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Tilting at Windmills

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April 25, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

IDIOTS IN WHITE....The troglodytes who run the All England Club have decided to give the finger to women once again:

Wimbledon has chosen to remain the only Grand Slam not to offer its men's and women's champions equal prize money.

The All England Club has unveiled its 2006 prize money with the men's winner earning 655,000 compared to the 625,000 first prize for the women.

This is actually more insulting than in years past, and not just because the French Open recently agreed to equalize men's and women's prize money, leaving Wimbledon as the only tennis grand slam to still have unequal prizes. After all, back when the women made half as much as the men, they could at least gin up some hackneyed argument about three sets vs. five, or perhaps suggest that the club just couldn't afford to equalize the prizes. Or something.

But now the women's prize is 95% of the men's prize. That's such a small difference that they've made it plain that this is purely symbolic, a way to demonstrate that nobody's going to make them do anything they don't want to do and to hell with any woman who doesn't like it.

What a disgusting gang of neanderthals. If the men had any balls, they'd demand a pay cut.

Kevin Drum 7:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (106)

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Comments

Maybe the Men's champion and the Women's champion could play rock-paper-scissors for the 30,000 quid.

Posted by: craigie on April 25, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

If the men have any grace at all they will just split that 30,000 with the women. Oh, and play in those stupid skirts.

Posted by: RB on April 25, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Not a lot of people know this, but the men get extra money at Wimbledon because they make the men mow the grass. The women don't have to do that.

So it probably is fair.

Posted by: craigie on April 25, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

This is a serious inquiry. Can somone tell me why it matters a hill of beans if the women's prize money is different?

Why does making the women's prize money different from the men's money make somone a neaderthal?

Should we also insist that the networks give equal amount of money to the NBA and the WNBA?

Should we insist that the MLB players be paid the same as the WMLB ( oops, my bad we don't have a WMLB ).

It's the weird politically correct people who insist that in order to satisfy their extreme version of equality everything that a women does must be considered of the exact same importance as what a men does. These are the people who for some strange reason, consider some achievement all the much greater if a woman did it.

Why not live in the real world, and reject the foolish 70's dogma that men and women are really equal and just socialization creates the feminine and masculine roles. Then maybe there will be appreciation of both the feminine and masculine aspects of life again. Really Kevin, this hardly seems like something worthy of referring to people you have not even met with such derogatory language.

Posted by: John Hansen on April 25, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

I bet the men draw a bigger audience, and hence, more money.

Should women be subsidized for being less interesting athletes?

Posted by: BB on April 25, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Why not live in the real world, and reject the foolish 70's dogma that men and women are really equal and just socialization creates the feminine and masculine roles. Then maybe there will be appreciation of both the feminine and masculine aspects of life again.

John is right! I really appreciate being a woman. I wouldn't appreciate my the special gifts of my femininity half as much if champion women tennis players made as much as men.

Posted by: shortstop on April 25, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

BB-

I think the opposite.

Posted by: Preston on April 25, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Why not live in the real world, and reject the foolish 70's dogma that men and women are really equal and just socialization creates the feminine and masculine roles. Then maybe there will be appreciation of both the feminine and masculine aspects of life again.

Of course you're right John. Men and women are by nature different. That men get paid more than women is just a reflection of that difference. Paying men and women the same is just a attempt at PCness. Sports should be judged on athletic abilities not pcness.

Posted by: Al on April 25, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, women are often a bigger draw than men so they should paid more. The women should boycott, but any contender wouldn't dare miss an opportunity to win Wimbledon.

Posted by: scruncher on April 25, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

I demand that male porn stars get paid as much as the female ones. Same goes for male daytime talk show hosts, models, and figure skaters.

Posted by: BB on April 25, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Boobs are too big

Posted by: Matt on April 25, 2006 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone have any idea of how the women's matches compare to the men's in terms of t.v. ratings? Professional sports is first and foremost a television broadcast event, as far as the money involved, so if somebody's take doesn't reflect the number of eyeballs they attract, then they have a legitimate beef.

Posted by: Will Allen on April 25, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

John is right! I really appreciate being a woman. I wouldn't appreciate my the special gifts of my femininity half as much if champion women tennis players made as much as men.

Ha! The joy of professional sarcasm!

Posted by: craigie on April 25, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, women are often a bigger draw than men so they should paid more.

Perhaps, but I bet I can guess who gets the biggest audiences -- the most attractive women, like Kournikova and Sharapova. Not exactly what feminists had in mind.

Posted by: BB on April 25, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

BB: Perhaps, but I bet I can guess who gets the biggest audiences -- the most attractive women, like Kournikova and Sharapova. Not exactly what feminists had in mind.

