By Lenn Robbins
I’m a big fan of the slogan, “I’m a Feminist,’ that you see on T-shirts, crop tops and sweatshirts.
But I’ve got another slogan: “Women Are More Fearless Than Men.” I know this reeks of bandwagon jumping but this sentiment has little to do with Sunday’s championship win by the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team in the FIFA World Cup.
It seems that women are more fearless than their male counterparts.
Let’s start with star Megan Rapinoe, winner of the Golden Ball, given to the best player in a FIFA World Cup final, and the Golden Boot, which goes to the player that scores the most goals.
It was Rapinoe’s penalty-kick goal in the 61st minute that broke a scoreless tie and propelled the U.S. women to a 2-0 win over overmatched Netherlands. But she has shown herself to be as fearless off the pitch as she is impressive on it.
Rapinoe thrust herself in to the role of team lightning rod by celebrating effusively in the team’s record-setting 13-0 win over Thailand and stating that the team wouldn’t go to the White House if it won the title.
“I’m not going to the fucking White House,” Rapinoe told the site Eight by Eight. “We’re not gonna be invited…. I doubt it.”
Of course, the spiteful, misogynist, bigot we call President invited the team, but as Rapinoe correctly said after the match, it’s doubtful any of the players will accept the invite. Rapinoe said she won’t. Bravo!
Why any woman who would step foot in the home of a man trying to repeal a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body is mind boggling.
Some professional men’s and women’s teams have opted not to go to the White House after winning championships. According to Business Insider, half of the 20 championship teams in major sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, WNBA, college football, men’s and women’s college basketball) have not visited the White House either because they weren’t invited or declined the invite since Trump took office.
Yes, men as a group take a stand at times. But as individuals, they don’t seem as fearless as women.
It might be an unfair criticism. Men risk far more in endorsements and face an utter bloodbath on social media if they utter anything even slightly controversial. Yet wouldn’t it be ground rattling if an elite men’s soccer player stood up and shouted, “Women Deserve Equal Pay!”
In March, 28 members of the USWNT sued the US Soccer Federation for allegedly discriminating by paying the women less than members of the men’s team. The suit also sites unfair training and travel conditions, and demands equal promotion of games and support and development for their games.
For the women, this was their fourth World Cup victory. They became the first team to win back-to-back titles since Germany did so in 2003 and 2007. The U.S. men have never won a World Cup. They didn’t even qualify for this year’s World Cup.
The prize for the 2018 men’s World Cup was $400 million. The prize money for the 2019 women’s World Cup is $30 million. No wonder they have to be more fearless.