And If You Did Know?

In Memory of Sharon Michele McAvoy Nichols .:. December 24, 1949 – October 10, 2005

February 28, 2004

Janet Jackson’s Shame

Filed under: her words,social issues — mark @ 11:13 am

Last Sunday’s Super Bowl turned out to offer us a controversy. How unusual. This particular controversy revolves around a human breast. The fact that so many people are upset about this is very curious. We are ambivalent about the female breast. The fact that its exposure on national television has brought forth so many angry and sexist comments is facinating. Ms. Jackson may or may not have known this was going to happen, but the fact that it did has brought about some new types of dialogue.

I feel embarassed for Ms. Jackson. If she knew and let it happen then my embarassment is for Ms. Jackson’s need for external validation being so great that she would degrade herself this much. If she did not know then it is about how awful she must feel about this. Either way I feel badly about what happened to her. I hope that she can gain some understanding about herself because of this.

I feel less disposed to feel embarassment for Justin Timberlake. I feel angry at him for the stunt. I know that in recent years the level of civility in this country has decreased significantly. I know that frat boy antics have dominated the culture. I also know that women being objectified as mere sexual playthings has become commonplace. It has reached an all time low and this incident has made that very clear. If you look at the current music videos the women are just there as sexual objects. In all types of advertisments women are just bodies. We have lost any type of view of women as being people. Of course men are treated just as badly. Men are viewed as adolescent miscreants. The current view of men being just macho neanderthals is insulting to men. I know that some men may indeed fit this image, however, it does not fit all men. I also know that Madison Ave. presents very limited views of people for their own purposes. This helps them sell products. Look at how many people wear certain type of clothes. For instance, jeans. This is the result of having people see things from a certain perspective. If they can shape the perspective then they can have us buying what they sell. One of the problems with this is that society then responds to the basest common demoniator. SUV’s are just such a product. They are bad for the environment, they get terrible gas mileage, and they are not that safe, yet we cannot buy enough of them. Madison Ave. spends millions on understanding how to manipulate us. They are doing a great job. But what is the cost to us?