Three cheers for All-American Sexism

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This is a post for all you NFL fans out there. I have never been into following sports, knowing every player’s name, date of birth and cup size but I can definitely appreciate watching some good competition, drinking a beer and being around friends. I get the experience. What I don’t get is the half naked cheerleaders caged (metaphorically) to the side of the field as if they are some sort of exhibit at a bikini museum. That shit ain’t right.

I always felt weird when the camera panned to the cheerleaders every now and then. It seems like a little reminder saying, “Remember, this is American football because their are boobs cheering for dicks.” I feel like their soul purpose is for that 4 second camera clip where television can capitalize on showing viewers some long legs and dolled up faces.

My Grandpa has been a farmer for over 60 years. Being a farmer, he has done business with various companies and each one of these companies gives him a hat after signing a contract. My Grandpa literally has over 50 hats hanging on his wall a decoration. They do not serve their intended purpose to be worn and shade your eyes from the sun. They simply hang there, untouched. I think this is a great purpose for old hats because hats don’t have the capability to reason, think, feel, value, express, understand, know and breath. NFL Cheerleaders have become something merely to be gawked at. They are labeled with their respective teams that only represent muscle-covered men being men. They serve as a utility to draw more attention towards men “doing the real work.”

I think I can understand the role of cheerleaders in High School and college sports. Their job is to, quite literally, lead the crowd in cheers. They play an important role in the experience of sports and have a job that can be intrinsically valuable and fun. They aid in school spirit and morale. But this is not the case in the NFL. The cheerleaders have no ability to lead cheers in the masses of audiences attending an NFL game. The one redeemable quality of cheerleading as a sport (it’s purpose and athleticism) are taken out of the equation.

Another reason NFL cheerleading is messed up is because of their pay and the ridiculous standards the NFL requires you to meet to become a cheerleader. I did some research on how much these cheerleaders get. For a Captain of the squad, the receive a hundred bucks for a game. Yes, they only get 100 bucks! And that’s for a main leader. The supporting cheerleaders only get 70 bucks for a game! The average salary of an NFL player is 1.9 million dollars. That’s some first-class sexism. As if the NFL isn’t sexist enough already. Furthermore, only girls with a very specific body shape will be accepted. If you want to know the yucky details of how strict they are about maintaining weight and how gaining any weight at all can result in a suspension, click here. This article also illuminates the various benefits of being an NFL cheerleader. Is it health care? Is it dental? Is it free tickets to football games? Nope, benefits include tanning salon coupons, teeth whitening and gym memberships.

Just for clarification purposes, I am not totally bashing on the cheerleaders themselves. I am bashing on our culture that has ingrained the idea in these cheerleaders minds that their worth is in their appearance and their sole purpose is to be physically examined.

NFL cheerleading is not empowering women and is not beneficial to our society. It makes me sad that these girls may feel as though they may have the same purpose as some old hats hanging on a wall.

One thought on “Three cheers for All-American Sexism

  1. You make some good points. I was always that kid who intensely disliked cheerleading (and all other sports). We get this idea that all cheerleaders are snobby girls and aren’t playing a “real” sport–and this NFL crap furthers that childhood misconception.
    The cheerleaders I have seen on campus practicing for big tournaments and such do a lot of work! Showcasing only this appearance-based variant of the sport does no one any favors.


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