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The Golden Girls & HIV/AIDS

The Impact of The Golden Girls Discussing the Topic of HIV During the Height of the AIDS Epidemic

“AIDS is not a bad person’s disease, Rose. It is not God punishing people for their sin!” declared Blanche Devereaux during an argument with Rose Nyland in season five, episode nineteen of The Golden Girls.[1] On February 17, 1990, The Golden Girls aired the episode “72 Hours,” the main topic of this episode was HIV/AIDS. The episode aired in 1990 which was at the beginning of the height of the AIDS epidemic, making the fact that one of the most popular and watched television shows of the time tackled the topic a point of interest. Research that currently exists about the AIDS epidemic contains very little information on the impact of the representation of HIV/AIDS on television. Exploring the public’s response to The Golden Girls will help better understand the influence of the shows and their ability to educate the community and bring awareness to certain topics and the importance of the representation of HIV/AIDS on television.         

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Representation of HIV/AIDS in the Media

The first documented case of HIV/AIDS was in June of 1981, with little known about the disease as it began to spread around the United States, taking more and more lives, fear, and panic captured the populace[1]. It was initially known as gay-related immune deficiency, or GRID, as gay men were the most prominent demographic diagnosed with the disease at the beginning of the epidemic. There was a lack of knowledge and many misconceptions about AIDS for several decades, aided by a lack of response and knowledge from political leaders and the medical community. Those with the disease and the gay community were suffering the consequences of that lack of knowledge. Meanwhile, the topic of AIDS began to make its way into media and popular culture. HIV/AIDS was now beginning to be discussed on television or in movies and attention, and some celebrities began to bring that lack of knowledge and response from the country’s leaders to the public attention.

While there are scholarly books on the impact of HIV/AIDS on society, there is a lack of focus on the representation of HIV/AIDS in the media. Instead, it is found as small sections or chapters in more significant works but is not the focus of their arguments. The main arguments of books on HIV/AIDS focus on the responses from political leaders, the medical community, and the gay community. There is currently no literature that explores this topic to its fullest extent, even though the portrayal of HIV/AIDS in the media had a meaningful impact on society and how the media continued to discuss topics relating to sex and sexuality.

Ronald Reagan began his first term as president in 1981, and less than six months after he was sworn in, the AIDS epidemic began to surface. Lillian Faderman’s 2015 book The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle looks at the early responses from the Reagan administration, stating that he “had cultivated ignorance or worse about AIDS. [2]” It was not until several years after the epidemic began that he first used the word AIDS. He only began to truly address the epidemic when it came time for his reelection[3]. Scholarly works commonly explore President Reagan’s reaction and response to HIV/AIDS. Heather Murray’s chapter that is a part of the 2011 book Gender, Health, and Popular Culture: Historical Perspectives, edited by Cheryl Krasnick Warsh, assess how the public rose and took action in response to the lack of action coming from Reagan and his campaign[4]. Activism grew as the spread of and mortality rates of HIV/AIDS rapidly increased. Murray examines how the public began to throw promises or statements said by Reagan during his presidential campaign and the beginning of his presidency back at him[5]. Gerald J. Stine’s 1998 book Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: Biological, Medical, Social, and Legal Issues, is one of the only works that mention how public officials were not generally successful in calming the panic, confusion, and fear that was spread due to the rising disease and instead often increased those levels of confusion and fear[6]. Faderman and Murray both make mention of the rising levels of panic and fear but do not directly call out political officials as being a factor of these rising levels; instead, they focus on how society’s beliefs and lack of knowledge were factors in the rise. Society’s beliefs and lack of knowledge is the most common perspective taken when looking at the panic and gear the gripped the public.

Several secondary sources, including those already mentioned, focus on the violence against gays increased in the streets of gay communities and examine activist movements relating to HIV/AIDS. However, Faderman’s The Gay Revolution is the only one that analyzes several of the most well know activist groups and movements at the time in depth; such as the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT UP, and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD both of which had a large impact on societies views on HIV/AIDS. Faderman’s book also looks at two significant instances where gay and lesbian political groups, activists, and ordinary people made critical political statements; the 1983 New York Gay Pride Parade and the march on Washington on October 11, 1987. Other authors like Murray examine these activist groups and movements but are researched in much less depth.

