Event Title

No One Throws Like A Girl: Toxicity And Exclusion In Sports And Society

Location

SU 124

Start Date

19-4-2019 12:00 PM

Department

English

Session

Session 4

Description

In an individual achievement sport like baseball, why hasn’t a woman been able to play professionally? Why have women been able to achieve historic accomplishments in other individual sports, such as tennis, rock climbing, marathon running, etc. and have not been able to play in the major professional sport leagues? This paper will explore the use of language to police women’s bodies, opportunities and ambitions, particularly through the phrase “to throw like a girl.” In modern baseball almost every professional pitcher throws in their own unique (male) way; there is no standard (male) method of throwing. Yet, from childhood to the professional play, the phrase throwing like a girl is considered to be throwing poorly, with not enough velocity or accuracy. It is used to not only to differentiate between talent, but also to keep out an entire gender. This paper will examine examples of this language in film and television and also look at examples of women playing baseball in fictional and non-fictional situations: the television series Pitch, which followed the fictional story of the first woman to pitch in Major League Baseball, and the film A League of the Their Own, which was based on the real life story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was founded during World War II, when the majority of players in Major League Baseball had been drafted. This paper will also examine the other ways that language is used to police women’s bodies and opportunities, as discussed in Iris Marion Young’s essay, “Throwing like a Girl: A Phenomenology of Feminine Body Comportment Motility and Spatiality.” By looking at films, television shows and texts, this paper will attempt to probe the complexities of language in modern society, and examine how misogynistic language is still being used today to limit women’s opportunities, but also contributes to toxic masculinity, and hopefully in the process of doing so, will find a path out of exclusion and toxicity.

Comments

Ryan Poll is the faculty sponsor for this project.

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Apr 19th, 12:00 PM

No One Throws Like A Girl: Toxicity And Exclusion In Sports And Society

SU 124

In an individual achievement sport like baseball, why hasn’t a woman been able to play professionally? Why have women been able to achieve historic accomplishments in other individual sports, such as tennis, rock climbing, marathon running, etc. and have not been able to play in the major professional sport leagues? This paper will explore the use of language to police women’s bodies, opportunities and ambitions, particularly through the phrase “to throw like a girl.” In modern baseball almost every professional pitcher throws in their own unique (male) way; there is no standard (male) method of throwing. Yet, from childhood to the professional play, the phrase throwing like a girl is considered to be throwing poorly, with not enough velocity or accuracy. It is used to not only to differentiate between talent, but also to keep out an entire gender. This paper will examine examples of this language in film and television and also look at examples of women playing baseball in fictional and non-fictional situations: the television series Pitch, which followed the fictional story of the first woman to pitch in Major League Baseball, and the film A League of the Their Own, which was based on the real life story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was founded during World War II, when the majority of players in Major League Baseball had been drafted. This paper will also examine the other ways that language is used to police women’s bodies and opportunities, as discussed in Iris Marion Young’s essay, “Throwing like a Girl: A Phenomenology of Feminine Body Comportment Motility and Spatiality.” By looking at films, television shows and texts, this paper will attempt to probe the complexities of language in modern society, and examine how misogynistic language is still being used today to limit women’s opportunities, but also contributes to toxic masculinity, and hopefully in the process of doing so, will find a path out of exclusion and toxicity.