Taking Another Look at the Cheerleader Thing - Literally

Call me Zuska. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on t.v., I thought I would surf the web a little and see the bloggy part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever those apologists for the oppressor get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically puking on peoples' shoes - then, I account it high time to get to the blogosphere as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the posts and comment threads. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all hairy-legged feminazis in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the blogosphere with me.

 

I went off all whiny and screechy about SciCheer in this post.  But hey, if it’s inspiring, can it be wrong?

Yes, you idiot.  If the young girls are “inspired” by the cheerleaders now, why not move on to pole dancers?  That takes some serious upper body strength! And you can earn money pole dancing to pay for your college tuition!  Work nights and weekends, it won’t interfere with classes!  Let us be inspired by the heartwarming tales of pole dancers, in costume, encouraging the wee ones to go into science. They could talk about physiology! And physics! It would be awesome.

I understand that it is fashionable to claim that things like cheerleading and showing off one’s fabulous tits in tight clothing are empowerful for the young girls today.  This is a steaming crock of bullshit. When they are yelling "show yer tits!" this week in Nawlins and tossing beads at the compliant minxes, they are are not thinking "how empowered these young women are today!  so in control of their own sexuality!"  They are thinking "fuck yeah, I got that bitch to show me her tits for some plastic beads!" And don't go spitting that sex positive bla bla at me.  I love me some sex as much as the next person.  What I don't love is seeing women's sexuality debased and exploited, and I especially don't love seeing it done in the spurious name of recruiting young girls into science.

The vast majority of men, when pondering cheerleaders, think of one thing:  fucking. There’s a chain of “gentlemen’s clubs” in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that goes by the name of Cheerleaders.  Let’s compare.  SciCheer or Cheerleader's Club?  You make the call!

 

 

15 responses so far

  • drugmonkey says:

    ummm...the tatoos give it away?

  • At least you posted some decent looking tittes this time.

  • Former mathelete says:

    Oh, come on, Zuska. Don't you know that pole dancing will soon be in the OLYMPICS?! Who cares about cheerleading or science, when you could be an Olympic athelete?

  • skeptifem says:

    What do cheerleaders inspire anyone to do?

  • Miriam says:

    Zuska,
    No way am I taking you on on this! But I'll just observe that at our local high school, one of the most exuberant and athletic of the cheerleaders is a young man... young gay man, for what that's worth. And, yeah, they win championships and at least one of the young women has an opportunity to go to work next year for one of the big football teams or basketball teams... I don't remember...but over time, however infrequently, we do see men join the cheerleaders (one of the kids' male teachers was a college cheerleader, for example.) So, here's my question -- is this a good thing, because it suggests that overtime there can be a degendering of this activity? Or, is it a bad thing because it lends male legitimacy to something which is otherwise pretty much as you describe it.

    • Zuska says:

      A thousand years ago when I was an undergrad, we had dude cheerleaders at Penn State. A coupla dude cheerleaders are not going to change anything. Now, you give me a string of Lady's Clubs called CheerD00ds that features hawt young boys in tight underpants cavorting on stage and simulating sex acts for the viewing pleasure of a bored, drunk female audience that gets to humiliate them by stuffing bills in their clothes and ordering them to perform lap dances, and when the CheerD00ds leave the club, they emerge into a world where everywhere they look, they see scantily clad airbrushed images of hot cheerdood type bodies on billboards and in magazines and on commercials hawking every imaginable product, and all the movies and tv shows feature strong awesome leading women on CSI Miami Special Horribly Victimized D00ds leading teams of other women who investigate the brutal rapes and murders of hot young boys, with the rapes and murders filmed in the most loving porntastic eroticized manner, and all the branches of government and all the companies are run by women...oh wait. That's a bit extreme. But if that scenario obtained, and someone said hey, there are a few female CheerDoods, doesn't that help? would anyone take that seriously even for a minute??? Because in that society, one or two or a handful of female CheerDoods is just an anomaly in the overall matriarchy. And they would not be CheerDooding in a context where their sexuality was marginalized, degraded, and commodified every minute of every day.

      Just before the SuperBowl, the Philly Ink ran this article about the lack of cheerleaders at this year's SuperBowl. These are my two favorite quotes from the article, and I think they are quite telling, about just how much value women in general and cheerleaders in particular have in society.