So what's your moved-goalpost argument now, son? That okay, they're a bigger draw, but they should only get paid as much if they're homely, and then we'll know they're worth it?

You can't make this stuff up!

craigie: Ha! The joy of professional sarcasm!

Mmmmm. Only an amateur. But I practice a lot.

Posted by: shortstop on April 25, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

are the ticket prices for women's matches cheaper? by old white englishmen's standards, shouldn't they be.

Posted by: linda on April 25, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

So what's your moved-goalpost argument now, son? That okay, they're a bigger draw, but they should only get paid as much if they're homely, and then we'll know they're worth it?

Ah, the strawman. Love it.

No, what I meant is that people should be paid according to how much they earn. It's a radical concept, I know. Take some time to let it sink in.

Posted by: BB on April 25, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, the men's tour is a bigger draw. However, in the context of Wimbledon I don't think it matters: they charge the same for all matches and are sold out every year. And TV rights are sold for the entire event, not individual matches. So they make as much money from the women as the men.

But even if that's not true, I'll repeat what I said in the main post: the fact that the prize money is almost equal makes it clear that there are no issues of equity involved. It's purely symbolic, and the point they're trying to make is that they're neanderthals.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on April 25, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

In the UK, men's matches have significantly higher ratings than women's matches. The BBC pays more for its coverage of Wimbledon than any other broadcaster. The ratings difference might be explained by there being precisely zero decent British women players, while there are one or two half-decent British men. But I think the preference for men's matches is deeper rooted than that.

There is no doubt, as well, that tickets for the men's final on Sunday are far, far harder to obtain than tickets for the women's final on Saturday.

US viewership of Wimbledon waxes and wanes with (what else) US players. So last year's women's final with two Americans (Venus and Lindsay) outrated Roddick v Federer. Just goes to show there's no accounting for taste. Any real tennis observer would do anything to watch Federer play anything, any time.

Posted by: Lance Knobel on April 25, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Equal work deserves the same pay regardless of gender--from a happily married male who appreciates the work and contributions of his female counterparts.

Posted by: Jesseaw on April 25, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

It isn't just the really pretty ones. Women's tennis has been more competitive than men's in the past decade: Sampras was for years without a peer, and Federer seems to have reached that same eminence now. By contrast, there hasn't been a woman who dominated the sport in this way since at least Steffi Graf, maybe since Navratilova. In recent years, Hingis, Davenport, the Williams sisters, and now Sharapova, have all vied for dominance.

Will: the point here isn't the largeness of the prize disparity, but the smallness. It suggests that the All-England Club is standing, much like the Augusta Golf Club, on something they quite wrong-headedly consider a principle.

Posted by: kth on April 25, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe they're not neanderthals. Maybe they are brave pioneers bucking the politically correct trend that insists on sameness to satisfy the perverse minds of those trapped in their own little politically correct world.

Posted by: John Hansen on April 25, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

I bet the men draw a bigger audience, and hence, more money.

At Wimbledon men play a calculated average of 4 sets per match, women 2 1/2. Measured it's probably even more skewed since lots of the women's early round games end 6-2, 6-2.

Posted by: ogmb on April 25, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK


KEVIN DRUM: What a disgusting gang of neanderthals.

Millions of people--men and women--right here in this country, spent their days today performing menial, arduous, debilitating labor for which they will be paid only several dollars per hour and after which they will not even be covered by insurance should they fall ill, but you find it "disgusting" because a fortunate and pampered woman will be paid only $1,117,250.00 rather than $1,170,878.00 for a few hours effort in late June.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 25, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Equal work deserves the same pay regardless of gender

Professional tennis is not very analogous to pounding widgets.

So, if I start a talk show and ten people watch it, should I be paid the same as Oprah Winfrey? I'm doing "equal work".

Posted by: BB on April 25, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, they don't charge the same price for all matches. Men's final price this year: 83. Women's final: 77. Of course every seat is sold out.

Economists would take scalpers' prices as a better guide, and they are at their peak for the men's final. Much more fun to go on the second week Wednesday and see the men's quarterfinals.

Posted by: Lance Knobel on April 25, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

I love the use of Neanderthal, its absolute gender parity or your some lunatic throwback.
It goes to show the preoccupations of the mind of the left. These are the guys that actually nodded in agreement when their feminist professors bleated on and on about the patriarchy.

How about this instead: Statistical representation in life, on any level, can only represent draconian imposed hegemony. Natural human differences are the norm, and their absence points to imposed ideology, that of radical egalitarianism.

Posted by: Fitz on April 25, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Equal work deserves the same pay regardless of gender...

Yes, but only knee-jerk liberals insist that even when they are not investing any money in the enterprise - because they know what is right for everybody - they get to judge when equal work is done and equal pay is deserved.

