When Women Like Baseball…
I guess it’s weird to be a female who likes sports. I never felt weird, but I thought I should feel weird — That, made me feel weird. Anyway, I’m not sure how old I was when I asked my father if there were any female baseball players. He told me there weren’t any in the majors, but he’d try and find out if there were any minor leaguers. “I’ll ask around,” he said (this was just before the time Google-ing became the go-to research method). At a later date my dad told me there was ONE female player in the minor leagues (although I am not yet able to confirm this).
There’s no written rule that says females are excluded from playing Major League Baseball (nor is there a rule forbidding females to like stereotypically male-based hobbies), but what’s keeping the women off the field?
For some, it may be the skill level. This is not a jab at women — there are many many men who fail to reach the big leagues, or even the minor leagues, because of lack of skill.
For others, it could very possibly be the fear of not being accepted in a world dominated by men (on the field, in the stands, and in the blogosphere).
I don’t know why I asked my dad about female players. Maybe it was the feminist in me, but it certainly wasn’t my desire to play professionally (although my “dream job” in my 5th grade year book was to play for the US Women’s Soccer Team.)
In my mind, bullying occurs mostly with children. I don’t remember one time in my childhood or teen life when I was bullied for liking sports. I have, however, been mocked/ridiculed/bullied in my adult years for my passions. It never seems to be a problem that I like sports, but more so that I understand them and can carry a conversation about them. Someone recently told me that the multiple fantasy football leagues I play in “must not be real or competitive because they let a girl in.” I was terribly offended. And “You’re a Mets fan so you must not really care about baseball.” (I’d jump back saying as a Mets fan I clearly care a lot, but I digress.)
I find that men take my sports knowledge seriously when they want to have a conversation about the basics. Maybe they think when I say “I love baseball” I really mean “I love the cute players” or “I’ll watch an inning or two”. But as soon as they realize I actually know what I’m talking about, something changes. It’s like I’ve become a threat that needs to be thwarted.
Saying “Oh yes, I write for a baseball blog” seems to both impress and terrify. You’re welcome, society. I’m here to ruin the stereotypes and make everything you thought you knew about sports fans and women an even more confusing jumble than ever before.
I’d like to remind people (unfortunately most of those who need reminding aren’t readers of BaseballRevival) that I am not a female baseball blogger. I am a female AND a baseball blogger — and I’m beyond proud to be both.
Much thanks to the entire Baseball Revival team for accepting me and for writing thoughtful articles every week. I’m so happy to be part of this group!