The History Of Cheerleading

January 1, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

Cheerleaders are an ubiquitous part of American sport. But their history would likely surprise most Americans writes Lisa Wade:

  • Cheerleading started off as an activity pursued exclusively by men. American Presidents Eisenhower, Roosevelt, and Reagan were all cheerleaders.
  • However after men went to fight World War One, women started to take up the activity.
  • When the war ended, colleges tried to prevent women from staying on as cheerleaders – some even banned them because it was too masculine a sport.
  • However, after World War Two, women had come to dominate the activity.
  • The ideal cheerleader was “no longer a strong athlete with leadership skills” rather they were cute and effeminate, causing men to bow out of the activity.
  • In the modern day gender norms have evolved a little so that cheer-leading once again requires extraordinary amounts of athleticism and skill. But it continues to be something practiced exclusively by women.

Read more about the surprising history of cheerleaders over here.

Source: The Society Pages