Today's Times had an article about Michele Wie that has had me twisted up all evening. Not the coverage, or the opinion expressed therein, but something that pokes this forty-something feminist, professional, mother and wife right in my eye with a size zero needle: why is
this talented girl defining her worth against the accomplishments of men?
You can read the article here
, but it points out the obvious: Wie isn't playing great over these last few months, no matter with whom she is playing, but is she she telling us she is a better professional because she's loosing to men instead of women?
Why are young women still believing this crap? Well, for one thing, as mentioned in this blog before, there is big money in it for professional male golfers and much less money for women golfers. I'll say a wild thing (and then find some specious internet back up later to proove my point) which is that I bet all the earnings of professional women golfers in 2006 were still less than what Tiger Woods brought in during the same time.
So, the real world says the financial stakes are higher when you play with men. It's a sad fact of life that in 2007 women earn
$.77 for every dollar a man makes. But why not use your power for Good instead of Evil and work to negotiate higher purses for women's games?
Blah, blah, blah. Money aside, I can't help but feel real bad about the underlying message Wie is sending here: it's better to be at the bottom of a man's game than to be at the top of a women's game. That the LPGA promotes "women's work" and therefore to be discounted.
I wish I had a big call to arms here, like take to the streets or burn your bra, but really, I have a few requests:
- Mention the wage gap between men and women at your job when you are at the coffee machine instead of talking about American Idol tomorrow.
- If you have a teenager - boy or girl - ask them to read the article in the Times and tell you what they think.
- Knit something in public as your women's work badge of honor.