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March 23, 2012

Paradigm Shift

The other night, the Editorial Staff were standing in the Marital Abode chopping parsley and shallots for an Italian chicken dish when in strode the spousal unit bearing the day's mail.

We dutifully fetched him a chilled libation and he set to sorting through the pile of bills, junk mail, and about 90 gazillion catalogs we get because we are too lazy to go to the store prefer to shop online. Nestled in the pile was a small Jockey U-Trau catalog, which Said Unit began flipping through. The Princess's attention was fully focused on the intricacies of dicing pesky Phrench vegetables that refuse to meekly submit to their cruel fate when the sound of husbandly snorting rudely pierced her blissful vegan reverie.

He handed us the catalog, and what to our wondering eyes should appear but a parade of extremely skimpy men's briefs in various bright jewel tones, sported by a veritable army of escaped ALASE addicts muscular, tanned Chippendale's dancers.

Well, that's what they looked like to us anyway.

"Keep turning", spake the spousal unit. Having just experienced the equivalent of an all male burlesque show, the Editorial Staff will admit that we were rather dreading the women's section. But our fears were for naught, for when we finally got to the ladies' undies, they were...... modest. Luxurious of fabric... capacious, even. Compared to the men's handkerchief-size briefs, it almost appeared as though some confused individual had mistakenly conducted a panty raid on Grandma's unmentionable drawer.

This amused both of us no end, as the Princess has often wondered what the world would be like if we were continually bombarded with beefcake the way we are with cheesecake?

Only one thing is for certain: all this talk of cake is making us hungry.

At any rate, this amusing interlude was quickly forgotten until we saw this story on our morning travels:

Cheerleaders, with their micro-minis, tight mid-riff baring sweaters and iconic pom-poms, have been impressing male fans and rousing excitement among eager sports spectators in America for decades.

But the half time show of a professional football game that these days centres around a group of scantily clad women writhing and waving their toned arm in the air to the beats of the latest number one hit, was once a strictly male-only arena.

In fact in the late Thirties, the job was deemed too 'masculine' for women whose appropriation of slang and loud shouting was seen as unfeminine.

Cheering was a 'valiant' sport, one that required strength, leadership and athletic wherewithal; qualities that were not seen as pertaining to women.

Being a cheerleader in those days was an honour almost as coveted in high school or college as that of being on the team itself and certainly as respected.

As publication Nation noted in 1911: 'The reputation of having been a valiant "cheer-leader" is one of the most valuable things a boy can take away from college. As a title to promotion in professional or public life, it ranks hardly second to that of having been a quarterback.'

... Too masculine? Being a cheerleader for men in the Twenties and Thirties was as respected as being the quarterback himself and a role that many past American presidents played.

Some of America's most famous leaders, in fact, owe their political achievements to time spent noisily stirring up excitement on the sidelines of their college sporting events.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Franklin Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan were all cheerleaders as well as actor Jimmy Stewart and Republican leader Tom DeLay.
It wasn't until World War I forced the men to the battlefields that women were given the opportunity to step into their cheerleading shoes. And they had to fight for the right to keep them on until long after the Second World War.

In 1938, one opponent argued: '[Women cheerleaders] frequently became too masculine for their own good… we find the development of loud, raucous voices… and the consequent development of slang and profanity by their necessary association with [male] squad members…'

Clearly this is one thing we can blame thank feminism for: fighting for the right of delightfully pneumatic young women to bounce around in skimpy outfits so other women could complain about feeling objectified.

Question for the ages: is the Jockey catalog a harbinger of things to come?

male_cheer.jpg

Oh brave new world, that hath such wonders in't!

MALE-CHEERLEADERS.jpg

Will American men respond to this revelation by demanding that we return to a time before pushy female types took over what was once a proudly all male endeavor? We suspect not. Certainly, we are not sure what to wish for.

Discuss amongst your ownselves. Oh, and ladies:

You're welcome.

Posted by Cassandra at March 23, 2012 05:34 AM

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Comments

I, for one, flirted with the idea of becoming a cheerleader when I was in High School. But it had less to do with the athleticism and masculinity, and more to do with the enticing idea of lifting, throwing, and holding those "delightfully pneumatic young women".

Posted by: MikeD at March 23, 2012 09:21 AM

Some days I wanna be a cheerleader, too.

Other days, I take my medication.

Posted by: spd rdr at March 23, 2012 09:32 AM

Well, OK, but I'm not shaving my armpits...

Posted by: Pogue at March 23, 2012 09:36 AM

spd, that was cruel :p

I see how you are. Oh yes, I see.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 23, 2012 10:07 AM

Well, OK, but I'm not shaving my armpits...

FWIW, I'm not a big fan of depilitated men. A tiny amount of manscaping doesn't bother me, but in this regard less is more.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 23, 2012 10:08 AM

I, for one, flirted with the idea of becoming a cheerleader when I was in High School. But it had less to do with the athleticism and masculinity, and more to do with the enticing idea of lifting, throwing, and holding those "delightfully pneumatic young women".

I was very briefly a cheerleader. It got old fast. I loved wearing the uniform (back then they were so pretty) but was highly suspicious of the peppiness and perkiness.

I don't *do* perky. Now if I could have been a sarcastic or snarky cheerleader....

But saying this kind of thing with a straight face proved beyond my ability:

Dig it to the right
Dig it to the left
Unh! Ungawah!
Raider powah!

