Posted by: tabiam | November 3, 2016

Pitch

One day I decided to get on Hulu and look for a new show to binge watch when I came across a show called Pitch. This show is about an underdog pitcher who becomes the first woman to play in any of the major pro leagues. This is a perfect inspirational sports film that introduces a gender twist. This show is also about shattering the glass ceiling, facing fear or misunderstandings that comes along when someone enters an entrenched space, and having the right amount of courage to prove his/herself when the system is stacked against them.

The main character, Ginny Baker, was groomed and pushed by her father to make his dream her dream. The owner of the team sees Ginny as a gold mine however, the team views her as a distraction and are skeptical about having a woman on the team. She was called up from the minors to start as pitcher for the San Diego Padres. When she gets to the majors, she notices attention that she has never been aware of before. There are hordes of women and young girls fighting for her autograph, living vicariously through her and crowding the stands cheering. Her status in the locker room is the complete opposite. Most of the players resent her and believe she is just a gimmick being used to draw in big crowds. The team captain, also the catcher, is amazed by Ginny and how strong her pitching arm is but talks bad behind her back to please his teammates. But why? Why is he ashamed to take up for her or acknowledge that she is extremely talented? Is it hard for men to accept women who are on the same level as they are? Does it take a stab at their manhood? I’m not completely sure what it is. 

Though there is a lot of pressure, because she doesn’t have girlfriends and she is now the only person in history who’s been in her position, Ginny is able to persevere. She doesn’t let her teammates or the media intimidate her and this is what makes this show so important. People need to acknowledge the unequal treatment of women and even if this show opens a few eyes, that will be a good thing. This show paints an intriguing picture of what could be if society let’s go of gender roles and expectations.  

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Responses

  1. Oh my gosh, this show looks hilarious! But apart from the funniness of it, it brings up an interesting topic. I like how he made it very clear to her that he slaps everyone’s butt, not just hers. I feel in doing so he made it clear he wasn’t singling her out. But in most instances why do men always feel the need to treat women as sexual objects? Obviously she has talent or she would not have gotten to where she is. I think it’s easier for men to treat women as sexual objects when they are competing in for the same positions. Not that it’s right, but it’s what tends to happen. I definitely need to check out this show and see how the story unfolds

  2. Well, now I’ve found a new show to watch!
    This seems like a really interesting show especially because the main character is a woman who is defying all odds and playing at a level which no other woman has ever played before. While I understand his point was that he will treat everyone the same, I don’t believe that the comment “perfect pear shaped ass” was appropriate, especially because the sentence before that he talked about the guys asses being hairy and pimply. The whole scene was pretty uncomfortable for me to watch because the comment was objectifying Ginny’s body. He also told her to say thank you and yes sir, which is showing that he has power over her. In this situation, I would say that would be inappropriate, even if his point was that she is just like everyone else. It seemed to me that she was singled out even more. However, the story line seems really interesting and I’m hoping that they don’t make her out to be too weak to handle the pressures (like most movies and shows end up doing) because then the stereotype of women being physically and mentally inferior to men in sports would be perpetuated.

  3. It seems like Ginny is “risk” to many of the people around her just because of how media centered her performances are. Athletes are under scrutiny from every angle. As a pitcher, her team and managers are investing potentially millions of dollars in earnings in her ability to deliver as a member of the team. People love novelty so it is not illogical to bring the “new shiny toy” also known as the first female pitcher to your team because people want to “see it here first.” When women attain unheard of positions of power or leadership, they are a risk since it has never been done before. These industrious women need to expect an aurora of suspicion or genuine interest. In a sense, they are a new species.

  4. I really enjoyed reading your post, and I am looking forward to watching this show. It looks great! I love shows that challenge and confront social roles. I always think it is interesting to watch how men act when they feel insecure and threatened.

    I think my favorite thing you mentioned about the show was how excited other females were about Ginny’s success. The fact that these women were fighting for Ginny’s autograph points to the fact that females are looking for role models. It is hard for women to see themselves in leadership positions because they have no one to connect or look up to. But Ginny provides a very real and relatable role model for girls. There is so much research that supports the necessity of women role models for women. Furthermore, the way women are portrayed in the media also largely influences women. Presenting strong, powerful women in the media, like Ginny, girls have some one to look up to. The media is a powerful change agent (Wilson, 2007).

    Also touching on your last point,I do believe men feel threatened when a women enter a masculine sphere. They have held the power in certain context for so long, and the thought of someone else taking over is terrifying. Men are potentially facing a major loss and about to face a drastic change (Heifetz, 2007). These are all very scary things. I am not supporting men, but I think this idea correlates into the behavior of the male teammates.

    Heifetz, R. A. (2007). Leadership, authority, and women. In B. Kellerman & D. Rhode (Eds.), Women and Leadership: The State of Play and Strategies for Change (pp. 311-327). San Fransico, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    Wilson, M. C. (2007). Closing the leadership gap: Add women, change everything. New York City, NY: Penguin Group.

    -Allison

  5. Women playing in male leagues or sports often experience push back often I feel because it is a brotherhood, and to view a woman as a brother in the sort of protect each other sort of way is difficult. Especially because women are considered to be physically weaker in most cases. Leadership sort of falls into the category too in regards to brotherhood and weakness, simply because traditionally the captain on a team is the most respected and “toughest” and most skillful player. With a woman in this position it would somehow diminish the role in the eyes of men because society often does not value women as highly. This does not reflect my personal view of the topic, just an overall assumption that I have witnessed through the behavior and experiences of peers. For example if a woman were to try out for football for a position other than the role of maybe a kicker at a high school level, the male players would target her in order to get her to quit. She would have to work much harder because there would always be a target on her back for trying to be a strong woman role model or leader.

