As mothers of daughters here at the History Hero BLAST, we’re rapt by the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Aren’t you? The game play, drive, talent and collaborative spirit among top female athletes from 32 nations could not be more exciting. We can hardly wait for the US’s tilt against France for the two teams are Just. That. Good.
We’re also fans and supporters of the #SheBelieves movement. Conceived and developed by the US Women’s National Soccer Team before the 2015 World Cup, it encourages women and girls to chase their dreams, athletic or otherwise.
To that end, the US Team opened their 2019 season wearing jerseys bearing the names of women they each personally admire. Among the iconic female figures represented were Mother Teresa, Sojourner Truth, Maya Angelou, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg — history heroes all!
US team captain Megan Rapinoe wore the name Lorde.
Audre Lorde was a black lesbian feminist poet activist (her words) who warned that we ignore differences among us at our peril. Indeed, Lorde believed, and we're guessing Rapinoe does too, that differences in race, class, gender, heritage, etc, can and must be a reason for celebration and growth.
Lorde famously said, "those of us who stand outside the circle of this society's definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference – those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older – know that survival…is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths.” She implored us to refuse to be defined by conventional standards and embrace our unique identities instead.
An advocate for such LGBTQ+ organizations, as the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Athlete Ally, in addition to being one of the craftiest players in the sport today, Megan Rapinoe stands solidly on Lourde's broad shoulders.
We honor Megan for honoring Audre, for reminding us of her gifts, and for taking the UWNT to the FIFA World Cup championship playoffs!