Posted by: John Hansen on April 25, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

Once again, it's the relatively small disparity which seems to be a "fuck you" to women and people who support equal pay for women.

Or perhaps a sop to people like John Hansen who think women are intrinsically less worthy. I'd love to hear the reasoning behind the prize amounts.

Posted by: Librul on April 25, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, women are often a bigger draw than men so, using your locgic, they should be paid more. The women should boycott, but any contender wouldn't dare miss an opportunity to win Wimbledon.

Posted by: scruncher on April 25, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

It's good to be King.

Queen, not so much.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 25, 2006 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Will: the point here isn't the largeness of the prize disparity, but the smallness. It suggests that the All-England Club is standing, much like the Augusta Golf Club, on something they quite wrong-headedly consider a principle.

And the argument of us who disagree with you and Kevin is that the principle they are standing on which I surmize is something like "...we are the ones who put up the money and organize the thing - we get to decide -- not you-- what the prize money is for each event..." is something very worth fighting for. ( Sorry, I know how personal freedom really is a scary issue to the - take charge of everything left)

Posted by: John Hansen on April 25, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

If Wimbledon completely separated men's and women's tournaments and marketed them separately, a 2:1 prize money split doesn't sound unrealistic, given the revenue opportunities. I wonder what rational there is for demanding equal split? Clearly work has nothing to do with it, or the tournament winner would only get seven times the amount of a first round loser.

Posted by: ogmb on April 25, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, Kevin.

You walk on eggshells and refuse to speak in plain terms about the serial fuck-ups and infamies of the Bush administration.

Ah, but if there's gender-compensation injustice in tennis, well, that's sure to get yer Irish up like no other issue can.

Priorities, I guess.

(At least you got passion about something, I guess.)

Posted by: dr on April 25, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, I don't know what the ratings are (Kevin the fact that the rights are sold as a package is irrelevant; what matters is the ratings which drive the rights negotiations), but if the women's ratings exceed, are equal to, or nearly equal to the men's, then the situation is as kevin describes.

If, however, the ratings which drive how much Wimbledon gets in broadcast fees are such that they indicate that the men's events attract substantially more viewers, then the fact that the women's prize money is so close to the mens is indicative that the men are the one's with a legitimate complaint. The players who cause the most people to turn on their t.v.s and watch the commercials are the people who should get the most money.

Posted by: Will Allen on April 25, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

Or perhaps a sop to people like John Hansen who think women are intrinsically less worthy...

Sop... Neanderthal... you libs really know how to make a persuasive argument.

Where did I ever say the wormen were intriniscally less worthy/ Please understand - different does not mean less worthy. I never stated that I had any opinion on the relative worth of male and female tennis players. I just don't think it makes someone a neanderthal to set the prize money different.

Posted by: John Hansen on April 25, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK


LIBRUL: Or perhaps a sop to people like John Hansen who think women are intrinsically less worthy.

The SOP for any adherent to the faith of capitalism is that neither women nor men have intrinsic worth. The basic tenet is that humanity itself bestows no worth whatsoever, only an obligation to submit to life's true meaning: The Market. It is the depth of that submission which determines one's worth.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 25, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Equal work deserves the same pay regardless of gender..In this case as the male tennis players must win 3 sets, (out of a possible 5 sets) to advance to the next round, while the women need only 2 out of posible 3 to advance. Therefore, based on the actual playing time on the court, and or by the number of balls played, the women even with their longer rallies, undoubtedly earn more money per minute, than their male counterparts. Each Wimbledon championship, after the seedings are made, if I'm not mistaken, begin with 124 competitors for both the Men's and Women's Championship.

Posted by: Steve Crickmore on April 25, 2006 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

the French Open recently agreed to equalize men's and women's prize money, leaving Wimbledon as the only tennis grand slam to still have unequal prizes.

Btw, this is incorrect. Roland Garros only pays equally to tournament winners. Lower tier prize moneys are still unequal.

French Open organisers announced last month that they would pay their men's and women's singles champions the same prize money of 940,000 euros ($1.13 million) this year, though they were criticised by the WTA Tour for not applying the equality throughout the draw.

Posted by: ogmb on April 25, 2006 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

It's the weird politically correct people who insist that in order to satisfy their extreme version of equality everything that a women does must be considered of the exact same importance as what a men does

What's weird to me is that you're suggesting that we artificially divide people into genders and then assign arbitrary values to the achievements of each gender, rather than treating individual human beings as "persons."

Should I tip a waitress less than a waiter because of my appreciation of her "feminine aspects"? Do they require me to fondly value her work less? If a girl works on my car does she deserve less pay in acknowledgment of her beautiful feminine differences?