AIDS was a medical mystery even before the first diagnosis was made and was not well understood even a decade after. Stine’s Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome examines not only social and behavioral aspects of HIV/AIDs but also provides a scientific of discoveries made[7]. The idea that AIDS was a sex-based disease was because, in the beginning, gay men were the only ones coming forward with symptoms. It was not until 1982 when the discovery that the disease could pass through both men and women by sexual contact or through blood exchanges such as injections, transfusion, and birth[8]. The evolution of the women’s movement also reflected the change of discoveries relating to HIV/AIDS. Virginia Sapiro’s 1994 Women in American Society: An Introduction to Women’s Studies explores the relationship between women and AIDS and how the discovery of AIDS also prompted social research[9]. There was a considerable lack of knowledge before the 1990s surrounding the connection between women and AIDS because, before this time, research primarily focused on men. The literature shows that it was not until the 1990s, after a decade of the first discovery, that in-depth research had begun to make progress. This time was also the beginning of literature written on the subject with more accurate information. Faderman mentions two significant pieces of literature: the Glossary of AIDS Drug Trials, Testing, and Treatment and The National AIDS Research Agenda. Political groups mentioned above also marched on the Center for Disease Control and Protection and the National Institutes of Health, protesting the lack of effort put into HIV/AIDS research[10].

While research is done on media and popular culture responses, there are only a few perspectives that the literature looks at more in-depth. The response from Broadway is the most seen perspective that is written about in monographs. The Broadway community was incredibly active in the fight against AIDS. Kimberly R. Moffitt and Duncan A. Campbell’s 2011 The 1980s: A Critical and Transitional Decade looks at the epidemic’s effect on Broadway[11]. The AIDS epidemic significantly impacted those who worked on Broadway; several well-known performers died from the disease at the start of the epidemic, and the deaths continued. The growing disease and the increasing number of deaths among those on Broadway and across the country had a significant effect on the morale and the performing arts community. Another common perspective discussed in the literature was the response from celebrities. In July 1985, actor Rock Hudson announced that he had AIDS; by October 1985, he had died from the disease. The reveal that Hudson had AIDS sent shock waves through Hollywood as Hudson was the first celebrity to announce a diagnosis of AIDS publicly. In 1991, professional basketball player Magic Johnson also announced that he had been diagnosed with AIDS. Another prominent Hollywood figure that was a strong advocate for the fight against AIDS was Larry Kramer. Several works including The Gay Revolution and The 1980s both explore Kramer’s intensive involvement in the fight against AIDS[12].

While there is mentioning and some research into the media’s response and recounting of AIDS, it is a less developed topic written about in the historiography. The literature often finds the perspective on the portrayal of sex in the media and the impact of AIDS. In Patricia Mellencamp’s 1992 book High Anxiety, she states that “the AIDS crisis. . . has added loss and fear to the public sexual agenda, a deathly reality that has displaced desire, replacing it with anxiety, if not terror. [13]” The idea of sexually transmitted diseases was not new to the public, and in the past, their existence did not impact the depiction of sex on television[14]. However, at the beginning of the epidemic, there were links that the public made to AIDS and sexual promiscuity and that the disease was a form of punishment for the sexually promiscuous. This point of view is also reflected in Gender, Health, and Popular Culture[15]. Murray discusses this popular belief during the early years of the epidemic and how it was not just gay men that were under particular scrutiny at this time. However, the human body was also the source of controversy and, more specifically, women’s bodies.

The feminist perspective was also making its way onto television screens. Shows were beginning to explore different definitions of family, friendship, and the platonic relationship between women. The 1996 book Prime Time Feminism written by Bonnie J. Dow examines television shows with primarily feminine settings[16]. Dow uses the show Murphy Brown as an example of unrealistic depictions of female relationships and compares the show to others such as Designing Women and The Golden Girls for their positive and realistic portrayals of feminine relationships. However, not all changes to television representation were accepted by the media and public. Julie D’Acci’s 1994 book Defining Women: Television and the Case of Cagney and Lacey examines the 1980s women’s movement and how it put pressure onto television shows to include better representation[17]. Jonathan Engel’s 2006 book The Epidemic takes a unique look at the media’s response and views on HIV/AIDS from a political standpoint, other works often focus on either of the two[18].

