Today, I want to talk to you about a topic that arose in my house a few weeks back: gender inequality. Ever since, I’ve really been keeping my eyes open to how this issue is still an absolutely massive problem all over the world and in all ways of life. I think people realise it still exists but not to the extent that it does. Of course women have achieved a lot in gaining rights and so forth in a short period of time, but we still have a long way to go…
This topic emerged when my Dad and brother were speaking about the fact that they believe female tennis players should not get paid as much as male tennis players. Naturally I was fuming about their logic: “female tennis players play the best of three sets while male tennis players play the best of five sets”, when it is widely known that women are built completely differently to men and this is not any fault of women as a gender. In an article written by theconversation.com last year, the difference between the strength of female athletes’ upper bodies compare to males’ was highlighted. In tennis and many other sports, a less strong upper body as well as smaller heart, blood volume and lung capacity all contribute to a female athlete “using almost 100 per cent of her potential, whereas a male athlete might use 90 per cent of his potential”. For male tennis players like Novak Djokovic to state that male tennis players should earn more as their matches are more popular but then commend female athletes for facing different issues to men like “hormones and different stuff” is outrageous. What day and age do we live in for this sort of inequality to be acceptable?
There has been small improvements in the field of sport with female and male Wimbledon contestants receiving the same prize money in 2007 however the difference between male and females’ prize money for such a large amount of sports is still huge. The graph below stresses this point.
Sport is only one area that faces this issue on a daily basis. In the world of work, education, marriage, children, travel, literature and of course through the media’s representation of gender to name a few examples, women are extremely disadvantaged compared to men. It was only yesterday that I heard a story about a fairly local place of employment that will not hire ‘pretty women’ as male employees would be ‘distracted’ by them. The current gender hierarchy is absolutely ridiculous: men and women are very different and while this needs to be acknowledged, there still needs to be equality within how both genders live and no discrimination against us due to whatever way we identify.
In another blog post, I would love to discuss gender inequality in these areas but I think it is worth mentioning that as humans (whatever gender) we all have a right to promote inequality. We are all born as humans, without anything defining us and therefore, it is our own choices within our lives that define us. We should not be defined by ignorance and close mindsets.