Author Nails Why Women Should 'Unapologetically Take Up Space'

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 
Richard Sellers/EMPICS/Getty and Jennifer Weiner/Facebook

What, exactly, is wrong with loving ourselves again?

The rules for men and women have always been different for, well, just about everything and sports is no exception. When men celebrate victory it’s acceptable to the masses, but when women celebrate in the same exact manner, it’s often seen as arrogant. If you need a recent example of this, look no further than a tweet by ridiculous AF British news presenter, Piers Morgan.

“Ms Rapinoe sure does love herself,” Morgan tweeted over the weekend. “Can’t wait to see our Lionesses dent that stupendous ego.” While most of us roll our eyes at the irrelevance of anything Piers Morgan says, best-selling author, Jennifer Weiner, had a few choice words about just how offensive opinions like this are to women.

“’Ms. Rapinoe sure does love herself,’” Weiner wrote on Facebook. “Can we reflect for a moment on why that’s an insult? A thing some men want to slap her down for?”

Weiner went on to say she’d written a piece earlier in the year about this very phenomenon in Publisher’s Weekly called “I Wrote a Thing,” about women’s tendency to “minimize their achievements, to make themselves small in every regard, to announce their hard work with a version of ‘oh, this little thing? No big deal!'” when what we should be doing is modeling ourselves after women like Rapinoe who are unapologetically proud of themselves.

See, Morgan’s tweet cuts to the heart of double standard that exists for successful women — we must never be seen to brag, to over-celebrate our accomplishments because we should just feel “thankful” we’re allowed to play at all. What’s more, when we get angry, we get penalized or are called “too emotional.”

Weiner goes on to talk about these double standards and how hurtful they are to all women. “At every stop, in every city, I have been talking about the importance of women’s stories – of speaking truth to power, even if it makes power uncomfortable, and how our words can change the world,” she said. “Yesterday was a reminder: a woman who is brave and accomplished, a woman who unapologetically takes up space, a woman who is not there for his sexual gratification, will always be a threat to a certain kind of man.”

Weiner applauds Rapinoe, saying more women should celebrate in whatever way they feel like celebrating. Instead of using the “female language of self-deprecation,” we should be showing our daughters “that they have as much right to walk in this world as our sons, that their victories matter just as much, that they have a right to be proud of what they’ve achieved, and that they don’t need to make themselves small for anyone.”

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