Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Save the (Girl) Cheerleaders...

Now, I was never the biggest fan of cheerleading when I was a youngster. Mainly, I didn't understand why girls were expected to remain on the sidelines cheering for boys who were seen as the "real" athletes. Okay, I still sort of feel that way. I admit. At the same time, some see cheerleading as a sport in its own right. And perhaps it is.

Whether cheerleading is sport or spectating, shouldn't kids of either gender be allowed to participate in cheerleading? Especially now that girls have their own sports teams. It always made me feel really Teh Gay when girl cheerleaders, obviously uncomfortable, would be forced to come to our girls basketball games in high school to "cheer" for us. Although, looking back, that was probably my own Lesbo insecurity talking. Because why shouldn't cheerleaders cheer for the girl athletes too?

This school in Kentucky, however, refused to let a 13-year-old boy join the cheerleading team, even though he's really good at gymnastics. Just because he's a boy. That's not fair.

Because sexism and homophobia are related, I think that this case represents a little bit of both "-isms." Sexism: Boys aren't allowed to be cheerleaders. Homophobia: Why would a boy want to be a cheerleader anyway?


No comments: