Thursday, May 21, 2009

On Second Thought...

This was an update to the post below, but it got too long.

I've decided that I'm not irrational to feel offended. There is something legitimately wrong with a Major League Baseball team deciding that the way to cater to a female audience is to tell them that they don't know as much as their male counterparts.  

I realized that this program was part of a press release that I received from the Dodgers back on May 9, 2009.  I hadn't read it because I saw Mark Sweeney's name and could go no further. But I searched my email trash and found the release so that I could learn more about it, and now I really wish I had paid better attention before.  Turns out these broadcasts are part of "DodgersWIN (Women's Initiatives Network)," which, according to the release, is a "network of initiatives to bring women closer to the game and to bring the game closer to their lifestyles."

Ugh!  That is such horseshit!  If a woman doesn't like baseball, then she doesn't like baseball. Same goes for men.  Rick Reilly thinks baseball is really boring, according to his latest column, so why don't the Dodgers focus on bringing the game closer to him and his lifestyle?  I have a real problem with this pandering to women as though they (we) are incapable of learning the game (if they don't already know it) through an "extra special" broadcast made just for them. The implication here is that all women are the same, so Jamie McCourt (who created this "DodgerWIN" thing) is sure to know exactly what we all need.  

Bruce Paine just left a comment on the other post, in which he tells me that it's not shocking that baseball would pander to women like this.  He's right, of course.  It shouldn't shock me, but it does.  I think it's just the overt way in which the Dodgers are saying, "Here, ladies, this little broadcast is for you" that freaks me out.  I can almost see Frank McCourt winking as he tells Jamie she's free to have her little side project.  And the fact that this is run by a woman and handled, in part, by a woman (Zelasko), makes it all the more shocking.  We're not dealing with subtle sexism here.  This is pat you on the ass, send you off to get the coffee while the men talk kind of sexism.

I told two other people about this tonight, both of them women, and before I could even finish my sentence, both of them were groaning.  One of them is my fiancĂ©, who loves baseball.  The other is my friend Cate, who doesn't really care about the sport one way or another.  In theory, the Dodgers think they can win Cate over by having Jeanne Zelasko explain things in a sensitive matter that Cate's extra "X" chromosome will be sure to understand.  I will tell you right now that Cate (and many, many others like her) will not be won over by such a gesture.

What do the rest of my (predominantly male) readers think?  I'm unlikely to agree with you if you think I'm overreacting, but I'd like to hear what you have to say anyway.


Cobra said...

Honestly, I don't see the difference between this and the "women's training camps" that college and professional teams throw in the offseason in an effort to attract and educate female fans.

If you want to look at it another way, in this economy teams have to do everything they can in order to get people to watch whether at the stadium or on TV.

While my lovely fiance has a decent understanding of baseball, she has no idea what is happening in football and would probably prefer to hear an explanation of what is happening from someone who will speak to her in an educational tone.

One thing I didn't understand was how they were going to broadcast these WIN games? Will this be on another tv station altogether or do they get a certain number of innings per game during the regular broadcast?

Erin said...

I don't have a problem with the idea of training camps and broadcasts that help people understand the game. I just have a problem with the idea of these things being targeted specifically at women. Why can't the Dodgers say they are reaching out to ALL fans of the game who want to know more? The fact that they're calling it a "women's initiative" is what infuriates me because I know plenty of women who know the game and plenty of men who could use a lesson. The point is, fans of all kinds could benefit from more instruction. Don't make it gender specific.

As for how the broadcasts are aired, that's in the press release but I'm in my car and can't get to it. So I'll read it again later and let you know.

Bruce Paine said...

I think volleyball players belong in volleyball shorts.

I think women belong in the kitchen.

I think all women are sexually attracted to the rugged appeal and roguish charm of Bruce Paine. They all want to sleep with him and privately hate themselves for it.

I don't care if they watch baseball or not.

I think a girl that can throw hard, drive the ball properly off her back foot, and run properly is really, REALLY, sexy and if my girlfriend could do it I would have amriied her already.

She can't, but she is working on it.