Double your standards, double your fun

A couple parting items to chat over between hoops playoffs this weekend:

1) So last night 12-year-old Mackenzie Brown, who happens to be a girl, threw a no-hitter in her Little League game. This prompted an insanely stupid segment on Fox News, during which the hyperactive "Live Desk" anchors yammered at her like a pair of coked-out parrots. One even called her "Mackenzie Phillips." Seriously.

But that wasn't the worst of it. The worst of it was when we found out that, despite throwing a freakin' perfect game, this is young Mackenzie's last game playing baseball. She has to play softball next year. Because there aren't co-ed teams after her age group.

Does this make anyone else really sad?

Girl, 12, throws perfect game against boys

2) Last Sunday's New York Times sports section published a story discussing Indy Racing League driver Danica Patrick's options once her contract with Andretti Green racing is up this year. For those not familiar with auto racing (and who is, really?), Patrick is the first woman to ever win an I.R.L. race (she won in Japan last year), and she wowed the racing world in 2005 by almost winning the Indianapolis 500, which she lead for 19 laps before finally finishing in fourth place, the highest place ever for a woman.

Open-wheeled I.R.L. racing is even less popular, at least in the United States, than Nascar stock racing, however, and Patrick reportedly is mulling a switch to the high-profile league, home to a good-ol' boy network unparalleled in its good-ol'-boyness than any other sports league of any kind.

The pluses and minuses of such a switch make for interesting fodder, but what also makes for interested fodder are some of the story's quotes from two Nascar folks about what kind of effect it would have if Patrick were to move to their league. Behold:

"Sixty percent of the Nascar crowd is male, and they like the current drivers, but there's not any pretty ones out there." –Humpy Wheeler, former president of Lowe's Motor Speedway in North Carolina

"As a woman and a cute girl, she would be a special kind of sensation." –Max Muhleman, of Private Sports Consulting in North Carolina


by Jonanna Widner
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8 Comments Have Been Posted


Considering that baseball began as a leisure game amongst milkmaids, that Mackenzie will be forced out of hardball is extremely depressing. The way girls and women have been phased out of baseball is not only sad, but disgusting. I'm surprised there isn't a lot of discussion around it amongst feminists, actually, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. There doesn't seem to be a lot of feminists that pay attention to baseball.

Even though a lot of women in general seem to love it, within the sport women are relegated to being fans and groupies. There isn't much to be said about the women's leagues in existence or what they're doing and accomplishing, and it's sad. The gender issue is an issue in all of the sports, but it's incredibly strong in least for me.

So sad....

I wasn't able to watch the video on the Fox Sports site, but did anyone get a chance to read a few of the comments left by their readers??? I guess I shelter myself in my nice little cozy liberal feminist world because I was shocked and horrified by what I read. DISGUSTING. Makes me sad to be a member of the human race.

I read a few...

The comments were atrocious.

I know-- sooo many people

I know-- sooo many people saying bullshit like how "Little League isn't REALLY that competitive" and "Oh, in MY state the standards are much higher". Meanwhile, if this were a boy, everyone would be congratulating him and saying he should go pro UNironically

I still don't get why girls

I still don't get why girls have to play softball instead of hardball! I read that the field is a bit smaller and because the ball is bigger, it is easier to hit--but honestly, these seem like really dated reasons. If you can shed more light on it for me, I'd be interested to know more...

when I played softball...

...and my brothers played baseball, the explanation I heard was that the underhand pitching and size of the ball made it less dangerous to girls -- no getting hit with a 90-mph overhand fastball in those budding, all-important ovaries and ruining girls for their real purpose in life, childbearing! I'm guessing there's more to it than that, though.

The reason girls play

The reason girls play softball instead of hard, at least where I am from, is due to a lack of interest on the girls part. There simply isn't enough interest. They are more interested in dance, ringette, soccer, and hockey.

Title IX

If there aren't woman's baseball leagues available for her to play in, wouldn't her school be required to allow her to play on the boy's baseball team? This is of course assuming that they would understand that <b>baseball =/= softball</b>. Of course, this would work in reverse if a boy wanted to play softball. Or am I misunderstanding Title IX? Of course, even is she can, I wonder if she would want to go through all the social BS a lot of people would put her through. I knew a girl back in grade school that played on the football team and had to put up with some of the most atrocious comments about her sexuality, morals, etc.

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