There is no doubt that the National Women's Football Team of the United States is impressive. On July 7, they won their fourth FIFA Women's World Cup title, as well as all the other countries combined. Their skills are obvious and their athleticism is consistently unparalleled. But activism for social justice has tarnished many things, including women's sport. The result is a focus on much outside the game arena. Gender inequality is a popular topic and it has also invaded our worldview of athletics.
It is difficult to discuss female athletes and their respective sports because almost all mentions of disgust or neutral disinterest are greeted with accusations of sexism. The last World Cup, with its inflamed and controversial stars like Megan Rapinoe, is a perfect example of the defensive stance adopted by many people involved in this gender-specific world.
As a woman, I almost feel like I have to invest with all my heart in sports competitions centered on other women. It is an exhausting side effect of third-wave feminism from a society where too many people see gender differences as automatically negative. Personally, I see no reason to please female athletes and their teams simply because we share the same biological characteristics.
Rapinoe and others see themselves as ambassadors for equal pay and rights, as if they are all living in a state of endless oppression. All the while, they have conveniently put aside the fact that they are paid according to what they provide. If fewer people watch women's football, it will result in a difference in pay. It has nothing to do with equal rights, something that they already have. It has everything to do with what the public wants.
"Men still bear the financial burden of the World Cup, with the Men's World Cup in Russia generating more than $ 6 billion in revenue, with participating teams sharing $ 400 million, less than 7% of revenue. The Women's World Cup is expected to win $ 131 million for the full four-year cycle 2019-2022 and pay $ 30 million to the participating teams. "
It's business, pure and simple.
Unfortunately, politicians like Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia believe that the pay gap remains sexist and unfair and has introduced a bill to force American football to promote equal pay. Not only is it a highly inappropriate and unnecessary maneuver, but it is an artificial attempt to even a playground that does not need to be leveled.
Women are not prevented from competing in football and enjoying the benefits that come with it. In fact, the turnover of American women's football has exceeded that of its male counterparts since the World Cup 2015. Despite this, the American football federation rejects appeals and even a lawsuit for equal pay, saying that "any difference in pay is attributable to separate labor agreements for the national men's and women's teams".
It seems that the problem of wage disparity, including factors such as sponsorship and marketing revenues, goes far beyond the so-called discrimination based on sex. As demonstrated above, women's teams actually receive a larger portion of the total World Cup revenue. I do not think they will complain about this inequality anytime soon.
In sport, everything is a matter of personal preference. I like men's basketball, but baseball and football are not my thing. On the other hand, female gymnastics is always a pleasure to watch while male gymnastics does not attract me. Whatever it is, I always try to follow Olympic swimming competitions for men and women. I have nothing against certain sports and their participants other than my own opinion about what constitutes excitement and enjoyable viewing.
As an American, I am proud of the women's football team. They have won on the world stage and are the best of the best. But their victory came with a lot of groans. Their hard work has earned them a certain kind of privilege, but many of them only see it as an inequality. They think they are underpaid but reject the reality of the income and the demand of the public. Some, like Rapinoe, even use the attention to make unpatriotic displays, among others.
What's wrong with women's football has nothing to do with the sex of the players or the game itself. This is not just for everyone. If female athletes want to attract more people, they should stop making misogyny the root cause of their problems. At the moment, people like me do not connect for reasons unrelated to biology. But if these ungrateful and gender-related attitudes persist, they will be enough to keep viewers away in the near future.
Kimberly Ross (@SouthernKeeks) is a contributor to Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog and a columnist for Arc Digital.