My name is Emily. If you’re a man reading this, know that in a certain way I have power over you. It has nothing to do with my accomplishments, skills, or attributes, but simply because I am a girl. In some cases this means that I can make up a story about you, play the victim, and everyone will sympathise with me and believe it. As a result your reputation will be tarnished forever, and I’ll get my 15 minutes of fame. I could also trap you with a kid or in marriage so I can have control over you. Now would I personally ever do that? Absolutely 100 percent no. I’ve seen firsthand the damage it causes . But I am seeing it more and more nowadays, girls causing drama especially in the sports world, and its making me sick.
Normally I would wait until the closing paragraph to mention this to tie it all together, but I understand that this is a hard concept to stomach and a very touchy topic that could come across the wrong way. Sexual assault, physical, verbal, and emotional abuse are VERY serious matters. I am in NO WAY defending true assaulters and offenders. I am just shedding light on a possible “other side of the story” that we so often forget to look at in allegation cases. We talk about the “two sides to every story” and “innocent until proven guilty” concepts, but never look into it. It’s going to make some people feel uncomfortable. I don’t mean to offend anyone. I’m just trying to give a different perspective on certain situations. We rarely see women talk about the negative side of the double standards men have to deal with and bring light to their issues.
I have a few good friends who are professional athletes. I see the way they interact with girls, some more cautious than others, and I see the way some girls throw themselves at them. I’ll never forget the first conversation I had with one of my friends. He was taking all the precautions. Asking me how old I was, what grade I was in, and asking other questions to get an idea of the kind of girl I am. Although I’m a trustworthy person, he didn’t know that at the time, and I liked the fact that he was looking out for his career. He then said, “I think you’re cute, but in this country you can go to jail for just saying you are cute. It’s unfortunate but I don’t want to be one of those athletes on the news.” We have such respect for each other and we became good friends, but then it really hit me. Would girls really expose something like this to gain publicity or feel better about themselves? As time went on I was more exposed to the ugly side of the media and sports, and my question was clearly answered. But from him saying this I saw the fear, nervousness, doubt, and insecurity of a professional athlete. (I know this may be hard to believe for some since many people like to label them as arrogant heartless money hungry jerks). But the truth is, every single interaction they make with a female can be twisted and turned into headlines.
What does a direct message, selfie with a man, and an interaction in a club all have in common? These are some things girls can use for later use when they’re feeling sorry and miserable about their lives and have nothing better to do but ruin someone else’s. Usually it’s just a pathetic story they made up to sell to the papers. I lose brain cells after reading some of the things these girls say and the papers write. Ever notice how its usually the same people the stories are about? Someone with a small mind brainwashed by the media would say “Well of course the stories are about the same person! Because that man is a terrible person and he keeps doing these terrible things because he’s a terrible man!” No. Just no. It’s about the same people because they’re easy targets. If they’re in a headline once, it gives attention seeking girls the opportunity to create more stories about that man. They know people will believe it, and they know it will sell.
Under the absolute worst circumstances, its no longer a made up story for the press, but a made up accusation to the police. I can’t think of anything worse than that. On both sides. Can you imagine being the one falsely accused and people quickly believing it just because you’re a man? And how could you not pity the accuser?! You have to be living a sad pathetic life to try to bring someone down to your low level. I’m not saying that every accuser is a liar, and every man being accused is innocent. I’m opening your eyes to the fact that this DOES happen in certain instances. People tell me sexual assault is a serious matter and I’m ignorant for defending some men. I partially agree with them. Sexual assault is a VERY serious matter, which is why I find it so disgusting that some girls would make up a story while playing victim. People say that by defending some men I’m insulting all the women that have been sexually assaulted. When actually its the girls who are cashing in on pretending to be a victim that are insulting the real victims who don’t collect a pay check or receive 15 minutes of fame for their abuse.
