Nadine was understandably happy with finishing yesterday. Her impeccable manners means she has not, and would not, consider posing this question – but I will:
Is $100 total prize money for first female in the Melbourne to Warrnambool sending the right message about how we value women in our sport?
Here’s some numbers:
- The female winner of the M2W is still $35 out of pocket after subtracting her winnings from her entry fee.
- First male gets 20 times the prize money of first female.
- Women-specific prize money is 1.11% of the total. This leaves 98.89% of prize money that, realistically, only men can win.
- There is fifty two (yup, 52) times more prize money for the sprint primes and 18 times more for the KOMs along the route than for first female overall.
- Third place in D grade gets more than twice the prize money of first female. (Not one D grader rides for a living; how do you expect to attract professional women to the race when they know the prize money places a greater dollar value on amateurs than them?)
- The Victorian Government gives the race $50,000 per year AND pours money into women’s participation programs elsewhere. An unimaginative bureaucrat missed an opportunity by failing to place a women’s specific earmark on that funding. (Besides which – the race gets a fifty grand donation from taxpayers and they only spend 0.4% of it on total female prize money?)
Consider pro tennis: Wimbeldon has had equal prize money since 2007, even though far less money is made from the female side of the event. Now, I’m not advocating totally equal prize money for the Warnie; the 230+ males vs 1 female in 2012 makes that unfair in terms of $ redistribution – but it needs to be closer than 1.11% vs 98.89%. Even so, I can hear the cries of derision: “But there were over 200 of US and only one of THEM in the race! Why should WE subsidise their prize money?” Well, “we” should, and here’s why.
- Build it and they will come.
- The vast majority of men don’t want to feel complicit when they think about sexism or inequality.
- The women’s prize money wouldn’t necessarily come from men’s entry fees. There are many funding sources; the aforementioned $50k government payment, private sponsors etc.
- It’s 2012. Aren’t we all more civilized than this? Does this really need explanation?
All I’m saying is that the first female should at least break even with her entry fee, maybe cover petrol for her feeder and be able to buy herself a parma and a glass of red on the way home. I doubt there would be a huge backlash if the sprints only paid $175 and the KOMs $75 to fund this.
Equality doesn’t mean treating everyone the same, it means treating everyone fairly.
Is $100 fair?