No, this is not going to a mushy, passionate post about how much I love what I do. That is highly obvious. Because being a woman in this (or many other) industry (-ies), you have to constantly hear the words: “That is just the way it is”, and if you don't love what you do, you would NOT put up with the half the things that we deal with on a constant basis.
But it starts with one. One person, one word, one action, that can snowball into a multitude of people, words and actions. If one person stands up for the rights of women, especially in the workplace, then it will catch like wildfire. The attitude of one person at one moment can change absolutely everything.
Do you know why I do what I do? Because I must have a pretty good damn reason. Because it is not easy. If you think that I am just complaining, I am not. This is a post opening the eyes of people who think that the treatment we receive as women is okay. If you think it is “okay”, think about your daughter. Replace your daughter with “that woman”, or “those women”.
Is it acceptable for you to treat your own daughter in the way women in the workplace are treated? If you think it is okay for your daughter to not be paid, or to be treated so disrespectfully just because she is a female, then go on about your day. Ignore this post. But she will know that you ignored it. She will feel the scrutiny when she is not treated equally, paid equally, or spoken to equally, just because you did not stand up for her. Especially, when she is trying to stand up for herself.
So yes, we must, as women, have a DAMN good reason as to why we do what we do. It is for the younger girls who look at us when they cannot train because boys are using the field.
When they cannot keep their locker room because the boys trashed it, because the boys don't think that they belong. And for punishment, they get a slap on the wrist and issue a forced apology.
The girls look at us for how to respond to these constant messages that are being bombarded into our faces. That we should not be on the field. That we should not be treated equally. That doors are shut in our faces, when all we are asking for is just respect. Respected the way the boys are respected. Or maybe just even half, because that would be a hell of a lot better than how some people are now.
The message started at the top. Who do you think gave the boys this idea that the girls are not equal to them?
Treat your sons and daughters equally. Teach them both how to treat and respect everyone. Regardless of gender, orientation, race, anything.
That is why I do what I do.
With class. With respect.
But also with strength and the ability and power to not take any more prejudice, sexism, and blatant disrespect because I am a female. Because I am damn good at what I do, and I respect myself.
I am deserving, strong, independent, and so are these young girls. Your daughters, your sisters, your nieces. They need someone who doesn't accept the treatment we are given. They need a leader who shows them how to respectfully stand up for themselves, with class. Someone who says, this is not okay. And we will fight. Together.
So no, this is not a normal, "I love soccer" post. This is enough is enough. On the pitch, in the locker room, in the office, in the country and in the world. Enough.
Please feel free to comment on this post and share the spirit of strength and support for your daughters, sisters, nieces, and friends. We need to lift each other up.