      While reactions to this watershed cultural moment varied...it also elicited the more common refrain: 'Who cares?' 'I wasn't even aware of the fact that there would be no cheerleaders at the SuperBowl,' Enrico Campitelli Jr. of 'The 700 Level,' a sports-fan blog in Philadelphia, said...'I guess that tells you how much most people care.'

      Or, as A. J. Daulerio of the sports uber-blog 'Deadspin' suggested, the SuperBowl commercials may be a decent-enough substitute. 'I think the GoDaddy.com commercials will more than compensate for the lack of skin and general tawdriness resulting from no cheerleaders,' Daulerio said...

      • FrauTech says:

        [Now, you give me a string of Lady’s Clubs called CheerD00ds that features hawt young boys in tight underpants cavorting on stage and simulating sex acts for the viewing pleasure of a bored, drunk female audience that gets to humiliate them by stuffing bills in their clothes and ordering them to perform lap dances, and when the CheerD00ds leave the club, they emerge into a world where everywhere they look, they see scantily clad airbrushed images of hot cheerdood type bodies on billboards and in magazines and on commercials hawking every imaginable product]

        Hahahaha you freaking ROCK Zuska. This x1000. Plus I would love to be a member of this bored drunk female crowd for just five fucking minutes of my life. I know that is why (most) dudes are afraid of true equality, getting to act like a completely sexist douchebag in 100% of your life is just too satisfying.

  • Aunti Disestablishmentarian says:

    Hey Zuska, She's our Man. If she can't crush the Misguided Science Cheerleader Cheerleaders and their Patriarchy worshiping ilk, no one can!

    Gimme a Z!

  • rcs says:

    Really, I thought the Science Cheerleader campaign's purpose was to improve the reputations of the cheerleaders. Like "Hey look, we're not all as dumb as our stereotype!"

  • anon says:

    Why aren't there any equally as "hot" dudes in science? Seriously, look around at the sad-looking balding dudes with man-boobs in science.... It's like a Buddha competition is going on or something.

  • and_the voices! says:

    Thanks for reinforcing my distaste for this endeavor. Did you actually look at the SciCheer video? Much as I didn't want to, I felt I should, lest my deep-felt disgust actually be unjustified, and that it melt away at the sight of empowered women ... somehow... while scantily clad in male-fantasy hotpants ... perform completely worthless duties in the name of ... science (?) ...

    But no, it was pathetic. Apart from the first woman on video whose commanding voice suggested a dominatrix, it was the usual string of women-who-talk-for-men-or-babies. The upward-tilting sentences, simple syntax telling heart-warming stories of good girls in hard circumstances, girly inflections with toothy smiles & bedroom eyes. Yes! We are strong! We are girls! We are good! We can do it! Backwards and in high heels! Nauseating, the lot of it.

  • Kaija says:

    A thousand years ago when I was an undergrad, we had dude cheerleaders at Penn State. A coupla dude cheerleaders are not going to change anything. Now, you give me a string of Lady’s Clubs called CheerD00ds that features hawt young boys in tight underpants cavorting on stage and simulating sex acts for the viewing pleasure of a bored, drunk female audience that gets to humiliate them by stuffing bills in their clothes and ordering them to perform lap dances, and when the CheerD00ds leave the club, they emerge into a world where everywhere they look, they see scantily clad airbrushed images of hot cheerdood type bodies on billboards and in magazines and on commercials hawking every imaginable product, and all the movies and tv shows feature strong awesome leading women on CSI Miami Special Horribly Victimized D00ds leading teams of other women who investigate the brutal rapes and murders of hot young boys, with the rapes and murders filmed in the most loving porntastic eroticized manner, and all the branches of government and all the companies are run by women…oh wait. That’s a bit extreme. But if that scenario obtained, and someone said hey, there are a few female CheerDoods, doesn’t that help? would anyone take that seriously even for a minute??? Because in that society, one or two or a handful of female CheerDoods is just an anomaly in the overall matriarchy. And they would not be CheerDooding in a context where their sexuality was marginalized, degraded, and commodified every minute of every day.

    THIS! This is the part I can't get across to many people...usually those who have never stopped to think about it or have tried but can't quite "get it" because it's so normal in their worlds. This is exactly why I hate the repackaging of the commodification and entertainment roles as education and empowering. Mule in horse harness, I say!