Friday, February 23, 2007

New Balls Please

So the All England Club have given into demands to give equal prize money to men and women at Wimbledon. On the fact of it that is to be welcomed. Men and women should indeed be treated equally - that is if the work they do it the same. In this case it isn't. Yes, they are ostensibly playing the same game, but in actual fact it's totally different. It's conducted over three sets not five and it attracts a fraction of the sponsorship money that the men's game does. Compared to the men's game, it's also very unexciting. I see no logical reason therefore - apart from political correctness - for awarding women the same prize money. It's a bit like saying Dagenham & Redbridge should get the same money for winning the Conference as Chelsea do for winning the Premiership.

And while I am at it, who on earth would want to watch a couple of women slugging a ball from baseline to baseline for an hour? It's about as exciting as watching paint dry.

40 comments:

Gracchi said...

I may be wrong but players like Anna Kornikova and Maria Sharapova attract a hell of a lot of sponsorship maybe not for their tennis but even so its money. Furthermore I enjoy the women's game actually- you get less of the big serve men who just serve ace after ace and don't have rallies and more rallies. Why not if you are worried about the three set thing make the sets equal and the money equal.

stalin's gran said...

Oh Iain, you so clearly do not get it....

Anonymous said...

Posts like this are about as exciting as watching paint dry.

It's all a matter of taste (or lack of)

Anonymous said...

Personally it's the Men's Game that I find dull. It's all serve and volley or straight aces. Yawn. At least with the Women's game you get some rallies. It's not just about smashing the ball at 100+mph.

That said both games are inceasingly about strength over skill. And that's bad for the game. Oh for the rallies of Borg & McEnroe.

dizzy said...

I totall disagree with you Iain. I am 100% behind the equal pay on the ground that I enjoying watching sports bras failing on hot/wet summer days.

Jonathan Sheppard said...

Iain , I dont even come at this from what is more interesting to watch - as Ive often found watching Chesterfield used to be more interesting than watching Arsenal in their boring boring days.

The fact is that men are playing more sets. That is a fact - so in essence women are now getting paid more per set.

If we follow this to its ultimate conclusion you wouldnt even have men and women's competitions. For equalities sake men could play in the same tournament as women, and then you could see who would take the prize money.

bebopper said...

Quite agree. A men only competition would still get the sponsorship, spectators and TV coverage. A women's event wouldn't.

Frankly, though, I can't understand how people can be interested in a small group of multi-millionaires who travel round the world, playing each other. I'd rather watch Blair versus Levy.

achilles said...

I agree. But the answer to your question is other women. Most other sports broadcast on TV are played by men. It's the one opportunity these women get to see their own sex play sport - dreadfully dull as it is.

javelin said...

I somewhat agree. This is typical left-wing political creep.

Equal prize money for women?! - what has sex got to do with it? Prize money should relate to sponsership and ticket fees.

If women pull in more sponsership and advertisers them pay them more. If men play extra sets and pull in more punters pay them more.

The Club have been bullied by political correctness. They should set the prize money as a percentage of the takings and be done with it.

Scary Biscuits said...

You can see why the All England club has done it though - a few extra tens of thousands for getting all those angry feminists of your back - cheap at 10 times the price.

As another example, at my local squash club there is a mixed league and a woman's league. But there is no men's league and if there were we'd be screamed at. How is that fair?

Post Blair, I do think we need to move to a country of genuine equality. This is as opposed to 'equality of outcome', which as people make different choices is irreconcilable with equal rights in a free country. This equality of outcome agenda, which seems to be shared between all the main parties, is what is driving people towards the BNP, the Islamists or away from politics altogehter.

Snedds said...

Aw bless Iain, do some research.

In some cases, the Womens Final, or other matches during the tournament, last far longer in hours/minutes than mens matches.

And perhaps sponsorship will be increased when they are being treated equally, something has to change, but it won't help with people rubbishing these moves.

xenon said...

