Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I Want Better For You Than That

We drove past some boys practicing football after school today.  Petunia associates football with cheerleaders (cute uniforms and sparkly pompoms going over well with the little-girl set, as they do) and predictably, asked whether she could be a cheerleader yet.

I have nothing against cheerleading per se, and would even go so far as to call it a sport.  Those girls work hard, they take a lot of physical risks, and it legitimately takes serious skills to execute some of those maneuvers.  No doubt.


I want my girl to be on the field playing, not on the sidelines cheering for a bunch of boys while their activity is the main attraction.  That just sends the wrong message to girls in my opinion: "You guys can be decorative and entertaining on the sidelines during lulls in our manly action."

Which is why my answer to her question is always, "No."


  1. I assume that there was more conversation than just a "no." Did you explain all of that to her, or question her to get to that conclusion? I am completely in accordance with you and have always since I was very young not liked cheerleading for the same reasons you say ... but what is it that appeals to her? Are there dance teams performing anywhere in your area that she could see?

    My mother was a cheerleader and my father the QB, and my mother wanted us to be cheerleaders. I was all "hell no!" from a young age (for the reasons above, but also because I hate people staring at me), but my sister did it at least in middle school. She's now a professional classical musician, so it didn't seem to harm her.

  2. Oh, absolutely. The account of our conversations was condensed mightily for publication. :)

    She's a kick-ass soccer and basketball player and a fierce taekwondo fighter and she knows that she should be proud of her athletic skill. The appeal of cheerleading to her is the cute outfits and the dancing, not the supporting role per se. I'm happy to buy her cute stuff (within reason--I also have issues with the fact that the clothing industry apparently wants my prepubescent daughter to dress like a hooker) and I would be happy to sign her up for a dance class at our gym if we ever had time for it. I'm just glad that she understands that she doesn't have to cheer for the boys from the fact, her soccer team has only two girls and the two of them constitute virtually the entire offense by themselves. :)

  3. How about this girl?

    She's the daughter of friends of a friend of mine - who knew this would be cool in the deep South? She's the football kicker, a cheerleader, and homecoming queen. Seems being a cheerleader is better than sitting on the bench waiting? :)

  4. Wow. That's one multitalented girl!!


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