USWNT Equal Pay Mediation Breaks Down ... Court Likely

5:54 PM PT -- U.S. Soccer has released a statement of its own ... saying, "We have said numerous times that our goal is to find a resolution, and during mediation we had hoped we would be able to address the issues in a respectful manner and reach an agreement."

"Unfortunately, instead of allowing mediation to proceed in a considerate manner, plaintiffs' counsel took an aggressive and ultimately unproductive approach that follows months of presenting misleading information to the public in an effort to perpetuate confusion."

They continued ... "We always know there is more we can do. We value our players, and have continually shown that, by providing them with compensation and support that exceeds any other women's team in the world."

"Despite inflammatory statements from their spokesperson, which are intended to paint our actions inaccurately and unfairly, we are undaunted in our efforts to continue discussions in good faith."

Equal pay mediation between the U.S. Women's national team and the U.S. Soccer Federation has gotten UGLY ... and now the dispute is likely heading to court.

Remember, the USWNT sued the Federation back in March for gender discrimination -- claiming,  "The female players have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts."

The USWNT had agreed to meet with the USSF in New York City this week to discuss the heated issue ... but according to team spokesperson Molly Levinson, both sides remain far apart.

"We entered this week’s mediation with representatives of USSF full of hope," Levinson says. "Today we must conclude these meetings sorely disappointed in the Federation’s determination to perpetuate fundamentally discriminatory workplace conditions and behavior."

"It is clear that USSF, including its Board of Directors and President Carlos Cordeiro, fully intend to continue to compensate women players less than men. They will not succeed."

Of course ... Cordeiro made his stance very clear last month ... saying the women's team actually makes MORE than the men's team, despite bringing in a lot less.

He even provided a fact sheet to back up his claim.

Levinson continued ... "We want all of our fans, sponsors, peers around the world, and women everywhere to know we are undaunted and will eagerly look forward to a jury trial."

Originally published -- 4:37 PM PT

Karlie Kloss Wrong About Feminism, Victoria's Secret ... Says Model Cynthia Kirchner

DON'T BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU
TMZ.com

Karlie Kloss saying she left Victoria's Secret because the brand didn't match her feminist values is a load of crap ... so says model Cynthia Kirchner, who is calling out Karlie for getting it twisted. 

Cynthia -- a Victoria's Secret model alum herself, tells TMZ ... Karlie's wrong for sticking her nose up at Victoria's Secret since, ya know, it's what gave Karlie a platform. Check out the vid ... Cynthia also says Karlie's got feminism all wrong ... because female empowerment means women can choose how and where to show off their bodies. And, that includes Victoria's Secret.

ICYMI ... Karlie told British Vogue she left VS in 2015 because she "didn't feel it was an image that was truly reflective of who I am and the kind of message I want to send to young women around the world about what it means to be beautiful."

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Karlie, who BTW is married to Jared Kushner's baby brother, Joshua, added, "I think that was a pivotal moment in me stepping into my power as a feminist, being able to make my own choices and my own narrative, whether through the companies I choose to work with, or through the image I put out to the world."

Cynthia's not buying what Karlie's selling. The model-turned comedian/actress says even though Karlie has bigger aspirations, she did herself a disservice by burning a strong bridge.

Alyssa Milano Calls for Sex Strike Until Anti-Abortion Law is Repealed

Alyssa Milano has declared all-out war on Georgia ... urging women to stop having sex until Georgia repeals its law severely limiting abortion.

In case you haven't heard, Georgia is the latest state -- there are 5 others -- that prohibits abortion after doctors can detect a heartbeat in the fetus. Heartbeats are usually detected after 6 weeks, and many women don't even know they're pregnant until later.

Alyssa says, "Our reproductive rights are being erased. Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy ... JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back. I'm calling for a #SexStrike. Pass it on."

Milano's call to arms is reminiscent of ancient Greece and Spike Lee. In famous Greek literature, a character convinces women to refuse sex with their husbands until they end a war. As for Spike, he suggested the same remedy for gang violence in the film, "Chi-Raq."

