The Buffalo Jills Lawsuit and The Worst of Buffalo

Former members of the Buffalo Jills, the Cheerleading squad for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills have recently sued the NFL and two other companies to whom the Bills have outsourced the management of their cheerleaders.  The suit alleges that the Bills and their vendors:

  • Violated minimum wage laws with mandatory and “volunteer” (read: mandatory) practices and event appearances
  • Committed unlawful kickbacks and deductions from their paychecks
  • Did not adequately compensate for mandatory travel or cosmetics costs
  • Subjected the cheerleaders to bizarre hygiene rules and sexual harassment

The RAPE CULTURE BROS, predictably, have been out in full force in Buffalo because cheerleaders are objects and god damn it, they will stay that way.

you took the job for that pay. shut up and dance. how pathetic.

Kind of comes with the territory. If they have this kind of attitude and make it more trouble than its worth to have cheerleaders who needs them. They have no problem using their looks to exploit others but when they don’t like certain aspects of the job and find it demeaning theyre at a workplace and have rights.

Deep.

The prestige argument was also made, that is that the prestige of being an NFL cheerleader is payment enough and perfectly excuses their employer to treat them illegally, like crap, or both.  Which is ironic considering that these idiots probably couldn’t name a single cheerleader if you spotted them an entire game of hangman, and considering that prestige tends to come with respect.  That’s kind of in the definition of the word actually.

To me this is a black and white legal issue.  Were the Cheerleaders compensated and treated in accordance with the applicable laws, yes or no.  (Or, if we need to go there, are those laws built to take advantage of employees by allowing their employers to coerce them into working “voluntarily” without pay / do they allow those employers to subject their employees to sexual harassment without recourse.)

It’s amazing how quickly people turned this into a debate over whether or not someone deserves to be treated like shit because “that’s what they signed up for” (allegedly, since we don’t have a Buffalo Jills contract in front of us), or because that’s what they perceive to be the nature of the job, or (maybe most accurately), they feel victimized for not having a claim to female sexuality and want to see women suffer for it.

Show me your tits god damn it, that’s what you’re here for!

Right.

You know, maybe sports isn’t as much of a male arena as Men’s Rights Activists claim if men need half naked gyrating women to hold their attention at a sporting event.

In any event, I hope the Jills win their lawsuit, and I hope the other cheerleading teams that have filed suits win theirs.  Fairly paid, fairly treated cheerleaders should be beneficial to both those that enjoy seeing cheerleaders and those that find the concept to be a little bit icky.

 

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About Alex

I am awesome.

One comment

  1. Emily

    Thank you, Alex! It’s heartening to know that there are guys like you out there who offer intelligent, sex-positive and pro-feminist perspectives. The comments I’m reading on this issue have been so depressing. It seems that men and women alike are using this as an excuse to bash women whom they’ve deemed as being “stupid” or “slutty,” and therefore undeserving. It’s the the old Virgin/Whore problem: Women have to be obedient, unassuming little angels to actually *deserve* justice or respect. God forbid a glamorous woman in a short skirt asks to be treated fairly. Do worker’s rights correspond with hemlines and necklines? Are short skirts, blond hair and tan skin inherently evil and a sign of whoredom and stupidity? I believe that women have the right to be sexual and sexually expressive. And if a women profits from or takes pleasure in the expression of her sex appeal, so be it! There is not a damn thing wrong with that. Hey…aren’t the football players themselves making money off of their highly trained bodies? Man-meat? Brute force and animal instinct? Obviously, the answer to that is a resounding ‘yes.’ And in both cases, the football players and the cheerleaders are trained athletes with extensive backgrounds that prepare them for their given pursuits. And really, this should have *nothing* to do with the economic issue at hand, but sadly for most dullards out there, it’s the very heart of the matter. What the Buffalo Jills wear or don’t wear, their grooming habits, their measurements, their personal particulars –shouldn’t enter into the equation at all. This is sexism of the most predictable and retrograde sort. And call me a wacky socialist, but I believe that *all* workers deserve to be compensated fairly and deserve a decent living wage. Women and men alike. Justice for all.

    (PS: Warning to all the Rape Culture dudes and haters out there: That hot chick at the gym that you’ve been checking out may very well be the empowered feminist-intellectual of your darkest nightmares. Furthermore, we run in packs. You’d better think twice.)

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