When Hazing Produces Social Commentary: NY Mets Rookies as Superheroines

Hazing. It’s a thing that in recent years has become fairly frowned upon and semi-regulated. When hazing goes too far you end up with a silver-nitrate tattoo on your upper calf for life (sucks to be you Dad), but the benign version is mostly just about bonding through mutual embarrassment. At least that’s what I tell myself at night when I remember singing “I’m a Little Teapot” to a local firehouse in the middle of the night, blindfolded and dressed up in a strange costume.

The New York Mets decided to haze their rookies this year by making them wear lady superhero costumes.


Since I rarely bother to learn the names of baseball players (I’m from the South, I’m a football girl) I think these costumes are a great way to learn the names of new rookies. If I ever seen any of these players in an actual game, I can refer to them as Lady Thor, Lady Robin, Lady Green Lantern, Wonder Woman etc. Here’s two more pictures for those who want more ogling of manflesh:

Beyond just being rather humorous pictures (I’m sad none of these guys went all-out professional cosplay on this one), this hazing ritual brings up not one, but two social issues. The first issue the picture brought to mind for me, was wondering why dressing up as a super-lady was “punishment” of any kind. However, before we go down the path of “dressing up like ladies is embarassing” I’d like to point out that the superhero costume is meant to be just as embarrassing- a fact demonstrated by the LA Dodgers forcing their rookies to wear male superhero costumes in prior years.

The element of geek culture – wearing of costumes – is meant to be an embarrassing task all on its own. The NY Mets modification of this task, asking their rookies to wear female superhero costumes is really just adding fuel to the red hot fire of embarrassment. Unless you’re Jacob De Grom (the most scantily clad Met) and you are just rocking your hot bod. Basically, the picture serves to reinforce gender norms (cross-dressing is funny because it’s taboo) and lightly laugh at geek culture.

Whatever. During any type of sports team I hold up a sign that simple says “Go Sports!” … so I feel like the NY Mets and I are even.

The more interesting point that the pictures bring up, is the discrepancies between male and female superhero costumes. There’s long been complaints that women in comics are too sexualized – a discussion that was recently reignited by a rather absurd Milo Manara variant of Spider-woman #1. Within the comics community itself, projects like The Hawkeye Initiative seek to demonstrate how ridiculous women’s poses can be by drawing male character’s in the female’s place. Something like this:

Source: Hawkeye Initiative via moneynolaundry
Source: Hawkeye Initiative via moneynolaundry

The discussion about sexualized women in comics has become such a heated issue that Baltimore Comic Con hosted a panel titled “Sexy or Sexualized? The Depiction of Women in Comics” which featured notable comics creators like Gail Simone and Marguerite Bennet, alongside the academic presence of Christina Blanch. Unwittingly, the NY Mets rookies have contributed to this conversation by donning the slightly risque attire of female heroes.

Just something to think about.

Source: Comics Beat

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