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Thursday, May 12, 2005


Letter to the editor in the NY Times.

To the Editor:
The Texas House of Representatives has it all wrong when it comes to elite cheerleading and sex ("Texas Legislation Adds a Bah! to Sis and Boom," news article, May 5).

The squads that engage in the "provocative" routines they seek to ban are elite squads - focused on competition, athletic skills and leadership.

These young women are athletes. Studies show that young women involved in sports - and make no mistake about it, in the South cheerleading is a sport - are less likely to engage in sex than their nonathletic counterparts.

As a former elite cheerleader, I saw more than one girl "kept out of trouble" by her participation on an elite squad.

These squads build leaders with self-confidence, lead to college scholarships and give young women the chance to value their bodies for their athletic abilities instead of their sexual appeal.

The routines may look sexy, but that does not mean the girls are having sex. Instead of banning routines and becoming the "dance police," the Texas Legislature should see the value in these squads for young women's futures and say, "Bring it on!"

Mary Alice CarrNew York, May 5,

First of all, when did cheerleading become a sport? Second, call it sport, call it dance, whatever, but when will people face up to the fact that the reason there are girls in tight clothes rolling around on the ground at basketball games is so the men in attendance can see them as sex objects. Who wants this for their daughter?


Rebecca Lynn said...

It is a sport, its hard work. However, what high school did any of us go to where the cheerleaders were not at least perceived as the biggest sluts in school? I went to a high school in VA and a high school in TX, and I think that the north (and in this case Im putting VA in the north) just doesnt understand what cheerleading in TX is. Less likely to have sex? Not in my high school....

Bubba said...

My job is hard work, but it is not a sport. Ballet dancing is athletic, but it is not a sport. Sorry, cheerleading was invented to cheer on the guys / girls playing sports. It is not a sport.

Pigs said...

I think it's a sport, beit a provacative sport. It requires lots of working out and practicing, just like other sports, but then so does stripping, right? I'm surprised you're from TX and don't think it's a sport. I have fourth graders cheering competitively and dressing in trashy little numbers! And don't forget the eyelid glitter. It's key.

Eddie said...

I think it's a sport too. They practice hard. The main thing about a sport, I think, is the competitiveness. Cheerleaders compete in competitions. Hence, a sport.

Bubba said...

Chess is competitive, not a sport. Something can be a competition and not a sport. Cheerleading is not a sport. It was invented to cheer for sports.

If cheerleading is a sport, then are the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders athletes?

Competition cheerleading is a by product of people feeling that everthing must be a competition and we should crown a champion of everything.

It is not a sport however.

Mollina said...

What no one is grasping about this woman's letter to the editor is that she was speaking of "elite squads". She was talking about the squads that run, lift weights, etc. every day in group training, getting stronger and staying in shape so that they can go and participate in competitions. They dance, jump, flip, and lift non-stop. These "elite squads" use sporting events as practice while they lead the crowds. They win money for their schools at competitions. The members can get scholarships to universities. The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders are not "elite squads". I think everyone missed the point of this woman's letter.

Something can be a competition and not be a sport - like chess. I think a sport is something that requires physical training in order to win competitions. Chess doesn't require physical training.

And on a side note - I was a cheerleader in a high school in TX, and no one thought I was a slut...or any other girl on my squad, for that matter. Even when we walked the halls in short skirts - ever try doing a toe touch in pants?

mai said...

I am a cheerleader in Japanese university. I think cheerleading is a sport because we need physical training to improve pur skills and to have a stamina. When we show a performance, but most of audience are excited about our performance as a sport. We sweat after practicing every time, but we enjoy cheerleading as a sport!!