Underpaid Cheerleaders, Unbelievable Ignorance and Unjust Verdicts: Editors’ Picks, 5/22-5/28

At TBD, Amanda Hess investigates the shockingly low pay ($75 a game) Washington Redskins Cheerleaders make in exchange for their hard work–particularly in contrast to the salary of the players, who are currently embroiled in an ongoing labor dispute with the league. Hess explains:

At the table are the players, the former players, and the owners, all of whom are fighting to get even richer.

And the cheerleaders? Well, whatever all the men decide, they’ll be ready to lose out on plenty of money for the privilege of smiling about it all.

Meanwhile, Kansas Republican state Rep. Pete DeGraaf compared getting raped to getting a flat tire. During a discussion on the Kansas House floor about a bill to ban insurance companies from covering abortion, a fellow Republican asked DeGraaf if the bill would force women to buy abortion-only insurance policies in advance of unwanted pregnancies caused by a rape or other crisis. His response? “I have a spare tire on my car. … I also have life insurance. I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.” (Hopefully making an ass out of himself is one of them.) At Pandagon, Amanda Marcotte opines on the obliviousness required to make such a comparison, and at Mother Jones, Jen Phillips provides a Venn Diagram to help Rep. DeGraaf understand the many differences between rape and a flat tire.

And is America ready for two women to be serious contenders for a major party’s presidential nomination? How about if those candidates are Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin? We may be about to find out. Salon has more on how these two conservative culture warriors could make history in 2012.

From Jezebel: A moving, powerful, emotional, and completely upsetting-yet-absolute-must-see clip from the upcoming documentary Dark Girls, which explores “the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color—particularly dark skinned women, outside of and within the Black American culture.”

Finally, “What Proof Does a Woman Have to Have?The New York Times reports on the astonishing not-guilty verdict handed down this week in the case of two New York City police officers who were charged with raping an intoxicated woman whom they were supposed to have escorted home safely. Change.org has more, including ways to take action.

Above: Washington Redskins cheerleaders during a game against the New England Patriots. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Keith Allison under CC 2.o.


  1. Rebecca says:

    I’m not going to feel bad for cheerleaders or stand up for cheerleader’s rights (I will stand up for the rights of specific people that happen to be cheerleaders). The players are payed too much, yes. But the pay rate for cheerleaders on the sideline should not be compared to players on the field. The players have a job without the cheerleaders, the cheerleaders do not have jobs in that stadium without the players. Cheerleaders are not essential to the game; they are a useless accessory (to the game, once again not speaking about people personally). Do they not know going in that their sole purpose is to jump around to entertain men and children while a sport is going on behind them? The trade off is the publicity to have calendars and magazines and other fluffy bullshit wanting you. Lets think about what we’re defending here.

    • rose Orozco says:

      Cheerleading is an athletic art. They are not just jumping around. I love watching cheerleaders perform during intermission. I stand by cheerleaders and I do believe they should get paid more for their hard work and dedication.

  2. I dont know much about the Redskin cheerleaders but if they work as hard as do the Cowboy cheerleaders – and endure emotional trauma while they wait for the whims of the Cowboys staff – then YES they should make alot more. I dont know if any of you have seen Making the Team but the selection process for Coowboy cheerleaders is bordering on abuse. Girls are routinely humiliated and put down because they dont have wow in their kick or are deemed too fat. They can be cut from the squad the day the squad is chosen. The number of girls in the squad is always up in the air. Kelly – the head of the group calls candidates into her office to tell them they are either out or to shape up. Grown women groveling like fawning puppies – saying yes maam is enough to make me up my dinner. Noone makes the girls endure this treatment but once said the team should make a decent salary and all the perks as well which includes any medical as a result of their relently dance steps.

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