Women have always been second class to men from the start of written history. From women only getting about 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, to just being allowed to vote in the 1920s. Females are being disrespected and harassed in their daily lives, and being called liars if they told anyone. Women have been disregarded from equal rights like owning proprty, getting the same jobs, education rights, driving and getting credit cards. Now, instead of asking, women are taking the world by storm to be respected and have equal rights and chances, especially with men in sports.
In 2018 there was an all-girls baseball tournament in Edgewater, NJ, more than a dozen teams showed up to prove that girls and women are just as qualified to play baseball.
The tournament was held by Justine Siegal, the founder of Baseball for All, Siegal decided to name the tournament the Maria Pepe series after Maria Pepe. At the tournament Maria Pepe and her couch, Jimmy Farina gave speeches telling their stories about Maira facing the league to show why little girls to not give up at anything they want to do.
Tom Brady, Jo Flacco, Adam Jones, Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Alex Rodriguez, Aaron Rodgers, Chris Davis, Manny Machado, Michael Phelps, Cristiano Ronaldo, Babe Ruth, Mohammad Ali, Lionel Messi, Wayne Gretzky, Alex Ovechkin, and Sidney Crosby are some of the many athletic male household names in America. But as for women, there aren’t as many household names that come to mind, yes there’s Serena Williams, Alex Morgan, and Gabby Douglas.
Yes, there are more women but not enough to even the scale out, and Maria Pepe should be one of those many role models and household names to girls and boys and because there aren’t that many role models that girls can look up to that are female they get discouraged. Also, since society labeled sport are for boys, and a lot of people started to believe this so girls stopped playing spots because they don’t want to be labeled masculine especially when they get older and start to care about what others think. But, everyone thought it was a disgrace that a girl was playing baseball with boys, even though she tried out for the team, and proved that she could play ball. Sadly, she played three games then she was told by the Little League headquarters to turn in her uniform or her town would lose their charter and insurance.
This is because of their very straightforward rule that was clarified in their requirements since 1951, which is: “Girls are not eligible under any conditions.” they made this requirement because of another girl named Kathryn Johnston that wanted to play baseball too, so she tucked her hair under her baseball cap and used a nickname to act like a boy in order to play After the local newspapers had a photo at home plate with the umpire with a caption “while Naria Pepe waits his turn at bat’ and no one knew if the name was a typo or the editor just didn’t want to acknowledge the fact that there was a girl playing baseball. Then everyone heard that a girl was playing baseball and got kicked off the team and yet again the newspapers got involved, with the headlines that read ‘Maria Pepe Kicked Off Team’. Which got the attention of the National Organization for Women (NOW). NOW got permission from Maria Pepe’s parents to file a gender discrimination lawsuit on her behalf against the Little League to fight against the sexist remarks for kicking her off the team.
But over in Hockey, in 1895, Queens University they were was one of the first universities in the world to have a women’s hockey team and then in 1916, the United States hosted an international hockey tournament in Cleveland, Ohio, that featured Canadian and American women’s hockey teams. But, in the 1940s and 1950s, women took a break and stopped playing in order to help support their households. With women not playing as much, it turned the focus back to men. But only in the 1992 women’s hockey was considered a full medal sport in the winter sports. So how come hockey women have already broken a lot of the barriers and can play and win medals but in baseball women and still trying to play and not get discriminated? After two years of the fighting in the lawsuit they got an answer, they found out that Maria Pepe had won. With the win, the Little League was facing nearly 20 lawsuits nationwide. Instead of fighting all those lawsuits, in 1974 the national little league decided to make softball, so girls would have softball and boy would have baseball.
Nearly 30,000 girls signed up to play softball. Anyone that has ever seen or played either baseball or softball knows they are not the same sport. Yes they might have similar traits but when it comes down to the rules or measurements of the field bats, balls, or gloves, they are clearly not the same game, and many girls agree, like Mo’ne Davis, she played in the 2014 Little League World Series, and she was the first girl to pitch a shutout in Little League World Series. Right now Mo’ne Davis has a softball scholarship to Hampton University and that’s a problem because when you have a passion for a sport than getting a scholarship for a different sport, you would have to relearn a new sport, and practice to get just as good in the new sport. Maria Pepe made it easier for some girls to play baseball instead of softball. But it didn’t help too much because they were still threatened and harassed even now in 2019, women and girls are still being harassed for playing male dominating sports like baseball, wrestling, football, basketball, swim, etc. But for the DC. Force, an all-girls baseball team representing the D.C. area, she helped and inspired them to break barriers for girls and women everywhere.