Featured Writing

Giant Bats: Well Endowed Symbols

In art school I learned how to interpret symbols by sitting through one too many art critiques. The joke around campus was: “at Rhode Island School of Design anything longer than it is wide is a phallic symbol.” I wasn’t accustomed to seeking out such symbols before; it all struck me as a wee bit contrived. But once exposed it can be hard to shake. It begins to pop up often and it can be a lot of fun to play with! We had a class assignment to find these symbols in printed media and we got huge results. Advertisers were whipping it out everywhere! And it wasn’t just phalluses that were thriving but vast amounts of yoni: the female counterpart to the male phallus. We learned that Maya Ying Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial was a good yonic example: it was designed by a woman, in a “V” shape, and was an indentation dug into a grass lawn. When her yonic memorial was presented many men got aroused and protested. They countered by erecting their own symbolic memorial: a big protruding statue and a flagpole made by a man, Frederick Hart.

This symbolic interpretation game can also be applied to letter shapes. Play along with me here. Feminine letters include: V, A, Y, U. Masculine letters include: p, d, b, l, i, and a testicular “o”. Thus, feminine names and words including Vivian, Ava, Maya Ying, Venus, vagina, vulva, and yoni are all yonic. Masculine names and words including Peter, Cooper, Frederick, dick, penis, and phallus are all phallic. Where did this all begin? With Adam and Eve.

Are you still playing along? Baseball requires a bat, ball, and glove – sexually charged symbols all! First, the letter shapes suggest the bat and ball as male and glove as female. Secondly, the shapes of the objects have the bat as an obvious phallus and the concave V-shaped glove as a yoni. Then there’s the testicular “o” ball/testicle/sperm. The white ball is projected from the bat to the glove. Understand? Men use their sticks to spread the field with the white ball and the farther they can project it the more likely they’ll get a home run, but if they do get some play they often only get to first base. If they have a weak bat and can’t put the ball in play they strike out.

I make baseball gloves for a living (www.carpentertrade.com). Don’t ask me what that means symbolically. When I wanted to learn about gloves I went to Ava – a very yonic name for a very yonic object. Ava, Missouri used to be where Rawlings made most of their gloves. After I worked at Rawlings in Ava I came to Cooperstown. Cooper is a very masculine and phallic name which clues you in to what they make and sell there: bats! Lots of souvenir bat stores line Main Street near the National Baseball Hall of Fame - but curiously, no gloves. So I decided that the perfect companion for Cooper/bats/phalluses was Ava/gloves/yoni – I opened the first baseball glove store in Cooperstown. The marriage of gloves with bats has been like the birds and the bees!

This brings me to the present. A few guys from Cooperstown asked me to contribute to their website about giant bats (pro-bono). Several questions came to mind. Why would anyone devote a site to giant bats? Does size REALLY matter? Is there something inherently male about obsessing over the size of our bats? Look at Ted Williams – why is he standing with his hips forward and holding his giant bat right THERE? Am I reading too much into this? C’mon, is it really as innocent as “Hey look at that! Neato! A giant bat!” Or is there a giant pink elephant in this room?