The Thinking 

The Athletic Amazon

June 7, 2010


Danielle Lawrie

Danielle Lawrie

SCOTT writes:

Here is a puff piece from The Seattle Times about a young woman who has excelled as a pitcher in fast-pitch softball at the Unversity of Washington, and is now coming to the end of her last season as a star college athlete. The reporter tells us that in a “fairer” world, the woman would be on the brink of a career as a multi-millionaire professional athlete, but, because of an unenlightened and sexist American populace,she must now contemplate the possibility of living six months out of the year in Japan,where she can continue to be a “warrior” and make a six-figure income as one of the two token Caucasian girls on a Japanese softball team.

The caption under the front page photograph of the young softball amazon quotes a retired Seattle Mariners baseball player of some renown who praises the girl with these words: “She is an absolute stud.” The retired baseball legend is understood to have a special interest in the accomplished young athlete because his own teenage daugher is a high school softball player.

The propaganda promoting the dismantling of human nature, and particularly the unsexing of women, has succeeded so well that a father can describe a young woman as “an absolute stud” on the front page of a newspaper, and no one, least of all his own daughter, has any objection.

Laura writes:

Danielle is described not just as a good pitcher but as a “transcendent” one and even though she is credited with not complaining because she cannot go on to make a million dollars as a professional player, she does complain. She has undoubtedly been the beneficiary of considerable public and private largesse during her high school and college career, but she says, “It’s tough …This is my life. For 23 years, this is what I’ve been pouring everything into. I’m going to miss college. For me, it will be different to be successful in college than professionally.”

She has devoted all 23 years of her existence to softball. Many top women athletes strike me as automata. There is a mechanical emptiness about them. Imagine the impact someone like Danielle might have if she said, “Look, this has been fun, and I’ve gotten loads of prizes and acclaim for this, and I’ve benefited from cultural conditions that actually favor women’s sports, but I’m ready to pack it up and move on. I look forward to teaching my daughters softball someday and enjoying the game with them.”

By the way, who should be the object of our anger here? The fans who don’t want to watch women’s softball?

                                 — Comments —

Sage McLaughlin writes:

You ask the most pertinent question of all: “[W]ho should be the object of our anger here? The fans who don’t want to watch women’s softball?” 

It really is quite astonishing—that this young woman should strike a victim’s pose because there are no lucrative professional women’s softball enterprises in the U.S. The plain fact is that women’s softball is not a revenue-generating sport at any level, including college. Her entire collegiate career was literally paid for by the sweat of the University of Washington’s football and men’s basketball teams, from which UW’s athletic department raises virtually all of its money. Her scholarship, equipment, stadium, meals, medical care, gym, and coaches’ salaries all were paid for literally out of charity, because softball raises almost no revenue on its own. And now that the beneficiary of the University’s largesse is expected to actually go some place where someone is willing to pay to see her play, she’s bitter about it? We’re supposed to feel bad about this, as though we’re watching a tragedy unfold here? 

How many people realize that even women’s basketball, by far the most popular women’s sport, does not pay for itself? The WNBA is subsidized by the NBA and would be bankrupt within months without a significant influx of unearned cash from the larger NBA organization, i.e., from the men’s franchises. The simple fact of the matter is that even average male college athletes are the equal of female Olympic competitors and world-record holders, and people don’t pay to watch women’s softball for the same reason they don’t pay to see high school football, even in Texas. Pretending that we’re all supposed to feel guilty about it isn’t going to change the basic realities at work. An overwhelming majority of Division I college football players, all of them men, have zero chance of ever making it into the NFL, and the same is true of Major League Baseball—there’s no sense shedding tears over it. Only the truly elite levels of athletic competition have ever provided a very good living for the people who do it, and unfortunately for anti-empirical ideologues everywhere, the elite echelon of athletic ability is crowed with men. 

You got a problem with that, take it up with the Creator.

Lisa writes:

I love the scene in National Velvet (1944, starring a young Elizabeth Taylor as Velvet Brown, and Anne Revere as Mrs. Araminty Brown) when Mrs. Brown tells her daughter that she swam the English Channel, then knew there was a time in life for dreams in youth, then for putting them behind you, finding a good man, marrying, having children, living a good life as part of a good community.

Somewhere along the line, this putting behind has been lost or thrown away, and as a former student at a military college that emphasized athletics, it was a healing balm as a mother in my thirties to hear Mrs. Brown declare it so matter-of-factly.

Gary Wolf writes:

Promoting women in sports, particularly on the professional level, is one of the most urgent items on the feminist agenda. The reason is clear: Professional sports is the last bastion of male exclusivity, now that nearly all branches of the military have been infiltrated. As noted above, the fact that mid-level male athletes can perform at the level of female Olympic contenders is no bar. Like any other piece of reality, this one is sidestepped by means of Leftist hocus-pocus, in this case affirmative action. 

Do not expect this locomotive to stop anytime soon. It is only a matter of time, in my opinion, before women are admitted into the major leagues. One can imagine the methods that will be used to browbeat the management: lawsuits, character assassination, media hype, etc. It will start with a low-level appointment, a second-string player, brought onto the field or the court for a few minutes at a time. 

In short, under the Leftist order, no enclave of merit can possibly be tolerated.

Randy B. writes:

I can sympathize with the young Amazon on one level; I too am ate up with softball. I played for Guam, the Air Force, Comp and Pro-Comp teams, and when the game is over you experience several levels of emotion. Fortunately for me at 49, the game seems to be far from over, and in some cases benefits from the maturity of age and experience.

On an entirely different level I have the same level of sympathy that Mr. Christie does for the Teachers Unions in New Jersey: When you failed in your aspirations of being a doctor, lawyer or engineer, due to the complexities of the educational requirements, and fell back on professional (sic) educator, you knew the pay scale and accepted the limits of your mental abilities. Now that you are in it (education) you feel somehow slighted that you are not payed at the same level as a Neurosurgeon? “IT’S NOT FAIR”: The universal term used by Democrats and Children.

This young woman’s parents are almost as much to blame. Fortunately parents are not entirely saddled with the continuation of those bad choices after their children leave home and start their own lives, but they did set the direction and expectations. What I have not heard is about this young woman’s education. Is she completing a degree after four years at Washington, or was she there like most basketball players, and the education was a distraction to “playing ball”? 

When I get back to work tomorrow I am going to tell my boss that I DEMAND a raise because of my phenomenal prowess with wood and metal working. It will be his burden to set aside the fact that my job description is systems engineer and project manager. It’s not fair.

Charles writes:

Scott wrote: 

The reporter tells us that in a “fairer” world, the woman would be on the brink of a career as a multi-millionaire professional athlete, but, because of an unenlightened and sexist American populace,she must now contemplate the possibility of living six months out of the year in Japan,where she can continue to be a “warrior” and make a six-figure income as one of the two token Caucasian girls on a Japanese softball team. (Emphasis mine). 

Did I read this right? She can make a six-figure income playing softball in Japan for six months out of the year? That is a very good opportunity – and salary – for anyone at her age. In fact, most of her peers will never see that kind of money even though they will work most of their lives.


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