot. They do get paid a lot in regards to what their occupation is and compared to other American’s. Yet, the difference between the men’s team is concerning. Star midfielder Carli Lloyd (2016) summed it up nicely to the New York times by stating, “Each year, the United States men’s and women’s national teams each play a minimum of 20 friendly matches. The top five players on the men’s team make an average of $406,000 each year from these games. The top five women are guaranteed only $72,000 each year”. Those numbers are mind boggling. How is that wage gap even possible? Seeing the actual numbers of this situation makes sense as to why they have chosen to take such a strong action.
It Takes Guts To Stand Up For What You Believe In.
Topics such as this one do not come to mind always when discussing professional sports. The statistics and fun facts of the players are the details that people chat about. Having the behind the scenes details come to light really puts things in perspective: men still are better off than women, and they can have it all. One thing is for certain, if the women on the Women’s National Soccer team fight this battle with the same tenacity, strength, and perseverance that they do when they are out on that field winning gold medals and world cups, than they can conquer this battle for equal rights. Women have come a long way in all aspects in life and this will have to be yet another thing that they take over and win for the better of society.