Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Women's basketball and cheerleading: A historical perspective

The NY Times article about cheerleaders in New York being required to cheer for both girls' and boys' basketball games has generated a lot of letters and editorials (more than just the one I referenced yesterday). So I thought I would put this letter into the mix.

From the Letters section of Ms. magazine, May 1978:

Last night I attended a high school basketball game. I felt a sense of pride watching the young women on the court displaying their abilities as athletes and finally sharing some of the "glory" that goes along with interschool competition.
Suddenly, in the third quarter and with our team only four points behind, one of our top players ran from the court. "Where's she going?" I cried. A student turned around and explained that she had to change into her cheerleader's uniform for the upcoming boys' game
As I left the gym, I was stopped by several students in the stands. "You're not leaving before the boys' game?" they asked in wonder. I was too angry and disappointed to reply. I felt that we had lost much more than a basketball game.

Lisa Brienzo
Kake, Alaska

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