Fighting back against the wage gap

Rachel Borashko

The U.S. women’s national soccer team has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation for not getting equal pay for equal work. Women’s sports teams are often paid less than men’s, in addition to getting less media coverage and respect.

Many people will be quick to jump to the conclusion that it’s just because women’s sports somehow “just aren’t as interesting,” or “people watch them less, so they get paid less.”

Yet, according to ESPNW, “The filing, citing figures from the USSF’s 2015 financial report, says that despite the women’s team generating nearly $20 million more revenue last year than the U.S. men’s team, the women are paid almost four times less.”

Quite frankly, I wish this surprised me. Am I upset? Yes. I am irritated that men’s sports get so much more attention, praise, recognition and monetary compensation for their work. But surprised? Not for a second.

We have been growing up our whole lives hardly hearing about women’s sports, while an exorbitant amount of mainstream media attention has been given to men. This is why we need feminism.

In 2015, it seems the women finally had enough, after winning the World Cup, which the men’s team has never done. They have had enough of not being compensated the same way that men are when they’re doing the same amount of work. I would even argue that the women are working harder. I mean, I don’t know a whole lot about sports, but they did just win the World Cup.

If I don’t know about sports, why am I writing this? Because I do know about women and inequality. So let me say this: I am proud of these women for sticking up for their rights, especially in such a public way. While women have made leaps and bounds of progress in terms of equality over the last 100 years, there is obviously still room to grow.

There is absolutely no reason that women should be paid any less than men for doing literally the same job, and doing it better. The women’s national soccer team is the perfect example. While not all situations are not quite this extreme, it is ridiculous that there is any instance where a woman is being paid nearly four times less than a man for doing the same job.

Why do we see this kind of inequality? The short answer is because it has always been this way. Women have always been seen as less competent, less able and less desirable in the world of sports. There wasn’t even a women’s league in the United States until 1951. However, this is the year 2016, and it is far past time that we see a change.

These women are demanding equal treatment, and I am proud of them for that. But they shouldn’t even have to demand it. No woman should have to demand equal treatment to a man. Unfortunately, that’s still not possible in our society. So, until then, I am glad that women are sticking up for themselves.