'No Crying in Baseball"

From Chapter 5

The film “A League of their Own” (1992), directed by Penny Marshall, starred Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna—and Bitty Schram. When Hanks, the manager of the all-woman team, screams at Bitty for an unforced error she starts crying. He’s absolutely incredulous. What on earth is she doing? Then his cynical words, “There’s no crying in baseball.” It’s a very funny episode, and his words have stood the test of time. 

 I played ball on a church league and never once cried. I did cry during a renewal session, however, and I got “written up” for it. Why wouldn’t Jack have just looked incredulous and said, “There’s no crying at seminary.” And there was no crying across the street at the college either, at least there wasn’t supposed to be.  I had spoken with a female professor fighting a tenure matter and noted in my Journal: “The other thing I have in common with [her] is our frustration with crying on occasion. She said she cried the other day when meeting with her dean.”

 “Many women in the workplace go to great lengths to avoid crying in front of coworkers,” writes Melody Wilding. “From slinking off to the bathroom to internally telling themselves to ‘buck up’ there’s a sense that crying in a professional setting is just about the worst thing you can do.” Yes, the worst thing you can do. I sobbed in my “renewal program” with Jack and Mel.

 Two years later, when I was finally getting support to form an ad hoc committee of the Board of Trustees to review my case, Jack was part of the discussion. When board president Sid named Jack to chair this committee, I objected. Documents had shown that he had been involved in my situation and supported Neal even before that fateful night with Henry. And he had admitted in our first renewal meeting that he had never actually seen material related to my case. 

 In light of this, I stated that he should recuse himself. Jack insisted he could be fair. And here’s the kicker. He actually said this: I’ve never told anyone about the time you cried during our meeting. So, the proof that Jack could be fair was that he never blabbed around that I was a weepy woman—though he was telling those in the room that very moment. Crying is indeed, the worst thing a woman in the workplace can do.

I say elsewhere in the book, that I had learned early that morning that my very dear friend Alan Neely had died. It wasn't a surprise, but it was a great sorrow. Our mutual friend Bill had called and we cried together--and laughed about the great times we'd had at professional conferences. I'd managed to wash my face in cold water before I entered the meeting with Jack and Mel already there. Then Mel began attacking me for no good reason and I wept. But even without the attack, I might have wept. My fault  I should have known, there's no crying at seminary.

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