A Bad Case of Loving Nurses
February 28, 2012 -- Tonight, as the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks played the New Jersey Nets, the Mavericks Dancers entertained the crowd and a large television audience at half-time by dressing in naughty nurse outfits and doing a sexually-oriented dance to the tune of Robert Palmer's "Bad Case of Loving You." Unfortunately, the tired but persistent naughty nurse stereotype in this dance undermines real nurses' claims to the resources and respect they need to save lives. We urge the Mavericks to avoid future use of naughty nurse imagery, and to make amends for the damage caused, perhaps with a donation to a Dallas area nursing school.
Victory! Click here to listen the October 10, 2012 voicemail from Steve Letson, Vice President of Operations and Arena Development of the Dallas Mavericks, to say the dancers are ending their use of the naughty nurse outfits. Our full analysis is below.
At the game in Dallas, the Dancers entertained the crowd and the television audience by performing an athletic but sexually-oriented dance on court for about a minute, as Robert Palmer's "Bad Case of Loving You" played, completing the health care theme. The Dancers wore red and white short shorts and skimpy tops, along with nurses' caps, all decorated with crosses. In fact, while the crosses on the dancers' shorts were white, the ones on their caps were actually red, which presents the additional risk that entities like Johnson & Johnson and the American Red Cross might begin legal tussling over the use of the red cross image.
In any case, the Mavericks Dancers' naughty nurse routine is a personal foul. The association of such sexual imagery with nursing impedes efforts to persuade the public that nursing is a modern profession for college-educated women and men. We understand that the outfits were intended to be fun, but this "joke" is one that the global mass media has repeated hundreds of times over the last few decades, creating a damaging stereotype that nursing is all about female sexuality. One result is that real nurses have trouble getting the respect and resources they need to save lives. It is difficult to take seriously a profession that is so often the target of this kind of sexual imagery, which also discourages able men and women from entering nursing.
No pill is going to cure this ill. Instead, we hope that in the future the Dancers will wear other outfits, since the nursing ones are obviously unnecessary to their mission. And there is still enough time on the clock for the Mavericks to make amends to the nursing profession for the damage already caused. We suggest a significant donation to a local nursing school.
Thank you for helping us end this depiction of the naughty nurse!