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This Is Awkward: Lady Umpire Reinforces The Whole ‘You Play Ball Like A Girl’ Thing

  • Eric Goldschein

I struggled mightily with the best way to present this video to you this morning, and still find myself coming up short. This is a clip from the Little League World Series, where the state of Michigan took on… the entire Czech Republic? Is that how this works? Okay. Anyway, Cynthia Smith is the umpire — the unpaid, doing-it-for-love-of-the-game Little League umpire. And here’s how she throws back to the mound (via Busted Coverage):

Oooof. That’s sort of the classic “girl throw” that spawns insults like this. Of course, her womanhood has nothing to do with the fact that she can’t throw a ball — except that perhaps she was never taught, as most young boys are, that you don’t step with your right foot if you throw with your right hand. You step with your opposite foot. How does someone who loves the game enough to be an umpire, for free, never learn how to throw the right way? Does Smith just love calling strikes and balls, and nothing more?

Just to be clear, I think women are fine umpires and referees, and it took me forever to decide to post this. But, come on, look at that throw. It’s terrible. Let’s see what Colette McIntyre of the Jane Dough has to say on the subject of proclaiming a throw to be “girl-like.” This conversation took place via gchat:

while i agree it was a poor throw, saying she did it “like a girl” assumes that gender can function as a signifier/qualifier of skill
i don’t think there’s a correlation between her having a vagina and her not being able to throw a ball
it’s biological essentialism, son
and that shit AIN’T COOL

So there you have it. It’s not cool to say someone throws like a girl. But we wonder why this girl can’t throw. Fin. Please comment with your thoughts below.

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