Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

Slut-Shaming & The Super Bowl

I watched the halftime show last night with my seven year old daughter.

Me.

The “feminazi” on your timeline always championing for equal treatment and respect for women.

I did not turn the channel when Shakira began her belly-dance.

I did not turn the channel when Jennifer Lopez climbed the pole.

My daughter’s only comments during the show were “What song is this?” “How do they change costumes so fast?” and “Who’s coming out next?” She dances all over the house on a daily basis and I told her if she kept taking dance lessons she could dance on a big stage one day – she asked how much they got paid. When the show was over, she turned back around so we could finish our game of “Old Maid” before bed. She’s not traumatized – ten minutes of dancing on television will not reverse the groundwork we’ve already instilled about modesty and appropriateness. She’s also seven. She doesn’t subscribe to any school of thought about women, their bodies, and our society’s obsession with objectifying them. She’s seven.

I know there’s a fair amount of debate about last night’s show. Comments run the gamut from highly entertained to highly offended. Many people are upset that the show featured scantily clad women, dancing provocatively on what is normally a “family” television event, complete with a “stripper pole”. There was even outrage about them singing in Spanish because “this is America” – {newsflash to the uneducated and misinformed: America doesn’t have an official language and we stole this land anyways so, you can mosey on out of here with your antiquated ignorance. Seriously, read a book.}

My first question is this: Since when is the Super Bowl a family TV event? At what age are your children gathered around the television, enthralled by four full hours of football, commercials, and a mini-concert? Your toddlers and elementary kids have next to no knowledge on what it means to be sexual. They saw the show simply for what it was – people dancing and singing. Maybe pre-teens and teenagers are into the game, I’ll give you that. But, as a high school teacher, I’ll tell you they’ve seen worse on TikTok.

{Seriously, unless you’ve bubble-wrapped little Tommy and are homeschooling him under a rock with no Wi-Fi in the South Pacific, he’s seen worse}.

Sons and daughters of America are exposed to explicit material on a daily basis on this ugly little thing we call the internet. I’m not saying this is okay, I’m just saying your outrage on America’s sex-crazed culture is a little belated. If you allow your middle-school aged child to have a Snapchat account, your arguments about last night’s show no longer have a leg to stand on. Furthermore, what’s the actual issue with their clothing? Is it Wal-Mart or church appropriate? No. Can you wear that to school or work? Probably not. So what are you really saying when you criticize their outfits? That a woman’s body is meant to be covered? Women have been throwing their panties at men on stage since the 60s but Shakira’s hips are where you draw the line? Adam Levine was literally shirtless last year. I’m all for decency and self-respect but at what point are we toeing the line on rape culture and misogyny? Ultimately, what those women chose to wear was their choice and you don’t have to be okay with that. It’s a COSTUME and there are debutantes wearing less on stage at your local Little Miss Pork Rind Pageant.

Secondly, why the anger for the pole on stage? How about highlighting the sheer strength that performance took? Why not be in awe that a woman old enough to be a grandmother could complete that feat? Yes, I know – she’s super rich and therefore has AAALLLLL the nutritionists and trainers and surgeries, blah blah blah. I didn’t see J-Lo’s plastic surgeon or trainer on that pole – that was all HER. And she looked damn good doing it. Side-note: if your children immediately recognize that as a stripper pole, I think you’ve got bigger problems with your parenting than the halftime show.

My overall takeaway is that a lot of people missed the point. I don’t think Shakira or Jennifer Lopez planned their set in order to hyper-sexualize your Super Bowl experience. I don’t think their outfits were selected to offend you. I don’t think their dance moves were a personal attack on the morals and values of our country and I don’t think it was pushing the liberal agenda {seriously, y’all are imaginative AF if you think this}.

I think it was a show – meant to entertain. I think their music, dance and costumes highlighted their heritage; a heritage you could stand to learn a little more about if you were surprised by their performance. I think it showcased that strength and talent don’t have an expiration date – that women can be equal parts strong and feminine. Powerful and sexy. Your thinly veiled slut-shaming has little to do with their performance and everything to do with your perception of their intent. It. Was. A. Show.  

A show that, by the way, featured children in cages singing “Let’s Get Loud”. If there was a message to be sent, it had shit to do with provocative women and everything to do with the political dumpster fire that is America. But that is another blog for another day.

I think that if you are upset that your children watched, you can use this as an opportunity for an open dialogue about modesty.

I also think that it would be hypocritical of you to take them to a public pool, beach or lake again, but, you do you.

One thought on “Slut-Shaming & The Super Bowl

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: