At this year's Nathan's Famous hot dog-eating contest on Coney Island, women competitors will be ghettoized to their own division for the first time. And the women will be winning a lot less money than the men. Four times less.
Simply having separate divisions is sort of fine. The argument is that women are physically smaller than men, that the new division might draw more female competitors, and all of the other reasons commonly given for putting women in a separate category in any field.
But the first place winner in the men's division gets $10,000, and the winner of the women's division gets a mere $2,500.
Oh, yes, they did: the men's division splits $20,000 between its first through fifth place winners, while the women's division only splits $5,000. In fact, Eatfeats, the blog that tracks all things competitive eating, crunched the numbers and discovered that the women's first place prize of $2,500 is actually equal to the mens' third-place prize.
What's the deal? George Shea, chairman of the event's sponsor Major League Eating, told CNN "although the money is meaningful, the instant celebrity for the first female hot dog-eating champion will make up for the shortfall." Because women definitely value fame over money!
Or, wait, they don't. Some women competitors are thinking about trying to qualify for the men's competition and earn more money — although it's unclear if that's allowed or not. And why not? Even if they place lower, it's clear which division Nathan's values more.
· Analysis of Opting Out of Nathan's Women's Division For Men's [Eat Feats]
· Hot Dog-Eating Contest to Welcome Women This Summer [CNN]
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