In 2018, Abby Wambach, American national women's football team legend and Olympic champion, gave the commencement speech - the speech given by a celebrity to newly graduated students at their graduation ceremony - at Barnard College, a private women's college in New York, where they teach the liberal arts. The theme, as for any speech tasked with accompanying and encouraging young minds during their transition from youth to adulthood, was to define what makes life worth living, and how to obtain it.
Abby Wambach decided to focus her commencement speech on some themes particularly close to her heart, that went beyond sport: gender equality, the need for equal pay between genders, LGBTQ+ rights (an acronym that is used to collectively indicate the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex communities), and female leadership. What came out was a message to all of the women in the world: The United States of America finds itself at a point in which it is more divided than ever, due to injustice, white supremacy, misogyny, anger, and apathy, and to change the nation, we must do away with the old rules.
According to Abby Wambach, all women belong to one single pack, just like wolves. The idea came to her while watching a documentary about the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone National Park. In 1995, following a seven-year absence, a pack of wolves was reintroduced into this area. The decision was taken - not without some trepidation – as a means to counteract the park's loss of vegetation. The lack of wolves in the area had, in fact, resulted in an exponential growth in the number of herbivores, especially deer, which, in turn, had caused a drastic reduction in vegetation, so much so that the banks of waterways were being eroded. The situation changed radically when the wolves reappeared, not so much because the number of deer subsequently decreased, but rather because their behaviour changed; in order to avoid predators, the deer stopped grazing in open areas, such as the valleys, thus allowing the vegetation to grow back undisturbed. This triggered a chain reaction that allowed other animal species - such as beavers, otters, ravens, eagles, and bears - to also repopulate these areas. In summary, the entire ecosystem was regenerated simply as a result of reintroducing the animal at the top of the food chain.
Just like wolves, women today are mistakenly viewed as a threat, but they could actually be the saviours of our society.