The Sexist

Football Bloggers Attempt to Tackle Misogyny, Homophobia Ensues

Today, Washington Post NFL site The League took up the issue of misogyny in professional cheerleading:


I was really impressed that the Post chose to ask its seven resident football bloggers this question: Should football cheerleading squads be disbanded because they are a misogynist tradition? But then the bloggers were all like: "Nope!"

First, Sarah Schorno is like, STFU you guys cheerleaders are pretty: "You can take the 'it's degrading to women' and 'it's inappropriate for children' arguments and shove it."

And then Dan Levy is all, seriously? "I honestly can't believe we are having this conversation," he writes. (Me neither!) "And before people get all 'oh my gosh you're such a misogynist' on me, let me be perfectly clear on one thing. . . you're over-reacting."

And then Brandon Benson goes, you can't get rid of cheerleaders, because porn: "I admit that I always watch the gratuitous shot of a cheerleader as the network comes back from a commercial break. I admit to lingering over the cheerleader pictures posted on many NFL websites, and watching glimpses of various cheerleader tryouts on the NFL Network."

And then Adam Tracey is all, DUH it can't be misogynistic because it's for men not women: "Yes women and kids watch football, but let's face it; football's main demographic is guys. We like football, we like beer and we like cheerleaders."

And theeeeen, Dawn Knight goes, "I'm sure there are people out there who would want me to bring up the whole women- shouldn't-be-objectified argument," but then she TOTALLY DOESN'T BRING THAT UP, and instead says that a lot of cheerleaders are really nice ladies, and she's "glad times have changed enough to look beyond the short skirts" . . . that we still make the cheerleaders wear. (Is your brain exploding? Mine is too!)

So then finally, Dan Parker is like, okay it's misogynistic, but I'm going to put "misogynistic" in quotes because it's not really: "the league could do well to get rid of cheerleaders in an effort to perhaps make the games seem less 'misogynistic' toward female viewers. "

Parker's opinion is poorly received:


Well, it's been fun, Washington Post's The League! Thanks for having this really productive chat about misogyny! Next time, homophobia?

  • match

    this blog is gay

  • W


  • Kat

    What makes cheerleading inherently misogynistic? Or is it just NFL cheerleading? I mean, I'm guessing NFL teams probably don't have a lot of dude cheerleaders, but most high performing high school, college, and competitive squads do, and they're treated more like athletes then eye candy.

  • Anon

    I'm going to recycle an old Dan Savage quote here (and mangle it).

    Objectification is bad because it teaches men (and women) that women can only be treated in a binary way. They can either be sexy ladies or they can be ignored. That is bad.

    However, that doesn't mean that an empowered lady can't be a sexy object lady SOMETIMES.

    The key is that an empowered lady should be able to be treated in many ways. This is a short list of things that a lady should be able to be treated like:

    1. a boss
    2. a criminal
    3. a lover
    4. an employee
    5. a coworker
    6. a platonic friend
    7. an expert
    8. a student

    The list goes on. The point is no one is saying that cheerleaders need to carry pom-poms around 7 days a week. Personally, I think it is totally fine for women to dress up sexily on the sidelines of football games, just as I think it is OK for men to dress up sexily as drag queens, for men to dance in hangar clubs, for women to pose nude in magazines, etc.

    Stop dismissing the arguments of intelligent people just because you disagree. Your sarcastic summaries of their points were insulting.

  • Amanda Hess

    Anon, I agree with you that it's totally fine for men and women to dress up sexily, and that men and women should be accepted in a variety of roles. When professional football teams usher in squads of sexy drag queens alongside their sexy female cheerleaders, we'll know that the NFL agrees with you.

  • Anon

    @Amanda Hess

    That made me LOL!!!1!!!!1.

    But seriously, the NFL will roll out drag queens when the NFL's audience starts enjoying dragqueens.

  • Amanda Hess

    Anon, I actually think that I might watch football if they did this. Except, I don't have a television, so nobody cares what I think.

  • notyrmama

    When I attended the University of Wisconsin back in the Dark Ages, a fan known as the "Portage Plumber" (because he was from Portage, WI and worked as a plumber) dressed up in a UW women's pom squad outfit and followed the pom squad around the stadium, joining in their routines. While no one could call him a "sexy drag queen," the rest of the fans loved him and cheered wildly. Of course the pom squad hated him because he got so much more attention. Just sayin' that Anon might be selling NFL fans short.

  • Kat

    @Amanda - The SF Giants will be having a drag queen sing the National Anthem at today's game, but I guess that's baseball. No cheerleading there.

  • Hill Rat

    I notice you skipped over Jason Maloni's answer. If nothing else you should have this quote, ". . . the defining NFL feature has never been a bunch of pneumatic Barbie dolls preening for the camera." for a bit of balance.


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