Here's a good one: why should women have the right to vote or inherit property at all? Clearly by your reasoning their gentle femininity makes them incapable of undertaking such steely masculine endeavors, and it would be disrespectful and even insulting to their mysterious submissive natures to suggest otherwise.

Feh.

Posted by: Windhorse on April 25, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

What is also odd about this argument is that no-one speaks up in favor of doubles prize moneys, or especially the true victim of tennis discrimination, mixed doubles.

The men's doubles winners would each earn 220,690 pounds, a rise of one percent, with the women getting 205,280. Mixed doubles prizes remain unchanged at 90,000 pounds.

Posted by: ogmb on April 25, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

The background to this factoid is (for those non-tennis fans) that in the early 1970's Billie Jean King split most of the womens' tour (other than the grand slams) off from the men's tour, under the sponsorship of Virginia Slims. Prior to that time in the amateur era men and women played the same tour, the split occured in the early days of pro tennis and it was basically a response to Jack Kramer's mysoginistic tendencies.

Today, however, the WTA does not draw nearly the sponsorship dollars that the ATP does. The exceptions to this rule are several tournaments where men and women play together and the prize money at those tournaments is equal all the way down the line.

I've got a bit of a side hobby arguing that it would be very, very good for the game to re-unify the tours and adjust the schedule to make a comprehensive TV package possible, however . .

What is interesting is the market has spoken here. I don't really understand it, I mean, clearly the women play 2 out of 3 sets so they actually play less, although they obviously could play 3 out of 5 as well (if you walk up to two tennis fans in a bar arguing over whether 3/5 is better than 2/3, my advice is to just keep on walking, by the way).

However, even though women's pro tennis really is the number one professional sport for women in the world, the depth is not quite the same as the mens tour, and the sponsors have put their money where their prejudices are.

Maybe its just that (i) prize money is sponsor driven, and (ii) there are more male sports fans than female sports fans.

Oddly enough, one would expect Wimbledon to simply pay the same, it doesn't seem as if anything is really accomplished by this disparity, other than pissing some people off.

However, as women do have thier own, separate tour, and as how much a player makes is entirely dependent upon their results, this is the wrong forum to discuss pay disparities in the workforce in general.

Posted by: hank on April 25, 2006 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

What they should do is offer the same prize money to men and women, with significant bonuses to the better-played matches in each round (determined by player voting).

Posted by: Donal on April 25, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Windhorse:

"mysterious submissive natures" ... oooh.

Sorta like ... Kevin's cats :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 25, 2006 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

Any of you tennis freaks ever read David Foster Wallace's essays on the subject?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 25, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

Women play up to 2 sets less a match:
2 out of 3 for women.
3 out of 5 for men.

Therefore the men work longer hours

Posted by: james on April 25, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

Memo to John Hansen:

Are you just stupid? Or is it organic? Surely as a card carrying rightwing nutcase you appreciate the power of symbolic "fuck you"s to one's opponents, it's what your CongressZombies have been doing to Democrats for YEARS. But it's fine when your side indulges in it. When someone objects, you cry "pc". Say, how much did you earn bullying the other kids out of their lunch money, anyway?

Posted by: jprichva on April 25, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I am still waiting for you to address the Reggie Bush Homegate scandal. There is a possibility that USC will be stripped of all its wins by the NCAA and Bush will have to return his Heisman. Please discuss.

Posted by: MorganParakeet on April 25, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

I want to talk about steroid abuse in the World Chess Federation.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 25, 2006 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

I bet the men draw a bigger audience, and hence, more money.

Are you high? Because I am, and even I'm not this stupid.

Posted by: neil on April 25, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Regggie's folks were selected for ABC's "Extreme Home Makeover". The tale of downtrodden family being made to wait a year or two until their football-lugging son was drafted was sure to pull at heartstrings!

Posted by: Will Allen on April 25, 2006 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

bb: No, what I meant is that people should be paid according to how much they earn.

Do you mean that people should be paid what they are paid? Like a kind of Panglossian Economics? "This is the best of all possible salaries." You must be University of Chicago.

Or that they should be paid based on what they bring in to an enterprise? No quibbles there of course.

Or is it just possible that you're prating?

Posted by: snicker-snack on April 25, 2006 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

There's a very easy solution. Sue. I'm pretty sure this standard violates the European Human Rights Covenant and various EU labor treaties, and unlike in America, private organizations can be sued.

Posted by: Me2d on April 25, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

KD -- think you called yourself a tennis buff at an earlier date.

The only time I remember equal work in tennis was Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. I was glad Billie Jean King won, but it was hype, not tennis. I was happy the pros won their fight with all the big tennis monopolies in the 60s, but it's sport/show biz not life.

