What a weekend. My social media is flooded with vastly differentiating topics: from the Patriots headed to yet another Super Bowl (🐐🎉😍), to the Celtics losing their 3rd consecutive game (to mediocre teams 🤦🏼♀️), to the government shutting down, to women’s marches; this weekend was a lot to deal with. A roller coaster of emotions was evoked from sports to seriously significant social & political issues. And although I was obviously with y’all in celebration as we watched Tom the Goat Brady and his crew solidify another trip to the SB, and also with y’all screaming and yelling at this seemingly lost, uncharacteristic Cs team , other things were on my mind.
Scrolling through my prominently male dominated Twitter feed, due to it being mostly sports based, I’ll always follow a woman back that seems genuinely interested in sports. I’ve met some of my closest female friends (hi bri & erin) on “Boston sports twitter”. After speaking in direct messages for a bit on twitter, I met Bri for the first time at a Celtics game. That shared commonality is obv a great catalyst to any relationship, but when it’s another woman, it makes it a bit more unifying.
I don’t speak upon feminism often and if you don’t want to read or hear another “me too” story then this is where you can stop, and Go Pats & Cs!
Otherwise, I’d like to share some thoughts on this immensely inspiring “Me Too” movement, because, Me Too. I thought about this all weekend amidst the amazing, strong women that stood up and marched their way to equality this weekend. I thought about if I should just “stick to sports” talk, or write a blog about how excited I am that Gordon Hayward is back in the gym effortlessly shooting up 3s (stoked by the way); or if I should write about something bigger than that. Because as much as sports are a “way of life” (shoutout to Red), things are bigger than that. Much bigger. So big that even myself, that outgoing, blunt , prolific tweeter, has a very difficult time talking about. I am still very apprehensive to write this but as I type, I can’t stop. It’s almost internally contradicting. I’m bad at being vulnerable but I also know that in order for change to happen, one must be.
Almost 3 months ago, I was approached by a relatively well known sporting goods company to shoot for them and help promote their new Cs Nike Jersey release and other Boston sports apparel. I was definitely down as this was a more prominent company and I felt it would open more professional opportunities for me. I asked my amazing friend and wonderful photographer (s/o to @erinofboston), if she was willing to work with me as she would obviously also receive compensation for her work, and she was more than willing. The head of marketing for this company told me that he would leave two gift cards (as payment) for us at the store we were to shoot in and that was that. We went, shot, shopped and done! The man seemed happy with the pictures as the the following week asked for my home address to ship me some more things he wanted us to shoot. I received a large box of goodies. Basically their entire line. More gift cards and some little Celtics accessories. I was overwhelmed and clearly it was dope but still didn’t really think much of it.
Two grand in gift cards and 5 packages of stuff later, the texts started to be less and less sporadic. He started to text me Good morning messages. Goodnight messages. And all in between. Started calling me “babe, bae, hun”, and sending me several texts a day, all day, every day; (Which was kind of odd since he had a whole ass girlfriend he mentioned to me). I spoke to my friends about how often he talked to me as it was nearing an uncomfortable amount. He asked me about what I was wearing if it wasn’t the apparel he sent me, would send me selfies and comment on my physical features. When I didn’t respond to his messages he would try to make me feel guilty by saying things like, “okay I guess I’m ugly” or “hello?!!”. When it got to a super uncomfortable point, I lashed out. I couldn’t take it any more. I felt wrong in taking all these things and not doing anything for them back. Mind you, we only shot that one time still. I felt even more wrong that I didn’t say anything prior. When I initially felt uncomfortable. It was sickening reading over the texts and realizing that I was allowing him to talk to me like this, in hopes to get some type of professional advancement in my life. I think that I felt that if I didn’t allow him to talk to me like that, then I wouldn’t have that “professional” contact in him. But that’s just it. It wasn’t professional at all. I was extremely uncomfortable. I just took it. I allowed it for longer than I should have because I think women are conditioned to think that this is how to get ahead. To just deal with it because he’s “helping” you and giving you all this free shit! So just hush and deal with it.
Fuck that. There’s so much more to me. There’s so much more that people don’t know. I don’t need him to help me get to where I want to be in life. Nor do I need anyone that seemingly puts me down to build themselves up. I need my voice. I need to use that voice that I have no issue in using to daily twitter trolls! Once I spoke up to him and put him back on equal ground, he stopped. Never again did I hear from him. I told him I would release the texts to my twitter and @ him and @ his company. He ghosted. Disappeared. He was shook. It was in the midst of these Weinstein stories so he knew my relatively large audience on twitter probably would have attacked him. He knew he was wrong. I felt like I was for not putting an end to it immediately. But I’m tired of feeling like I bring it on myself. I don’t ask to be approached the way I’m approached. I approach every professional relationship professionally with the expectation that I receive that same energy and respect back.
This isn’t the first time this has happened, and I know it’s not the last. It’s just one of many isolated incidents that I’ve had to endure in being a woman sports fan and in being a woman in general. The severity of my personal “Me Too” experiences unfortunately go far beyond this man and his harassing texts. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of feeling I have to act a certain way to some men in order to get what I want in this world. I want to be approached with respect. No matter what I look like or what I wear or what you think you know about me, I’m done with it. I will no longer give you the opportunities to remain anonymous. I will @ you. Call you out. Put you in your place. In this super divided country where even the President seems to be this exact “man” I’m describing, it’s hard to get ahead as a woman. But I think speaking about it and bringing these awkward, uncomfortable stories to light, is the first step.
I appreciate you if you’re still reading this. Please respect one another. It’s really all we can do to help this constantly divided world seem a bit more unified. So much work to still be done on this realm unfortunately, but like the Pats, we’re Not Done, either ☺️ 🎉 Much love!!
(And figure it tf out Celtics bc I’m done with this losing shit) 😘Also, shoutout to Sullys Brand for being great friends and a wonderfully respectable company that I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the last several years 💚