“Is Softball Sexist?”

“Spalding proclaimed baseball to be not just all-American but also all-male: “A woman may take part in the grandstand, with applause for the brilliant play, with waving kerchief to the hero,” he wrote in his 1911 book “America’s National Game,” but she couldn’t actually play: “Base Ball is too strenuous for womankind.”… Last year, 474,791 American boys played high school baseball, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations; 1,259 girls did. In some cases these girls were the only ones in their entire state. No college scholarships lie ahead, as they do in softball.”

Systemic sexism, well illustrated here: a system was created for men, explicitly barring women, and even though we scoff at the rationale today the system hasn’t been dismantled. The idea that just saying to ourselves that we believe in equality, without really engaging in any introspection to make sure that is true within ourselves or our institutions, is ever going to get us to an equal world is clearly false. In order to do that, we need to be disruptive (appropriating this tech term for social justice because it properly belongs here) and be willing to approach old activities like baseball with totally new methodologies and philosophies in order to actually achieve the equality we claim to stand for.

Furthermore, if a guy wanted to play softball, he would probably also face a lot of resistance, because gender restrictions cut both ways.


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