I believe in equal pay for equal work. I believe that women and black people and other races do not have an equal footing or equal opportunity in this country. I think racism and sexism is endemic.

As stated so ably above, there are so many more important things in life. Your outrage is misplaced.

Be a man. Admit you're a wrong.

Posted by: notthere on April 25, 2006 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

Are you high? Because I am, and even I'm not this stupid.

People who are high often think many crazy things, like that they can fly.

Go see if you can.

Posted by: BB on April 25, 2006 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

Do you mean that people should be paid what they are paid?

Is English your second language?

A popular athlete draws a bigger audience. Therefore, he earns more ad revenue, draws greater attendance at events, and so one. Therefore, he should be paid more for this.

You now know the difference between the words "paid" and "earn". Congratulations. You can now move on to the 2nd grade. The assistant has your certificate and a half pint of chocolate milk waiting for you.

Posted by: BB on April 25, 2006 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

Two questions:

1) Men or women, does this amount of money add up to more or less than $100 a minute?

2) What's the prize money for blancmanges?

Posted by: tbrosz on April 25, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Check out the radical difference in purses by sex for the US Open between men and women in golf.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on April 25, 2006 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Oooh. Nice point BB!

If I missed a similar point, I apologize.

In races/track&field/athletics, it is common practice for meets to pay individual athletes bonuses just for contracting to turn up. Their name is the draw, therefore revenue.

Tennis is just show biz. Should Federer et al negotiate their own appearance contract? What's with the way tennis is structured anyway?

Posted by: notthere on April 25, 2006 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

"What a disgusting gang of neanderthals."

Kevin, you are so F'ed-up. This is what gets your rage up...the $54k (4.5%) difference between $1,172,000 and $1,118,000 prize money for playing a GAME. Sure its wrong and stupid, but there have been a hell a lot more important things you've been silent or equivacating on than quibbling over super rich and 4.5% less super rich. Let me give you a clue: there is no perceptable difference in those amounts. Where's your rage about women getting 50 cents on the dollar for real work big shot?
.

Posted by: pluege on April 25, 2006 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Check out the radical difference in t.v. viewership for the events.

Posted by: Will Allen on April 25, 2006 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Tennis is just show biz. Should Federer et al negotiate their own appearance contract?

IIRC that already happens, although not at Grand Slam tourneys.

Posted by: ogmb on April 25, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

Re Fitz's point: Draconian imposed hegenomy AND radical egalitarianism. And I thought I had my hands full with dhimmitude.

Re Will Allen's point: Well, yes, but my master the rational market also brought more people out to get a load of John McEnroe's boorish behavior on the courts, not that there was anything wrong with that, thus incentivizing further boorish behavior across the sports world and helping to coarsen the culture. But, hey the market has spoken.

Further, what's-her-name on the pro golf tour brought out some gigantic viewership numbers, so I think she ought to get the biggest check in the mail just for showing up. Baby, the market has spoken.

Re jayarbee's point way up thread: Well, I can't speak for Kevin, but the solution for your complaint is that the men and women tennis players get paid the same, and then get hit with a hefty redistributivist tax bill to refund all the poor sods who got cheated out of a decent wage for their menial labor. Market? No. Justice. And then the menial laborers can unionize and go on strike so that the weary tennis players (all that work!) can take their own garbage to the dump and clean their own locker rooms. We'll take a commercial break until they finish their chores.
Don't think we don't expect tips, too.

I do sympathize with the plight of the doubles players. Answer: Naked Doubles!

Or maybe like Howard Beale in "Network", we could shoot one of them during a match. Watch the market share soar! Plus you wouldn't need to pay the dead tennis player.

Posted by: John Thullen on April 25, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

You now know the difference between the words "paid" and "earn".

I realize you're struggling for a combative comeback but for all yer squawking it ain't me who's having trouble using words. I was having fun with your imprecision. If you're going to leave yourself so open to misconstrual...

Here let me help you along, "Earn" ain't got the same meaning as "bring in" or any of the synonyms you should have been searching for.

Please find your use of the word 'earn' in the definition below (from the Online Dictionary).

earn1 (rn)
tr.v. earned, earning, earns
1. To gain especially for the performance of service, labor, or work: earned money by mowing lawns.
2. To acquire or deserve as a result of effort or action: She earned a reputation as a hard worker.
3. To yield as return or profit: a savings account that earns interest on deposited funds.

Can't can you?

And you're awarding certificates!!

Posted by: snicker-snack on April 25, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

2. To (...) deserve as a result of effort or action

Hello!!!

Posted by: ogmb on April 25, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

The star tennis players are increasingly getting large appearance fees for tournaments, irrespective of how they play. The majors, which don't yet do this, act as audition for who will be offered these appearance fees at lesser tournaments.