There is an extensive database of scholarly works written on HIV/AIDS; however, these works only examine specific themes like political responses, responses from the medical community, and the impact on the gay community. While there is evidence of research relating to the representation of HIV/AIDS in the media in scholarly works, all the information mentioned above was from a small part of over a dozen different sources. The discussion of HIV/AIDS in the media is a small part of their larger argument. There is little currently on how television shows approach controversial topics like HIV/AIDS, and development is needed in this historiographical field to understand better the representation of HIV/AIDS in the media.

[1] HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus and AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV is contracted through contact with bodily fluids and AIDS is a result of contracting HIV. This disease interferes with the body’s ability to fight infections and disease.

[2] Lillian Faderman, The Gay Revolution: the Story of the Struggle (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015), 417.

[3] There is different account of when Ronald Reagan first publicly used the word AIDS. Faderman wrote that is was in 1985 after the death Rock Hudson, an old Hollywood friend of Reagan’s. In Mari’s book he put the date at 1987, when Reagan first acknowledges and set out his plan of action for HIV/AIDS from a political standpoint.

[4] Heather Murray, Gender, Health, and Popular Culture: Historical Perspective (Waterloo, Ont: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011), 237-254.

[5] Ronald Reagan’s face became a popular addition to protest posters at this time with the statements or quotes that were then being thrown back at him calling him out for hypocrisy or not following through on his poitical promises.

[6] Gerald J. Stine, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: Biological, Medial, Social, and Legal Issues (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998).

[7] Stine, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: Biological, Medial, Social, and Legal Issues

[8] More information on this discovery can be found in Stine’s Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: Biological, Medical, Social, and Legal Issues

[9][9] Virginia Sapiro Women in American Society: An Introduction to Women’s Studies

[10] More information on these two pieces of literature can be found in Faderman, The Gay Revolution

[11] Kimberly R. Moffitt and Duncan A. Campbell The 1980s: A Critical and Transitional Decade

[12] Actor Tom Hanks and journalist Ann Northrop are both referred to as significant celebrities in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

[13] Patricia Mellencamp, High Anxiety (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992), 42

[14] During this time period abortion was another topic of controversy relating to women’s bodies.

[15] Murray, Gender, Health, and Popular Culture: Historical Perspectives

[16] Bonnie J. Dow Prime-Time Feminism: Television, Media Culture, and the Women’s Movement since 1970. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996.

[17] Julie D’Acci’s Defining Women: Television and the Case of Cagney and Lacey is one of the only pieces of histography found that focused in depth on the impacts of a television show, including changes relating to the women’s movement and topics like HIV/AIDS.

[18] Jonathan Engel The Epidemic (NY: HarperCollins Publisher, 2006).

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298 Topic Propoal Paper

The first reported case of HIV/AIDS in the United States was in June of 1981. After the first discovery of HIV/AIDS a panic had set into society due to misconceptions and lack of knowledge. There were beliefs among society and medical communities that the disease was spread only through the sexual intercourse between gay men, as this was the only demographic that the disease had been found in. As HIV/AIDS continued to spread the medical field did begin to see the disease was not limited to a single demographic and could be spread through ways other than sex. However, the misconceptions and lack of knowledge still plagued society even after more knowledge was found on the disease and the discussion of the topic of HIV/AIDS was consider taboo. Which makes the episode “72 Hours” of The Golden Girls quite the controversial episode as the main premise of the episode was about HIV/AIDS. The proposed paper will be looking at how The Golden Girls discussed the topic of HIV/AIDS during the height of the AIDS epidemic.

On February 12, 1991, less than a decade after the first reported case of HIV/AIDS The Golden Girls a popular situational comedy, aired an episode that was focused on how one of the main characters, Rose Nyland, might have contracted HIV/AIDS through a blood transfusion and needed to be tested. The Golden Girls was known for not only its humorous plotline but also for its discussion of a wide array of controversial topics. The topic needs to be researched because during the lack of information that society had during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, one of the most popular sitcoms on television at the time discussing and educating this topic could have had a major impact on people’s knowledge of the topic.

