by Jim Ridley
In Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own, a gifted baseball player learns to game a system that allows women in sports only as attractive novelties. That’s a fair description of the career of the actor who plays her: Academy Award winner Geena Davis, who dodged getting typecast as a sex bomb while parlaying a scene-stealing appearance in Tootsie into a string of much-loved films. (A short list would have to include Beetlejuice, Thelma & Louise and David Cronenberg’s harrowing remake of The Fly, and we’d stump for the lesser-known but delightful Quick Change and Earth Girls Are Easy.)
In recent years, she’s turned her attention to how the media shortchange women and girls when it comes to female characters and role models — the subject of a panel 11 a.m. tomorrow at Lipscomb University’s Ezell Center with top-ranking female media executives from here and beyond. Joining Davis will be former FCC commissioner and moderator Deborah Taylor Tate, NPT president/CEO Beth Curley, Nashville Business Journal president/publisher Kate Herman, Tennessean president/publisher Carol Hudler, Young Broadcasting president Deb McDermott, WTVF-Channel 5 president/GM Debbie Turner and WSMV-Channel 4 vice president/GM Doreen Wade; tickets are $100 and available at lipscomb/edu/civicleadership. Proceeds benefit the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and the Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership.
Davis will also host a 20th anniversary screening of A League of Their Own at 2:30 p.m. in Lipscomb’s Shamblin Theatre, but we’ll miss the role model she played in 1996’s cult favorite The Long Kiss Goodnight: a suburban mom-slash-lethal assassin who snaps a reindeer’s neck barehanded. Your move, Sarah Palin.