The Strange Mishnah for Cheerleaders: Tractates for the Buffalo Jills

Because of a lawsuit, the public now has access to the codes of conduct for the Buffalo Jills cheerleaders, who cheer for the Buffalo Bills football team.

The Deadspin website has published the documents along with comments on excerpts and a juicy title for their post: "Insane Handbook: Bills Cheerleaders Are Told How To Wash Their Vaginas"

Most codes of conduct fit better into the prescriptive genres we call Mishnah or Halakhah (in Jewish literature) rather than into the more dialectical genre that we call Talmud (in Jewish writings).

There are two Mishnah-like Jills documents attached to the Deadspin article: "Jills Glamour Etiquette Hygiene Rules" and "Jills Codes of Conduct 2013 2014."

Amazing to me is one assertion in the article, "A Jill is paid next to nothing—no money for gameday cheering, none for practice, none for the bulk of her minimum 20 personal appearances, none from the tips she receives but must turn in during the mandatory Jills Golf Tournament—and is classified by the team as a volunteer/independent contractor..."

The samples below provided by Deadspin would be somewhat comical, if they were not so tragically serious for the women to whom they are directed.
There are the instructions on how to facilitate a breezy yet enjoyable conversation (everything quoted below is sic):

14. Do not be overly opinionated about anything. Do not complain about anything- ever hang out with a whiner? It's exhausting and boring.
18. Do not use slang in conversations. Never use words/phrases such as: "like", "I seen it", "You's guys", "dude", "them guys" "pee" and"ain't".
19. Use "Oh my goodness" rather than "Oh my GOD".
26. Do not consume conversations and watch body language. Be aware of female companions and children. Always turn the conversation back to the other person. Never flirt!
29. Watch other poor manners or nervous habits such as: Nail-biting, knuckle/neck cracking, excessive sniffling and too many arm movements.
30. Always say "excuse me" when you burp, sneeze or cough. Even if you think there isn't anyone around.

Always avoid:

-Sexual references
-Talking "about last night"
-Don't try talk about your personal life: job, boyfriends, what you're doing later, etc…
-Inappropriate jokes
-Strong opinions
-Saying "I" or "me" too often.

You also learn the proper way to keep a clean, healthy body:

1. Wash hands often to prevent spread of viruses.
2. Remove make-up every night before going to bed!
A. Make-up left on pillow cases causes break outs. Even if you washed one night and not another, you've left bacteria on your pillow case for a clean face.
B. Make-up left in the creases of your skin creates early wrinkles.
C. Make-up left in your eye area can cause infection and affect your vision.
3. Don't use lufa's or sponges. They hold TONS of germs! Throw them away now!
7. ALWAYS shower after a work out and change undergarments.
9. Try to cough or sneeze into your arm, not your hand. If you use your hand, wash immediately.
11. Intimate area's: Never use a deodorant or chemically enhanced product. Simple, non-deodorant soap will help maintain the right PH balance.
12. When menstruating, use a product that right for your menstrual flow. A tampon too big can irritate and develop fungus. A product left in too long can cause bacteria or fungus build up. Products can be changed at least every 4 hours. Except when sleeping, they can be left in for the night.
13. Clean/rinse razor often while shaving. Especially after going to a new "area". Change razors often, they harbor bacteria.
16. Wash your feet daily! This will help control foot odor and keep fungus from developing in toenails. Cotton socks also help with odor. Nylons and nylon socks create sweaty feet which creates odor.
You get a good two and a half pages on formal dining etiquette:

1. When several of the same utensils are offered, start with the outermost utensil and use one for each course. In a formal setting, the silverware will be removed with the dish, leaving you with a clean slate.
2. When cutting meat. Never cut the full piece of meat all at once. Cut as you go, American style (cut and switch fork to right hand to eat) or European style (keeping fork in left hand to eat) eating is acceptable.
3. When trying to "capture" a small piece of food onto a utensil, it is acceptable to use another utensil for aiding it aboard. Never use your fingers.
6. Soup spoon. Dip the spoon into the soup, moving it away from the body, until it is about two-thirds full, then sip the liquid, without slurping, from the side of the spoon without inserting the whole spoon into the mouth. This prevents soup from being spilled onto your clothes.
10. Bread. Should be torn to eat and/or butter, not cut with a knife. Do not overeat bread at a formal setting.
12. Eat at the same pace as the people you are dining with.
16. Never talk with food in your mouth. If asked a question while chewing, simply hold up your index finger to imply "one moment" and then speak after you swallow.
25. Never debate politics, religion or any other sensitive issues while dining.

And you get some general etiquette tips, like "Don't ask for cash gifts as wedding gifts (in print), Rely on word of mouth instead," and 17 actually reasonable points about navigating a conversation with the disabled so that no one feels alienated.

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