I don’t wish everyone ‘Happy Anniversary’ or ‘Congratulations on your new baby!’ Sorry. Maybe you think I’m a bad person for that, but I’ve seen a lot. I have seen so many unhealthy relationships that when my friend’s are having a baby or getting married I don’t know whether to say “I’m sorry” or “congratulations.” Maybe I would be more supportive if the relationships and family setting were based off love instead of power, control, and money. We all know the concept of gold diggers. A girl who is with a man for his money. You know the ones who are so heartbroken after their man cheats on them (I mean why would a guy cheat on someone like that?!?!) that they take his credit card and go shopping to buy designer clothes to wipe away their smeared mascara with, and designer handbags to catch all of their tears, then return home to him. But girls are getting more manipulative now. They don’t just want money anymore. They want power and control over the man and his career. I have seen so many guys who have been trapped by a girl with a baby. They usually end up marrying this woman because its easiest at this point, and their lives are tied to them forever. “If you do that, I’ll never let you see your kid again.” “No you can’t go to that team because I don’t want to raise a family there.” A woman is supposed to support your dreams and help you reach them, not talk you out of them. All this stress affects an athlete because they’re human too, and sometimes alters their performance.
People will say “Oh, but it was his choice to get involved with a girl like that.” “He’s stupid.” But they didn’t imagine it would end that way. When people say this, you’re pretty much saying that men aren’t allowed to trust any woman. Going into situations, they don’t imagine it would turn out for the worst. But honestly, sometimes it is hard for these professional athletes to trust women after what they’ve been through. Since they were young they were defined by numbers. What are their stats? How many goals a season? How many minutes did they play? If those numbers are high, you get the next number that comes as a blessing and curse. The big salary. For the rest of their life they’re defined by this. Finally, their hard work has paid off and they can buy that car they always wanted, by their mom a dream house, but with it comes the girls and the fame too. Girls throwing themselves at them for all the wrong reasons. The materialistic things and meaningless benefits. It’s easy to get caught up in. And for the rest of their career that’s what they’re exposed to. As soon as you remind them that they’re still a great man even if you take away what they’ve done in the sport, they get confused. They hide behind their possessions because their true sense of self is lost. They’re scared. They’re not used to someone seeing past their job and flashy things because that’s all they’ve been praised for their whole life. They’re uncomfortable with someone seeing them for what may be the first time. It’s new and scary, and they don’t trust it. So they go back to what they know best which is sometimes a shallow lifestyle. It’s a vicious cycle rooted in insecurity which too many people are feeding into. They always hear how much they’re worth as a player, but not often enough are they told how much they’re valued as a person.
So please stop judging people by what you read in magazines. I always hear people say “He’s a great footballer, but I don’t like his personality.” How can you make a comment on someone’s personality if you don’t know them personally? Or I hear “Oh he’s an athlete. They all act that way, what do you expect?” What do I expect from professional athletes, who are regular people? So really what do I expect from people? Respect, and that’s exactly how they treat me.
I encourage girls to find purpose and joy in their own lives, and as women come together and rise up in our own successes. I remind men that this could happen to you. I urge everyone to remember there is always another side to the story.
The confused look in his eyes when I told him how beautiful I think his passion and ambition is, told me that he must not get compliments like these often. He’s used to receiving compliments on how much he’s worth as a player, but not how much he’s valued as a person. He didn’t know how to respond, he was almost scared. And that’s when it struck me. In a world where we are constantly praising each other’s physical appearance, materialistic belongings, and fame, we must remind people how rich they are. Not in money, but in character.
_____, a professional soccer player for the _______, and I have been talking for a few months before we met in _____ of 2012. I knew there was something special about him from our conversations. What I didn’t know was how much girls were throwing themselves at him because of his looks, soccer skills, money, and fame. At soccer practice I would overhear my teammates discussing how much they adore him, but for all the wrong reasons. “He is so good looking.” “I bet he got a lot of extra money for that goal he scored over the weekend. Must be nice to have a boyfriend who could spend his money on you.” My stomach turned, and my ears burned listening to these comments. I didn’t want to say that I knew him, but I couldn’t help myself from defending him. With some anger in my voice I said, “There’s more to him than that. Don’t you admire his ambition? Do you even care if he’s a great person, or do you just care about his fame?” My teammates didn’t take two seconds to reflect on what I said. They just laughed. Their mocking laughter seemed to have answered my questions.
