This is what a confident woman looks like

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.


While a man who has never, knowingly uttered a modest statement about his vanishingly small talents squats in the White House, Rapinoe’s victory utterance triggered howls of protest from Donald Trump’s supporters. “Obnoxious”; “rude”; “egotistical”. On it went. The you-go-girl end of American positive thinking was never, actually, intended to unleash the female ego in this way but rather to act as a piece of marketing designed to remind people – women in this case – that there are no structural or political disadvantages in the US, only personal liability.

Throughout all this, Rapinoe appeared entirely unconcerned. There was something amazing about her defiance. Feminism is not, we know, about women simply aping men’s bad behaviour, but there was a context for Rapinoe’s “rudeness”. It was a correction to every shuffling, downward-looking, unequal-pay-earning posture adopted by women through the ages. Certainly, a woman who is not only a lesbian but is openly so, unapologetically strutting about in the limelight, had an almost medicinal effect on a culture traumatised by the bigot in Washington. Not even Trump could get away with calling this woman a loser.

Brazenness plays out differently in women than in men, we know this, and Rapinoe’s self-assurance these past few weeks has felt like a balm. As more details of the financier Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking come out and rape allegations continue to dog the president, simply to see a woman standing on a field staring down a crowd with a “what’s your point?” look on her face has huge symbolic value.

Rapinoe’s detractors on Twitter called her attitude monstrous, a piece of egotism that took away from the team. For many women watching, however, her intent was clear. Rapinoe’s win and her subsequent attitude to winning was, in fact, purely one for the team. My God, it felt good.

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