Psychiatric Views on the Daily News - Episode 134

Is a Banana a Better Phallic Symbol Than a Gun?

Have you heard of the Savannah Bananas baseball team?

PSYCHIATRIC VIEWS ON THE DAILY NEWS

Perhaps Freudian symbols, like other of his ideas, are passe. Maybe a cigar is just a cigar. A gun is just a gun. And a banana just a banana.

However, you might not think so if you viewed the CBS Sunday Morning segment yesterday, titled “Baseball that’s gone bananas,” about the Savannah Bananas baseball team.1 Using banana-based humor, antics, and paraphernalia, their ostensible goal is to make baseball more fun again, and they apparently are succeeding. They have TikTok viral videos. They have sold-out games at home in Savannah, Georgia, and on a national tour this year. When I perused their online store after the show, many items were—unfortunately for me—already sold out.

Baseball has long been viewed as symbolic of sexual interaction, with the goal to reach home plate more often than your opponent, sometimes after trying to slide into it successfully. Balls, bats, and gloves could represent various aspects of sexuality, both heterosexual and homosexual. Adding bananas takes that further. A literalist might even say that a banana is actually a more realistic desired male phallic symbol.

Just think if macho males substituted guns at home for Savannah Bananas merchandise once they get more in again. Given that girls and women have entered the sport at all levels, it should be popular with them, too. Then, how about a National Banana Association to rival the National Gun Association. I do not think a banana ever killed anyone. How about banana shaped guns that if shot straight would miss its target because of its curve?

Perhaps psychiatrists could become the umpires at the expanding banana baseball games and, as umpires do, announce: Play ball!

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. He is an advocate for mental health issues related to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism for a better world. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times™.

Reference

1. Baseball that’s gone bananas. CBS News. June 5, 2022. Accessed June 6, 2022. https://www.cbsnews.com/video/baseball-thats-gone-bananas/