Posted by: Will Allen on April 25, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK


BB: A popular athlete draws a bigger audience. Therefore, he earns more ad revenue, draws greater attendance at events, and so one. Therefore, he should be paid more for this.

I don't understand. Paid more? Why does that follow? When you say, "Therefore," it implies a conclusion based on what precedes, as if by natural law or, at least, necessity. But other than practice, which isn't immutable, your assertion that he "should" be paid more is not a proposition that must follow from your premise; it is nothing but opinion.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 25, 2006 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

John, "the market" is just a synonym for the aggregate of people's preferences. If people on the whole prefer tennis players who act like pro wrestlers, then they'll get more tennis players who act like pro wrestlers. Michelle Wie will get huge appearnce fees for sponsors events, although golf does not yet pay tournament appearance fees as such yet. If Michelle Wie begins to have a following like that of Tiger Woods, then LPGA purses will soar.

What so offends you about the notion that everyone does not share your preferences? The irony of people who purportedly have such affinity for the masses, while holding the preferences of the masses in utter contempt, is notable.

Posted by: Will Allen on April 25, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin may find it interesting that the top women, and by top I figured it out all the way down through the top 15 or so, are actually making more than the top men. If any of you tennis fans want to see the numbers, its posted on tennis.com under Peter Bodo's first blog entry on this topic.

In an analysis worthy of cmdicely, I finally realized, after being a tennis far for approximately 30 years, that there is a difference between what the tournaments actually pay per round (which is what everyone here is discussing) and what a given tennis player actually makes. In other words, you can't compare what a tournament is paying for the losing semi-finalist without also knowing approximately "who" the make up of those semi-finalists are from tournament to tournament and as compared between the two tours.

For example, because the top women (apparently defined at the moment as the top 15 or so, I haven't done the math further down) dominate their tour more, and perhaps play more doubles in the same tournaments, they are actually paid more than the top men.

Given Wimbledon's famous nit-picking nature, perhaps someone on the tournament committee did this math.

Obviously, it looks discriminatory on its face.

Posted by: hank on April 25, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

I meant to say that obviously, for one tournament (like Wimbledon) to announce that the different levels of the draw will pay differently, looks discriminatory.

Posted by: hank on April 25, 2006 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

Will:

Well, such are the pitfalls of being an elitist, I guess, he said, studying his nails.

Hey look, I'm not offended over the preferences of the masses, as you refer to them. I merely note and enjoy the spectacle. If you like it and I like it that we can go to the fights and have a hockey game break out, then all hail the market, long live the market. Pass the popcorn.

Now, my alleged contempt for the masses seems to be trumped by your alleged contemptible labeling of them as "the masses". But I don't find it particularly notable.

Posted by: John Thullen on April 25, 2006 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

I seem to remember that in the Graf era the WTA changed pay scales to award better players a bigger share of the pie (the rule of thumb is that prize moneys double in each round of tournament play, but the WTA shifted that to more than double). Not sure if that's still the case.

Posted by: ogmb on April 25, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

John, if you don't have contempt for the aggregate of people's preferences (not too much more wordy than "the masses", which I was employing ironically), why do you speak of it so sarcastically?

Posted by: Will Allen on April 25, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't read all of the posts, so someone may have already said this, but I bet the woman bring just as much money, if not more, money into the tournament.

Posted by: Matt Lantz on April 25, 2006 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

Matt lantz--
take the trouble

Posted by: notthere on April 25, 2006 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

I bet the woman bring just as much money, if not more, money into the tournament.

Support?

Posted by: ogmb on April 25, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, for crying out loud, Will. If the "masses" can handle a little irony from you, they surely can handle a little sarcasm from me.

Besides, H.L. Mencken had us both beat.

Posted by: John Thullen on April 25, 2006 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

There are many ways in which we could decide how to pay people, all of them unjust. Hard to feel sorry for some probable druggie making 625,000 for a couple weeks work. Rending of hair, sobbing, ululating.

Lard asses should get off the couch and play tennis. I got tired of those arrogant pigs years ago and haven't watched pro sports since Hector was a pup. Pro sports is a perversion of what sport should be. It teaches couch potatoism instead of exercise, poor sportsmanship, steroids, growth hormone.

Posted by: Myron on April 25, 2006 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

Please find your use of the word 'earn' in the definition below (from the Online Dictionary).

Still having trouble, child?

Main Entry: 1earn
Pronunciation: '&rn
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English ernen, from Old English earnian; akin to Old High German arnOn to reap, Czech jesen autumn
1 a : to receive as return for effort and especially for work done or services rendered b : to bring in by way of return
2 a : to come to be duly worthy of or entitled or suited to b : to make worthy of or obtain for

---

"to receive as return for effort"

Duh.

