I would never in a million years call myself a feminist. Having read Caitlin Moran’s “How to be a woman” recently I know she thinks that all women should proclaim themselves to be feminists but given the current state of events I really can’t.
Despite the fact that my hand-eye-ball coordination is so poor I am completely useless at any sport that involves a ball (and most of those that don’t!) I love watching sport. And I have been paying attention to (although I haven’t watched most of it unfortunately) the Australian Open which culminated today in the most thrilling match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, which Djokovic eventually won. But something about it has left a very nasty taste in my mouth.
The women’s final was won by Victoria Azarenka who stunned Maria Sharapova to win 6-3, 6-0. The match took the grand total of 1 hr and 22 minutes. A whole 82 minutes… The men’s match took a whopping 5 hours and 53 minutes, more than 4 times as long. Even if Sharapova had put up a bit more of a fight, the maximum length of a women’s match is three sets as opposed to the five sets the men play in the grand slam tournaments.
The thing which really annoys and frustrates me is that despite the disparity in this length of match the women are paid exactly the same as the men.
At its most basic, a woman can win a match in a minimum 12 games; a man has to play 18 at least. So why are they paid the same?
On the tour, where the length of matches for men and women is three sets then absolutely, the men and women should have equal prize money. For it to be uneven in those cases would make no sense. But in the grand slams where there is a disparity between the match lengths, the women’s prize money should be less.
I find the fact that the women are prepared to accept this equal prize money frankly disgusting. They know that they don’t play as much as men in the grand slams so why should they be entitled to the same amount of money? In fact some of the female players campaigned a few years ago for the prize money to be equal to the men and I have only one response: if you want the same money then play five sets.
To say that women deserve less pay seems distinctly anti-feminist and thus I would never proclaim myself to be a feminist. And I don’t care.
Do you think the men and women should have the same prize money? Or has in this case, feminism gone too far?