An epic mansplanation


Richard Hershberger

Richard Hershberger is a paralegal working in Maryland. When he isn't doing whatever it is that paralegals do, or taking his daughters to Girl Scouts, he is dedicated to the collection and analysis of useless and unremunerative information.

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8 Responses

  1. This reminds me of the following bit of sexism, from, of all people, Mark Twain:

    Even the clearest and most perfect circumstantial evidence is likely to be at fault, after all, and therefore ought to be received with great caution. Take the case of any pencil, sharpened by any woman; if you have witnesses, you will find she did it with a knife; but if you take simply the aspect of the pencil, you will say she did it with her teeth.


  2. And I don’t find this piece in itself particularly sexist. The butt of the joke is the mansplainer, not the sweet young thing, who handles him perfectly with no trouble at all.Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

      The other reporter was the butt of the joke. The sexism in the framing part was more casual than that. Notice how the story begins with the “Hilary Clinton gave a news conference. Here is what she was wearing…” trope. The ‘woman trying to understand baseball’ was a moderately common trope as well. It was treated gently, compared with the “blacks playing baseball” trope, which was not, but that doesn’t make it not sexist.

      The other reporter is the butt of the joke. But is the joke that he was mansplaining, or that he was unsuccessful? Some of both, I think.Report

  3. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Awww. I kept on waiting for the story to be one of the lovely young lady in the fetching muslin dress to turn the tables at the end, to ask the fellow a probative question, like whether the Grays had an unfair advantage because their home park in Providence was so favorable to pitchers, before running off with one of the players, who would have been her beau all along. Although it was amusing to note that the amorously-ambitious mansplainer wound up missing the entire game flirting with her with nothing to show for his efforts at the end.

    I also notice when I look up the 1881 results, that there was a team called the Boston Red Stockings and another team called the Worcester Ruby Legs. Wikipedia lists the strangely-analagously-named team was the Worcester Worcesters, though, which seems like an equally quirky name.Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

      You have touched on a topic at which I could go at long and largely uninteresting length. The short version is that the official name of the club was the Worcester Base Ball Club (or perhaps “Association”–I would have to be motivated to look it up). National League clubs didn’t have official nicknames back then. “Ruby Legs” would be a journalist’s turn of phrase. It also wasn’t particularly common. The team would usually be referred to as the “Worcesters”. Modern sources have trouble with this concept, and so at some point some industrious fellow combed through old newspapers to find nicknames to be retroactively designated as quasi-official.

      In other words, they are mostly bullshit.

      Note that the game in this story was an amateur contest. The Beacons were a prominent Boston amateur club composed mostly of Harvard grads. Hyde Park is now a part of Boston, and was an independent town in 1881. Presumably the Hyde Park club was its young men at play.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Does the fact that the author invoked outside authority for explanations of muslin and mull make it a bit meta and perhaps self-aware of the mansplaining?Report