Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Marketing of the AAGPBL

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 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.

    Comment


    • #3
      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?

      Comment


      • #4
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          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?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Steelwheels View Post
            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?
            Take a look at a picture from any Major League ballpark back then. People used to wear suits, ties and fedoras to attend a ballgame. There were all kinds of codes of dress and conduct that seem foreign now. Here's a picture of Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey, supposedly hanging out together at home, eating breakfast with an elaborate set of silver utensils, and wearing fancy silk dressing gowns.






            You can bet, in real life, nothing like this scene probably ever happened.

            Given this context, it's not surprising or especially offensive that a league would want its athletes to project whatever the community standard of propriety was at the time. I have no idea what's taught at a charm school, but I'd guess it was the female equivalent of whatever the PR masterminds behind this photo were thinking.
            Last edited by Mongoose; 07-21-2020, 12:27 PM.


            "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mongoose View Post

              Take a look at a picture from any Major League ballpark back then. People used to wear suits, ties and fedoras to attend a ballgame. There were all kinds of codes of dress and conduct that seem foreign now. Here's a picture of Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey, supposedly hanging out together at home, eating breakfast with an elaborate set of silver utensils, and wearing fancy silk dressing gowns.






              You can bet, in real life, nothing like this scene probably ever happened.

              Given this context, it's not surprising or especially offensive that a league would want its athletes to project whatever the community standard of propriety was at the time. I have no idea what's taught at a charm school, but I'd guess it was the female equivalent of whatever the PR masterminds behind this photo were thinking.
              I dunno, I think this looks like it could be a "real life" photo of Ruth and Dempsey in their usual robes or even perhaps hotel robes. Am I missing something?

              As for the women players having to endure charm school, I have a feeling the movie was relatively accurate. Clearly there was levity and comedic license in the delivery, but I know they consulted with several former players when making the film. I've no doubt the etiquette lessons were as part of the curriculum as those horrific dresses they were forced to call uniforms.
              Put it in the books.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by milladrive View Post

                I dunno, I think this looks like it could be a "real life" photo of Ruth and Dempsey in their usual robes or even perhaps hotel robes. Am I missing something?

                As for the women players having to endure charm school, I have a feeling the movie was relatively accurate. Clearly there was levity and comedic license in the delivery, but I know they consulted with several former players when making the film. I've no doubt the etiquette lessons were as part of the curriculum as those horrific dresses they were forced to call uniforms.
                Ruth is wearing a brocaded robe. He's basically dressed like you'd expect to see Noel Coward dressed at home. They both are. Perhaps that was the norm then. It's not now.

                Then again, everybody wore suits, ties and hats all the time. Even in the bleachers (though they'd remove the jackets - but maybe not the ties - if it was hot.). That's no longer the case today.

                Given the context of the times, and the tighter standards for public appearance and behavior, I don't find the concept of "charm school" such an abomination. Christy Mathewson had been a boon to MLB, within living memory, because he was college educated, well spoken, and churchgoing. Many 19th Century ballplayers had been notorious roughnecks. Mathewson and conventionally upstanding athletes were better for business. Perhaps AAGPL was trying to promote the kind of "elegant" image a previous poster had said made tennis a broadly popular womens' sport. That being the case, is it fair to kill them for it?

                As for the uniforms, outside of a few Katherine Hepburn films of the 30s, I can't think of women wearing pants much, circa 1941. The AAGPL uniforms look like sport dresses; comfortable, easy to move in; not too different from tennis dresses. Other than, perhaps, lack of protection sliding into bases, what's "horrific" about them?


                "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mongoose View Post

                  Ruth is wearing a brocaded robe. He's basically dressed like you'd expect to see Noel Coward dressed at home. They both are. Perhaps that was the norm then. It's not now.

                  Then again, everybody wore suits, ties and hats all the time. Even in the bleachers (though they'd remove the jackets - but maybe not the ties - if it was hot.). That's no longer the case today.

