In a shocking turn of events, coverage of an All Blacks vs Wallabies game gains widespread coverage on prime time New Zealand television. Meanwhile, coverage of the final of the Netball World Cup is left to the dark abyss of Sky Sport. Despite only occurring once every four years, and the New Zealand Silver Ferns playing in the final, there is, strangely enough, more coverage in the Guardian, than the NZ Herald – our national bastion of quality journalism.
Craccum investigates: could this be something to with a patriarchal society that values typical expressions of masculinity over a skilful team sport filled with strong women? Steve Hanson, AB’s coach says,
“No, no deary. It’s just a cultural thing. Rugby is a blokes sport, and that’s why it’s a lot more popular”.
When asked what he thought about the fact that the female equivalent of the All Blacks, the Black Ferns rugby team, had won four consecutive world cups, he confidently explained,
“Well no one really wants to see a bunch of macho lesbos tackling each other. Just makes you feel a bit gay really”.
I asked if he saw the irony that men doing the exact same thing was seen as the epitome of heterosexual manliness, and he shrugged in response.
“It’s just the way things are love”.
Right. When asked if he had ever watched a professional game of netball, Hansen replied,
“Do I look like a poof? I’m sure it’s very nice, but no thank you, I’ll stick to the real sports thank you very much”.
So clearly, the difference in pay between male and female professional sports teams is nothing to do with the ingrained gender stereotyping of both men and women. It is merely due to the fact that New Zealand is a rugby nation that All Blacks get a base salary of $360K and the Silver Ferns earn about ten times less than their ruby counterparts on average.
In response to the question of why despite Silver Ferns games frequently selling out, even top players have to supplement their income with part or full time work, our champion of culture elucidates,
“Well, I don’t want to be that guy, but girls do tend to be a bit worse than us blokes at counting and all that sort of thing. I can’t imagine that many people showing up, ay.”