Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The French Open organizers have finally decided to award equal prize money to men and women. No word (that I have found) on the impetus for the change. Seems like quite a delayed reaction, especially in a country that is so concerned with the perception of equality that it forbids that differences be displayed in public schools (i.e. the recent law that no religious symbolism--crosses, star of david, head scarves--be worn by students). Also surprising that tournaments were not under much public/social pressure to equalize the prize money years ago. In the 70s Billie Jean King organized boycotts against tournaments that awarded grossly inequitable prize money and then she went off and formed her own tour. Seems like when the prize money got closer to equitable people were satisfied and the issue was dropped. Everyone forgets such strides made in the 70s and has relegated it to "history." Jennifer Capriati, when asked a few years ago, didn't even know what Title IX was. I can't imagine someone on the women's tour taking the lead and organizing her fellow players in any kind of protest.
So now Wimbledon is the only tournament that continues to award more prize money to men. Will they be pressured to change now that they remain the sole holdout?

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