The biggest record broken by the national women’s soccer team was not on the field, but in the hype they received from the media. No sports team has benefited from so much free publicity, despite how Americans have always been disinterested in soccer as a spectator sport.
Empty seats plagued the French stadium where the matches were played for the Women’s World Cup, and the American television audience for the finals was 38% lower than four years ago. Some attribute the viewership decline in the finals to its scheduling midday on a Sunday, but American football draws well then.
There were strikingly few minority players in the World Cup from the quarterfinals through the finals, in contrast with the racial diversity in other competitive sports. The many photographs of the American women’s soccer team are of nearly all-white players, unlike the men’s team.
But let’s not allow facts to stand in the way of the liberals’ narrative for this. Their real game here is for “pay equity,” a demand that women be paid as much as men not for doing the same job, but for doing different jobs.
On March 8, the women soccer players sued the United States Soccer Federation in order to be paid as much as men. The men are faster, stronger, and more athletic in playing soccer, but the women demand to be paid as much.
That would mean reducing the pay of men’s soccer players based on a judge setting salaries, rather than the free market doing that. From there it is an easy corner kick to have judges change the salaries across the United States for everyone, with men taking the hit.
There is a political goal line for team feminist on this, too. They want the White House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court to be run by women, and they do not mean conservative women.
Amid all this gender talk, how about an observance of the 50th anniversary of Chappaquiddick? On that island one of the most powerful men of the last half-century, Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, apparently had a late-night tryst with an attractive young blonde who had worked for his brother.
They left alone together on July 18, 1969, from a cottage where six young women staffers were brought to party with six married men, including Kennedy. The arrangement was the type of setup that #MeTooers complain about today.
But nary a word by liberals in speaking out for the young woman who left with Ted Kennedy and ended up dead, without her underwear on. Sen. Kennedy repeatedly lied about the circumstances resulting in Mary Jo Kopechne being found lifeless in a submerged car that Kennedy said he was driving.
Kennedy never obtained help for her, did not timely report the accident to the police, and did not even seem particularly bothered by it. Many feminists, then and now, seem just fine with Kennedy’s conduct as they have been with Bill Clinton’s.
If Ted Kennedy had been a Republican politician or even a Hollywood director, then his career would have been over. There would be an immense hue and cry about how powerful men exploit young women for their personal pleasure, and get away with it.
Yet for the next four decades, Kennedy reigned supreme over the Democratic Party. In 1980 many feminists even supported Kennedy’s bid for president, which fell narrowly short.
There was no justice for Kennedy’s crime at Chappaquiddick, which by his own admission included leaving the scene of a fatal accident and allowing a young woman to die there. Yet he avoided any jail time or even having to answer tough questions about what he had done.
Kennedy wore a phony neck brace to the funeral as though he had been seriously injured as part of an accident, when he had not. The movie “Chappaquiddick” (titled “The Senator” for its release in England) portrayed the deception of the neck brace by Kennedy but was unable to tell the full story because so many defended Kennedy then, and still do.
The director of “Chappaquiddick” stated that he felt the scandal would have been a bigger story today, and would have surpassed in publicity even the lunar landing which occurred two days later. Had a powerful Republican politician been involved in a similar scandal, that observation is surely correct as the media would have used the incident to promote their false narrative of Republicans exploiting women.
But the media hype about gender issues is selective. The 50-year anniversary of a powerful Democrat evading justice for his role in the death of a young blonde who left a party alone with him attracts none of the same attention that relatively minor accusations against Republicans and their conservative Supreme Court nominees receive.
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.