The proposed paper will make use of secondary source books such as Richard Andrew McKay’s 2017, Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic and Elliott Currie and Jerome H. Skolnick’s 1997, America’s Problems: Social Issues and Public Policy to gain insight as to how the HIV/AIDS epidemic was seen and handled by the medical fields, politics and society. As well as books like Patricia Mellencamp’s 1992, High Anxiety: Catastrophe, Scandal, Age & Comedy and Lynne Joyrich’s 1996, Re-Viewing Reception: Television, Gender, and Postmodern Culture to look at how more controversial topics were portrayed in television and how they were received. The biggest primary source that the proposed paper will be using is the episode “72 Hours” of The Golden Girls. Other primary sources that the proposed paper will make use of will be interviews with the cast and writers of the show, as well as newspaper and magazine articles published on the show.

Although today where some social groups have become more comfortable discussing topics of gender and sexuality, in 1991 the discussion of these topics were not ones expected to be aired on television. The Golden Girls made great strides in discussing and educating on such topics and had a great impact on popular culture.

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An Examination of the Literature on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States joined the fighting of World War II. Major men’s baseball leagues began to worry about the future of professional baseball since a large number of major and minor league players had either been drafted or enlisted. This is when Phillip Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs and an executive in Major League Baseball, introduced the idea of creating a female baseball league to fill the void. Thus, leading to the creation of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Established as a non-profit organization in 1943, the league was seen as a form of low-cost entertainment for the American people to keep their patriotic spirits boosted, as well as a way to save the professional sport of baseball from being pushed from the public mind. Teams were based in smaller towns where people spent their days in factories and could escape the wartime realities momentarily while watching these games, which they succeeded in, amassing large numbers of fans that rivaled the men’s Major Leagues. Originally planned for the league to play softball, concern that fans would not be interested in the less challenging sport led to incremental seasonal adaptations of the rules to closer fit those of baseball. The women were expected to maintain femininity on and off the field and were accompanied by a chaperon during the seasons. During the totality of the league’s existence, there were fifteen teams spread out from the East to the Midwest. Following the peak 1948 season, financial issues, the lack of recruitable players lead and then return to normal life after the end of World War II led to the downfall and eventual end of the league in 1954.

There are relatively few pieces of literature written on the women’s baseball league. The release of the movie A League of Their Own in 1992 was the catalyst for the literature. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was launched into the focus of the American people in a big way for the first time after the league disbanded in 1952. In the following decade, almost two dozen works were introduced not only for scholars, but also the general public. There are a few divides between the different written works. The first, mainly seen in the introductions and prefaces of the books, is the mention of the movie. There are authors that state A League of Their Own as the incentive that spurred them to research and write their book and discuss the impact of the movie. However, the other half of the works do not have any mention of the movie, using their past with the sport as their reasoning behind writing. The other major divide is the extent to which the league is mentioned. After the movie’s release, there was also a large release of books on women in baseball. Even though the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was a huge turning point in the story of women in baseball and the introduction of women into rougher sports, these books that are supposedly about women in baseball focus only on the time before or after the league. The pieces of literature that are of significance to the history of the league are few and far between, and of those pieces, all follow similar surface-deep patterns of the positives and negative situations that the women’s league faced.

There is little variety in the authors, most of the literature was written by non-scholar women. Each of these authors cites their childhood interest/interaction with the league as what prompted them to write their books in their introductions. There are a few notable exceptions to the theme of authors; the 2013 book We Were the All-American Girls a contemplation of interviews from a select number of players, was written by Jim Sargent who holds a Ph.D. in history and has spent his life in the field. When Women Played Hardball was written in 1994 by Susan E. Johnson, whose position as a sociology professor affected her perspective on the league although she also cited her interest in the sport and league as a child. The most notable theme among the non-scholarly authors is the organization of their books. Lois Browne’s Girls of Summer, published in May 1992, was printed two months before the release of A League of Their Own and is the only book that shows detail-oriented interest in the league before the movie. It is therefore referenced in several later works as it was the first real piece of literature on the topic and used almost as an organizational guide to the succeeding literature. Girls of Summer is filled with a sundry of angles on the existence of the league. Each of the topics that Browne explored during her time as a freelance journalist only included enough context to get the general public to the next paragraph, and by the conclusion feel as if they know all they need to know about the league. This pattern of surface-deep examination of the topics surrounding the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is not extinguished in other pieces of literature and does not contextualize the rich subject that is the league.

