Anyone who knows me personally is probably very confused by that title, as I am not a soccer fan. At least not until a few days ago when principle caused me to change my perspective on the sport. Let me explain.
I’m still wading through the book, “Eating in the Light of the Moon” by Anita Johnston. My use of the word wading is purposeful, because, at least for someone with a history of disordered eating, it is arduous material.
Admittedly, I’ve also started other books, which distract me from completing this one. Nonetheless, one of my problems getting through the book is that it is replete with profound statements. I keep stopping at paragraphs like the one I’m about to share. I read and reread it. I underline it; maybe even jot it down in my journal. They feel too weighty to simply read and move on from with out adequate time to ruminate upon.
Here’s the quote from pages 66 and 67:
“[I]t may not be a sense of powerlessness that is at the root of the disordered eating. It may instead be a fear of power. Fear of the power of one’s feelings (especially anger), fear of the power of one’s perception (especially when they see things differently than others), fear of one’s inteligence and talent (when others might become jealous), fear of the power of one’s sexuality (which may lead to advances from others they don’t know how to handle). Fear of the power of being a woman.”Eating in the Light of the Moon
I read this under a tree while my son fished nearby. It was the day after the Women’s US soccer team beat Thailand in the World Cup 13-0. Apparently, because I certainly wasn’t watching, they had the audacity to celebrate each goal. I would have been none the wiser of this match except that their celebrations of their accomplishment garnered contempt from those who seem to think women’s behavior needs monitoring.
I’ve never given two craps about soccer before, but the US women’s national soccer team has a new fan!
I grew up with a heaping dose of religious guilt and suspicion about my femininity. In fact, there’s a preacher’s daughter inside me that feels a tad naughty for using that word. However, I’m trying to raise a daughter who is not afraid to kick ass and take names like those soccer players did earlier this week. I want so desperately for my little girl to never fear “the power of being a woman.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not so old that I wasn’t fed the line that I could do anything I wanted, but that was a confusing message because it didn’t align with reality or other roles pressed upon me.
Frustratingly, I’m raising my daughter in a time when there is a backlash against the gains women have made to embrace and project their personal power, as well as attain places of power.
It may be silly and trite, but I will be watching women’s soccer (not understanding much) not because of a love for the game but as a way of saying I’m not going to fear my power and I’m going to celebrate other women’s power. Do I think all strong women must tune into to the FIFA Women’s World Cup? No, of course not. — for one, I’m not into telling women what they must do — This is just for me. My way of saying: I see you ladies. I see your power, and I celebrate it.
See, I aspire to raise a young woman who knows her power; who steps into her power; who doesn’t lower herself to someone else’s level, unless it is to lend a helping hand. I want my daughter to always play her best game AND celebrate it if she so chooses. Moreover, I want for her and every little girl to celebrate the victories of others!
This is no time, my dear warriors, to discourage the celebration of female power. Plenty will fear our power, but we shouldn’t. We are all our own power sources. Celebrating others’ doesn’t lessen our own.
Now, anyone who has read my blog much knows that I am usually celebrating the struggles and losses and pain. I’m not a winning warrior, I’m a keep-on-keeping-on type of power. So, I also see our sisters on the Thailand team and, if I could, would admonish them with the words of Abby Wambach:
“Make failure your fuel.”Wolfpack p. 43, Abby Wambach