What We *Could* Be Talking About This May 19, 2022

  1. Forget ‘buried the lead.’ It’s nowhere to be found

How Slow Can You Go? I’m Looking at You U.S. Soccer Federation (and Women’s Pay Equity In General.)

I posted this in 2016, real date tbd. Annoying yes, as it would prolly still hold up.

Yes, it’s been a while. But I’m back with the weekly discush and we are starting with a doozy.

Forget ‘buried the lead.’ It’s nowhere to be found

Some thoughts on U.S. Women’s Soccer athletes reaching parity with men because what shocked me were the headlines. Let’s discuss…

First off, many were written as if the women should be grateful to be finally making as much as men. File that under: Misleading. Also: the gaul. Also also: omg patriarchy die already.

An example of how facts are parsed and give a part of a story that’s actually totally not the story

I mean technically it makes sense as an angle; women have always lagged behind men in equitable earnings except for two industries, modeling and prosititution. So this is noteworthy. However, U.S. Women’s Soccer brings in more than men’s since 2016, making this wage earning equity catch up in 2022 seem…seem...late and slow and grossly inept.

Many headlines are not only burying the lead but missing the point. The bigger point. This is not at all OK. Even with the parity. It’s still no bueno! It’s still not fair.

Winning Cups and Not Getting Paid for it is so Pre-Fall of the Patriarchy, amiright?!

U.S. Women should be earning more than men in soccer. And get back pay for equity. So why are women only now, six years after the league took top earning spot, earning the same? And why is everyone acting like officials deserve a medal for this basic righting of a wrong? And why is everyone overlooking they should be getting more moolah?!

That’s some patriarchal b.s., non? And the way it’s written in articles is just so…so…condescending. I won’t bother to cite the numerous rude male sports writers whose takes on women’s sports and pay are so Founding Fathers era mentality it boggled the mind. I thought I was going to see the words “little lady” in some of them. #readcriticallyfolks

The takes read like women in soccer — and so naturally every other job as well — should feel like this is the top of the mountian. “We did it, Joe.” Oh hells no.

What’s that saying, we aren’t asking for a seat at the table we want the whole table?

Of course I say: go ladies and brava! Especially since what’s clear from past and present soccer players — and as every woman who has ever worked anywhere knows — this feat took massive effort. (Again, that’s banana hammers crazy because equity should be a given but this patriarchy regime isn’t about logic.)

Amen to these freedom fighters!

Next up: the NCAA and as all those talented college kids who are — and have been for decades — earning big money for schools (aka the patriarchy and white men). They should be earning a good chunk of it themselves. To be sure for now it’s not overall revenue they can earn, but that will come.

Much to change and glad it’s happening — even if slowly — and so many kudos to the many women and men fighting for these finance corrections.

Because if we wait for the men in charge to do as they want it will be glacial. Like this piece I did on French finance/tech/aerospace giant Thales. Don’t let the French part fool you: it’s reach is international and major so this company matters. The CEO outlined that for women engineers to have staffing parity with men it would take — at current rates of hire — 150 years.

Dudes worldwide still be wilding.

So yeah, more pressure needed everywhere. But let’s do take a second and enjoy this history making moment.

Financial Inequity is Violence

Finally, with other sports news of this past week highlighting American basketball great Brittney Griner, let’s not forget the WNBA. Women play overseas in the off season to earn money as their earnings are so low in America. (Sidebar for a later chat but America is so not the best to live and work you guys.)

America’s foul payment of women landed one of the leagues best in a Russian prison on trumped up charges.(Double entendre intended.)

According to the AP in 2018, “In total, 18 of the 24 players in Phoenix and Las Vegas spent the winter overseas, often making far more than in the United States.

(There’s also prohibitive travel conditions for WNBA players,with teams not able to charter because of blah blah blah patriarchy b.s., but really this article from 2019 overviews it well.)

A Black, gay, female -leagues best!- athlete is in a Russian prison, taken February 17th, days before during a Russian war began, on February 24, on a friendly neighborhing country because of financial violence againts women. It’s all very intentional.

Women are used as chess pieces in rich mens games and sadly one women is paying the price right now with her life in a prison due to financial violence against women. Insert Tolstoy, Chekov or Dostoevsky quote on corrupt leaders versus the long suffering regular person here.

Wilson’s teammates, guards Kelsey Plum and Kayla McBride, clarified that WNBA players aren’t looking to match their NBA counterparts dollar for dollar, but get a more proportional piece of the pie.

“I’m tired of people thinking that us players are asking for the same type of money as NBA players,” Plum said in a tweet. “We are asking for the same percentage of revenue shared within our CBA. NBA players receive around 50% of shared revenue within their league, whereas we receive around 20%.”-AP, 2018.

These choices by men to not pay women fair and equitable wages — no matter what the particular career— are violent. And have violent consequences.

What we expect and demand is our right to be happy and thrive however we want. To be an engineer and work at top firms, and to be an athelete who travels from game to game in appropriate transport, and to earn the most when bringing in the most. From the Afghanistan’s Taliban to America’s Republicans that is why the war against women centers on earning power. These financial skirmishes are the battles. Let’s keep clocking the wins…

Flourish of Inspo to Round it Out