Lucy Small, a female surfer, has called out a Sydney surf tournament for awarding her less than half the prize money the male winner received.
Small, won the Curly Maljam which took place on Sydney’s northern beaches over the weekend. In her acceptance speech she didn’t hold back and said it was a “bittersweet victory” winning $1500, while her male counterpart received $4000.
A video published to social media of Small’s acceptance speech has since gained traction as yet another example of the gender pay gap in action.
“Thank you to the sponsors for the money that they’ve put into the event, but I would say that it is a bittersweet victory knowing that our surfing is worth half of the men’s prize money,” Small said in her victory speech.
“It took the same amount to drive here, flights were the same cost to fly here, accommodation cost the same and our surfing is worth half as much.
“So maybe we can think about that for next time?”
You can watch the victory speech for yourself below, which features a mix of booing and applause from the crowd. If I was there, I’d be screaming “yaaaaasss,” but that’s just me.
Curl Curl Longboarders Club President Tim Reilly told the SMH that the only reason the prize money wasn’t equal was because it has been like that since 2011, when the event was first founded.
“I just feel bad for the guys who ran it for the whole day and put hundreds of hours into it. She [ Lucy Small ] should have come and seen me, that was an easy thing that could have been fixed” he told the SMH.
However, club secretary Phil Nicol saw no problem with awarding women less money and used many of the same excuses we’ve become so used to seeing around the gender pay gap.
“Did we do anything illegal? No. This is a more, this is a moral issue … we’ve done nothing illegal,” Nicol said.
Nicol believed the smaller amount of money was justified because a) men are the bigger “names” in surfing and b) women don’t surf regularly at the club because conditions are difficult to navigate. Hm seems a bit small minded don’t you think? The issue runs deeper than the lame excuse that ‘nOt eNouGh wOmEn sUrf.’