• Wed, Oct 6 2010

Connecticut Cheerleaders Fight Overly Revealing Outfits

Cheerleaders protest skimpy outfits

Cheerleaders given skimpy outfits

Score one for the ladies! The Daily Mail reports that a group of cheerleaders in Connecticut went in front of the school board and demanded that their midriff-bearing uniforms be exchanged for something less revealing.

Woot! You go! The board acted immediately:

“Education board chiefs backed down straight away and ordered black bodysuits for the girls to wear underneath their outfits, protecting their modesty from the attentions of men in the crowd at the games where they performed.”
Now, it’s tough to say whether that turn of phrase is the Daily Mail’s take on the situation, or whether the school board actually came right out and said something about “protecting the girl’s modesty from the attentions of men”…because that seems extremely patriarchal and single-minded, especially since the girls had pointed out that the uniforms violated the school’s dress code:
the outfits breached the school’s own rules which require uniforms cover an athlete’s midriff when they stand to attention.
So to reduce this to girls being afraid of what the big scary men will do — while that’s certainly a concern — diminishes the other questions that the outfits raised, like those of equality and reinforced gender roles on school grounds. Anyway, the black bodysuits are a nominal victory, but they’re way better than nothing, and what’s more important is that these badass girls had the courage to say what was on their mind.
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    I see it not so much as “being afraid of what the big scary men will do” as “not wanting to put our underage girls on display to sexually titillate men the same age as their fathers.” Or is that patriarchal and single-minded, too?

    I mean, cheerleaders who don’t want to be dressed like a jackoff mag fantasy? That’s about more than just “equality.” These girls really deserve our admiration for recognizing the way they were being marketed to the hetero (pedo) male consumer. Now if the rest of the women in the world followed suit, we’d really be getting somewhere.

    And yes, I think it’s fine for women to wear whatever they want; I just want it to be because they want to wear it and not just to make themselves more appealing to men.