When looking at the different topics that are covered in the literature, they can be relatively split into three historical fields: World War II history, women’s history, and sports history. There is overlapping of the three fields in all published literature but with no dedication to anyone specific subject. None of these fields of history include the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, despite when looking at the complexity of the league and its impact on these subjects it was a huge part of history. The books on the league almost create their own specific area in historiography, all topics being rerouted back to their relation to the league. Of the three fields, women’s history is the most prominent, while sports focus on the notorious major league men, leaving World War II history with little to no mention.

The All-American Girls Baseball League was conceptualized when the United States became involved in World War II, specifically when a draft was instated shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Merrie A. Fidler’s 2006, The Origins and History of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, is the only monograph to mention the war in a more substantial matter other than brief mentions and the connection to women’s societal positions during the war. “President Roosevelt supported the continuance of Major League Baseball as a national morale booster. [1]” Even though President Roosevelt did not play a specific hand in the creation of the women’s league his support on the importance and continuation of baseball during wartimes gives insight into the fact that there are more connections to World War II. A topic covered by most authors, including Fidler and Browne, is that the reason baseball was struggling at this time is that major and minor league male players were either being drafted or enlisted. Joe DiMaggio was a center fielder for the Yankees who enlisted in the war. He and other major ballplayers are brought up alongside the subject of World War II, despite having no connection to the league. This straying from the league indicating that the authors are not just focused on the league is confusing, to say the least. The books do not focus on one specific subject and the different topics are all eventually redirected back to the league, but the intermittent inclusion of specific historical field information seems to occur with the presence of men.

The topic of gender is the most present throughout the literature. Repeatedly each topic is turned back to how the women were perceived by the public. “Nevertheless, the tension between appearance and the game, between the feminine image and the competitive reality, was a constant of the players lives.[2]” A gendered perspective is found in all pieces of work, each portraying a slightly different adaptation. The strict rules that the women had to follow encompass the women’s and gender issues that the players of the league faced. All of the books in one way or another bring up topics such as uniforms and charm school. The women had to wear knee-length skirts with tight shorts underneath and had to have their hair done and makeup on for each game. Time in charm school was also a requirement for all players, despite all pieces discussing charm school in some detail Johnson and Sargent included perspectives from the players to provide more in-depth information as to why charm school was a requirement, beyond keeping up appearances. The women were expected to be a source of entertainment and it was believed that they could not achieved this with tomboy-like behavior. Another important topic is the chaperones who were hired to ease the minds of the players fathers and husbands, as well as keeping up the appearance of the women’s femininity for society. “Chaperons worked almost round the clock, from breakfast wake-up call to late-night bed check (or lonely vigil in the hotel lobby, waiting for stragglers to return).[3]” The word chaperon appears dozens of times in each book, but these mentions tend to just be passing by remarks or simple acknowledgment of their existence. Browne describes them as the “unsung heroes” of the league who had a number of varying jobs, presenting them as an integral part of the league, and is the only author to dedicate even a few specific pages to the chaperons. Despite all this, there is a minuscule number of perspectives from the chaperons, as well as specificities on what their job entailed and their involvement and impact, and them being an integral part of the league this is an angle that needed to be more thoroughly explored.

