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Not Always Equal

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jburche3
Words 965
Pages 4
What does “equal pay for equal work” mean? It means that two individuals should be paid identically, if they perform similar jobs and work for the same amount of hours. Everyone should be treated equally in the work place, no matter their gender or race, if the playing fields in which they are participating are equal. This refers to a controversial topic: should male and female tennis players receive the same prize money if the playing fields are not equal? Females compete for less time than the men do, yet get paid an equal amount. Men should be earning more money than women in the sport of tennis if “equal pay for equal work” was really being applied. The men and women’s tours are completely separate entities, with different schedules and different sponsors, for all of except six tournaments throughout the tennis season, in which they compete at the same venues. The Grand Slams: the Australian Open, the French Open, the
Wimbledon Championships and the US Open, comprise four of these six tournaments and are the holy grails of the sport. The winner has a daunting task of winning seven matches over a twoweek period against the best players in the world. The incredibly rewarding financial prize that is rewarded to the champions at the end of the two weeks is identical between the men and the women. There would not be a problem or an opposing argument against women receiving equal pay at the Grand Slams if the playing fields were the same. The problem is that the playing fields are not equal. The men have to win three out of five sets each match they play. The women only have to win two out of three sets. Looking at the last four grand slam events that were played, the men had to play far more tennis. The champions on the men’s side, Roger Federer and Juan

Martin Del Potro, had to play a total of ninety-eight sets. The champions on the women’s side;
Svetlana Kuznetsova, Serena Williams, and Kim Clijsters, only had to win a total of 64 sets. In terms of time spent on court, the longest match in the history of Wimbledon on the men’s side was four hours and forty-eight minutes, while the longest match at Wimbledon on the women’s side was only two hours and forty-five minutes. The prize money slightly differs between each
Grand Slam, but there is no difference between the money received by each gender, even though the women played substantially less. There is no issue with women getting the same amount of prize money as men, but they should have to earn it. Equal pay should only be offered if everyone competes on an equal playing field.
Prize money has not always been equal at these events. The main activist for female rights in the sport of tennis was Billie Jean King. She fought for equality her whole competitive sporting life. She battled with the sponsors, tournament directors, and even a male tennis professional in a highly publicized match. In 1970, she defeated Bobby Riggs, who was a great tennis player in his time, in a three out of five set match. This instantly made women’s tennis more credible in the eye’s of the general public. Billie Jean King kept fighting until the US Open finally agreed with her view and gave out equal prize money in 1973. The other three Grand
Slams followed suite in 2007. She continues to fight for the rights of women to this day.
Women have worked long and hard, and have made great strides in equality in the work place. In the sport of tennis, they deserve the same equality and financial rewards for the majority of the tournament season. However, in the Grand Slam events, they are not given the opportunity to play the same amount of time as the men. If women think that they deserve the

same pay, then they should ask for equal playing fields. Only then will people truly believe that female tennis players are performing a similar job to male tennis players.
In a recent interview with Chris Woodruff, a former top ten professional tennis player, he was asked how he felt about the equal prize money in women and men’s tennis:
It is tough to have an opinion one way or another on this debate, as with any problem, you must take a look at the facts. The facts are: women do not bring as much attention to the game as men do. They do not play at the same level as men. They do not play for as long as men. Truthfully, it just does not take quite as much effort to become great in the women’s game. I am not trying to take the piss out of women’s tennis. I simply do not believe that women should be paid equal prize money in the Grand Slam events
Since men are naturally stronger, faster, and have more stamina than women, they play tennis at a higher level than their female counterparts. With the enacting of equal pay at the
Grand Slams, the men are now getting an unfair deal. They have to work more hours at a higher standard of play, yet receive no extra compensation for their efforts. During the rest of the season, everyone is on equal playing fields, competing in a two out of three set scoring system. If the Grand Slams want to be fair in making their tournaments equal pay, then they have to even the playing fields. Competing at the same venue does not automatically give women the right to receive the same pay as men. Women are putting in less time on the court, and they should be paid accordingly.

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