All right, people. I tried to tell you, and this is your last chance.
Out of the sheer goodness of my heart, I wanted you all to know about the Women’s College World Series, which will decide the NCAA softball champion tonight. I told you about how fantastic the competition has been this year all the way back on Monday, which gave you plenty of time to watch the first two games of the best-of-three-series.
If you listened, you saw Oklahoma hold on for a 3-2, extra-inning win in the first game, with the tying run stranded on third. Then you saw Auburn erase a 7-0 lead in the second to win 11-7 in extras on a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the eighth as men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl, on hand in Oklahoma City, lost his mind. This, after Tigers left fielder Tiffany Howard made an over-the-fence, snow cone catch to rob Shay Knighten – whose swing, like Auburn's Jade Rhodes', is a thing of beauty – of a two-run home run in the sixth inning.
If you didn’t listen, maybe hearing what you’ve missed will tempt you to tune in tonight for the decisive Game 3. If not, maybe this will:
Let’s celebrate strong women accomplishing great things. That, and just that, just for a night.
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to earn the presidential nomination for a major U.S. political party in history. While nothing new in India or the 18 countries that currently have female leaders, somehow this had eluded the land of the free and the home of the brave until 2016 – 96 years after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
Politics aside – if such a thing is possible anymore – that is cause for celebration. (If you don’t think so, you probably haven’t read this far, anyway.) Instead, the backlash has begun in earnest. No, as one particularly eloquent Facebook commenter put it today, a vote for Hillary is not just a vote for a vagina. Hey, I’m as fan a big of alliteration as anyone, but I daresay a vote for Hillary might be a vote for a former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State, someone with decades of foreign and domestic policy experience who is unlikely to nuke the first world leader to insult her.
But I digress.
This has been a week where we’ve learned that a man can rape – let’s stop pulling our linguistic punches – a woman and be sentenced to six months in jail – jail, not prison. We’ve learned that unconsciousness passes for consent. We’ve learned that boys will be boys, and if they happen to be white, affluent, athletically talented boys … well, wink wink, nudge nudge.
We’ve learned this, from a Washington Post article published yesterday: most people accused of rape are never found guilty at all. The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network estimates 97 of 100 avoid any punishment.
I’ve learned about the damage done to a person I love who was raped. I’ve learned about a society and its fucked-up mindset that, for a long time, didn’t even call it that.
I’ve remembered when yes was the path of least resistance.
So yeah, I want to watch some women accomplish something great. I want to see eye black as dark as mascara and fierce competitiveness barely held back with headbands. I want to hear the crowd roar for something the woman at the plate or in the outfield did, I want to see the players hug one another and cry tears of triumph, and I want to hear the female announcers tell me about it.
I also want to see a good game, and that’s more likely – if recent experience is any indication – to take place tonight in Oklahoma than in Ohio.