                  Given the context of the times, and the tighter standards for public appearance and behavior, I don't find the concept of "charm school" such an abomination. Christy Mathewson had been a boon to MLB, within living memory, because he was college educated, well spoken, and churchgoing. Many 19th Century ballplayers had been notorious roughnecks. Mathewson and conventionally upstanding athletes were better for business. Perhaps AAGPL was trying to promote the kind of "elegant" image a previous poster had said made tennis a broadly popular womens' sport. That being the case, is it fair to kill them for it?

                  As for the uniforms, outside of a few Katherine Hepburn films of the 30s, I can't think of women wearing pants much, circa 1941. The AAGPL uniforms look like sport dresses; comfortable, easy to move in; not too different from tennis dresses. Other than, perhaps, lack of protection sliding into bases, what's "horrific" about them?
                  Isn't that enough? How could anyone have been expected to play hard with bare legs? When I played ball, there wasn't one single game that went by without getting grass/dirt stains on my uni. Imagine scraping and ripping your flesh apart by sliding and diving, both offensively and defensively. Makes me cringe just thinking about it.

                  Rosie the riveter wore pants, and women in the workforce became commonplace during WW2. The reason for skirts in tennis is the same as that for shorts on the men, which they've been sporting since the game's inception. Baseball is not meant to be played without pants. The AAGPBL made those women wear short (speaking of tighter standards for public appearance) skirts for one reason and one reason only: sex appeal. After all, who was gonna pay to watch girls play hardball if there was nothing to look at? I'm sure plenty of talent was passed over in favor of lookers, too. There's no doubt the games' outcomes were ancillary to the organizers' profits, and sex sells.

                  Wrt the pic, Ruth's flamboyance was never a secret. He liked to live large and flaunt it, as did Dempsey. And the 1920s was definitely a time when it was cool to be opulent.

                  But frankly, I don't even see opulence there. Nor pretense. The more I look at the photo, the more it seems they're just sitting there in their usual garb having their picture taken during breakfast. Their robes and slippers, imho, look like things two 1920s celebrities would wear casually every day.
                  Put it in the books.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by milladrive View Post

                    Isn't that enough? How could anyone have been expected to play hard with bare legs? When I played ball, there wasn't one single game that went by without getting grass/dirt stains on my uni. Imagine scraping and ripping your flesh apart by sliding and diving, both offensively and defensively. Makes me cringe just thinking about it.

                    Rosie the riveter wore pants, and women in the workforce became commonplace during WW2. The reason for skirts in tennis is the same as that for shorts on the men, which they've been sporting since the game's inception. Baseball is not meant to be played without pants. The AAGPBL made those women wear short (speaking of tighter standards for public appearance) skirts for one reason and one reason only: sex appeal. After all, who was gonna pay to watch girls play hardball if there was nothing to look at? I'm sure plenty of talent was passed over in favor of lookers, too. There's no doubt the games' outcomes were ancillary to the organizers' profits, and sex sells.

                    Wrt the pic, Ruth's flamboyance was never a secret. He liked to live large and flaunt it, as did Dempsey. And the 1920s was definitely a time when it was cool to be opulent.

                    But frankly, I don't even see opulence there. Nor pretense. The more I look at the photo, the more it seems they're just sitting there in their usual garb having their picture taken during breakfast. Their robes and slippers, imho, look like things two 1920s celebrities would wear casually every day.
                    Upon reflection, the uniforms probably discouraged sliding. I guess the organizers felt having these women in dirt covered uniforms wasn't good for image. But if you've looked at the "uniforms" for everything from tennis to volleyball and beyond, lately, it seems many women's sports are currently marketed on sex appeal to a male audience. It is what it is. Compared to today, the AAGPBL wore wholesome looking uniforms. I'm just not feeling the outrage. Back then, Hitler and Stalin were running around loose. The point of sports was (and is) largely to take people's minds off their problems. I hope fans enjoyed the AAGPBL. I'd prefer to remember it fondly.

                    Ruth and Dempsey look effete by today's standards. Nothing wrong with looking like a gentleman. I think they look sharp, but not a lot of men bother anymore. Same with whatever social niceties might have been taught at "charm school". That picture is a reminder that today's standards are not the same as those of 80-100 years ago.


                    "The Fightin' Met With Two Heads" - Mike Tyson/Ray Knight!

                    Comment

                    Ad Widget

                    Collapse
                    Working...
                    X