Bill and I both talked about how dumb John Gibbons’ “I guess we’ll come out wearing dresses tomorrow” comment was following the Blue Jays-Rays game. There was another instance of stupid sexism in baseball yesterday too.
It happened in Kansas City, when the hated-in-Kansas City Noah Syndergaard took the mound for the first inning at Kauffman Stadium and the Royals played “American Woman” over the speakers. See, because Syndergaard has long hair and we hate him and he’s weak and whatever. Hahaha, you’re a woman. Get it?
There is no place for this crap. There is no way, in 2016, that equating women with weakness or using “woman” as an insult, which was clearly the case in Kansas City, is acceptable. The idea that a guy with long hair is a “woman” and that such a thing is bad was comically played out and exposed as retrograde idiocy as long ago as the late 60s. That it’s still a go-to insult now is inexcusable.
There will be some of you who will say “lighten up” or make references to the “PC Police” at this point. Or you’ll talk about “freedom of speech” as if that has any applicability here. Save it. Sexism does not persist because official organizations and governments make blatantly sexist rules. We’ve actually done a pretty good job of stopping that. No, it persists because of this kind of thoughtless, casual sexism which gives people license to continue to think like friggin’ neanderthals and which reinforces the worst, misogynistic impulses in people. When you subtly or implicitly discredit what it is to be a woman, you discredit and debase women. And when you do that you allow people to not take them seriously and not consider them equals.
Do better, baseball. You claim you want the sport to be inclusive and open and that you want people of color and women in positions of authority and influence? Well, prove it. Make it more inviting for them by calling out such nonsense like we saw from Gibbons and the Kauffman Stadium people yesterday. And apologizing for it.
UPDATE: The Royals were contacted by a KC radio station and they say that the use of “American Woman” was totally coincidental:
Gotta take them at their word.