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Not for Girls? is an ode to one woman’s passion for competition and her refusal to put up with social determinism. An essential book in the lead-up to the eighth FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will take place in France.
At age 8, Mélissa was already convinced that soccer would save her. Growing up, she was constantly told “soccer is not for girls,” but she didn’t want to hear it: the sport would be her escape route from an abusive home life. As soon as she could, she started training....
At age 8, Mélissa was already convinced that soccer would save her. Growing up, she was constantly told “soccer is not for girls,” but she didn’t want to hear it: the sport would be her escape route from an abusive home life. As soon as she could, she started training. Once she had received her baccalauréat, she juggled a hellish schedule: college, high-level sports training, and a job at McDonald’s to make ends meet. After proving her worth in Division 1, the young athlete was chosen to join the French national team and participate in its first Women’s World Cup in 2003. At just 19, her dream had become a reality… She would go on to play for Montpellier, Olympique Lyonnais and Guingamp. Outside soccer, she worked twice as hard to school to receive a doctoral degree, becoming the first female professional soccer player to do so. After an accident that forced her to stop playing soccer, she discovered a talent for public speaking. She now gives talks at schools, soccer clubs, and companies, striving to shift mentalities concerning women’s place in high-level sports. With a rare energy and a great deal of sensitivity and humor, Mélissa Plaza swims against the current of all clichés. She here offers a powerful story about freedom, serving as an inspiration for all men and women who want to achieve their dreams, no matter how crazy.
Mélissa Plaza is a former professional soccer player. A fervent defender of gender equality with a PhD in social psychology, she now gives talks to raise awareness of gender discrimination and the discrimination and violence that stems from it.