It’s time we stopped lying to women. Women are always told, ‘You can do anything a man can.’ It’s simply not true. Yes, I know I run the risk of being called a male chauvinist pig. I’m not. Men who say this are simply patronizing women. It’s time to put a stop to it here and now.
Yes, there are plenty of things women can do as well or even better than a man. Women can be doctors and lawyers and scientists. I believe we’ll have a woman president in the not-too-distant future. If we elect her because she’s the most qualified candidate and not just because she’s a woman then she will be able to govern as well, if not better than, a man.
There are some things a man can never do. Women are uniquely qualified to be mothers. Despite headlines like “British man, 21, makes history by giving birth to baby girl,” it’s not true. Biologically it’s impossible. Men can’t have babies. Just because you ‘identify’ as a man doesn’t make it so.
There’s one arena where women just can’t compete with men. Athletics. After the U.S. women’s soccer team beat the Netherlands there were chants of ‘Equal pay.’ Do women get paid less than the men? As even the Washington Post acknowledged, “It’s tough to make a straightforward comparison of the earnings for men and women players.” That’s because the teams have different pay structures. If you’re a contract player for the women’s team you get a base salary plus performance-based bonuses. Male soccer players in the U.S. don’t get a base salary. They get paid when they play. The obvious question is why the contract players on the women’s team aren’t demanding that non-contract players get paid what they’re getting.
The difference in pay is simply a matter of pay structure. The men run the risk of making far less if they don’t advance to the World Cup, as was the case this year. The women are paid regardless, and garner smaller bonuses for advancing. But it also has to do with how much each team generates in revenue for the United States Soccer Federation. According to the USSF, if you include fiscal year 2015 when the men won the World Cup then you find the men brought in $10.8 million more for the federation than the women did.
The pay squabble in soccer is a different issue than athletic ability. Most people will agree that the men’s team this year, which didn’t make the World Cup, would beat the women’s team on the field. The most famous battle of the sexes was tennis greats Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King in 1973. King beat Riggs in straight sets. King was 29 years old. Riggs was 55. What’s lost to history is Riggs’s victory earlier that year to Margaret Court who was the top female player in the world. Riggs beat her in straight sets.
Even the Williams sisters knew they couldn’t compete with similarly ranked men. They said they could beat any man ranked outside the top 200. Karsten Braasch, ranked 203rd, stepped forward and beat both sisters back to back on the same day.
There will never be a female Tom Brady. There will never be a female Michael Jordan. This is not male chauvinism. This is simply a fact. We should all acknowledge that instead of lying about it. And we should all be good with it. Many men will publicly repudiate such claims, but women should know that’s only the proverbial pat on the head.