[shudder]

Posted by: Cassandra at March 23, 2012 10:10 AM

I think in Texas cheer leading takes on almost religious overtones doesn't it?

Never had the desire to be one - have enjoyed watching a few female ones over the years - but I enjoyed watching them not for their cheer leading skills ;-)

I think when they came into the pro games it took on a kind of silly tone - particularly NFL football.

I mean these women shaking their pom poms over some 300 lb linebackers who get more in a year than most of us will make in a lifetime?

I was at an NBA game a few weeks ago and saw our cheerleaders - who, in compensation for jumping around in scanty outfits - receive exactly ....nothing.

Why do they do it?

Exhibitionism?

I was reading your article all the while thinking of a retired carer Marine wearing one of those outfits in the catalog.

The 2 ideas seemed mutually exclusive - like milk and beer.

Posted by: Bill Brandt at March 23, 2012 10:19 AM

E to the x, dy, dx, e to the x, dx . . . .

Posted by: Texan99 at March 23, 2012 10:29 AM

...90 gazillion catalogs we get because we...prefer to shop online.

Umm, you can get those catalogs online, too. Been able to since the last century....

For T99: my exclusive private college was a tad more...base. Blood makes the grass grow and Siss, boom, bah,
Kick them in the knee!
Siss, boom, bee,
Kick them in the other knee!

In the end, though, Neanderthal clod that I am, I've only viewed cheerleaders as interruptions to the game. Since I'm also a cheap SOB, I don't go in person very often, so the half-time shows I miss--I'm off to chase Mongols and French and etc around the globe for those 15 or so minutes.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at March 23, 2012 10:51 AM

E to the x, dy, dx, e to the x, dx

I think we've talked about this before. I still remember the "unofficial" fight chant of my brother's alma mater Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute:

E to the x, dx, dy
E to the y, dy
Cosine, secent, tangent, sine
3.14159
Square root, cube root, log of pi
Dis-integrate them RPI

Posted by: MikeD at March 23, 2012 12:41 PM

I always liked this gem from my Tidewater Virginia HS:

We don't drink
We don't smoke
Norfolk!

(Yes, I realize I will pay for this one)

Posted by: Bambi the Infuriatingly Perky Cheer Captain at March 23, 2012 12:45 PM

I was reading your article all the while thinking of a retired carer Marine wearing one of those outfits in the catalog. The 2 ideas seemed mutually exclusive - like milk and beer.

I dunno Bill. I am still mildly traumatized by seeing a blown up poster of my next door neighbor in a red tube dress, red pumps and a blonde wig. The only thing more disturbing was seeing one of my husband's fellow Arty officers dressed up as Tina Turner.

He was seriously hot. And those were some parties I would just as soon forget :p

It's a different service these days. And that is probably a very good thing for the nation.

Posted by: Bambi the Infuriatingly Perky Cheer Captain at March 23, 2012 12:49 PM

Trying to ignore dat college lecturer's Azzhat image,
*adjusts shades and trys to look away... phewwww!*
I'm gonna offer dis one,
*looks out window to make sure Elwood has the cop car warmed up*
for da Penguin's office, er, I mean da Sister's office.

Posted by: "Joliet" Jake Blues at March 23, 2012 12:54 PM

Way back in the 60's at Sunny Vister High, one of the cheers wuz

We don't care ifin you smoke grass
Just as long as you bust ass
Sissss Mmmmmm Coughhhh Coughhhh Coughhhh

Strange days those wuz...

Posted by: Larry at March 23, 2012 12:58 PM

"...the Princess has often wondered what the world would be like if we were continually bombarded with beefcake..."

Now wait a second! Shirley you have a WAG, or has your inbox finally dropped back down to Fahrenheit?
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at March 23, 2012 01:27 PM

Shirley you have a WAG, or has your inbox finally dropped back down to Fahrenheit?

I do not even want to know where you find that stuff, girlfriend. :p

I expect I'm weird but generally I deal with deployment-induced deprivations by trying not to think about men at all. Not sayin' it is always successful, but I sure get a lot done at work.

Posted by: Bambi the Infuriatingly Perky Cheer Captain at March 23, 2012 01:51 PM

Bambi -

My mother is from WV and despite being in CA since 1948 still has that WV accent.

And I, who was born in Los Angeles, inherited my "y'alls" (is it genes or osmosis?

And you and I both know the correct pronunciation isn't Nor-Folk ;-)

Posted by: Bill Brandt at March 23, 2012 01:52 PM

That remains my all time favorite :)

FWIW, the use of 'y'all' is a sign of taste and refinement... not to mention high intelligence.

Posted by: Bambi the Infuriatingly Perky Cheer Captain at March 23, 2012 02:51 PM

And you and I both know the correct pronunciation isn't Nor-Folk ;-)

Well, since we're going there.... My high school had a cheer about a rival high school:

Sh for Shelbyville,
IT for It!
Shelbyville! Shelbyville!
You are Sh***!

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at March 23, 2012 04:27 PM

And as for your question of what life would look like with more beefcake, I think it might look a little like this, which Assistant Village Idiot has just posted on his site:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U84pPxbU_eg

Posted by: Texan99 at March 23, 2012 05:30 PM

OMG. I needed that on a Monday morning.

Posted by: Frilly Panties of Fascism at March 26, 2012 06:55 AM

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