Our executive director's letter to Motley Crue about its use of the naughty nurse stereotype. (Our petiiton is now closed)
Dear Members of Motley Crue: I am writing to urge you to abandon the naughty nurse themes you have used in promoting "Dr. Feelgood"-related products. I hope you will reconsider linking female sexuality with nursing--a stereotype that has undermined the profession for decades--in the midst of a critical global nursing shortage. I saw reports about the press conference for your summer 2009 Crue Fest 2 Tour, where you appeared with two women dressed in naughty nurse outfits. I note that this troubling theme is recurrent. In 2007, Vince Neil initially used the idea of naughty nurse waitstaff as a promotional theme for his West Palm Beach club "Dr. Feelgood's" (thank you for abandoning that theme), and Tommie Lee's appearance as "Dr. Feelgood" in Keith Anderson's 2005 "XXL" video included naughty nurses. It's not clear if the naughty nurses will be along for Crue Fest 2. But since you have stressed that your shows are a way to help fans cope with the lousy economy, we hope you will consider applying that laudable concern for public wellbeing to the nursing crisis, and leave the naughty nurse part out. Presenting nurses as brainless bimbos reinforces a damaging stereotype. Of course people know these are not real nurses, and presumably most people don't think real nurses show up for work in lingerie-like outfits, looking for sex. But the relentless global linking of the idea of nursing with vacuous female sexuality undermines nurses' claims to adequate resources for education, research and clinical practice, encourages sexual abuse (a major problem for real nurses), and reinforces the idea that nursing is a low-skilled job for women with limited options, rather than a modern life-saving profession for members of both genders. Unlike medicine, nursing remains more than 90% female. And the nursing shortage continues to take lives worldwide. There really are countless other ways to feel good, and we hope the Crue will consider them. Thank you.