I wondered how often _____ receives superficial compliments like these. To think that people wanted to be a part of his life just to tag along for all the depthless benefits bothered me. I was curious if he was aware of these things. Did he ever receive compliments on being the great person that he is? These thoughts were haunting me, but they also inspired me. I felt the need to let _____ know that his individuality is more appreciated than his soccer identity.
Since _____ played for a team in ______ we had to wait until he played on the east coast to meet. I felt it was appropriate to let him know how much he’s valued in person, rather than in a text or over the phone. This opportunity came in _______ when he played in _________ . We met in the lobby and went for a walk along the river. It was an easy flowing conversation. As if this wasn’t the first time we were meeting. The topics of the conversation got really deep, really fast. I knew this was the right time to tell him how much I respected his ambition, and appreciated the person he is. “I know girls are throwing themselves at you for many reasons, but I just want you to know how much I admire your ambition. You have a unique spark both on and off the field. Without soccer and everything you’ve accomplished in it, you would still be an amazing guy.” It was easy for me to say, I was just speaking from my heart. But I could tell it wasn’t easy for him to hear.
The silence after I finished speaking wasn’t awkward, or empty. It seemed to be filled with emotion. He did not say any words, but his eyes spoke to me. The way they widened showed he was surprised, maybe even scared. Once they relaxed, I could tell he was relaxed. As if someone was finally seeing who he really is for the first time, and letting him know that he doesn’t have to hide behind his materialistic belongings. He seemed comfortable that someone valued him as a person, rather than just for his success. Yet, he seemed uncomfortable since this was an unfamiliar situation for him. I broke the silence by suggesting we go back to the hotel since we both had a long travel day. Before the elevator stopped on my floor he turned to me and said, “I can already tell we’re going to be best friends ‘till the end. I’m really glad we met.” From the tone in his voice I could tell that what I told him, meant a lot to him. I replied, “me too,” with a smile both on my face and in my heart.
When I got to my room, I thought I’d be tired after the long day, but I wasn’t. I was energized and inspired. As if my soul was ablaze with the realization that this is what I was meant to do. I was meant to let people know how much their individuality and uniqueness is cherished. I wanted to help people feel good about themselves and become more confident. I wanted people to realize that they’re beautiful, and as a result the world will become a more beautiful place to live in.
I made this my mission. Make people feel important, valued, cared for, special, recognized, and loved. Sometimes we are so concerned with ourselves that we don’t acknowledge the people around us. Whether they’re strangers, friends, or family, sometimes we don’t embrace them fully. I’ve learned that the more we look at someone, and seek their soul, the more we learn about them, and the more beautiful they become.
I woke up happy and refreshed. Not only was I awakened, but I felt reborn. I knew that going through my phone to call everyone and tell them how I feel wasn’t realistic, but I knew I could get started on my mission right away. When I went down to breakfast I said “good morning” to everyone who entered the elevator, instead of having my face in my cell phone like I usually did. When I got to the breakfast server I asked him how he liked working in a hotel. He was caught of guard that someone was interested in his work, and not just the food he was serving on our plates. It was refreshing and interesting to hear his story and how he loves his job. His excitement in his voice made it seem that he’s been eager to tell his story, but no one cared to ask. I’m glad I did.
When I sat down and ate my food I smiled at everyone that walked by and even the people I made eye contact with across the room. Not only did they smile back, but their face lit up with genuine happiness. Dr. Lickerman, a writer for Psychology Today, said it best, “In smiling at strangers, I acknowledge their humanity, and in doing that, in reminding myself of it, I promote peace.”
Seeing the way ____ face lit up when I told him how much I valued his character and respected his ambitions, inspired me to make everyone feel the same kind of appreciation and worth. I hope to inspire others to do the same. In a world that can be cold or ugly, a warm hello and welcoming smile will surely spread happiness and peace.