As I said when I mentioned this in my own musings I have mixed views on this. Although with the development of womens fitness levels etc it may well be time to look at womens best of five.

kris said...

Dear iain

Misogyny's optional.

Londontory said...

Isn't it up to the competition organisers to decide on the prize money and whether it's worth it?

Reactionary Snob said...

I actually enjoy the women's game more. Partly because I'm a horny old goat but largely because it isn't 'ace, ace, ace'. It's much more entertaining as a sporting contest.

Federer apart there are no players of finesse and a lightness of touch in the men's game - it's all serve, volley, bish, bash and bosh.

However, I do agree that if men are playing more tennis to win the same amount of money there is an issue there.


RS

Anonymous said...

Ooh..Mr Controversial !! Ignore for a moment the fact that Wimbledon is on the BBC. Globally the difference in pay for the men's and women's game is no doubt related to the number of ads which can be sold during the game.

And the number of viewers for each of those adverts. I must admit I have no statistics for either of these so I am persuadable of the need for equal pay. But it is harsh to blame the 'All-England Club' for any pay disparity, when the money coming into the game depends on some factors which are beyond its control.

One can argue that some women's finals are longer than some men's finals - but I guess the average men's game is longer. Although I'm guessing that in Wimbledon a lot of the people watching aren't tennis 'fans', so are just as likely to watch a women's game. Especially in the old days of Pistol 'Pete' Samprazzzz...who in addition to being a dull, cocky, prat put most viewers to sleep.

I guess the big advantage that the men's game has is that a player can lose two sets, and still go on to win the match, whereas a woman's match would be over at that point.

Essex Boy said...

I fink dese wimmim should stay at 'ome and look arftah der kids.

Dave said...

What with this post and the America Ad this blog is leaving me feeling pretty queasy at the moment.

tom_r said...

Good on you, Iain. Standing up against equal opportunities when it is being applied to a situation which is clearly not equal!!!

Chris Paul said...

What a load of tosh Iain! The argument about time spent on court is trite for two reasons. First, many women would be willing and able to play five sets if allowed. They run marathons these days doncha know - they used to be restricted to 800 metres. Second, the pounds per hour calculation would more properly be made over their whole working life, training, travelling, practicing, conditioning, doing press etc etc. All tennis players work long hours and all year round. There is little or no case for any wage discrimination. What there is is plain wrong.

Newmania said...

In a shock development today previously derided feeble blogger NEWMANIA not only posted the same item as Iain dale a day earlier but had numerous comments for his witty take on this pivotal issue


"I `ve got a good idea why don`t they have all the prize money in one pot and then they can all compete on entirely equal terms in one competition. Of course that would mean that in the next one hundred years not a single woman would win anything but it would be fair . Typical , even when it is absurd to suggest otherwise , the notion that men might actually be better at something is prohibited ."

A smiling and relaxed Newmania said " Yes Dale was good in his day but he is finding it difficult to keep up in the blog eat blog world we live in "going on he commented "Talk of an new order in the world of Blog is somewhat exaggerated "


Newmania is 94

david kendrick said...

Some of us are keener on seeing sweaty, healthy women than others.

But ID makes a sensible point. Why is Wimbledon paying the winners of the men's and women's singles the same? Is it because they are of the same 'worth', or is it out of 'Political Correctness'?

Our host's conclusion seemed uncontroversial. And yes, when PC is influencing high-profile events like Wimbledon, it is worthy of comment.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Iain, this female totally agrees with you.

Sorry sisters, but this very deaf businesswoman is sick to the back teeth of politically correct attempts to dumb everyone down to the same level of mediocrity and under achievement.

As individuals of whatever sex, race, age, ability or disablity, we all make our own opportunities within the framework of our phyical and mental capability.

For female tennis players to be paid 5 set rates for 3 sets work is blatant discrimination against male players and this should be the subject of a legal challenge.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Some of us like watching girls slug it out for hour.

jailhouselawyer said...

All those up the skirt shots, how can you say it's not as exciting? Let the women watch the men play and let the men watch the women play. Sorted.

