This weekend I attended a Science Conference in D.C. Upon arrival I looked at hundreds of booths set up, and I didn't know where to go first. Of those booths, I saw one that really effected me as a feminist. I came to the "Science Cheerleaders" booth and I thought how great it was because usually girls at a young age are taught they can either be smart or pretty and I thought this broke boundaries. During the cheerleaders rehearsals I automatically saw that their was something wrong with this. I went to speak to Valeria Jarrett, Obama's Senior Advisor and assistant for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and I told her what upset me about this image for women being set up in the field of science.
1.) The women were hypersexualized and wore reveling bra tops and short shorts. This showed them as a sex object instead of a brain.
2.) They were entertaining > educating. They did not speak at all about their careers and getting PhD's.
3.) The demographic of the event was wrong for the cheerleaders. The event was family-oriented, and had gullible girls and boys that snickered at the cheerleaders with cellphones taking pictures instead of educating themselves at the booths.
4.) Women's sexuality here was portrayed as exploiting instead of liberating which I found truly disturbing. This is the wrong message to send to girls.
Valerie Jarrett agreed with me and she pointed out that this is great however to show women that they can be different roles in life. I completely understand and I feel this was a good idea done in a wrong way. Had the women spoken about their careers and wore more cheerleader appropriate outfits, I would not have been as disturbed.