Saturday, July 28, 2007

A League of Their Own~ Tiernay Tilford

A League of Their Own is based on the true events of the All-American Girls Baseball League created when American entered into World War II. Several major league baseball executives got together the idea to form an all women’s baseball league while the men were away. The movie was surrounded around the story of two sisters, Dottie and Kit, whom grew up on a farm in Oregon and was recruited to Chicago to try out at Wrigley Field for the AAGBL. The sisters are put onto the Rockford Peaches, and the movie follows them throughout their story of the trials of women’s baseball.
During the season the star player of the Peaches, Dottie, is put in an uncomfortable situation with her little sister and asks to be traded. Come that night it is found out that Kit is the one being traded and the war begins. Bob, Dottie’s husband ends up returning from was and that signifies the time for Dottie to head back home. Yet, she can’t stay away from the “World Series” for long. The series is the Peaches against Kit’s new team the Belles ends up tied at game 6 yet after a confrontation at the plate between both sisters, the Belles come up on top. The movie ends with all of the ladies returning years later to the site of the game where a brand new AAGBL museum has been built and you are overcome with a sense of the ending of an era.
The main issue of gender in this film is the entire story of the 50’s and women trying to find their voice in a world of dominant men. These women playing baseball were extremely talented yet men still felt as if it was necessary to put them in skirts higher than the knee as their uniforms. This film did not give a strong sense of empowering women; even though the entire movie was based around a “women’s” baseball league you can tell how seriously men took the idea by naming the league the All-American GIRLS Baseball League. Then when recruiting for the league it was emphasized that men find the most attractive talented players instead of just the extremely talented. It was just a mirror of how women were being treated in the 1950’s during the movie women were never shown underdressed, without nylons or misbehaving. Also, it was a league requirement that all the women went to charm school because only “ladies” were allowed to play baseball.
I don’t consider this a feminist film at all, because there was no empowerment of women to be found. Yes, I say it could be considered feminist for the fact that women were leaving the home during a “housewife” era to go off and do something they enjoyed, play baseball. Yet, those women weren’t allowed to do so until their husbands left and only when pursued by men to play. Also, they were still dominated by men while playing, such as not being able to wear pants or having to go to charm school.
My personal opinion of this film changed a lot when I watched it for this class. I have loved this movie and its story for years yet when I watched it this time I grew even fonder of it. By viewing this film for our women’s studies class I was able to pick out things that I never noticed before and my appreciation of the All-American Girls Baseball League grew even more.


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