Next.

Posted by: BB on April 25, 2006 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

The men are better -- a LOT better. The best women in the tournement would probably lose to the worst man. Better players arguably deserve more money.

Posted by: David on April 25, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

Besides, Will, I think the "masses" might enjoy a little blue-collar sarcasm better than a little subtle irony, sarcasm being so much more marketable these days.

But maybe they've been reading Jane Austen too. I wouldn't put it past them.

Posted by: John Thullen on April 25, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

Myron:

They ululate? Did you mean ovulate? Or are these women in tennis Al Qaeda sympathasizers, too?

I give you credit for a striking image, however.

Posted by: John Thullen on April 25, 2006 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Still having trouble, child?

1 a : to receive as return for effort and especially for work done or services rendered b : to bring in by way of return

Dear nitwit (aka bb),

I do believe you're looking for the prepostion 'for.' Note that bringing money into an organization is not the same as earning money for oneself. Using epithets such as 'child' do nothing to change the fact that you're wrong. Your original sentence remains imprecise. Did you squawk at the red marks on your grade school papers to try and fix them too?

Posted by: snicker-snack on April 25, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Myron:

Wait a second! Was that you ululating/ovulating?

Got it. And Will Allen thinks he is the master of subtle irony.

Posted by: John Thullen on April 25, 2006 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

Oh my God, everyone, I neglected to use the word "for" when I dashed off a thought on a message board. I didn't explicitly state what was obviously implicit to anyone with even a modicum of intelligence.

The world is shaking apart at its foundation!

Someone, please pass me another half-pint of chocolate milk to nourish little snicker-snack.

Nighty, kiddo.

Posted by: BB on April 25, 2006 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, trailing Mencken is no dishonor, and I stand second to no one is being unable to predict what will find broad popularity. I just don't think there is any moral aspect to what entertainment preferences people have, short of feeding people to lions who would prefer not to be, so I think compensation for performers of any stripe should roughly track how many people they entertain. As much as I like Coltrane, I'll concede he never should have made the money that Perry Como did, although the jazz great's estate may make more than Mr. Sweater's. Perhaps I misunderstood you as thinking otherwise.

Posted by: Will Allen on April 25, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

Only if they start paying male models the same amount as female models. And if they pass us a few years of life expectancy.

Tit for tat.

Posted by: McA on April 25, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

What a disgusting gang of neanderthals. If the men had any balls, they'd demand a pay cut.

Kevin Drum 7:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (76)

Well stats show women earn 10% less on average than men. Why don't you do your bit and demand a pay cut?

Posted by: McA on April 25, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

It's not the forgetting to use the word 'for'. It's that when I had fun with your imprecise English instead of saying 'oops' which is guess what you're doing with your last post, you responded with aggressive stupidity. I've addressed the grammar of your post, you've responded with ad hominems about chocolate milk. I mean I speak from a biased position (being the one that you are attempting to put down) but from my perspective anyway, it seems a pretty feeble attempt.

Posted by: snicker-snack on April 25, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Wow ... what a bunch of cranky (dare I say it?) men on this thread ...

I think a little ululation might be what we all need here right about now ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 25, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

The men are better -- a LOT better. The best women in the tournement would probably lose to the worst man. Better players arguably deserve more money.

Posted by: David on April 25, 2006 at 11:03 PM

Not an especially good analogy. Maryland's NCAA champion women's basketball team would probably lose to the best men's intramural teams on the College Park campus. (In fact, Maryland and many other Division I teams often scrimmage against such male players in practices.) But does that lessen their achievement of winning a national championship? It's comparable to featherweight and welterweight boxers; they'll never beat the best heavyweights, but it doesn't -- and shouldn't -- diminish their talent.

Posted by: Vincent on April 26, 2006 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

Will:

I'll bet I could find a guy who would allow himself to be eaten alive by a lion, at some market price. Probably at a price even less than what the CEO of Exxon will retire on.

I tend to agree with you on Coltrane and Como, though I caught a clip of Como the other night lip-synching "Hot Diggety whatever it was" and found my contempt for the "masses" rising in my elitist gorge.

For which I am ashamed.

I happen to think the Beatles deserved every penny they made, and then some, including the money stolen from them by Dick James. But I also think George Harrison was a bit of a whiner in "Taxman". Cool song, though.

;)


Posted by: John Thullen on April 26, 2006 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

Who has green balls and likes women?

Answer:

Billie Jean King

Posted by: Matt on April 26, 2006 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

Equal pay for equal work eh? Well thats simple then isnt it, all thats takes is for a female to qualify for the mens draw and win.