There's also been a movie to boycott the film industry in Georgia until the law is repealed, but this clearly affects more people.

The other states that have similar laws are Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa and North Dakota. The Georgia law takes effect in January.

Down with "Sex Strike"

Michelle McCool WWE's Top Women Should Demand Equal Pay with Men!!!

LONG TIME COMING
TMZ.com

WWE legend Michelle McCool -- a 2-time WWE Women's champion -- says she's STOKED women are main eventing Wrestlemania ... but she really hopes they're getting paid like the men.

McCool -- who's married to The Undertaker -- was raving about how far WWE has come from the days where women wrestlers had to fight and claw to get ring time.

Now, with stars like Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch main eventing Wrestlemania 35 on April 7 ... McCool says the next big step is making sure they're getting PAID like main eventers.

"I do think the women should get paid, a main event is a main event," McCool says.

"I hope they do and think they should."

McCool says she's grateful for the women who wrestled before her who paved the way -- and she's so proud of the women dominating right now ... who continue to kick down doors for future generations.

McCool retired in 2011 -- but laced up the boots to compete in an all-women's Battle Royale at the WWE Evolution pay-per-view back in October.

#Respect.

'Captain Marvel' Perfect Hero for Int'l Women's Day ... Feel the Empowerment!!

POWERFUL MESSAGE
TMZ.com

"Captain Marvel" is the badass we've all been waiting for, because on International Women's Day ... who else ya gonna call on to save the universe ... according to famed film critic Leonard Maltin.

We got Leonard Friday at LAX and our photog asked what kind of message Marvel Studios is sending with its perfectly timed release date? He says Hollywood's finally starting to get the point ... with another movie celebrating female empowerment.

As Leonard explains, Brie Larson playing Carol Danvers reminds the audience -- especially young women -- there's a little superhero magic in all of us. Guys too, but let's be honest ... not nearly as much as the women.

High praise from Leonard, who's been reviewing movies for more than 36 years. Check out the clip ... he thinks -- much like "Wonder Woman" -- the Captain's gonna have a global impact.

Gloria Allred Meghan Markle's a Royal Catch With Feminist Firepower

SHE'S THE CHANGE ...
TMZ.com

Add Gloria Allred to the list of people pumped for another Royal Wedding in May ... because she's a huge Meghan Markle fan.

The famed women's rights attorney tells TMZ she's stoked Prince Harry's marrying a feminist, and hopes she'll rub off on him. She says Meghan has a chance to truly change the world in her new role ... far beyond just the normal photo ops.

As for Markle's history of fighting for women's equality ... Gloria refers to a story of an 11-year-old Meghan speaking out against a sexist dish soap commercial in 1993 and writing letters to powerful women -- including Allred -- to make a difference.

And it worked. Yeah ... seems like Harry's found a good one.

Anthony Bourdain Blasts Batali, Food Industry Culture ... I Stand with Women!!!

Anthony Bourdain would've gladly helped women who were allegedly sexually harassed or abused by Mario Batali ... if they'd shared the allegations with him.

Bourdain's been taking some heat for his reaction to the Batali claims because he hinted he knew about some of the inappropriate behavior. Now, he wants to make it clear he stands "unhesitatingly and unwaveringly with the women."

He says his past admiration for Batali and famed restaurateur Ken Friedman -- who's also been accused -- doesn't matter. He says he's "ashamed that I was clearly not the kind of person that women friends who knew -- and had stories to tell -- felt comfortable confiding in."

Bourdain's girlfriend, Asia Argento, is one of numerous Harvey Weinstein accusers who claims he sexually assaulted her, and Anthony says their relationship helped open his eyes to the plight of women. He even apologized "to the extent which my work in 'Kitchen Confidential' celebrated or prolonged a culture that allowed the kind of grotesque behaviors we're hearing about."

Earlier Tuesday another celeb chef, Giada De Laurentiis, told us this is a time for cleansing.

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