Bulldog said...

I agree with Dizzy.

Iain, I realise that it's not really your bag, but you have totally ignored the voyeristic aspect of the ladies game in your argument.

With their tight little tops and short little skirts offering the odd fleeting glimpse of those teeny-weeny little knick's that some of them wear... Oh! I'm having one of my "moments" again!

Calm down now.

Worth every penny!

Anonymous said...

The market should set the payment rates (unless you prefer a totalitarian society).

Perhaps players should receive more or less money depending on how exciting the game is.

Perhaps they should receive nothing if the Wimbledon event is sufficiently prestigous to get away with it.

ancient perv said...

Female pornstars get paid 5~10 times more than males (allegedly). That's discrimination. When are then PCers going to sort it out?

(This should drive your traffic up a bit.)

Dan Hassett said...

At Wimbledon last year, Federer won £665,000 and spent 12 hours playing 202 games on court, meaning he earnt £55,000 per hour. Lady's winner Mauresmo earned £625,000 for 9.4 hours playing 140 games - £66,000 per hour.

I'm sure that the men will be glad to hear that their pay will be increased to achieve equal pay.

I certainly wouldn't be happy if part timers were paid the same as full timers for my job, regardless of whether they were men or women!

Marquee Mark said...

bebopper said I'd rather watch Blair versus Levy.

Good God, do they have tennis courts at open prisons?

Iain, you are quite right. What next - everyone gets equal attendance money instead of prize money for actually winning? Or perhaps they should all have the minimum wage... game, set and match to the political correctness numpties. Do you promise to introduce legislation to get these prats to STFU? Be a landslide....

Hey said...

Iain,

It's just never going to be your cup of tea, and that's OK. Go sing the Lumberjack Song while I watch Sharapova. Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce...

Lerxst said...

Agree with all of that Iain, apart from: "Compared to the men's game, it's also very unexciting". Give me the women's game any day over the dull thud-thud-point over of the men's. It's not even as if there are any characters left, now the likes of Becker and Agassi are retired. At least, with the women's game you get some decent rallies and the pleasure of admiring some attractive young flesh (provided those hags, the Williams sisters don't ruin it...)

Sam said...

Compared to watching the Men's game (Ace, Ace, Ace, double fault, Ace, ...), I'll take the women's game any day.

(Oh, and for the record, I think Wimbledon should offer whatever prizes it likes for whatever tournaments it holds. Arguments of "discrimination", whether in terms of men vs women or in terms of "you played for 8 hours and you played for 3 hours" are entirely bogus.

Anonymous said...

Quite agree that the women should play over 5 sets. It would improve their game. Sport is about skill and stamina, the nature of play changes as players tire, tactics change. Power players love the shorter game.

It may be time to go back to wooden rackets to allow skill/touch into the game.

Jess The Dog said...

I can't get excited about this, PC or otherwise. If the market will support equal prize money, then it should be paid. That's capitalism for you! Perhaps its a scam - the men will want more than the women, and the women will then want the same and so on....

verity said...

I wonder who first got the notion that tennis was a spectator sport?

The men's and women's games are equally stultifying. It's really such a tiny, repetitive portfolio of skills that tennis players need. Fun for the players, for sure, or they wouldn't be playing it, but I'd much rather watch cricket. (And not ladies' cricket.)

Anonymous said...

There is always, always a "reason" isn't there? If the number of sets in a match was harmonised (as it easily could be) what would the next one be? Women's tennis tends to be technically more varied, so we must punish them for that?

Have you any real reason except "They aren't like us, and we can discriminate, so we will?"

SPD said...

