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Male Cheerleading Is A Sport! Essay

823 words - 3 pages

Male Cheerleading is a Sport!

Against popular belief, females were not the founders behind the sport of cheerleading; instead males who were so eager to cheer while watching sporting events created this sport. In the 1890's the first pep club was organized at Princeton University, and it was there where the first organized yell was recorded. The University of Minnesota organized cheerleading and the first school "fight song." Women didn't get introduced to cheerleading until the 1920s when gymnastics was slowly introduced to the sport. Cheerleading didn't become a predominantly woman sport until the 1950's. Today there are more then three thousand high school and college cheerleaders in the United States. 97% of all cheerleaders are female; however, approximately 50% of collegiate Cheerleaders are male. Although males were the founders of cheerleading they have different social and cultural costs and benefits than females involved in this sport today. There are many different stereotypes that males need to face; and these labels stem from the current day problem of homophobia.

When a man enters the world of cheerleading he is immediately labeled as being effeminate. These males are faced with the task of overcoming society's stereotypes of a male Barbie figure. Ken, Barbie's male counterpart is a muscular, preppy, and all American boy. These qualities often lead society to label those males that have these characteristics as gay. Many generalizations are made that gay men are not athletic and therefore would turn to cheerleading as their sport of interest. To many homophobic people cheerleading is therefore deemed as a sport for sissies. They claim that cheerleaders are there solely for looks and entertainment purposes outside of the actual sport event where they are performing. Another stereotype for cheerleading is that girls are cheerleaders to look cute and clap their hands in front of an audience. People forget that their routines require strength, skill, and coordination. The males in the squad often provide a tremendous source of strength when lifting and throwing their teammates in the air. The strength and coordination required by male cheerleaders is comparable to any male dominated sport, but this fact is often ignored by society. Additionally, our society is generally supportive of females who participate in sports that require the twirling of batons, marching, attractive uniforms, and the recitation of rhymes. However, as soon as a male is introduced into this environment there is thought to be a threat to his masculinity. This...

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