Sunday, February 10, 2008

Freaked out--or not

It's been about one year since cheerleaders in New York state have been required to attend both girls' and boys' sporting events. And it seems that people--at least the ones in and around Utica, NY--are getting used to it; they may even like it.
According to senior cheerleader Rebecca Kuehnle, "At first, we were all freaked out by it because we were cheering for our own sex, It’s kind of nice to cheer for a winning team, no offense to the boys. It’s fun.”
Plus, now that the cheerleaders are not attending away games and getting home super late they have time for their homework. I wonder if any of those assignments are about questioning gender roles in our heteronormative society...
Given the initial reaction of Kuehnle's and other cheerleaders and the evidence I see in my own women's studies classes, I don't think such things are being taught in high schools. I recommend a curriculum change so we can avoid future freak-outs.


Diane said...

That the cheering girls would be "freaked out" at all just goes to show you how sexualized cheerleading is to begin with--what the hell difference does it make who is on the team? And it also demonstrates that girls do not expect girls to be taken seriously as competitors.

Gender Blank said...

What's bizarre to me is that this whole girls-cheering-for-girls thing is new in a state like New York. Even in my teeny tiny hometown in Iowa girls have cheered for girls for as far back as I can remember. And we even had some male cheerleaders at both the junior high and high school levels.

Why did it take New York so long to catch up? Aren't East Coast states far superior in every regard? :)