Mr. Dale, while your post brings about valid points; I disagree with your stance. Women are finally being placed on a level playing field in tennis by receiving equal pay, and rightfully so. We are in the 21st century, there should be no discrimination between men and women period. Match time aside, the amount of hours women spend preparing for Wimbledon and the other Grand Slam events is in all likelihood equal to men. Secondly, women’s tennis is definitely not dull. While indeed men’s tennis involves more power, the quality of their play is not necessarily superior. The entertainment value spectators’ gain from women’s tennis can be equal to, if not greater than men’s tennis. Many points in men’s matches are won all too quickly, through aces because of their commanding serves. Also, Roger Federer depicted on the right, performs at a caliber which is next to perfect. It does not take a rocket scientist to predict the winner of a match involving the Swiss champion. One the other hand, the women’s game has no one dominant player, which leaves the game interestingly unpredictable. Also, there tend to be more rallies in women’s games because of fewer aces. Although it is definitely enjoyable to watch an ace serve, when it starts to displace potential rallies (which often occurs in men’s tennis games) it becomes boring. Lastly, I am quite perturbed by your final comment “who on earth would want to watch a couple of women slugging a ball from baseline to baseline for an hour? It's about as exciting as watching paint dry.” This reflects a lack of comprehension and appreciation for women’s tennis in its entirety. I understand that a woman’s game may not be as powerful or fast paced to that of a man, yet ultimately, it boils down to the quality of the game. According to the Columbia University news service, “ratings for women’s matches are on par with men’s matches and rising faster. The men’s and women’s finals of this April’s Nasdaq 100 Open in Miami drew the same number of television viewers. But that represented a ratings increase of 50 percent over last year for the women’s match, and only a 25 percent increase over last year for the men’s final." Women's tennis can be a thrilling showcase of not only athletic adeptness, but also physical beauty. Television rating records have been broken especially with the likes of Maria Sharapova – the Russian Wimbledon champion at 17, with glamor girl looks to compliment her already superb tennis prowess. The William’s sisters are not to be condoned either. These robust siblings can serve and hit nearly as powerfully as some male players, with a serves speeding up to 130mph.

SPD said...

Mr. Dale, while your post brings about valid points; I disagree with your stance. Women are finally being placed on a level playing field in tennis by receiving equal pay, and rightfully so. We are in the 21st century, there should be no discrimination between men and women period. Match time aside, the amount of hours women spend preparing for Wimbledon and the other Grand Slam events is in all likelihood equal to men. Secondly, women’s tennis is definitely not dull. While indeed men’s tennis involves more power, the quality of their play is not necessarily superior. The entertainment value spectators’ gain from women’s tennis can be equal to, if not greater than men’s tennis. Many points in men’s matches are won all too quickly, through aces because of their commanding serves. Also, Roger Federer depicted on the right, performs at a caliber which is next to perfect. It does not take a rocket scientist to predict the winner of a match involving the Swiss champion. One the other hand, the women’s game has no one dominant player, which leaves the game interestingly unpredictable. Also, there tend to be more rallies in women’s games because of fewer aces. Although it is definitely enjoyable to watch an ace serve, when it starts to displace potential rallies (which often occurs in men’s tennis games) it becomes boring. Lastly, I am quite perturbed by your final comment “who on earth would want to watch a couple of women slugging a ball from baseline to baseline for an hour? It's about as exciting as watching paint dry.” This reflects a lack of comprehension and appreciation for women’s tennis in its entirety. I understand that a woman’s game may not be as powerful or fast paced to that of a man, yet ultimately, it boils down to the quality of the game. According to the Columbia University news service, “ratings for women’s matches are on par with men’s matches and rising faster. The men’s and women’s finals of this April’s Nasdaq 100 Open in Miami drew the same number of television viewers. But that represented a ratings increase of 50 percent over last year for the women’s match, and only a 25 percent increase over last year for the men’s final." Women's tennis can be a thrilling showcase of not only athletic adeptness, but also physical beauty. Television rating records have been broken especially with the likes of Maria Sharapova – the Russian Wimbledon champion at 17, with glamor girl looks to compliment her already superb tennis prowess. The William’s sisters are not to be condoned either. These robust siblings can serve and hit nearly as powerfully as some male players, with a serves speeding up to 130mph.

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