Bleats

US Women’s Soccer Team Just Proved Gender And Skill Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Kick in the balls.

Female sports players cop a lot of crap. One thing we hear and over and over in relation to female athletes is that “they’re just not as strong as guys.” 

It’s true, scientifically speaking. Women are built differently to their male counterparts- we have less muscle mass and, therefore, less natural strength. 

Saying women aren’t as strong as males is fact. 

Where I have issue with that phrase is when it is used as a reason to dismiss a female participating in something or to undermine her ability. Just because we’re biologically different does not mean we are not as determined, skilled and good at what we do. 

If a guy can play soccer or footy or swim the English channel, then a woman can too. Simple. 

The US Women’s soccer team just proved once and for all that gender and sporting ability are not mutually exclusive. 

They just scored the most goals ever in a single World Cup match- for men and women- smashing Thailand 13-0 in their first game of 2019. 

The win is much more than an impressive scoreboard. It told all the critics to “shut the hell up” without saying as much. It showcased the skill and teamwork of the US Women’s team, proving that it’s not how hard you can kick a ball but how well you can kick a ball. 

Brute strength is not always the answer and it certainly does not make men better athletes.

The US women’s team has dominated the game for decades, winning three World Cups, four gold medals in the Olympics, and being ranked No. 1 by FIFA for 10 of the last 11 years. This isn’t a fluke win, it’s a well-deserved win. 

Even though they play more games and have won more championships, the US women team continue to be paid less than their male counterparts, who didn’t even qualify for the men’s World Cup last year.

This year, the womens team sued the US Soccer Federation for discrimination and are still fighting the good fight. Their show of dominance during Tuesday night’s game further supports their case. 

The reality in Australia was just as dire until 5 days ago. Reuters reports that Australia’s professional women soccer players will be given the same base pay as men in a one-year extension to a collective bargaining agreement.

The decision, made by Football Federation Australia, means that players in Australia’s Womens League will have their annual minimum remuneration hiked 33 percent to A$16,344 ($11,400), with their base hourly rate matching the men’s A-League. 

The money is there and the fan support is too.

The Matildas game on Monday night got an audience of over 800,000 on SBS when it streamed live on TV at some insane hour of the morning.

Not only are these women kicking some serious arse, people are watching them do it. Bout time they got the attention they deserve.

It’s also about time they got recognised as the amazing, skilled athletes they are. They might be female but they can play just as hard and win just as good. 

Running/kicking/hitting/playing like a girl isn’t an insult- it’s a compliment. One the whole world should be using more often. 

Cersei And Euron's Sexual Power Struggle Is A Lesson In Female Anxiety

Women are their own worst enemies.

Cersei Lannister is many things but a pushover isn’t one of them.

So why she gave Euron Greyjoy exactly what he wanted in the Game of Thrones Season Eight premiere is beyond me.

How does a strong independent woman who has  survived the death of her three children, made it through a religious hazing and blown up whole buildings let a horny male get the better of her?

Lena Headey, who plays Cersei on the show, was just as dumbfounded at her character’s decision.

“I kept saying, ‘She wouldn’t, she wouldn’t,’ that she would keep fighting,” she said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

“But [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] obviously know what they’re doing and were adamant Cersei would do what she had to do.”

The question here is why does Cersei feel like she HAS to do anything?

The obvious answer would be pressure: toxic masculinity is real and Euron most definitely pushes himself on to Cersei. On multiple occasions. The guy isn’t exactly subtle. Or polite, for that matter.

Euron talks a big talk.

But Cersei’s decision to sleep with Euron has nothing to do with him pressuring her. She’s pressuring herself.

Her internal dialogue is one constant strategy play: she’s constantly thinking and worrying about how to maintain the upper hand.

At this point in Game of Thrones, Cersei’s power stems primarily from her reputation. She is respected and feared because of things she has done in the past.

If she loses her reputation, she loses her power. If she shows any sign of weakness, she loses her power.

And being pregnant with your brothers child during a war when said brother is about to swear allegiance to your enemy is what I would call a weakness.

So Cersei decides to sleep with Euron to save her own arse.

Strategically, it makes perfect sense. Emotionally, it takes a toll on her.

Cersei’s decision takes a visible toll.

It’s a man’s world out there and female anxiety is real. We are our own worst enemies.

Our inner critic might be exhausting but it’s there for a reason- often it is the only thing which saves us from being swallowed whole.

Cersei is such the ultimate survivor in all of this,” Lena told EW.

“She refuses to fall to her knees. She goes to the place where she doesn’t want to go.”

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