Reader Joy Nollenberg responds to Super Bowl cheerleaders' bikinis spark stew over sexploitation vs. slut-shaming:
Wooooooow. Former university cheerleader here. Nobody’s being “used” or “paraded around for the benefit of men.”
They’re dressing up in a way that’s fun and leading the crowd. Turns out, you can wear short skirts and be a leader. And a consenting adult. And someone with their own agency over their own body.
Perhaps you might want to ask yourself why you feel the need to hide yourself in beige sacks in order to maintain your own bodily boundaries? Have you tried using your words if someone treats you in a way that is not acceptable to you?
Worry about your damn self, lady. If a woman has consented to something, that’s her right. Stop trying to strip agency or even sexuality from random women you’ve never met.
In my three years as a cheerleader at the U, we of course had the occasional skeevy perve who said inappropriate things. Security was provided, and those incidents were handled.
But the vast majority of the inappropriate comments actually came from women. Especially if those women were walking hand-in-hand with their male partner, or if they were not blessed in the "looks" department.
I lost count of the number of times we were asked if we were majoring in "general studies." During my tenure, majors among my teammates ranged from chemistry to oncology, elementary education to mathematics. Several of us have graduate degrees now.
But that didn't stop angry women from trying to imply we were stupid, or lazy, or just a bunch of party girls. My favorite were the random comments of "whore!!" from women I'd never met.
So hey, City Pages, maybe do an article about that: the bullying women do to other women if they feel the other women are more physically attractive than them.
Other than that, maybe someone can offer this City Council member some therapy for her own self- and body-image issues?
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