Over the weekend, tennis superstar Rafael Nadal clinched the French Open title for a record 11th time. But the historic win wasn’t the only thing making headlines for Nadal. The world’s No. 1 tennis player effortlessly debunked the nonsense gender wage gap narrative during an interview with an Italian magazine, irritating impervious-to-common-sense feminists, who are already prone to irritation.
When Nadal was asked about the male and female tennis players being paid “equally,” he dismissed the idea on its face and said pay should be based on what the athletes bring, using viewership as the example metric.
“In tennis, should women earn as much as men?” asked the Italian interviewer.
“It’s a comparison we shouldn’t even make,” he answered. “Female models earn more than male models and nobody says anything. Why? Because they have a larger following. In tennis too, who gathers a larger audience earns more.”
This is correct, of course.
Taking on professional sports, Nadal made the point that sexism is not driving male and female compensation in the industry, it’s their worth (what they bring in) that drives their corresponding pay, as it is with any other free industry. If Gigi Hadid gets paid more for a gig than Sean O’Pry, for instance, is that sexism? Of course not. And if superstar actor Chris Pratt gets paid more for a role than his lesser-known female counterpart Bryce Dallas, is that sexism? Again, no.
With regard to tennis, Yahoo! Sports reports that male viewership at the Australian Open, for example, eclipsed female viewership by 25%. And, more generally, “the men’s ATP World Tour events have generated significantly larger audiences and more revenue than the women’s WTA Tour. According to statistics compiled by BBC, the ATP drew 973 million viewers in 2015 compared to the WTA’s 395 million, both excluding Grand Slam events.”
This is what does and should drive the disparity, as noted by Nadal, not sexism.
In other nonprofessional fields, too, the “sexist” gender pay gap does not exist. Women might be overall compensated differently because of education, hours worked, and extended time off, typically because they choose to have children and spend time at home. All such factors are purposefully left out of the equation when feminists push the repeatedly debunked myth, though. And we all know why.