Back up the Media Wagon, I think we've missed the point:
Comments on Super Bowl 38 - Janet/Justin "Stunt"
After seeing the Janet/Justin "stunt," I was appalled, but apparently not for
the reasons that most people seem to be talking about.
What I saw on Super Bowl 38 was the "live" telecast of a man attempting to rape
a woman. However, what I heard in the aftermath on all the news outlets was the
constant chatter that "Janet Jackson" had exposed her breast.
Well, first Janet Jackson did not expose her breast. A male singer did. And, in
doing so, Justin Timberlake took on the role of the lowest form of predator our
society has to offer. That, of the rapist.
In light of his actions, I think this assessment of a rapist is more than fair.
Especially, when the male in question proclaimed loud and clear "I'll have your
naked before this song ends."
Some might argue that the whole theatrical event was just an attempt at
entertainment. Then I say. "What has happened to our moral values?" Since when
has the popular culture's taste for entertainment openly included humiliating
women on national television?
I thought the gladiatorial games of the Roman Empire had been long lost in
history, but CBS and MTV has single-handedly resurrected the sordid practice of
a Coliseum where men and women are mistreated for the glory and edification of
As for Janet Jackson, I feel sorry for her inability to see that "violent acts"
against a woman are a terrible thing to behold. Didn't something register in her
head or "spirit" when some MTV choreographer suggested that it would be "neat"
to show a woman being assaulted? Where was the woman in her? Why wasn't there a
backlash against the paternalistic society in which she lives. Why didn't she
take a stand and say "NO! I will not glorify rape as entertainment!"
And where was Justin Timberlake's sensitivity? Why would he be a part of such
degradation? Where are his principles? I'm sure that his parents were none too
proud of their son. And, if he had told them before hand, what he was going to
do, I'm sure his parents would have said "Is this the way we raised you?"
And, if we question Janet and Justin, it's only fair to question the Media, as
well. Why does the Media and its representatives constantly sit back and cheer
on the stupidity of the "male" instead of standing up and challenging it? Years
ago people were culturally brainwashed to accept Slavery, but we overcame that
stupid notion to become a more perfect union.
It's time we realize that the chains of bondage we have placed on women for
years is also a stupid notion. It's time for the men of this country to start
acting like real men and abolish the notion that a woman can be used and
humiliated for their own pleasure. Denial of such an issue only fosters other
social maladies like prostitution, battered wives, and child abuse.
I hope that when the FCC begins to investigate the issues behind the Super Bowl
stunt, that they come to terms with the culpability of the "male" powerbase in
our culture. Of course, both Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake should be
ashamed for their role. I suggest that both of them do penance by working in a
battered woman's shelter for a month. It will do them both a world of good.
Bottom line: By participating in the so called "entertainment of humiliation,"
Janet and Justin have only reinforced the problems of our paternalistic society
which unconsciously motivates men to treat women like possessions and do with
them what they will.
Justin Timberlake's actions reminded me vividly of the callous nature of men as
depicted in the 1998 Jodie Foster movie Accused about a woman who was raped in a
bar by numerous men who willingly took their turns in her degradation, despite
In a sense, we, as a society were like those men. We watched, we enjoyed the
performance and when it was all over, we denied that anything was really wrong.
After all it was only a breast...and she was asking for it.
-- Jerome Holst, Librarian/Webmaster
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