Seriously though, middling male players would obliterate the best female players. Yet they get almost no prize money. While elite female players get paid almost as much as elite male players do, even though their skill is sub par in comparison. Combined with the fact as mentioned women play less sets, its easy to see that they are actually fairly overpaid. Its amusing to see that this is what gets Kevin angry, not the actual workplace discrimination that exists against millions of working class women.

Nope no calls for males across the board to show their balls by taking pay cuts there.

Posted by: Lasky on April 26, 2006 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

Wow ... what a bunch of cranky (dare I say it?) men on this thread ...

Yep (finger pointing at self).

Posted by: snicker-snack on April 26, 2006 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

I always heard the mantra "equal pay for equal work" Last I checked the mens paly best of 5 the women play best of 3.

Posted by: lrjanzen on April 26, 2006 at 7:49 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, and the Neanderthals come out in force to defend their own.

There seems to be a misperception here, which I would like to address.

This is a sporting competition, with prizes. It is not a salaried position. No one is being hired to do anything. The prizes are not payoffs to particular individuals.

As such, what the All England Club is saying with their palty differential between the men's and women's purses is that being the best female tennis player is 5% less valuable than being the best male tennis player.

Which is, precisely as Kevin said, petty and Neanderthal.

All of the "economic" arguments thus far have been specious. A case could be made about the minumum necessary prize money to induce the best competitors to participate, but in light of the tiny differential in prize money, such an argument (as with the three-of-five versus two-of-three) would also be obviously of little merit.

Posted by: S Ra on April 26, 2006 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

Am I the only woman on the planet who finds the 'three sets vs. five' argument compelling?

If women want equal prize money, perhaps they should spend an equal amount of time striving in the heat.

Posted by: theperegrine on April 26, 2006 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

John Hanson,

That argument, on the other hand (should we demand the networks pay the NBA and WNBA equally), isn't valid. The NBA generates a great deal more revenue and public interest than the WNBA. But in recent years, the women's tennis game has been more popular than the men's game.

Posted by: theperegrine on April 26, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Let's all ignore Hank. He makes too much sense. Oh, wait. Ya'll already did that. Reality check -- top women ARE paid more than the top men. It does depend on how you want to measure it, but by most measures the top women tennis players are paid more: per dollars in the bank, per point won, per ball struck, per minute on the court, per avg. mph on 1st serve, etc..... Morons.

Posted by: decon on April 26, 2006 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

Let's settle this in the ring. Woman's champ vs the men's champ, winner take all

Posted by: Matt on April 26, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

The situatio isn't as clear cut as most people here think. There is an interesting quote from the Wimbledon chairman on the BBC news website. The relevant bit is:


All England Club chairman Tim Phillips defended the decision not to award equal pay.

"This issue is one of a judgment on fairness," he said.

"We believe that what we do at the moment is actually fair to the men as well as to the women.

Phillips said because of the physical demands of best-of-five matches, the top men rarely play in Grand Slam doubles events and they earn less overall than women, who often compete in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

"It just doesn't seem right to us that the lady players could play in three events and could take away significantly more than the men's champion who battles away through these best-of-five matches.

"We also would point that the top 10 ladies last year earned more from Wimbledon that the top 10 men did.


So the Ladies actually do better overall.

Posted by: JJB on April 26, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Do the posters on this thread actually have adult relationships with women? Or are you all internet nerds living in your mothers' basements? Those of you prattling on about the righteousness of giving a smaller prize to women tennnis players should have big warning labels on your foreheads to warn off any prospective dates.

Posted by: LY on April 26, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

JJB: Thank you for actually bringing a salient point to this debate.

Posted by: S Ra on April 26, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, do you honestly expect people to get worked up because some chick is only going to get 625,000 instead of 655,000? Boo fucking hoo.

Posted by: Huh on April 26, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

I am of the opinion women should not try and compete in men's sports unless they are equal in ability. Women's basketball is terrible, and I do not think the NBA will subsidize the WNBA much longer. I am also of the opinion men should not try and compete in women's sports unless they are equal in ability. I never watch the men's singles figure skating, but think women's singles figure skating sublime.

Tennis is an interesting acception. I do not really know all that much of the history of tennis, but seem to recall women were part of its spontaneous development as a sport. Women did not participate in the spontaneous development of baseball or basketball, but it was a woman who did almost single-handedly develop figure skating. Women's tennis is as enjoyable, if not more, to watch as men's.

It should not be surprising, then, that tennis has always had a popular women's side to their tournaments. Women's tennis may even be more popular than men's, so Mr. Drum is correct to chastize the All England Club for economic discrimination.

Posted by: Hostile on April 26, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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