One Finite Planet

Sport and Gender Equality

First Published:

I was reading a news article today a comment on how Venus Williams has been a tireless campaigner for women in sport:  It made me contemplate how equality in sport may actually be counter productive towards achieving gender equality overall.
“Venus has developed as the more steadfast of the two, emerging as a leader for all women on the tour with her advocacy for equality with men in a sport where a pay gap still exists despite tennis’ ground breaking equal pay efforts at the majors. ” to quote the article.

I have nothing against equal pay in sport, but i do believe it needs to be separated from other gender equality issues and considered as a special case.

Consider these two examples:
1) A woman supreme court justice

2) The no1 woman’s tennis player

The supreme court justice is selected because of her legal skills.  Outright.  Because there is no reason or observation that men are better than women at legal skills.  If significantly more men are selected than women to be high court judges than at some level the system has a problem as the legal skills are equal for both genders.

But now consider the tennis players.  Tennis skills are not actually equal for both genders.  Sport is the main remaining area where the genders actually do NOT have equal capability. This does disturb me, and represents a problem, but it is still a fact.  The no1 woman’s tennis player is not assumed to be the best player in the world, but the no1 men’s tennis player IS assumed to be the best player in the world.  There should however be an equal chance that the best woman chief justice in the world would be a woman.

The original injustice was the failure to achieve equal pay for equal work.  And by equal work it is implied ‘equal skill at that work’.  It is normal and still respected that if you are less skilful at an occupation, then be less pay may be reasonable.

I see sport as a special case.  In many, if not most sports, men are actually have an advantage that means men and women are not equal.  Earning equal pay when not actually being equal is a completely different issue then earning equal pay and equal access to opportunities and employment when men and woman are equal.

Society has largely evolved from a society where fighting skills and manual labour determined many employment opportunities, to a society where almost every role can be equally undertaken by men and women.  But not sport, so it is a different case.

The danger is that some can see the whole equality debate as being about women wanting equal pay and opportunities despite not being equal.  But apart from sport, women are equal!


Table of Contents


Crime: A litmus test for inequality?

Around the world, many countries have both a battle with equality for some racial groups and minorities and also a battle with crime-rates within and by those same groups.

Should we consider crime rates the real sentinels of problems and a solution require focusing on factors behind crime rates? Or is the correct response to rising crime rates or crime rates within specific groups an adoption of being “tough on crime”, thus increasing rates of incarceration and even deaths in custody for oppressed minorities and racial groups?

This is an exploration of not adjusting the level of penalties and instead focusing on the core issues and inequalities behind crime-rates. It is clear that it is “damaged people” in general rather than specific racial groups that correlate with elevated crime rates, so why not use crime rates to identify who is facing inequality?

Read More »

Influence: No, they don’t want to sell your data, it’s worse.

I recently read another comment containing the ‘I don’t want google getting more of my data to sell’ and it reminded me of the question, ‘why is your data valuable?’, and the common myth that Facebook and Google etc want your data so they can sell it.

They don’t want to sell your data, but the reality, is more sinister: they want the power to change your thinking.

Read More »

The Power struggle in Australia.

From “the biggest corruption scandal ever” in Brazil, problems in Venezuela, human rights in Saudi Arabia and Iran, to the problems caused by lobbyists against action on climate change, an abundance of fossil fuels is a source of political power, yet rarely force for good, and Australia, with a wealth of coal and gas, is not spared.

The current crisis in Ukraine not only drives up energy prices globally, but it also creates a dilemma for gas producing nations.

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Fragile Democracy: Was Scott ‘Scomo’ Morrison autocrat of Australia?

Democracy collapses when a leader, who is able to bypass the checks and balances, uses their position to retain power.

Steps by recent leaders Scott Morrison and Australia and Donald Trump in the USA, raise questions as to whether current reliance on conventions and constitutions reliably protects democracy.

China, Russia and even North Korea are all technically democracies, and all proof of how technically being a democracy does not necessarily deliver real democracy.

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Ukraine: Putin and China, method or madness?

What if Russia and China both intended that the invasion of Ukraine would trigger global inflation and food shortages, and a potentially new financial crisis?

That Putin sees himself in the image of Peter the Great and restoring the Russian empire is no secret, and is generally portrayed as evidence that Putin has completely lost the plot. But what if there is a bigger plan involving both Russia and China that starts with triggering a global financial crisis? A dangerous game by two desperate leaders needing to bring others with them as their own economies collapse.

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Can Peter Dutton repair the democracy ‘loyal opposition’.

Democracy is under threat, and a significant part of the problem stems for the distortion of the current model of ‘opposition’. While the politics of division and polarisation of the USA Trump republicans vs Biden democrats attracts most attention on the world stage right now, what happens in Australia following the recent election which saw democracy strike back (page coming soon), has the potential to provide the world with an alternate blueprint for the role of the opposition party, which could reinvigorate democracy and spread to the US and elsewhere.

Is there an alternative to the current Republicans vs Democrats style, where ‘opposition’ is about each party demonising the other?

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