How Not to Fight for Women, a Guide by Megan Rapinoe

Anybody unfortunate enough to live in an impoverished, corrupt, or developing country will most likely tell you that no one has it better than the citizens of the United States. With a truly free market and a set of freedoms seen as holy by the country’s own constitution, you’re more equal than others if you live in America.

But, try explaining that to the U.S. soccer team and its captain, Megan Rapinoe. 

The star athlete and her team claim to be victims of systemic oppression that intentionally values and pays women less than men because they are, well, women. Their World Cup win against the Netherlands has provided Rapinoe and her teammates with a huge platform to push what is clearly a political agenda, and not a fight against injustice.

The team’s efforts to secure what they claim is “equality” have culminated with a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, in which the team claimed they were victims of gender discrimination. Their federal class-action lawsuit said that the men’s national team earns more, even though the women’s team plays more games and wins more matches. 

This is simply not true. 

Any disparity in pay is due to the difference in revenue each of the teams brings. The U.S. women’s soccer team is given a bigger percentage of the revenue they generate then men – the 2019-2022 is expected to generate around $131 million, of which the players will get $30 million, or 22.9 percent. The men’s World Cup in 2018 gave the players only 7 percent of the revenue.

But, try explaining that to Megan Rapinoe. 

Her outspoken personality and a rather unique appearance made her the new “it” girl of left-wing media, who dedicate more resources to covering her bold hair color than to researching whether her words actually hold any merit. Any constructive criticism aimed at her will quickly be shut down by an angry mob of journalists, who are quick to use the left’s favorite no-no words to attack her critics – homophobes and sexists.

With a shield like that, it was only a matter of time before Rapinoe outgrew her fight for equal pay and became another talking head for the social justice movement. And that truly is a colossal waste. Unlike many of her staunch supporters, Megan Rapinoe is no dummy. When paired with her quick wit and confidence in front of the camera, the attention she gets for being an outstanding athlete and an outspoken LGBTQ activist could have made her a powerful new voice in politics. She could have used that to bring much-needed media attention to the struggles women athletes face in other parts of the world and bring valuable and meaningful changes.

Completely disregarding rock-solid, indisputable facts and desperately attempting to push what is essentially a company dispute out into the political discourse is not how you fight for women.

Using an invaluable opportunity to have your voice heard by the entire world to say empty and inflammable words is not how you fight for women. 

Refusing to take on the opportunity to debate the very people that have the power to make the changes you seem to push for is not how you fight for women.

Calling yourself a feminist and not using the platform you were so graciously given to bring recognition to other women athletes is not how you fight for women.

Challenge those who doubt you with facts, not childish pouts. Let your actions speak louder than words, but don’t be afraid to answer tough questions. Lend your voice to those that don’t have one. Use your power to lift your friends up, not bring your enemies down.

That’s how you fight for women, Megan Rapinoe, not like this.

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