cheerleader refuses to cheer…but wait til you hear why and what happened to her…


1 Response to “cheerleader refuses to cheer…but wait til you hear why and what happened to her…”

  1. October 26, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    If you haven’t heard about this one, be warned: it won’t uplift you. There’s been a recent controversy brewing over a high school cheerleader in Texas who was allegedly sexually assaulted by three classmates, including Rakheem Bolton, who plays football and basketball for the school. That’s bad enough, but there’s more.

    The school district advised the cheerleader to essentially hide away:

    “[T]hey urged H.S. to keep a low profile, such as avoiding the school cafeteria and not taking part in homecoming activities.”

    She declined, and even kept cheering. The reason this shows an incredible devotion to cheerleading – Bolton was playing in some of the games at which the student (whose name has not been released) cheered. She only stopped at one (very understandable) point:

    “During a basketball game, [the student] cheered for the entire team but refused to cheer “Rakheem” during his free-throws.”

    And for that…she was removed from the cheerleading squad. A suit by her parents was dismissed by an appeals court, who said her refusal “constituted substantial interference with the work of the school because, as a cheerleader, [she] was at the basketball game for the purpose of cheering, a position she undertook voluntarily.”

    Needless to say, a story like this won’t dispel the notion held by many that cheerleading exists for women to glorify men. Jezebel’s Anna North said while it’s “too simplistic” to call cheerleading “inherently anti-woman,” something must be done about the “constant risk of harassment and disrespect” women in men’s sports face.

    She suggested “more support for women’s sports” as a potential solution – of course, Title IX tried to address this and other issues, but it seems what’s really needed is a culture change. And those are tougher to implement.

    The name of “cheerleading” itself implies it only exists because of another event, so already it’s looked at as a second-class citizen, and when it’s known for featuring attractive women – well, then objectification is close at hand. It’s going to require a lot of people to change their thinking to alter this attitude – and unfortunately, that’s not going to happen quickly.

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