When I Became Murphy Brown

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At the age of 27 – when baseball and I were in court – the thought of being an unwed mother wasn't even a blimp on my radar screen. Heck, I'd just gotten married and hoped soon to have children. And I decided to get married in large part to demonstrate that I could be a wife AND a woman who wrote baseball. The way the guys were writing about me back then it sounded like I was leader of the women libbers with all of the "manly" adjectives possible to muster tossed in. I hardly recognized myself in what they were writing about me, and that bothered me, a lot. Being a wife and mother, I reckoned, would go a long ways toward restoring my sense of my own identity as a woman.

In May of 1992, a week before my 41st birthday, Murphy Brown, a fictionalized unwed mother, became a target of male rage – this time Vice President Dan Quayle, who made front page news by blaming Murphy Brown and her "life style" choice for causing the LA riots. (At least that was the essence of his speech at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.) Within a week Random House bought my book proposal for "On Our Own: Unmarried Motherhood in America," and in 1997, my one-year old daughter Maya was with me on my book tour. After I wrote about unwed motherhood, I became her unwed mom.

I've never written about before about my sudden decision to get married during my legal action against baseball. I accepted a marriage proposal from Eric Lincoln, a fellow sportswriter, within a month of our first date in the early winter of 1978. In "Locker Room Talk" I intend to describe the emotional factors and societal pressure points that pushed me to make this rash decision, which I soon regretted.