Well then. In case you hadn’t heard yet, the Caps are getting a spirit squad. As the rest of Capsdom explodes, I figured that I’d weigh in as well. Basically, what Caps Chick says, the two of us chewed over (and over and over and over), and we’re both really of the same mind.
I have two major issues with the concept of the “Spirit Squad.” :
One, hockey is a very-little-down-time game. I understand for football or baseball you might need to do something on the field to keep fans involved, but for an almost constantly moving sport like hockey or soccer, barring an injury or a referee call that’s being reviewed there is very VERY little down time. If cheerleaders are usually around to fill downtime and there’s no downtime in hockey, why do we need the cheerleaders?
Two, here are three examples of other teams’ spirit squads. Take a look. There’s a question coming:
Dallas’ “Planet Tan Ice Girls”
Chicago Blackhawks “Ice Crew”
NY Islanders “Ice Girls”
Now, how many times did you look at those girls and say “Hmm, wow, those are some big brains she’s got there?”
As much as it may seem like my feminist agenda is taking over, there’s absolutely no reason these girls have to be “toned and athletic” (phrasing from the Caps spirit squad tryout announcement) to support the team. The only reason these girls have to be “toned and athletic” is to keep men looking at them. (and if we want to REALLY get into the feminist rant, the only reason men want to look at skinny girls with big boobs is because society’s been feeding them that message for their entire lives. But I digress.)
Now, if you really wanted to have a SPIRIT squad, and not a Boobie Patrol, why should you discriminate based on what the squad will be wearing? Seems to me that the ability of someone to fill a job should be based more on their relevant job history instead of on what they look like. And for that matter, why couldn’t this Spirit Squad have men on it as well? Heck, if we’re not forcing people into midriff shirts and hot pants, there’s no reason some enthusiastic guys couldn’t show their Capital spirit and get paid for it as well.
In short, while I don’t think Uncle Ted will let Verizon turn into the Boobie Palace outright, I think there’s still an issue until it’s at least a co-ed squad, if not a non-body discriminatory one as well.
(Tomorrow, let’s talk about the commenter on the Caps messageboard that said in response to this request for co-editude “The male cheerleaders are out on the ice for 60 minutes a night.” Ooh, I can already feel myself turning into a puckbunny, can’t you?)