Sorry, Ladies: It's Just Biology, Psychology, and Economics
Just like probably 90 percent or so of those virtue-signaling in favor of "pay equality" for the American women who won the FIFA Women's World Cup, I've never paid to attend a women's soccer game. In fact, as best I can recall, I've never paid to attend any women's sporting event. The only girl I've ever paid to watch compete in sports is the beautiful and talented Caroline Thomas, the (now) 13-year-old karate champion.
Yeah, that's my girl, and she has about 15 of those first-place trophies — in both karate fighting (which involves contact but is not very violent) and forms, or "kata." Caroline also plays in a co-ed basketball league. Like most other fathers, I would pay (up to a point) to watch my daughter show off her talents in almost any venue — whether in sports, performing on stage, or in a cooking contest (Caroline also likes to cook). However, it doesn't mean that the public at large is interested in forking over hard-earned dollars to watch my daughter perform — especially in the realm of athletics.
The "inequality" that exists in women's sports is nothing new, and in spite of what many on the left would have us believe, it involves nothing nefarious. The fact that consumers overwhelmingly prefer men's sports to women's sports is merely a matter of biology and psychology and not due to some mythical misogynistic plot. The facts and the data clearly bear this out.
Just as was the case in 2015 — the latest data available when I last wrote about this issue — in 2018, when examining sports audiences, men's sports dominated television ratings. Of the 50 most watched sporting events in 2018, 43 of them were men's football — 40 NFL games and three college football games. The other seven were events from the Winter Olympics.
According to Sports Media Watch, including pre-game coverage, Fox earned a 7.7 rating and had 12.98 million viewers for the Women's World Cup final. These numbers are nowhere close to what was needed to make the top 50 most watched sporting events of 2018. The 50th-place event — Winter Olympics night 6 — had an 11.4 rating and 19.3 million viewers. There's virtually no doubt that the Women's World Cup final will not make 2019's top 50 list, either.
If you exclude the NFL and the Winter Olympics, women's sports are still nowhere to be found among the most watched sporting events in 2018. Again, as was the case in 2015, even non-humans outperform women's sports in viewership — two of the 2018 non-NFL/Winter Olympics top 50 were horse racing events. The Kentucky Derby was 16th on this list, with an 8.5 rating and 15 million viewers.
When it comes to television audience and paid attendees, the professional sports in which women compete annually are not in the same universe as men's sports — or even horse racing. In 2018, the top-rated women's tennis event was the U.S. Open women's final. It earned a 1.9 rating with 3.1 million viewers. The top-rated women's golf event for 2018 was the U.S. Women's Open Final Round. It earned a 0.6 rating with 878,000 viewers. The top-rated WNBA event for 2018 was the WNBA All Star Game. It earned a 0.5 rating with 709,000 viewers.
Thus, as such consumer data imply, according to Forbes, from boxer Floyd Mayweather ($285 million) to basketball player Nicolas Batum ($22.9 million), of the world's 100 highest paid athletes in 2018, not a single female athlete made the list. There is nothing evil at work here; it is simply a matter of economics. Whether in person or through television or livestreaming on their phones or computers, fans simply prefer to watch men compete over women.
This does not mean that fans are "discriminating" against women. Fans are discriminating, just not in the way the "equal pay" loons of the Left would have us believe. I've jokingly told the left before how to make women's sports more interesting: allow men to compete as women. Forgetting that the Left takes jokes and makes them into policy, I never thought leftists would take me up on it.
Given the pay disparity that already exists among male and female athletes, and given how the Left is determined to convince us that this is "unfair," the fact that liberals are now allowing men to take trophies and dollars from women is the height of absurdity. It just goes to show how tragically devoted to the perverse LGBT agenda is the modern Left.
Unless the Left continues down this road, where gender-deluded (or financially savvy?) men are allowed to compete as women, there will never be "equal pay" or "gender equality" when it comes to athletics, because human sexes are not — and will never be — equal. Men are bigger, faster, and stronger than women. And "bigger, faster, and stronger" makes for more exciting and interesting sports.
What's more, as most anyone not devoted to a liberal worldview who has observed human beings for at least 15 minutes was already aware, men are naturally more physically aggressive than are women. As Psychology Today points out:
The fact that males are more aggressive and more violent is reflected by their anatomy itself; in many animals species they are heavier, more muscular, better armed with means of attack and defense. In humans, for example, the arms of men are, on average, 75 percent more muscular than those of women; and the top of a male body is 90 percent stronger than the top of a female body [Bohannon, 1997; Abe et al., 2003, apud Goetz, 2010, p. 16]. Also, men are taller, they have denser and heavier bones, their jaw is more massive, their reaction time is shorter, their visual acuity is better, their muscle/fat ratio is greater, their heart is bulkier, their percentage of hemoglobin is higher, their skin is thicker, their lungs bigger, their resistance to dehydration is higher etc. In other words, from all points of view, men are more suited for battle than women, and these skills are native.
As Ann Coulter noted over a decade ago, "Competitive sports are ritualized forms of fighting, and boys like to fight." In other words, sports — especially those involving heavy contact — are a form of battle, and in spite of what the foolish Left would have us believe, men are much more suited for battle than are women. No amount of legislation, legal wrangling, or whining is going to change these facts.
Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America.