Sunday, I watched the Mets lose to the Giants. Not quite the Mother’s Day gift this baseball fan was hoping for, but at least my team put on a good show, especially with many of them swinging pink bats. They lost by an honorable 6-5.
The pink bats were Major League Baseball’s tribute to Mom. They’ll be auctioned off (along with commemorative plates with pink breast cancer awareness ribbon logos) to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Before I take a swing at this act of charity, let me offer a preemptive defense: My argument is not about breast cancer, a horrible, heartbreaking disease. I’ve seen on my own friends and their dear ones the toll it takes. I believe even more money should be spent researching new treatments and a cure. Also, the Komen Foundation seems to be an exemplary organization. Lastly, I gladly buy all sorts of products, from pink silk scarves to pink containers of Dry Idea deodorant every October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to support the search for cure. The other 334 days of the year, I offer what support I can.
So now let me ask why it is that the people at MLB think about doing something for Mother’s Day, they immediately come up with the equation Women = Breast Cancer. If the idea is to honor Mom by doing something to ease female misery, how about reaching out to those suffering from ovarian or endometrial cancer? Or AIDS? Or, to get away from the women-as-diseased paradigm, assisting women who are victims of domestic violence, or those caught up in the nightmare forced labor or sex slavery?
Hello, people who bring us the All-Star game! How about recognizing that a great hats-off to mothers would be to celebrate us as the champs we are – or at least as potential winners. MLB could fund athletic scholarships for women, or buy sports equipment for girls’ high school teams, or put its muscle behind a push to get women’s baseball as an event in the 2016 Olympics.
Why not auction those bats to provide those strong mothers with special-needs kids some respite care? Or offer free seats, hot dogs and beer, along with no-cost transportation to stadiums to low-income women as part of an MLB GNO?
There’s so much good that needs doing in this world. Next Mother’s Day, I’d like two gifts (besides those from my family): To see my Mets win. To applaud Major League Baseball as it celebrates us by taking off its bubble-gum-tinted glasses and recognizing we have issues beyond breasts – and that its female fans are as multifaceted, strong, and high-minded as the guys swinging those pink bats.
Ran in Huffington Post on May 12, 2010