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Today I read an article that has stuck with me. It's bugged me repeatedly, consistently popping into my head at random parts of the day. I can't shake the feeling that I need to address this situation that was brought to national attention lately.
What is so amazing about this article? Why is it stuck in my head, on a constant loop? What is in this article you ask... This story comes out of the North East I believe. The heart of the United States, where all the really effective revolutions began and ended.
A professional cheerleader to a prominent NFL team has decided to sue for discrimination. Her argument was that the male football players were treated better than the female cheerleaders. The NFL team has decided to argue that the rules she cited were made to protect the cheerleaders from "becoming prey to the football players." Ummm, excuse me?!!??!
I guess it's a nice gesture if you've lived under a rock for the last 200 years. I guess maybe it could be said that, "It sounded good at the time." I am typically rather good when it comes to seeing both sides of the picture. I rarely agree with both sides, but I can understand why they both feel the way they do. This time, it's a little harder.
Let me clarify that NONE of my quotes are solid, perfect quotes. I use the quotation marks as a literal air quotes mark. Don't quote me, because I'm reciting this as it best comes to mind. Anywho.....
The NFL team have rules that include that the players and cheerleaders are not allowed to be in the same place at the same time. Ok, that's understandable. It also says that they may not post any pictures on their social media accounts in team merchandise, but that's only for the cheerleaders. The cheerleaders may not post pictures of themselves in lingerie (they ARE role models I guess), but that's to include swimsuits. Say what?? Wait. It gets better.
The cheerleaders and players must block one another on said social media accounts. Cool, ok. Here's the real kicker. The rules for the cheerleaders alone include, "if the girls are at a location and a player arrives, the cheerleader must leave." WHAT?????? Hold onto your hat, there's more to come.
If the players are at a location and a cheerleader arrives, the cheerleader must leave. O.k. that's a little annoying but they were there first I suppose. There are several possibilities and variables covered in these archaic, sexist rules that the girls mainly have to follow on threat of termination.
The cheerleader was fired because she posted a picture of herself in a one piece swimsuit on her private IG/FB/Twitter, whatever. In retaliation, she's suing for discrimination. The team responded to her lawsuit by stating that the rules were in place to keep the cheerleaders from "becoming prey to the football players," and they saw no discrimination.
Have they lost their minds? Are they seriously that blind?? That sexist?? Does no one realize how bad that sounds?
I understand fraternization, as I said before. I also know how it can blow up in your face. I was in the Army. I've worked many, many jobs where that is one of the first rules that are laid out during orientation into a new job. What I don't understand, and can't comprehend is why it's totally one sided.
Why are the male football players treated like gods while the cheerleaders are treated like minions or servants? Since when did the males decide who stayed and who went? Isn't this something that both parties could compromise on?
If a player arrives at a restaurant and the cheerleader is already there, why can't the men eat somewhere else? Same goes for the girls. If the guys are already there, move along to the next restaurant... it's too bad that we all can't just get along like adults. But since we can't, provisions must be made.
I hope she wins the lawsuit and gets the rules changed. This is something we should be getting behind as a society. This is a perfect example of a change that needs to be made, a mindset that MUST be changed and evaluated.
It is mind blowing to hear that something like this exists in this day and age. The men are allowed to act as Neanderthal as they'd like because the women must make sure not to tempt them into sin. This isn't, "Me Tarzan, you Jane" anymore. Contain yourselves boys, it IS possible to look but not touch.