Sexuality is a topic that is also discussed in detail in Browne’s book. This is the only literature to focus on the topic for a section of the book, which is surprising that it is the only to do so when later works such as Filder’s references Browne’s book and includes almost all of the same angles. In the 1940s and 1950s non-heterosexual behavior was vehemently detested and ignored by society. Browne brings up the point that a large number of the girls, especially the incoming rookies, had never even heard of the concept of lesbianism until joining the league and the older women had to explain it to them and look out for them. The owners, managers, and chaperones did everything in their power to keep rumors of lesbianism far from the teams. Considering Browne bringing up the topic indicates that it was large enough part of the league to be mentioned alongside other important topics and there being no detailed mention in other pieces of literature, this is an angle that of research that could bring up an interesting perspective not only into the league, but into the society of the time. Another topic of women’s history that is barely mentioned is the fact that a large number of these women were married, and a number of them were mothers. There are the same few mentions of women and their husbands making deals so they could play, or leaving the league after the war was over, but that is it. There are not any more details on the interactions between the women’s marriages and their baseball careers. Also, there is no information on how some women handled motherhood while playing a traveling for a large chunk of the year.

One person who is thoroughly researched in literature on the topic is Phillip Wrigley. Browne has an entire chapter dedicated at the beginning of the book that is not just Wrigley’s involvement in the league but could be considered a miniature biography of his life. He frequently referenced throughout other works and he did play a large role in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League continuation even after selling the league in 1945. The emphasis on the men involved in the league, however, does not just end with Phillip Wrigley. Browne and Fidler both go into more detail into the men who owned, coached or were briefly involved in the league. When looking at the difference between popular and scholar works, how the important men were discussed show the differences. For example, Browne’s book versus Johnson’s, Browne dedicated chapters and paragraphs on the male managers, owner, etc. and how the league centered around them, where Johnson does look at these different men but directs her research and evidence back to the women.

Each piece of literature states that the leagues existence came to be in order to save the professional sport of baseball from disappearing in the eye if the pubic. They achieved this and so much more, the public even being more interested in the women’s league than what was left of the men’s league after the draft. This is the first and only real time that women played professional baseball, which was done at a time where they were really the only source of baseball to the public.[4] Despite this, the only mention of women and their impact on baseball can only be seen occasionally in some baseball-related encyclopedias. The league was originally meant to be a softball league, the more socially acceptable alternative to baseball for women. Phillip Wrigley, fearing the public would not be as interested adjusted the games set up, something that continued to happen until the end of the league. All of the literature tracks the rapid changes being made to the game as it evolved from softball to baseball. A pattern seen in the books about these changes is that even though the changes were meant to be good for their league, it was another source of tension that led to the downfall of the league. Each work contains information on the different aspects leading to the downfall of the league; however, they all have different focuses from the players’ perspective, the financial aspects, and the basic factual ending. The contribution to sports history that the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League made is a topic that deserves scholarly research.

There is a multitude of angles that need significant exploration in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Each of these pieces of literature only seems to scratch the surface of each topic, explaining just enough to validate its inclusion in the book about the league. The only monograph to go into detail about the specific teams is Johnson, which she did by focusing on players from the Rockford Peaches and the Fort Wayne Daisies. When looking at what is covered by Johnson in comparison to Browne or Fidler, the book shows that it has been written by a scholar in its deeper exploration of some topics, but important topics are missing that can only be explained by the focus on two specific teams. The different books attempt to cover as much as they can, trying to fit the entire complexity of the league into a couple of hundred pages reduces not only the number of details but the importance of each topic. It would be worth future scholars looking at one or two topics at a time and researching everything that they can offer to build a better picture of how the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is a valuable part of history.

Another major issue of the available literature is the divide between popular and scholarly works. The popular works significantly outnumber the scholarly. This is clear when looking not only at the style of writing but the back and forth between topics that only look at the information that was easily accessible. The league impacted World War II, women’s, and sport’s history in a large way, but is not looked at whatsoever by scholars. All of the literature written was released in the decade following the premiere of A League of Their Own and not brought up again in any significant manner in the following decades.

Despite being created to, and succeeding at, saving professional baseball while amassing a large following in the United States, Canada, and Mexico; the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is left out of not only the general history of baseball, but the history of women in baseball. It took thirty-four years after the ending of the league for the Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize women’s professional baseball. Each piece of literature contains dozens of the same topics, which only allow the authors to go so far in depth into each topic. This has left large gaps of information and shows that the different angles need more in-depth examination by scholars. The lack of scholarly works in this field greatly affects how the league is portrayed because the historiography is led by popular works. There is so much more to be explored about an impactful part of American history that has been hidden in the shadows and forgotten about.