First to etiquette school, then to training

Carson Shaw throws his luggage over the fence. Her dress barely buttoned and obviously in a hurry, she runs after the train to Chicago, which she catches after it leaves. Because of this, he dropped everything in his village in Idaho. She breaks the conventions of a neat housewife who waits at home for her husband to make his dreams come true.

Even the opening scene of the new Amazon series “A League of their own” succeeds in breaking the common role clichés. The theme is the founding of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) in 1943. A time when most men are in the military and women are supposed to be entertaining society in the midst of World War II – feminine, of course. With short skirts, make-up and far from athletic stamina.

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The plot, already depicted in the 1992 film of the same name, “A Class of Its Own”, starring Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell and Tom Hanks, is based on historical events. Founded by Philip Wrigley, the AAGPBL lasted until 1954 and developed into a mass leader. Front: The Rockford Peaches in their pink uniforms, who were not only founding members, but also became record champions and had numerous star players in their ranks.

Good manners and a feminine appearance were always important to “girls”. Otherwise, players could be kicked off the team because their hair was too short, as happened to Josephine D’Angelo in 1944. No one came onto the court without lipstick, etiquette schools were as commonplace as sports practice, and pants were forbidden in public places.

About 400 of the 650 players were homosexuals

While these role clichés are skillfully played out in the Hollywood original series, the series also takes another story and tells the experiences of black pitcher Maxine Chapman, played by Chanté Adams. Left out of the contagious foreplay, she must find her own way and overcome obstacles that surpass even those of white women.

At that time, due to racial discrimination, only the “Negro League” was reserved for blacks – and it was male-dominated. The exceptions were three players, Toni Stone, Connie Morgan and Mamie Johnson, who competed on mixed teams.

Based on his career, “A League of their own” portrays the role of Max, who tries to find a team while working, but despite his immense abilities, it is difficult for men to take him seriously. Added to this is the identity crisis of a young woman who encounters more and more strange characters and finds it difficult to fit into the existing role norms.

This is another aspect that producers Abbi Jacobson – who, incidentally, took on the role of Shaw – and Will Graham emphasize, unlike in the film. Although lesbians in women’s sports are still a popular cliché, the topic in this context is not as far-fetched as one might think.

Maybelle Blair, who ran for the Peoria Redwings in 1948 and worked as a consultant during filming, explained that she believed about 400 of the league’s 650 players were homosexual. including you. The 95-year-old man appeared as a lesbian for the first time in June during the series’ promotional campaign.

Women are still underrepresented in baseball

When he was active, sexuality was taboo, homosexuals were socially and legally hated, trans people (as depicted in the series) were even worse off. That’s why the rules for several women’s baseball players are said to have been so strict, though not officially. The purpose of the clothes was to draw attention away from the supposedly lesbian perception, the fraternization of players from different teams was forbidden and their own club had female spectators. Just being suspected of being a lesbian can get you kicked out of the league and possibly diagnosed as mentally ill.

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The script for A League of Their Own, meanwhile, is heavily focused on making sure all of these stories are heard. Straight to the beautiful Maybelle (Molly Ephraim), who left her children at home to play sports, and Lupe Garcia (Roberta Colindrez), who is not only the cub of Cuban immigrants, but also a child. Each role has its value, and its complexity is mixed with humor and topical digs.

Because if we look at what has happened since the 1950s, the summary remains sober. After the league was disbanded as too unfeminine, women’s baseball remained silent for a long time. The main characters were not elected to the Hall of Fame until about 40 years later, when another attempt was made to establish the league. To this day, however, women are underrepresented in the sport, and are mainly found in the softball version, often referred to as “female”.

Great careers or even equality in perception and salary are more than rare. But the series should also refer to it. That development continues and must continue. “See you next season,” Carson says at the end of the first season, and viewers can look forward to what’s in store for them in a possible sequel. Anecdotes would always be enough.

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