Sunday, September 16, 2012

School Promotes Females Be Subservient to Males

Friday Night:

The 80 band members of the high school marching band are fed dinner by the booster club and bused to the football field: $0 spent by participants

The varsity football team is fed a three course dinner and are bused to the football field, all paid for by the athletic department: $0 spent by participants

Meanwhile, twenty cheerleaders are driving to the field in their own cars, or are being dropped off by parents. Unlike the band and the football team, the cheerleaders have not been fed a free dinner and were not bused from the school. In fact the girls were charged $5 a vehicle to park a block away from the stadium: $100 spent by participants

I grew annoyed hearing that the cheerleading squad, a school based organization that mandated for the squad to be present at all field games, were being charged to park. Not only were the girls forced to pay-to-park but they were also responsible for supplying the football players with a “goody-bag” after every game. Players were divided up and assigned to a squad member. Each girl has two to three players depending on their seniority.

I was told that at the beginning of the week, players give “their” cheerleader a list requesting what items they want in their bag on Friday. Items often include: Gatorade, sunflower seeds, cookies, rice crispy treats, candy bars, gum and so on. These goody-bags are being paid for out-of-pocket by the cheerleaders and their parents. Parents spend a minimum of $10 per bag; per player. This averages a minimum of $500 a game spent by female participants.

As if this wasn’t bad enough.

The girls are not allowed to give the bags to their player after the game at the field, they must follow the football bus back to the high school, wait for the players to get their “after game lecture”, shower, change and exit the locker room. Girls are not permitted to go home until their player receives his bag. This often leaves the girls waiting in a dark, empty parking lot until well after midnight.

Again, as if this wasn’t bad enough.

Most football players don’t accept these bags as gifts or as tokens of gratitude; if they stop to speak to the cheerleader at all, they often inspect the bag to make note of the items they agree with and offer suggestions on how to better the bag for the following week.

I am astonished. It’s saddening that the cheer program supervisors are allowing these young women to be put in a position to be subservient to the male football players. Even sadder, is that the parents of the cheerleaders are so worried about their daughter being cut from the team (and them losing the $800 it cost their daughter to cheer for one season) that parents are refusing to take a stand against this inequality.

Now I ask the Internet world, what do you think should be done to correct this? Would you stand behind this practice? How do parents stand against inequality that was put in place by the very coaches that are supposed to be protecting and educating their daughters?


Tajuana said...

I would really like to know what school this is and start my own protest!

Tabatha said...

I can remember similar goody bags given by the cheerleaders at my high school nearly 20 years ago. They had fallen out of my consciousness until I read this post. Cheerleaders are every bit the athlete of football players - where are their goody bags?

Stacey Feldman said...

Totally inappropriate! Can you tell us where this is? Unless parents/students do something this will continue and it must not! Why are the girls being abused socially in something they should feel pride in? Do tell where you are.