The Loon Star State stands ready to ban "sexually explicit" cheerleading
Living proof that truth is stranger than fiction, last Tuesday (5/3/2005), by a 65-56 vote, the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill to restrict, "overtly sexually suggestive" cheerleading to more ladylike performances—whatever those are. Under the bill, the state education commissioner can request that school districts review high school routines.
Evidently, the state lately has been experiencing an epidemic of strippers masquerading as pompom girls at high schools with relaxed moral standards. These girls were probably touching themselves (or one another!) or otherwise gesturing in a manner to suggest "putting it through the uprights" was something to be hotly anticipated off the field as well as on.
Well, I'll be…
Part of the problem, it's Texas, a state that ranks a good high school pep rally up there with successful neurosurgery. A great many people in the state adore the cheerleader concept like the image of the Baby Jesus in swaddling clothes. Recall the Channeltown (near Houston) woman who hired a hit man to kill her daughter's rival on the local cheerleading squad.(1) These people take their girls' sports' hollerin' and prancin' seriously.
Not to mention their girls' public expressions of carnal potential.
This brings to mind the Janet Jackson incident at the 2004 SuperBowl (XXXVIII). The US legislative furor caused by Janet's unexpectedly bared breast must have rubbed off on members of legislatures in every state, making them extraordinarily sensitive to any kind of public assertions of sexuality especially from, like, you know, women.
Let's think about that tempest in a teapot for a minute: For most of the adult American male population, not really being monkeys ready to jump someone's bones in a microsecond, the Janet exposure was a cynical contrivance. "Who the flock cares?!" The bad taste lay not in sex but in the sneaky made-for-TV defilement of a perfectly good football game.
The tragedy of the Janet message to children has nothing to do with sex or seeing a woman's breast in an allegedly provocative situation, rather with the fact she and her conniving lackeys tricked us into sitting still and paying for a bad show. The message is the antipathy of healthy sex: it's opportunistic pseudosex. But good kids will get over it, just as they will overcome the crass commercialism that reeks thru their whole young world.
In contrast, healthy sport sexuality is conveyed by the highly charged, highly skilled Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and their counterparts around the NFL. That's energy, that's beauty, and, you betcha, that's sex. Hallelujah, brother! And if high school girls, in the natural hormonal flowering of their wondrous biology, want to emulate the pros, go for it. This is the joyful essence of life, not some dirty secret to stifle with a theocratic chastity belt.
You'd think such goofy legislation originates from fanatic Republicans flailing Bibles at our noses, but noooo! These goofballs are Democrats. Equal opportunity doofuses. Representative, and Reverend, Al ramrodded the bill, stating, "Girls can get out and do all of these overly sexual performances and we applaud them, and that's not right." [You know Reverend Al, for being a man of the cloth, your mind is sure in the gutter. —Ed.]
He further argues bawdy performances distract students and lead to pregnancies, dropouts, and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Basically, "Al is not well." Pregnancies, dropouts, and STDs are caused by sexual ignorance, not sexual celebration. If the concern is about lascivious behavior, the ACLU is correct in pointing out Texas law already prevents public lewdness.
Al is not well, but neither are his 64 associates. Has the level of political intellect dropped so far in this country that buffoons and would-be sexual/religious tyrants have a majority!? (Whoops. President and Congress. Sorry. Never mind.)
Back to Texas:
Practically, if a high school pushes the ribald-performance envelope too far—ribald performances are not defined in the bill but per Rep Al, "Any adult that's been involved with sex in their lives, they know it when they see it,"—the sports-loving public will brush them back. Most guys easily distinguish a sports stadium from a strip club, and understand when one is more appropriate to their primal needs than the other.
If cheerleaders want to bump and grind for the town lechers instead of rocking and rolling naturally, artistically, and yes, unavoidably sexily, for the team's rabid fans, the stands will soon empty. People, especially Texans, like winners a lot more than they like The Bimbettes.
[This just in from Mom! (5/6/05, paraphrasing):
I'd guess this guy had a hormonal outbreak watching some underage, teenage cheerleader strutting her stuff, like cheerleaders have been doing for decades, if not hundreds of years. In the typical male fashion, he wants to blame the woman for his own lecherous thoughts and fantasies. When will these men just grow up and join the rest of the human race?
Mom then went into a scorched earth mode, commenting about Reverend Al and his presumed moral character, but I'll spare the reader the vernaculars. I'm figuring Mom dealt with a few of Al's types when she was a young one and probably recognizes riff-raff when she hears it. —Ed.]
- This true story was made into a movie, The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, starring Holly Hunter, directed by Michael Ritchie. (1993) back to text
- Editorial Note: We can only presume Reverend Al is grandstanding, and at least on some level using this ruse of a cause to gather name recognition for himself. Given that most any entry level marketing course will teach you that pure unadulterated name recognition will win most current political races (and purchasing decisions), we decline to further this charlatan's political career and have intentionally not identified him by last name. Best Regards, MJT
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