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Marketing of the AAGPBL

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  • Marketing of the AAGPBL

    this stems from another conversation

    please note that this is a historical discussion about the aagpbl not a thread blaming people for past injustices

    prior to wwii female athletics were often referred to in derogatory terms and seen in an unflatteringly light by both men and women as a whole - tennis because of its "country club" appeal and the olympics may be the only ones that found a wide base of interest

    this relegated other athletic pursuits to the background and often i have read old newspaper accounts which seem (reading between the lines) to deride females in competition as mere prostitutes or lesbians or at least in an unflattering light

    my point is that it seems the aagpbl made a concerted effort to counter this public perception (or at least attempt to mitigate it), at least for their league - i never really thought about it but it would seem that they understood their market and made attempts (for their own benefit) to work within/around the perceptions

    for example:
    - the aagpbl tried to control their media reporting for the reasons listed above
    - the ladies were presented in a decidedly feminine nature
    - they were made to wear skirts to appear ladylike even in competition
    - i'm sure they had a dress code
    - they were made to take charm lessons
    - chaperons were always present

    i could be wrong in these perceptions or i may have missed some - what do you think?

    can anyone expand on this? - i know some here have had interactions with the athletes themselves

  • #2
    Thats a very good question actually. Come to think of it, I dont think I ever seen any advertisements for them except what were displayed on game day.

    I'm interested in this answer as well.

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    • #3
      I understand that based on the status quo of the times, that is how the league (not the players, from what I gather) tried to thwart the idea that women baseball players are lesbians and/or prostitutes. However, I do not agree with how the issue was dealt with, because sending women baseball players to charm school is, to me, just as bad as labeling them as lesbians and prostitutes. Actually, I think it's worse, and here's why:

      If someone told me now that I would have to go to charm school in order to play baseball, hockey, or any other sport because of today's perceptions towards female athletes, I would tell them to go straight to hell, and I would play anyway. We shouldn't have to put up with any of it, but I choose to deal with being called a lesbian or a prostitute (because I know it's not true and that the people who say that are nothing but fearful, ignorant, have lowly-evolved consciousness, are jealous, egotistical, etc. because of their extreme insecurity issues).

      If I conformed to someone's ideas that in order for me to play sports and to be seen as femine at the same time, I would be selling my soul if I did it and didn't stand up for what I should be able to do without taking abuse and ridicule for it. In no way, shape, or form would I do it.

      And, as someone stated earlier in another thread, there are plenty of female athletes who are lesbians, but who gives a rat's rump? Does it matter? Why is it that when female sports are talked about, someone always has to bring up the lesbian thing?

      How many gay guys play rec, collegiate, and pro sports? Oh, I'm sure there are more than a slew of them. But, this is something that is so tabboo that our society (in general) can't handle talking about it. I give a TON of credit to those male athletes out there who proclaim that they are gay without caring about what people think. There was a former pro football player on Rosie O'Donnell's HBO special aboard a ship (I forget what it's called) for gays/lesbians who have children, and he flat out said he's gay, and his partner was there with him and their children. Kudos to him.

      OK, I know I've rambled on here, but it's all relative. Things have happened the way they've happened in the past and that can't be changed, but we can all move forward and keep those things from repeating.

      Since I have been involved with women's baseball (since 1998), we have had far more positive feedback about playing baseball than we have negative feedback, but there are STILL barriers we must fight. I have found that on the local/grassroots level, people... men and women, are very open minded and receptive to women's and girls' baseball. However, on higher levels like in high school, colleges, and at the pro level, there are still big barriers to break down.

      Why is it so wrong in some people's minds for women to have their own baseball teams and leagues at the recreational level, in high school, college, the Olympics, and at the pro level? That's all I ask for... our OWN teams and leagues.

      Just my thoughts...

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      • #4
        i know the organizers of the league were worried about lesbian (particularly butch) players. Was the fear actually well founded? Were a significant % of the players really gay?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Steelwheels View Post
          i know the organizers of the league were worried about lesbian (particularly butch) players. Was the fear actually well founded? Were a significant % of the players really gay?
          I can't imagine it being any bigger or smaller a percentage than in any other segment of society. ...including men's baseball.

          One thing I notice is your use of words like worried and fear. I presume you're asking the question from the perspective of the AAGPBL organizers?

          Anyway, I've merged your OP with an old thread that touches on it. For starters, it's a better title.
          Put it in the books.

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          • #6
            milladrive Thanks! I was thinking about the organizers. The movie depicted the players going through classes to be "lady like". I'm wondering if that really happened?

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