July 7, 2015

Please stop calling it a gender pay gap. Because it's not.

I just read yet ANOTHER article about the "gender pay gap" in soccer. The following comma splice in particular caught my attention:

Women’s teams play just as hard on the pitch as men’s teams, they should be receiving equal reward for their hard earned victory.
That is fallacious logic. A job's pay is not set by the effort a person puts in; it is set by the market value of what that job produces. This is why actors who perform in local theater don't get paid the same as actors who perform on Broadway, even though they may produce similar quality and work equally hard. Also, this is why male soccer players in MLS do not get paid the same as male soccer players in most European leagues, even though they play just as hard on the pitch.

Fairness and gender equity are noble causes. I support equal pay for equal work. But come on. The outrage flying around the internet this week is misplaced.

The outrage should be that a jersey that sells for $80 is sewn by someone who gets paid pennies a day. The outrage should be that billions are spent on stadiums that crumble into decay after the tournament is over, built by laborers who can't afford to buy a ticket to a game played there.

Can we stop talking about this as gender inequity, please? Because it's not, and calling it so undermines the real issue of gender pay gaps.

If you showed me a woman creating ads for the World Cup who makes 70% of what a man making ads for the same World Cup makes, then I'd feel the outrage.

THAT would be a gender pay inequity. Equal pay for equal work is not the same as equal pay for equal effort. Is the discrepancy in payment from the men's and women's World Cups unfair? Possibly. Should it be "corrected" by a new rule to ensure a "fair" or "equitable" situation?

No.

Well, I could imagine a scenario where you reduce payments to men's teams so they are equal to payments made to women's teams. Spend the savings on community improvement, education, and health care in the places where the laborers live.

If you want to talk about equity and injustice, let's start from there.


(The photos are just ones I took of soccer related stuff. They don't actually relate to the text except that they are soccer, and I took them.)

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