Recently I was at Newlands to catch a live DHL Stormers game, and as always the rugby action on show was fantastic. Yes, my home team lost against a superior New Zealand foe on the day, but the rugby was played hard and made for a worthwhile spectacle to behold.
As per usual, all of this Newlands rugby action was accompanied by the DHL Dancers, the cheerleader girls that have accompanied the rugby team for so many years now – and once again, I found myself questioning the role that they actually provide (other than being a source for some cringe-worthy comments, not to mention the occasional little-too-long stares).
I get that they are a titillating sight, something to look at during the breaks in play, but the whole thing seems well… a bit sexist and not something that should really have any place in today’s modern, more equal society.
If rugby was exclusively watched by men and Newlands was a bit of a men’s club, then I guess it makes sense, but the reality is that if you attend Newlands for a game then the crowd demographics are easily split 50/50 in terms of women and men – after all, most men travel to the stadium with their wives in tow (or vice versa).
Also, a high percentage of attendees happen to be children as well, so again, the half-naked dancing girls intended to titillate adult men doesn’t seem to quite match the stadium audience.
I think the only way you could kind of validate the idea of cheerleaders at a rugby game would be to make it more representative of the crowd in the stadium – and that means including male dancers and perhaps even throw in some kids into the mix.
While we’re at it, to keep it all fair, maybe only allow muscular guys with an aversion to shirts in the group?
I don’t know.
Cheerleaders. How is this possibly still a thing in 2015?