Sports are an excellent pastime, hobby and activity to bond with your family and friends. Sports are for all individuals, however only certain individuals are highlighted and broadcasted to the public eye. Men’s sports have typically always been portrayed as more important to the masses. This would be shocking if the system was not set up to only idolize and focus on white cis-men and racialized men. Men have been seen as the superior sex, they have been told that they are better than women even if they’re playing the same game. In fact, not only are men told they are better at sports, they are paid more, they are treated with the most respect, they receive more brand deals. Research conducted by a United Kingdom-based organization shows that sponsors are more attracted by male athletes because male athletes tend to be more marketable. A study has found that female athletes are rarely employed as spokespersons by companies. Between 2011 and 2013, another study found female sports to account for 0.4 per cent of total sports sponsorships.
The oppression of women and girls, non-binary folk, and trans people can all be intersectional, but undoubtedly each strain of oppression upholds unique attributes to the situation at hand. For example, the oppression women and girls face through patriarchal systems has a huge emphasis on femininity and the expected social roles within that. Whereas, oppression for a non-binary person could look like being misgendered and/or not acknowledged as valid or real.
Hegemonic masculinity inspires objectification and disrespect for women and girls.
Harsh gender binary implications are not exclusive to men. Arguably, women and girls endure greater suffering due to the lack of reward they receive within the hierarchies of gender. These unjustifiable expectations cause women to constantly second guess their self-worth, instilling permanent feelings of failure or inadequacy. For most women, this leads to harsh consequences, such as poor self-image, self-harm, or unnecessarily high standards for themselves.
The wage gap has been present ever since women have had access to jobs. There are a few reasons why women are paid less. “Women’s” work has always been taken less seriously than “men’s” work. Another reason that the wage gap is present is because most women are working in jobs that do not offer high wages.
For example, in Canada, 97 per cent of truck drivers are male and earn a median salary of $45,417 per year. In contrast, 97 per cent of early childhood educators in Canada are female and earn a median salary of $25,334 per year. A common issue for women is having to work lower-wage jobs because those jobs can offer consistent hours to support women financially. Women also make up the majority of Canada’s minimum-wage workers, and a third of working women make less than $15 per hour. Around 50 per cent of the wage gap is attributed to the fact that women are more likely to be found in lower-paying jobs.
Wage gap for marginalized women:
Indigenous women working full-time, full-year earn an average of 35 per cent less than non-Indigenous men, earning 65 cents to the dollar. Racialized women working full-time, full-year earn an average of 33 per cent less than non racialized men, earning 67 cents to the dollar. Newcomer women working full-time, full-year earn an average of 29 per cent less than non-newcomer men, earning 71 cents to the dollar. According to the 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability, women with a disability in Canada working full and part-time earn approximately 54 cents to the dollar when compared to the earnings of nondisabled men, equaling a wage gap of around 46 per cent.
Statistics on wage gap in sports:
In football, the United States women’s national football team is paid almost four times less than the men’s team. The women’s team won the 2014 World Cup tournament but was paid $7 million prize money less than their male counterparts who failed in Round 16. In 2016, the two-time Olympic gold medalist, American football player Hope Amelia Solo filed a lawsuit against the U.S Soccer Federation for disregarding pay equity with her teammates.
The WNBA player who received the highest income is nearly one-fifth of the income of the lowest-paid NBA player. In 2018, the WNBA paid its players much less of their revenue, less than 25 per cent, than the NBA does, about 50 per cent. If the WNBA revenues were shared with its players as the NBA revenues are, their average salary would rise from $77,878 to around $191,083 in the 2018 season. In 2020 a new WNBA collective bargaining agreement was put in place and will go until 2027.
The gender pay gap in golf is far from over. According to Golf Support, the prize money disparity between male and female athletes is 83 per cent in professional golf. If a male and female golf player both win a tournament, the male player can earn six times more than the female player. The Professional Golfers’ Association offers female athletes $50 million of prize money, far less than $256 million which is devoted to male athletes.
The pay gap between baseball and softball is very far off from each other. The average salary for an MLB player is 4.47 million dollars a year. The average pay for a professional softball player is 6,000 a year. There have been some steps in the right direction as there has been a player who signed a 1 million dollar contract over six years. This is still only 200,000 a year. There is still room for improvement, but there are strides being made in the world of baseball.
A great way to support your fellow peers within your TRU community is by attending women’s Wolfpack sports games. https://gowolfpack.ca/calendar