Always recently came out with a “Like A Girl” ad combatting the common insult of “you throw/run/whatever like a girl.” The link to the video is here.
I love this. As someone who occasionally gets told after a softball game, “nice job playing today” by men from other teams, it just makes me think about whether they really mean nice job, or if they mean that I did a nice job for a girl. ‘Cause if it’s the latter, I don’t even need to hear the”compliment.”
If I’m playing in the infield, I should be expected to stop every ball hit in my direction, and if I’m in the outfield, I should be expected to back up each infielder and catch every fly ball hit to my field, regardless of my gender. I know I am not the best softball player, nor have I ever been, but with this being my 12th (not consecutive, but total) year playing softball, I know the game. I hope people start expecting girls to be good at sports, and not surprised when they can stop a grounder or turn a double play. It frosts my cookies when it’s assumed I don’t know that in playing second base, I cover the bag when the ball is hit to the left side of the field, and shortstop covers when the ball is on the right. I’ve played softball for so long that covering a base or backing someone up is the instinctive thing to do.
Yes, in fact, I do know how to go halfway on a fly, and tag up if necessary. I know how to swing a bat, and I’m not afraid to sacrifice the skin on my legs to slide into home. I know what a cut-off is, and occasionally my 5’0, 110 lbs. body can hit the 16-inch softball strategically over shortstop’s head when they’re playing in because I’m a girl. I know what a full count is, and a large beefy guy with cut-off sleeves running toward me at second isn’t going to scare me or stop me from putting the tag down on him for an out.
I play ball like a girl. I run like a girl, throw like a girl, bat like a girl, spit in the sand at the beginning of each inning like a girl. I chew my wad of Big League Chew like a girl, occasionally swear (in a quieter voice of course since I do also practice good sportsmanship) like a girl when a ball gets by me or the ump makes a terrible call. I play softball like a girl because that is the only way I know how.