What do twerking and Norway’s National Women’s Soccer Team have in common? Twerking is a dance move originating in New Orleans in the 1980s. It is sexually provocative and almost exclusively done by women.
Ada Hegerberg is the best women’s soccer players in the world. Hegerberg, from Norway, is 23 and has won 11 of the last 12 championships she and her team have played in. Norway is currently one of the world leaders in international women’s soccer (12th) and everyone was excited to get to watch Hegerberg in action in the World’s.
Then Hegerberg did something totally unexpected – she withdrew from the Norwegian national team, saying she would just play for her local club. This she did to protest the way women’s soccer is treated in Norway – men get far more of the allotted resources than women, starting at a very early level, in spite of the fact that the Norway women’s team far outplays the men’s team on the world stage.
This brave move is having an effect. The Norwegian Federation is listening. Number one is paying the men’s and women’s national teams equally. They also appointed a woman as technical director of the men’s team. And they will spend more money on their women’s team than the men’s for this year’s World Cup, where the women have a better chance to advance than the men. Even without Hegerberg, who has not yet been convinced to come back.
For 62 straight years, the Baloon d’Or, awarded by the French to the world’s best soccer player, was won by men. In 2017, it was awarded to a woman for the very first time – Ada Hegerberg. During the ceremony, she was interviewed by a French announcer. And what did he ask her? “Do you know how to twerk?”