Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gender Equality in Pro Tennis?



As is only just and fair, women deserve equal pay for equal work


The question is: should women receive the same pay as men when they do not have to work as much as their male counterparts? And if they are paid the same for less work does that not demean women by suggesting that they are unable to put forth the same amount of effort as their male colleagues?


The issue pertains to professional women's tennis. At the four major tennis tournaments, the women are paid the same as the  men, but the women play "the-best-of-three set" matches while the men are required to play the "the-the-best-of-five-set" matches. The difference is significant on many levels. First of all, there is the issue of the time and energy required to play a "best-of-five-set" match, many of which can last up to five or more hours.If Serena Williams wins two sets, perhaps in an hour and fifteen minutes , she is in the locker room taking a relaxing shower. On the other hand, if Raphael Nadal wins two sets, he faces the prospect of playing three more sets before going to the showers with a loss. If,  in this scenario, Serena wins and Rafa loses, he has entertained tennis fans much longer  than Serena, but receives less compensation. Not exactly equal!


And then there is the question: would the woman who wins two sets be the winner if the match were a "best-of-five"?


No one I know would suggest that professional women tennis players should receive less compensation, but many would question why they do not play "the-best-of-five-sets" in the majors since they receive the same money as the men. Since there is no question that the women are more than capable of playing "the-best-of five-set" matches, one has to wonder why the tennis powers are so reluctant to adopt total equality.



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