By Saraswathi Sirigina… The North American obsession with cheerleading has been now exported everywhere abroad. This whole idea of cheerleading in North American sports and the cult of the pit babes on the F1 grid has its deep origins in sexist objectives.
First off, one question, how many male pit boys of the range of the pit babes have you seen on the F1 grid? NONE.
How many schools and colleges encourage male cheerleaders? A pidgin amount.
I could very well rest my case after having answered the above questions myself, but then let me do justice to my contention here.
On this web site alone, in the past few days, there have been a few articles with female cheerleaders pictures that have garnered more reads and a great number of POTD votes. So you think I am being stupid! Well, think again and stop being a hypocrite.
Here are some popular opinions I gathered from the web:
“The professional cheerleaders’ purpose is to entertain the men, hence no male cheerleaders. Because not that many women traditionally went to professional football games in the past, the owners (all men) never worried about equally entertaining the women or how inappropriate it is to parade scantily clad females at a game. It is still considered a man’s sport, even though many women watch and enjoy the games and have become quite knowledgeable.
The professional cheerleaders are a leftover of more accepted sexist attitudes where men feel entitled to objectify women. In this day and age, when there are competent women sportscasters on the NFL field, the cheerleaders don’t serve any constructive purpose, don’t really make a difference to anyone and should be discontinued. However, don’t expect THAT to happen any time soon.” ~ Helium
So you think I am making a case where there is none. Think again, I am not in the practice of making cases where there are none, I believe in making cases where there is solid grounds for making a case.
How many of the men would prefer to see the same routines of jump, skip, cheer from male cheerleaders? I guess a minority.
And what heavenly purpose are these cheerleaders supposed to fulfill? They are supposed to cheer the teams and make the people cheer the teams. Baloney! A team that has the guts to perform well will perform well even if there are no cheerleaders. Or have you not heard that the Pittsburgh Steelers do not have any cheerleaders?
Did you know that Cheerleading was predominantly a male pastime what with an Ex-President being among the lot? I am talking about good ol’ Texan boy George Bush.
In the 1890’s the first pep club was organized at Princeton University, and it was there where the first organized yell was recorded. The University of Minnesota organized cheerleading and the first school “fight song.”
Women didn’t get introduced to cheerleading until the 1920s, when gymnastics was slowly introduced to the sport. Cheerleading didn’t become a predominantly female sport until the 1950s.
How many of you guys would give that particular slideshow POTD votes and how many reads/hits would it generate. Let us not hide the facts, ain’t it good to open the pandora’s box.
This is my challange to Sweet Mo, come on make a slideshow of the male cheerleaders and show me how many POTD votes you’d get and how many hits/reads you would generate.
I bet you my bottom dollar that it will not be as popular as your female cheerleaders uniforms article.
This itself is enough to prove my case that cheerleading is inherently a sexist practice that is there to showcase not women’s talent as sportswomen but as side objects, no matter that cheerleaders are supposed to be supreme athletes.
“Cheerleading in its current form objectifies women and makes them subservient to the players achievements on the field.“
The traditional cheerleading outfit is designed to promote sexism. It usually consists of a tight sweater and a very short pleated skirt that is not conducive when a cheerleader does a cartwheel or jumps.
Imagine the female cheerleadrs were to dress in something a little bit more that covers their bodies. Do you think it would become so popular to men to ogle at them? Bunkum! Tell that to the canaries.
Is cheerleading a sport? Nope! Despite the high risk moves and the jumps and all those stuff, it still is sideline activity that sports can do without. It is a bloody indulgence.
Is it supposed to build self-esteem in the cheerleaders? That is utter nonsense! As though there are no other pastimes to create self-esteem.
Those who worship at the Cheerleading cult, have to sell their concept to young college and high school kids, so they will do anything to manipulate their brains and choices by calling cheerleading as a self-esteem building exercise. This is one more brainwashing syndrome.
“According to a recent study cited by ABC News, 16,000 cheerleaders get hurt a year. It’s become much more dangerous in the last two decades, with injuries having increased by 110 percent. CBC.ca reported that a girl in Massachusetts even died last year after falling.“
Well, well, what have we here? Not just entertainment, is it? SFU settled a lawsuit when Tracy Jensen landed on her head while doing a double back flip at a 1996 practice and has only limited use of her arms and legs. But still, cheerleading is not that bad when you compare it to on-the field football injuries.
Oh, one other thing. How many of the cheerleading squads have ugly, not-so-good-looking, overweight members? And should they have them, would it have become so popular? Come on, be a sport, don’t lie to yourself and don’t lie to score points in this debate. Be honest!
Do you think the Super Bowl is not sexist? Apart from the cheerleading that is supposed to push up male adrenalin, well, try to look into the can of worms.
The advertising, with explicit references to women’s bodies in the Mission Impossible 3 commercial beginning with Philip Seymour Hoffman saying—the first words of the commercial—“Do you have a girlfriend? Cause I’m gonna find her. And I’m gonna hurt her,” or implicit references in the Burger King commercial that says women are tasty in sandwiches, and all the ogling and leering.
Give me a goddamn break when you negate these facts!
Not many high schools have male cheerleaders if one goes by statistics and an article in Teen Ink.
When do women sign on to becoming cheerleaders? In their teens!
I stand by these words written by Allison K., Marblehead, M in Teen Ink:
“I do not mean to offend cheerleaders and suggest that they are not talented. I know that it takes great skill and practice to perform their routines. I am merely stating that cheerleading continues and reinforces female stereotypes that our society is supposedly trying to eradicate.
Cheerleading is hard work; it is a time-consuming and difficult activity. However, it is not sending the right message to teen-agers. When they see girls on the sidelines cheering on the males, it sends the subliminal message that girls should play second fiddle to boys and be appreciated only for their appearance.
The message plays out in classrooms and later on when they become part of the work force. Cheerleading is a classic example of an activity that many don’t view as harmful but which actually endangers the equal rights of women.
Our society must become more sensitive to the way girls are objectified. The view that girls are there for the entertainment of males needs to be closely examined. We should be discussing whether an activity such as cheerleading should continue when our society is at such a crucial point in male/female relations.“
And how many of these cheerleaders do really know the sport that they are cheering for! God forbid someone should come out with these statistics, then the whole damn cheerleading industry would call for blue murder.
Pit Babes on the F1 Grid
Well, the crazed ol’ men of F1 don’t seem to have the good sense to make the pit babes redundant. Bloody hell, F1 is a sport, it is not a sport where women are supposed to be babes.
The Toyota F1 team hires women engineers, women pit crew and some people who work on their F1 program are women.
Instead of showcasing them or the first woman aero-dynamist, Dr. Antonio Terzi of the ex-Williams team, the guys who control Formula One business are trying to market women as sex objects with the continued presence of the pit babes on the F1 grid.
And some idiotic F1 web sites who try to run their business are the ruin of all of us serious women, because they feature links to these pit babes on their main pages. It is as good as running sleaze joints.
They lack integrity by linking the Formula One sport to women as sex objects and featuring them alongside mainline F1 news.
If they really want to make us women racing fans respect F1 just for the racing, let these idiot guys who rule F1 remove the practice of pit babes.
If they have any bloody guts, let them do this and see. It is not like men watch racing for a glimpse of these pit babes. Or do they?
A Great Read: A Brief History of Cheerleaders and Cheerleading