But it's an honour to be leered at; what would you need decent pay for?
May 8, 2014 2:29 AM Subscribe
"NFL teams stepped easily into the creepy patriarch role. Today, they enforce expectations for the way their cheerleaders look (according to the suit, the Jills’ guidebook mandates everything from the cheerleaders’ nail polish color to how they clean their vaginas) while rewarding them, not with money, but with the supposed prestige of appearing as one of their city’s most desirable women."Amanda Hess for Slate writes about the cheerleader revolt against low pay and humiliating working conditions. (previously)
"The old stereotype of cheerleaders as bimbos has also worked in the NFL’s favor. NFL cheerleading is such an obviously raw deal, some might assume that women must be stupid to agree to it. (Tell that to Dr. Monica Williams, who cheered for the Tennessee Titans while fulfilling a research fellowship at Vanderbilt.) That’s not a stigma that, say, coal miners fighting against unfair working conditions have to overcome to get what they’re owed."
Teams sued by cheerleaders or ex-cheerleaders include, apart from the Raiders, also the NY Jets (low wages), Cincinnati Bengals for (low pay, "jiggle tests") and Buffalo Bills (low pay and being told how to use a tampon, amongst others).
Deadspin has the lowdown on the ridiculous rules the Bills subject their cheerleaders to, for less than minimum wage:
This is what it means to be a Jill. A Jill is told what tampons she should wear and how she should keep certain "intimate areas" fresh, and in general has to submit to a series of byzantine and comically infantilizing requirements and guidelines governing everything from "appearance etiquette" to "etiquette for FORMAL dining" to "communicating with people with disabilities." A Jill is paid next to nothing—no money for gameday cheering, none for practice, none for the bulk of her minimum 20 personal appearances, none from the tips she receives but must turn in during the mandatory Jills Golf Tournament—and is classified by the team as a volunteer/independent contractor, though the thickness and thoroughness of the handbook makes you wonder just how independent she is.All of this is legal and above board though, as according to the Department of Labor being a cheerleader falls under seasonal work.
Cheerleading meanwhile also accounts for more than half of serious injuries to women athletes.
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