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Until the cut motion in Parliament and the possible fall of the Government upstaged it, it looked as though the saga of Lalit Modi would be ‘breaking news’ on every TV channels worth its salt. Well, one good thing that’s possibly emerged from the IPL hoopla is that cheerleaders may no longer be used at the games. I say ‘possibly’, because the decision isn’t yet clear.
Now, when the cheerleading thing first started 2 years ago, most of the objections that came in were from the perspective that they were ‘against Indian culture.’ By that logic, Rakhi Sawant and the legion of item girls who work in Hindi movies should have been banned a long time ago, but then logic is not the strong suit of Indian politicians.No, my objection to cheerleading is nothing to do with Indian culture or even with the outfits the cheerleaders wear. It is simply an objection to the whole premise behind the practice of cheerleading, which is that men play, and women cheer. My friend Rashmi, who’s started up this group on Facebook, ‘Say No to Cheerleaders’ explains it very well – so I’m just going to quote her here. She is talking about an exchange she had with her daughter.
Me: “S, do you want to attend the Cricket coaching camp with your brother ?”
S: “Is that where they teach girls to dance when the boys play cricket ?”
And please, don’t point me to the few, token male cheerleaders – we all know what the focus is. (And really, are the male cheerleaders even around anymore?) Don’t forget the ads in small print that give out a number where you can call and talk to a cheerleader. Is this anything at all to do with cricket or even cricket-as-entertainment? No, just peddling of women.
This is one Western import we don’t need. We have enough sexism of our own, thank you.
Founder, Editor of Women's Web, Aparna believes in the power of ideas and conversations
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