    In my personal experience of playing ice hockey with women, from my perception they are targeted by the other team, need “protection” from their teammates, and act more aggressive to compensate from the latter two assertions. This all hurts women in terms of coed teams, and is not beneficial for women players. I have never played with a woman as a captain of a team, but it would be interesting to see how other men perceived her leadership and if she had authority in her position.

    In my opinion I think playing with both men and women in ice hockey is fun, but women are largely excluded because of the masculinity associated with the sport, and the disparity between level of play. It would definitely be interesting to see coed professional teams, and how the rules would change if at all to create gender equity.

  6. I think Ginny represents not only a woman athlete, but also a woman leader because she is persevering through these difficult times. Personally, I would argue that Ginny’s teammates are intimidated by her and also they may view her as a distraction as well. It would be interesting in Netflix had a similar show, but instead of Ginny being the only female on a male’s sports team.. have a male be the only guy on a females sports team. I personally would respect the individual if they were competitive, and an all around good athlete.

  7. I’ve seen trailers about this show! I think that this show brings out a couple good points. One being that women leaders can be so isolated. Or people who are different can be so isolated. Ginny is isolated from the group and from society, though she has fans, she also has haters. Which is so hard. It is due to factors like isolation that I think require such bravery to be the first at something, or even just a woman leader. It doesn’t take nearly the same amount of bravery or exceptionality for a male in Ginny’s position as it does for her. Additionally, it is so important to support this kind of bravery because it will help lead to more women pursuing these leadership positions, or things that are different because they have role models. It is so hard to be that first role model, but it is so important. And I think it’s important to try and make it easier for these women by supporting them, not making them feel isolated, and having their back. Because hopefully women like Ginny and other women leaders, won’t require as much bravery because it will be normal. It will be normal to pursue all kinds of dreams and goals, be anything they want to be.

  8. I saw this show and immediately thought of this class- of course. But it’s a lot like other sports movies showing female firsts in sports….but in reality, there are no females in sports. Just a fantasy. I wish that this would become a reality, however. Even though it would be really tough on a woman in this position, and men would probably fight every step of the way. I think that men, like the captain in this show, fight it because it goes against culture and socital norms and they do not want to be outcasts, especially on their own team. I think that this is why it has been so hard for women to become leaders in male domintated fields, or even enter male dominated fields, such as in this tv show, because men will not stand up for women and be outcast from their group. This causes the continuation of gender inequality. If they just stood up and saw that it is not that harmful to have a capable and qualified person, then we could have the change towards gender equality in the workforce.

  9. I’m excited to check this show out! I think the reason why normally nice guys act degrading towards women around their friends is because they will be treated as a “goodie” if they don’t. I grew up on a swim team and at points some of the guys on our team would talk about or treat some of the girls on our team inappropriately. There were several instances when I had guy friends stand up and say something on my behalf and when they did, the other guys began mocking and degrading them. I think the reason other guys mocked and degraded my friends who stood up for me was because they felt ashamed of themselves and jealous of my friends (because the girls on the team obviously liked them more since they were not degrading) and so they tried to make these my guy friends feel less than in order to make themselves feel better.

  10. I think this looks like a great movie, and when this semester ends I am going to try and watch it. One of the most interestings things I have ever experienced. One of my friends met a really sweet guy and instead of liking him and having a fairytale she swore that there was something wrong with him. When asked why, her response was he’s too nice. So why is that, why is it that when we meet a genuinely nice guy we have to assume he has a dark side? I think there needs to be a happy medium, and that our society needs to change its tune.

  11. I think this is a great idea for a show! It’s definitely something we need to show if we’re going to continue to progress our society toward gender equality. To try and answer your questions, I think men are intimidated when a woman can do something as well as (or better than) they can. We’re taught in this society that the men do the tough jobs and the heavy lifting because they’re stronger, and when a woman can do the same, it threatens their position as the strong ones. I also think it’s great that the show shows women and girls fighting to get her autograph because it shows that it’s so important for girls to have women that they can look up to. I think that girls are more likely to make goals for themselves when they’ve seen someone who is like them also accomplish that goal. That’s why I think it would be great to have a woman president, and if not now, then definitely sometime soon. I think that young girls would feel more encouraged to run for president or political office of any kind if they saw another woman do it as well. Overall I think this is a great idea for a tv show, and I hope it sticks around, and I hope we start to see examples like this in the real world more often.

  12. “People don’t resist change, they resist loss.” Men aren’t threatened by women’s sports- they’re threatened by women taking part in men’s sports. Women should feel encouraged and empowered by their roles in the athletic world. Like our earlier class reading, there are wonderful benefits that come from sports (i.e. improved self-esteem and teamwork ability). It is interesting, though, that you brought up the perseverance that women must have when “making it” big. If you tie this back to ambition, they must have all of the drive, but also the ability to mask it when necessary. How can women easily make it to these top positions when faced with impossible double binds such as the display of ambition.

  13. This is a really interesting concept for a show. I’m not sure how realistic the concept is, but I feel like from what you explained, the response of her team and others seems pretty realistic. Sports really are so gendered. I would go so far as to say it is the most gendered profession. But I also think that is okay to an extent. Not when it changes the way people treat eachother, like we see in that video clip. But what I mean is that in sports, the best people are chosen to participate. These people, at least for sports like baseball and football, are usually men. Because they are usually better at the sport. BUT there are certainly women who are comparable to male athletes, and there’s no reason they should be excluded for their gender. The best players should always be selected. Just like the best people are chosen for a task force, the most qualified people are chosen (ideally) for leadership, the smartest people are chosen for innovative projects; thats just the way it should be.


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