Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Cowboy Cheerleaders

November 7, 2011
Last Sunday I started watching an episode of "Making the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders." I was flipping through the channels, looking for something to accompany a nap, and came on this show at a moment when the casting mothers were telling the girls how hard they were going to have to work overnight if they were going to keep with the program.

Hmm, I thought, I want to see how these women respond to this demand for hard work and study overnight. I have trouble motivating my students to work hard. Maybe I can learn something.

I stuck with the story. I was impressed by the way these young women responded to the challenge. They worked hard, worked in teams, put in the time to learn a dance routine.

Then came the judging. And after: One of the young women was called into the office and questioned about "pictures." The pictures that the casting mother showed the girl were of the young woman in a bikini. While the audience wasn't shown details, the pictures didn't seem any more salacious than the uniforms the girls wear on the field, the hip gyrations or the swimsuit calendar. Look, these are sexy women (at least in a conventional sense of the term) whose sexuality is exploited by the management of the Dallas Cowboys to keep the crowd (and the viewers) viewing and spending money.

So what's the problem if one of the girls does her own salacious posing? It doesn't fit the image we're trying to maintain? Really?

What image is that? Barbie doll sexuality - look but don't touch teasing - women are objects but we own the objects and you don't? What is the image of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleader that would be sullied by one of their cheerleaders appearing naked on the internet?

I don't understand why we Americans have allowed ourselves to be bullied into the basement viz. naked human bodies. The attitude of the cheerleader leader mystifies me.

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