International Women’s Day

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by Trenna
Field

 

What
happens in March? Not a whole lot. There are no exciting holidays to get off
from work or school: just four weeks of not so great weather and a longing for
it to end. However, March 8 marks International Women’s Day.

It
is a day to mark the achievements of women and a day to set goals to further
the progress already made and the miles that have yet to be covered. Women make
great strides every day, every month, but March is the month to celebrate the
history and the eighth celebrates the centennial of the day established to
reflect on the accomplishments of women.

 In acknowledgment of the day, First Lady
Michelle Obama said, “
We honor the women who traveled
those lonely roads to be the first ones in those court rooms, to be the first
ones in those board rooms, to be the first ones on those playing fields, and to
be the first ones on those battlefields. We honor women who refused to listen
to those who would say that you couldn’t or shouldn’t pursue your dreams.”

One woman
who became a first on the playing fields that the First Lady mentioned is
Justine Siegal. Siegal stepped out to level that field on Monday, February 21,
2011 when she became the first woman to pitch batting practice for a major
league team. She pitched to the Cleveland Indians then it was on to the Oakland
Athletics. Now, she is scheduled to pitch batting practice for the Astros, the
Rays, and the Cardinals, continuously leveling the mound for women to create
their own careers in whatever they are passionate about. Siegal loves baseball.
It’s obvious in how she writes in her blog and how she conducts interviews, and
how she throws the baseball to waiting batters. She pursued her dreams and made
history.

The sports
industry is one where women are a barely existent minority compared to other
fields. Title IX guarantees girls the right to play the same sports and have
the same athletic opportunities as boys. While growing up, I was the only girl
on my Little League team and one of three girls in my league, often the only
one on my team, when I first began playing hockey. But I played because I loved
it. Now I watch because I love it but also because even when women play their
way through the ranks, there is no professional outlet for them to make it a
career. There are the Olympics, yes, and Soccer, but the number of women who
can play for those is astonishing to the number of men who have the ability to
play in their chosen athletic fields. Just look at all of the minor league
teams that exist before the professional level. It is a difficult industry to
break into, if not near impossible.

But then
again, nothing is quite impossible. A lesson learned from the sports world,
when the underdog wins, and when a woman becomes the first to pitch batting
practice. March 8 marks International Women’s Day, a day to honor the history
women have made and the opportunities to have girls grow up to be women who do
what they love and open doors for others. As Justine Siegal wrote in her blog,
“I don’t think about making history, I think about creating a future.”

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