Just in

The march of sporting equality

If today I begin today’s post by issuing a denial that the Rust is one of the last bastions of bigoted misogyny, terminally opposed to the advancement of equality and/or feminism and political-correctness in any form, then no doubt the social media trollers will once again assault us with a blizzard of allegations that “The lady … [or should that be ‘sad mealy-mouthed Antediluvian git’?] … protest too much”.

But no matter. We don’t use our Twitter account – or at least don’t interact with it (don’t know how) – so any such tide of abuse will pass us by.

My concern regarding the well-intentioned mainstream media campaign orthodoxy regarding women’s sport is – and has only ever been – the extent to which it flies in the face of the harsh commercial realities of life and capitalistic market forces.

There’s something spectacularly bizarre about the notion “He [that top footballer/snooker/boxer/golfer/whatever] earns over £X million per annum. I am a top female footballer/snooker/golfer/whatever … and therefore I should be paid exactly the same as him”.

Er … not necessarily, ladies.

Not when your leading English football club Manchester City, in winning the Women’s Super League title in 2016/2017, had an average crowd attendance of just 2,249.

If the ‘equality’ argument held sway, let’s look at an equivalent one in a different field. The popular singer-songwriter Adele reportedly made US$80.5 million in the calendar year 2016. I can sing a bit [well, no actually I can’t – after my audition at prep school I was immediately one of two boys that was excused compulsory singing/music lessons and assigned extra history classes instead, an arrangement that rather suited both parties] and therefore, on PC logic, I should also receive US$80.5 million per annum.

I’m not suggesting the world has gone completely mad. Here are two stories I spotted on newspaper websites today:

Molly Hudson on the potential success of the coming Women’s football Word Cup next year, as seen in – THE INDEPENDENT

Jeremy Whittle on the attempts of women professional cyclists to have their own equivalent of the Tour de France, to be found in – THE GUARDIAN