Girls aren’t athletes. That is what one girl heard from her teacher when asked at a young age what she wanted to be when she grew up. The book shows the stereotypes that abound in this nation. This book by Jennifer Ring will delve into the problems that girls had trying to play baseball which was considered a man’s sport.
The movie named “ A League of Their Own” was a popular flick and gave many people a deeper understanding of the issues related to girls playing sports. The doubters were family members, boyfriends, teachers, friends, and just about everyone else in society. To find a person to support their ideas was difficult to do.
This book focuses on the biographies of girls that were connected to baseball and the nine members of Team USA in the 2010 women’s World Cup. The women give insight into the roadblocks and biases they face on a daily basis. The girls were passionate about their journey but even coaches sometimes showed they felt girls didn’t belong.
The girls were all pressured to conform to what others girls do and that is play softball as it was more widely accepted as an activity for women. Stories from places where girls were on the men’s baseball team in college but they never got the opportunity or when they did they succeeded and got support from their teammates but not the stubborn coaching staff.
The book has chapters from girls of all stations in life including race, religion, and general outlook on life. There is an underlying message in the book that mothers should do more to encourage their daughters to be more athletic inclined in all sports and it is fine to blaze trails that girls have struggled in previous tries.
The goal of this book is to change the culture, the outdated perception of what women’s roles are in athletics and American culture. The book is a bit slow to read and it feels like the author has trouble moving on. However, the message is needed and hopefully, the American society will soon realize there should be no gender roles, just people trying to be part of the things they love.
About the Author
Jennifer Ring is a professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is the author of Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don’t Play Baseball.
I would like to thank the University of Nebraska Press for the copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest book review.