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July, 2015


Celebrations, euphoria, infinite media coverage, a New York City ticker tape parade!  Title IX, a significant event in the 70s that allowed and promoted girls’ and women’s sports to evolve just became a winner through the unbelievable victory of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team victory over Japan!

When the US women’s national team routed Japan in the World Cup finals, more than 20 million viewers tuned in, making it the most-watched soccer match ever in the United States. To put that in perspective, more Americans watched Sunday’s matchup than last year’s men’s World Cup championship (roughly 17 million viewers) or all but Game 6 of this year’s NBA Finals. …the total payout for the Women’s World Cup this year will be $15 million, compared with the total for the men’s World Cup last year of $576 million, nearly 40 times as much.  (Mother Jones, July 6, 2015)

Let’s consider the bigger context of wage theft, wealth gap, wage disparity – whatever or however we name it – whether we’re referring to the US Women’s Soccer Champions, female CEO’s, educators, female waitresses, homemakers, etc.; the story’s the same: women, on the whole, are underpaid, recognized worth and contributions fall short of their talents and expertise.  WHY?

The underlying reason continues to be their dignity as persons are not seen as worthy as those of male persons; their status continues to be viewed as inferior.  Many instances could be cited that contradict the validity of this view. So, again, WHY does this perception prevail?

I believe we need to understand that the roots run deep in this inequity as evidenced in the underlying reality of sexism and patriarchy – the systemic causality of the above injustice. Patriarchy, as described by Rosemary Radford Ruther, is fundamentally a masculine power structure in which all relationships are understood in terms of superiority and inferiority and social cohesion is assured by the exercise of dominative power.  Conscious or not the power lies in the ways systems have been structured.  Who structures the systems? Who benefits? Who loses? What values underlie the choices? (see my May blog)

The talents and success of the WST cannot be disputed.  What can be challenged is the basis for remuneration of these women.  It will take more than a ticker tape parade in NYC!

The paradigm is shifting!