Monthly Archives: November 2016

A Letter from the Harvard Women’s Soccer Team-Nicholas Kristof/New York Times

A Letter from the Harvard Women’s Soccer Team-Nicholas Kristof/New York Times

I guess I missed this story in the kerfuffle of the recent Presidential election.  I read about it today and it inspired me to write.  To read the article:

It’s rather ironic in several ways.  First, it relates to the election in a bad sort of way. Further, it’s not lost on me that the very subject of the letter is, in part, how Facebook came to be…the site I’m posting to.

Ah, the ranking of women- not for their intelligence, capabilities, contribution to society or more, but based on their physical attributes- and we aren’t talking about abilities relating to finessing a soccer ball.   The response of the women involved in this situation is handled beautifully.  Kudos to their courage and brilliant counseling they gave one another or sought from other sages.  It’s something to share with young women of all ages.

Sadly, this probably won’t be the last time a story like this is read.

It leads me to question, who has been setting examples for the young men involved?  Is this behavior that has been accepted over time? Brushed off? Laughed at?  Is it a tradition? Are their role models acting like this?

While the promoted video tapes of Trump’s infamous words about women are reprehensible,  I’m sorry to say he’s not alone.  He got caught.  There is a long line of public officials who could hold rankings on the list of using the most deplorable words and behaving in the most dishonorable manner through their careers.

Let’s forego political figures for the moment.  Have you had a chance to hear how middle and high school kids talk to one another?  Do you ever stop and listen to the lyrics of the song you sing so easily on your way to drop off kids at school?  Do you understand what they mean? How many intimate sexual situations have you viewed in that favorite tv show or movie you like so well?  How many times have your kids been present for that and you just stayed silent?

I’m not standing in judgement and I’m not excusing anything.  It’s just not that shocking given history, today’s pop culture and the entertainment industry.  How many more times do I need to see a movie with full frontal nudity of a woman and only a fleeting glimpse of an actor’s unclothed posterior?  I don’t understand that.  I don’t want to see it either.  Just stop it already.   Give me a good story and some credit for having imagination.  I digress.

I always thought I escaped sexual judgement in the workplace.  I was never in a situation where I felt threatened or demeaned because of my gender.  I never felt my job was at risk, nor a promotion on the line because of how a man viewed me.  Those in positions of suggesting something along those lines probably knew it wouldn’t be soccer balls they had to worry about if I was preyed upon.

That said, I can recall what seemed like innocent compliments by men in supervisory positions who said things like they had the most attractive women on their team, or  she’s my Pretty Woman, referring to a distant likeness to Julia Roberts because of a hair style or outfit.  Did I feel complimented?  Yes.  Did I feel threatened in any way?  Not really.  Should I have?  Probably. Was it acceptable behavior by someone in a position of authority relating to my career?  NO.  Did I know better?  I guess not.

Compliments are wonderful in the right setting and circumstance and by the right person. They make you feel great.  Perhaps that’s why we brush them off in the wrong circumstance. We need to rethink that.

Young women won’t know what’s right and wrong without role models teaching them.  The good news is…we are all role models- men too.   You don’t have to be famous or out-spoken.  You  can be a teacher, author, family member, friend, server, flight attendant, fire fighter, doctor, or someone who is just a witness to a situation.   And, sometimes the role models are college-aged soccer teammates who are wise beyond their years.

Now should we talk about equal pay for equal work?



Dear Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump…


I write this letter as one small voice from the millions of people one of you will soon be providing leadership to and representing as our Commander In Chief. As the guardian over our country I want to know you understand your actions are impacting the world I live in and the things that I cherish most deeply on this earth: my faith, my family, and my freedom.  I am not alone in this thinking.  I am united with people all over this country and world.  We are depending on you for your best.

I have great concern. You have spent the past 365 days in relentless pursuit of something you cherish so highly that you would expose the worst in yourselves and one another.  Just when I think we have hit rock bottom, someone appears with a shovel to dig deeper. I want to believe you have chosen this grueling path for reasons other than personal power and gain.  I am not naive.  I am hopeful.

Sadly, so many in our country don’t want either of you to be President.  I guess it’s a little ridiculous to say you should both be ashamed of yourselves.  Neither of you have led exemplary lives.  Please use this as a turning point.  Show us you can be better.  And winner, don’t be smug.  You may be winning because people liked the other candidate less.

I will be praying over the next 24 hours for personal guidance, and for our country as a whole.  Unfortunately, I won’t be voting for the candidate I want in office.  I will cast my vote for the candidate I feel will cause the least damage and hurt the fewest people.

President Elect I pray you have an immediate change of heart–an awakening.  I pray you humble yourselves before the people of America and are filled with a heart of service to support and lead the millions of people in this nation.  Lives depend on it. Clean house of the people around you who are misguiding and misleading you. Prove to your country that you sincerely deserved the votes you received.  Leave a legacy in which your family, friends and our country can find pride.