Have I mentioned how much I love Blogher? Finally, thought provoking and relevant mommy blogs.
I must need more coffee today. Anyhoo...
In response to: Child Kicked Off Squad When Mother Protests Cheer
I know that one day I will be faced with Addison wanting to join a cheer squad or dance squad, and while I love the socialization and activity aspect of it, I do fear the sexification aspect. Perhaps, I'm just over analyzing, it is my nature though. Personally, I would stand full support with this mother and any other that stood against these cheers. Our children have to grow up too soon already... do we really need to push them closer to that line of innocence early, too?
Read the below article and tell me: where do you stand?
The world has changed. In our effort to accept all cultures as equal and worthy of respect under the banners of multiculturalism and democracy as well as our human tendency to pass on practices while forgetting origin and context, we arrive at controversy. Let's look at the case of the recently great Michigan "Booty Cheer" drama.
Most of us who are parents share concerns about the sexualization of children, especially little girls dressing as scantily as exotic dancers or mimicking Beyonce's moves while singing her hit "Single Ladies." Consequently, we readily agree that six-year-old Kennedy Tesch's mother was right. The so-called "cheer" taught to little Kennedy's cheerleading squad that roots for the Madison Heights flag football team was inappropriate: "Our backs ache/our skirts are too tight/we shake our booties from left to right."
For questioning the appropriateness of this chant, however, the mother was not rewarded but penalized. Her daugher was kicked off the cheering squad. Well, that hardly seems fair.
If you watch the MSNBC video on the story, you may surmise, as I have, that kicking Kennedy off the squad was much more about punishing her mother for challenging authority and going public with the story than it was about any love of the grand old "booty cheer."
As Tashi Singh asks "Was it worth hurting a child, her parents, and ultimately the reputation of the school in order to keep some silly cheerleading chant?"
Singh is not the only one asking that question to which they answer may be crazy things happen when human egos are on the line. The other question arising from the story is this, "Is that actually a cheer and where did it come from?"
I was born in 1960, am 50 years old, and was raised in the African-American community of New Orleans, La. When this story came to my attention in email, I responded that the infamous "booty cheer" is a marching chant or cadence, and I remember hearing variations of it as a child and teen. One of those is this one:
"To the right, to the left, to the right, left, right.The words shift with time and audience. When adopted by girls "drawers" become "bra." In cleaner versions "bra" becomes "shoes," or "drawers" become "pants" or "belts" and "booty" becomes "hips."
My back is aching,
My drawers too tight,
My booty's shaking from left to right.
To the left, to the right, to the left right left.
I remember hearing this chant outside while playing with other children and as I got older, possibly on the bus following a football game while the boys beat out the rhythm on the back of bus seats. Checking around the Web, I recalled hearing other adaptations that came after my playground years that were used by cheerleaders along with "Bang Bang Choo Choo Train," and someone said in the email thread that she recalls the "booty cheer" as part of Double Dutch jump rope games.