I didn’t post anything for International Women’s Day this year.
I had decided I would let it go. Nobody is announcing passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. The US election, a woman vice-president, and some inspiring appointments in the new administration gives us hope and I was happy to live with that.
Then my cousin sent me an article written by his niece, Allie Quigley. She’s one of the stars of the WNBA, the Women’s National Basketball Association. I’m proud of Allie’s achievements, of course, but to tell the truth, I’m not a sports fan like my Quigley cousins. March is for our family birthdays and planning my garden, not for Madness.
So I opened the article and I was blown away. THIS. This is what a strong, confident, articulate woman has achieved. And she uses it to celebrate other women. It’s one of the most well-written, riveting things I’ve read in a long long time. I wanted to cry, and to stand up and cheer. I even wanted to watch a basketball game.
Please. Do yourself a huge favor. Read this incredible article. Celebrate these incredible women.
The 7 Best Shooters in the WNBA Playoffs. Period. by Allie Quigley, Chicago Sky for The Players’ Tribune
She talks about her father’s death when she was a child. About what sports meant to her and to preserving his memory. About being a little girl with a dream but without women role models.
I remember growing up, as a young girl falling in love with basketball, how hard it was to find a representation of that in popular culture. It would always be the guys who were playing on TV, or had the commercials or the billboards, or had their own signature shoes. So as a girl, wanting your own version of those things to look up to, you really had to nourish yourself on whatever little scraps you could find. I actually remember there was this one Nike commercial, back in the day — “If You Let Me Play” — that showed a bunch of girls playing sports. And they weren’t even hooping or anything. But still, just seeing them at all….. I got so excited about that. I had a “Let Me Play” poster in my bedroom and everything.
Allie’s article is stunning and heartfelt and completely unforgettable. Thank you Allie, for growing up to be one of those role models. And for sharing these stories so other little girls will have them too.