I have been meaning to write a letter to the editor for some time regarding what I see as the mindless call for equal pay for the women's national soccer team. When I saw Rachel Greszler's column in the Morning News on Tuesday with the headline "Why the pay gap between women's and men's soccer?" I thought she beat me to the punch; I waited too long. But, while she made some valid points, she missed by far the most important point: a difference in ability.
I've heard the rhetoric ad nauseam: "They do the same job, they are just as dedicated, they work just as hard as the men do, and (as the snarky editorial cartoon in the Morning News on June 11 said) the women win." But they are not as good; that is essentially undebatable. If they were as good, there would be no need for a men's team and a women's team. There would simply be a team, made up of the best players, men or women. A player on the women's team, Megan Rapinoe, has said they want "just plain and simple equality." I wonder if Rapinoe would be happy if they were truly treated equally and there was one team. I doubt it.
The fact that they won the World Cup is irrelevant in this debate. They play a different level of competition. The Memphis Redbirds won the minor league baseball 2018 Triple A National Championship Game last year; they were the best ... in the minor leagues. The average salary of their players was approximately $75,000 per year. The minimum salary of a major league baseball player is $555,000 per year. Is that fair? Should the Memphis Redbirds be paid the same as the players on their major league parent club, the St. Louis Cardinals? After all, the Redbirds won their championship and the Cardinals failed to make the playoffs. Of course not; the idea is ridiculous.
In our company, we had salespeople, male and female (mostly female), who sold approximately $3,000,000 of office furniture per year and made $150,000 per year. We also had salespeople who sold $1,000,000 and made $50,000. Is that fair? The people who sold $1,000,000 did the same job and worked just as hard (actually, most of them worked harder), but they made one-third of what others made. Is that fair? Of course it is. The people with more ability made more money.
If women are paid the same as men when their ability is not the same, then they are being paid simply because they are women. Isn't that a pure definition of sexism, treating a person one way or another simply because of their gender, the social scourge that they are fighting?
Equal pay without equal ability, for males or females, is not a door you want to open.