Thursday, May 10, 2018

So Can Everyone DATE Cheerleaders?

[Note -- before I start, I want to thank again all my readers in Russia, who have now, this week, returned en masse, and now represent the largest daily readership of this column.  I'm so glad you enjoy my takes and the subtle humor implicit in all you find here.  Welcome back.  I missed you. -- B.]


I don't know where Hanover Park High School is, except that it is in northern New Jersey somewhere.  I don't suppose that it even matters, except that New Jersey is near New York, where liberalism and idiocy coincide in much of the population (or at least the voting base), and presumably some of that spills over the Hudson.

If you have heard of that particular school this week yourself, it would be because their "leadership" has come up with a novel notion on, of all things, cheerleaders, in an attempt to become more -- and I'm using their own word -- "inclusive."

[Note -- again, for the Russian readers, "cheerleaders" are the (mostly) girls who do synchronized routines to cheer for (mostly) football teams at our high schools and colleges.  The routines are tough and require a level of athleticism, and cheerleaders are also stereotypically thought of as the popular girls in the school.  Does that help?]

So I will point out that while there are surely some things that I care about less than cheerleading, I care about a whole lot more things more.  Were there no more cheerleading, effective tomorrow, it would not elicit a peep from me, even though my best girl used to be one.  Yawn.

And I will also point out that "inclusivity" as a justification for doing almost anything in 2018 is likely a code for something else.  We all want to be "in", the old word we used for being part of the "good" group and not "out", which was bad.  For me, it is more important not to exclude people than it is to force inclusion on a group, but even that is a nebulous thought.

But this is, of course, "school", which means it is staffed by NEA-belonging teachers (among the most liberal of the unions) and led by people who surely wanted to do something else when they grew up besides being school administrators.  And schools are about as leftist as you want to get in this country.

So when some parents complained because their daughters had failed to make the cheerleading team at this high school, after trying out, we could have wanted the principal to have told them this:

"Dear Mom,

"We're sorry that your daughter did not make the team.  As you know, cheerleading is a strenuous activity that also requires a level of talent to learn and execute a routine.  Not everyone can do it well.  Our squad has a finite number of places on the team and, unfortunately, your daughter was not in the top 20.

"This is exactly the same type of decision that the football team makes when students try out for places on the team; not everyone -- even the writer of this column -- has the God-given size, strength, coordination and ability to learn and execute plays needed to be the best players for our team.  

"It is exactly the same type of decision that the chorus and band make when they have to determine their band players, and the chorus members who will perform solos at their concerts.  Some students are better at playing instruments and singing than others.  I wish I were a better singer myself, Ma'am.

"We encourage your daughter, if she truly wants to make the cheerleading squad, to work hard over the next year at the skills that are necessary.  Practice hard, work out, learn the routines anyway.  Go talk to the cheerleading advisor and create a program over the next year for your child to work on so that next year's audition will be a lot easier.  If she truly wants to become a Hanover Park cheerleader, nothing will help her more than to create a program, work hard and follow it for a year."    

Of course, that's not what the school did.  Using the sledge-hammer-on-a-thumbtack approach, they decided that everyone who wanted to be a cheerleader would become one, regardless of ability.  There would be one squad made up of juniors and seniors, and another made up of freshmen and sophomores.  Voila.  A triumph of "inclusion" over reality.

I can only imagine what will happen to those kids who make the team despite no ability whatsoever, when they start applying to college and get rejected, or they start applying for jobs and get rejected.  What exactly in their high school years prepared them for that reality?  Are they going to have their mothers go to the admissions office or the HR department, and complain that the college should let in everyone, or the company should hire everyone?

Come to think of it, maybe a bunch of unemployed people should go to Hanover Park High School and apply to be teachers.  Do you think they'd be "inclusive" about hiring non-union teachers, or teachers without a degree, or without any skills?  Sure they will.

Maybe the nerds in that school should all try out for the football team.  Is it being "inclusive" to require that you be coordinated and athletic to be the quarterback of the Hanover High football team?  You, nerd over there -- you get the third quarter of game 4.

And I have the real logical outcome.  Every boy who asks a cheerleader out on a date should have the right to insist that she go out with him.  That would be "inclusive"; every girl who makes the cheerleading team should show their regard for inclusivity by going out with any boy who asks her, right, rather than disappointing him by deeming him inadequate?  I mean, I married a cheerleader, but it took ten years to get her to go out with me in the first place.

There is no end to taking inclusivity to its illogical extreme.  So let's keep doing it.

Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
Like what you read here?  There's a new post from Bob at at 10am Eastern time, every weekday, giving new meaning to "prolific essayist."  Appearance, advertising, sponsorship and interview inquiries cheerfully welcomed at or on Twitter at @rmosutton

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