Blogged by: Megan Larkin, F3 Philanthropy Contributor | Around the NFL
Dr. Jennifer Welter is accomplished by any measure; aside from being the first female NFL coach, Welter has attained a Ph.D. in psychology, and is also an adept athlete in her own right. Several weeks ago, Welter met with President Obama at the White House to mark Women’s History Month, and now she is in the capitol again, participating in the United State of Women, an event meant to bring equitable treatment of women to the forefront.
On June 14th, Dr. Welter participated in this summit along with others such as Dr. Jill Biden, Amy Pohler, and Billie Jean King in order to focus on the struggles for equality that women still face in arenas such as entertainment, technology and professional sports. The speakers also focused on more general concepts, such as bodily autonomy, equal pay, and media portrayals of women.
Welter gave a moving speech towards the end of the day, speaking about the damage that we do to young girls when we present them with a narrow and restrictive definitions of success. During her speech, Welter attacked the way in which the media socializes young girls, saying, “The hardest thing in our society right now…is the media. We show little girls [how] to be beautiful and to do it all the wrong ways. We show them as accessories…We teach them very early on to be pretty, marry well, and then act badly and…and then that’s what they grow up thinking that fame is or success is”. Additionally, Welter explored the damage how this sort of early lesson can impact young women during adolescence, saying, “Adolescent females are more likely to accept drama in their relationships, to be combative with their friends, all of those things because we’ve shown them that image is more important than intelligence…”. Welter ended on a resonant, passionate note, stating that we should begin to “show women that…they’re awesome and not just because they’re pretty ”.
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