Recently I got to work on a Gatorade commercial with Abby Wambach who is the best soccer player the United States has ever had with 184 goals scored in professional play. She isn't just the best GIRL soccer player for the U.S., she is the best soccer player in America period.
I am aware that we're talking about a sport that's not popular like, at all, in America and it is just a sport but holy cow has this woman's life and legacy been at the forefront of my mind since I heard we were doing a spot with her. I had to educate myself on her history not only about the professional playing stats but about her speaking out against the inequality of being a professional woman playing a sport and not being paid the same as the men but also, the general treatment. Did you know the women's teams played on artificial turf which is incredibly painful to play on for a soccer player that's sliding around on the field? They wouldn't have made the men play on artificial turf, hell no. And the women's national team has actually delivered winning two Olympic gold medals and one world cup championship while the men's national team hasn't earned so much as a participation trophy (oh, AYSO reference, oh).
I'll spare you stats on the wage gaps in this country. I'll remind you that women didn't get to vote until 1919. WE GOT TO VOTE AFTER FORMER SLAVES GOT TO VOTE. Nothing and I mean nothing gets me more worked up than sexism and misogyny. I was raised by a single mom for years and the oldest of five with three little sisters to watch. Growing up, my gender was nothing to me but an asset and it was only until I was older did I hear all these stupid views people had about men vs. women. It became a big deal to me all of a sudden this pride of being a woman and I pushed forward in a field that's dominated by men and coming from nationality that's dominated by men. I have fought with my feminism and embraced the macho in my Camacho. This isn't about sexuality or me being straight or me feeling that gender is irrelevant no, I am a woman, I know I am, I feel it, I just mean that my being a girl has nothing to do with anything. I can do anything. We can do anything. We should do anything. And we should get paid and treated the same as men.
And then... and then I had a daughter. And then I found my body being almost unable to contain her because I was working and I had to stop. My 8 month pregnant female body told me I couldn't do the same thing as a man. Because after I labored and had her sliced out of me, I was in pain and unable to work. And then my body had to feed her. So no, I couldn't be treated the same as a man, I had to be treated specially, I had to be treated differently and not only did I want that, I needed it. I needed my beautiful state to support me while I stayed home and took care of my baby and my body. I needed the support of my government to pay the bills. I needed to be paid as disabled because I was not able to work the same as a man. I was woman and now I was mother.
Now mother is effing back to working. Now father is home with the daughter. At work I have to fight with being the boss and what that means. Becoming aware of my own sexism and my own prejudices and the things I find myself asking or saying. Was I pissed because she was ordering them around and it was underestimating my authority as the boss or was I pissed she was being 'bossy' because she's a girl? And you do know why these questions are more important to me now than ever before right? Because I'm raising a girl, a woman. What am I going to tell her? What am I going to teach her? Will I be able to raise her in a way that never gives her any limits because of who she is or isn't? Will I be able to send her into the world equipped to be the leader in whatever field she is in?
I hope so. I hope I can teach her to be strong.
Strong enough to bear the children. Then get back to bidness.