'The Glass Ceiling of Competitive Eating' by Chef Kyleigh Beach
It’s no secret that women earn less money than men for doing the same job in virtually every industry and apparently competitive eating is no different. Nathan’s Famous has hosted the July Fourth International Hot Dog Eating Contest for 96 years and for the first time this year, men and women will compete separately. I think that evens the playing field, especially with more women competitors vying to wolf down as many hot dogs as possible in ten minutes on a stage in front of thousands of sweaty spectators. The problem lies with the purse. The winner of the men’s contest will take home $20,000 and a championship belt while the female champ gets a paltry $5,000. George Shea is the chairman of Major League Eating which sponsors the contest. He explained that the total prize money exceeds that from previous years and the exposure and recognition the first place woman will get from winning such a contest is itself an invaluable prize. I’m not so sure, George. I’d be willing to be bet she’d rather have $15,000 more in prize money.