From Texas comes news that the state House has passed a bill to take the rah-rah out of “overtly sexually suggestive” cheerleading.
There is only one meaning to be taken from this development: That most social ills have been eliminated in the Lone Star State and now lawmakers can concentrate on curbing the indecent use of pompoms.
Quite right, too! There is nothing worse than going to a sporting event and being distracted away from the good, clean violence. Why, if overt cheerleading wasn’t so American, it would be un-American.
Don’t get me wrong: I love cheerleading. However, I will say that as I grow older, and the girls look more like my daughter, I cannot appreciate it with the same enthusiasm I once did. I find that I must avert my eyes lest a blush come over my wizened features.
From the perspective of one living in Pennsylvania, Texas is a place to be envied. Here in the North, we continue to be mired in more traditional problems _ ones that do not require the close official inspection of young women in order to determine whether unlawful acts of cheerleading have been committed.
Spitefully, many people in this region do not share an exalted view of Texas because it is where our aw-shucks president first won his spurs. Not me. I take it as an inspiration. Any state that embraces a cowboy born in New Haven, Conn., and raises him up to national prominence by virtue of his folksy charm and one or two simple thoughts is OK with me.
Indeed, the one occasion I visited Texas I had a swell time. The people are very modest and they will tell you so at great length. The gals, in particular, have wonderful accents; it sounded to my bashful ears as if honey were being poured down my ear holes. I found the lilt of their voices enchanting, even if my ears did get sticky and attract bees.
I can see why Texas lawmakers would want to put the clamps _ or is it burkas? _ on their cheerleaders. With their seductive melodic chants and nifty moves, they might unleash the birds and the bees both. Why, innocent young fellows in the stands could be provoked to un-football-like thoughts.
The problem, as I see it, is knowing where to draw the line. One person’s sexually suggestive cheerleading is another person’s nimble athletic maneuver. A good Christian cheerleader, dressed demurely head to toe in an overcoat, must still overcome the paradox that she is a young woman leaping around in front of a bunch of guys. This is not her fault, of course, and she is not to be blamed that she did not take up field hockey.
Still, tasteful cheerleading is a fine line to dance, and it would be a terrible tragedy if a faith-based pep squad were caught up in any sanction aimed at heathen vixens.
Although the proposed law is not now harsh on cheerleaders, as it goes through the legislative process it is entirely possible that it might be toughened up in the traditional Texan way just for the fun of offending liberals. Personally, I think 99 years of imprisonment for each bump and grind would be excessive, even if entirely in keeping with Texan judicial tradition.
I see another problem. I know nothing of the lawmaker behind this legislation but I do note that he is a Democrat, from the same party of polecats that support the gay agenda _ you know, the demand that gay people be treated like human beings with dignity and respect.
Could it be that he is cracking down on cheerleaders so that young men, at an impressionable age, will watch the boys on the field more than the girls on the sidelines, if you get my drift? Why, if the girls are not allowed to be a little bit frisky, will our young men adopt the horrid social customs of places like Saudi Arabia where cheerleading is forbidden? Hey, I’m just asking.
The Texan legislators must take care that they do not turn it into the Lone Pompom State and make the art of cheerleading something that is limited to formal occasions such as executions. (“Give me an E, give me an X … “)
After all, boys will be boys and girls will be girls _ and that is something to cheer about.
(Reg Henry is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. E-mail rhenry(at)post-gazette.com)