Athletes

Previously appeared in the Huffington Post. There are many inspiring commercials featuring the U.S. women’s national soccer team (USWNT), portraying them as role models for young girls who hope to achieve at the highest level of their sport. The most powerful thing the USWNT is doing for women of all ages is to lead by example by standing tall and asking for a raise. Yes, let’s first talk about this equal pay issue as a performance-based raise. Their performance from top to bottom has been exemplary, on and off the field. As it turns out, simply “asking” requires the courage to work against how we’ve been socialized to behave as females. As a society, we teach women that it is not appropriate or “feminine” for them to focus on what they want, assert their own ambitions, and pursue their self-interest—and we don’t like it when they do. From the time they’re very young,...