“You Play Ball Like A Girl!”

One of the many stereotypes that is associated with baseball is that because it is a male dominated sphere it is believed that there is no place for women. This stereotype is primarily constructed solely on gender, targeting women on their knowledge and ability to play the sport. Typically when people think of women around the sport of baseball is that there is a high chance they could be a wife, friend, or family member of a baseball player. The connection is always through a relationship and not based on their own interest of the sport. A saying that is always associated to reinforce this stereotype of women being unfit for baseball is “you play ball like a girl.” Over the years growing up in an environment where baseball was a huge aspect in my life, guys would get really mad if their skills were compared to a females ability. Baseball is one of those sports that clearly define the line between being female/male. It is shown through the absence of women not playing the sport professionally and also through their minimal role in baseball reporting. The role that women do have is mostly only to interview players, and those women are always really good looking. So even the women that are involved in baseball it seems that there is a standard that has been placed. Sadly there are no prominent exceptions that have changed society’s mind on this stereotype. Since it is America’s Pastime rarely is this notion of male dominance ever challenged. Women do play baseball but not at a competitive level especially in the big leagues. People fail to acknowledge that there is a a strong following of women in the sport of baseball. When it comes to relationship with the sport I feel that I do challenge the representations of women in baseball. Typically the “baseball fan” is one that is the all American guy that drinks plenty of beer and eats hotdogs but I obviously do not fit in this category based on the fact that I am a girl. There was an instance where I had gone to a Giants vs. A’s game and I was sitting next to a Giants fan. This Giants fan was a guy that was constantly trash talking about the A’s. The Giants won the world series the season prior to this game in 2010 and you could tell that this “Giants” fan had no knowledge of the team prior to them winning the championship, so I decided to give him a little history lesson. Basically it ended with the guy belittling my knowledge based on the fact that I am a girl which he specifically mentioned. Even though I knew more about his team than he did, he still chose to discredit what I knew because of my gender. This has happened multiple times where I have not been taken seriously in baseball conversations because of the gender difference. So I want to take a look at the reason why this notion of male dominance in baseball hasn’t been challenged when their is in fact a lot of women that know about the sport.

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One Response to “You Play Ball Like A Girl!”

  1. Sarah McCullough says:

    I like how you bring in your own experience with gender discrimination in the sport as a key example. Coupled with your examples from mass media and general representation, it builds up a good argument. Do you see any other norms or stereotypes outside of gender? Is race, class, sexuality, nationality, etc. a salient point for discussion?

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