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Cynthia M. Allen

FORT WORTH, Texas — I didn’t watch the Super Bowl this year. There are several reasons for that, but the two big ones are the commercials and the halftime show.

The commercials used to be an incentive, a secondary form of entertainment.

But I have kids now, and having to explain some of the advertisements to them is an exercise in frustration, especially since commercials, as a phenomenon, are mostly foreign to them. After all, their generation is growing up in the era of commercial-free streaming services. Thank you, Disney+.

But the real reason for avoiding the Super Bowl altogether is the halftime show, which this year featured Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, Latina performing artists whom I can remember jamming to, windows rolled down, in my youth.

They’re older now, although still extremely popular and, let’s be honest, in tremendous physical condition. More than one of my friends commented on Facebook about how they need J-Lo’s workout routine ASAP. She’s 50, by the way. Sign me up.

But I’m older now, too, and wise enough to see that while their performances were perfectly acceptable for paying concert audiences, pelvic thrusting, crotch grabbing and pole dancing while wearing what is effectively glittery underwear, isn’t the ideal choice for the television event of the year — one that attracts a wide and varied audience, including lots of children and adolescents.

My daughters, for example, are young and impressionable. Even if they could understand that what they’re watching is a performance, it would be nearly impossible to explain to them that women don’t need to look, dress or act like that to be beautiful and strong.

Speaking of, I’ve heard the argument that their performances were empowered; that self-possessed adult women in control of their bodies and sexuality is the definition of modern-day feminism. I disagree.

Artists like Shakira and J-Lo know that their sexuality is a huge part of their appeal. I get it. The Super Bowl producers get it, too. They also know that while the NFL has an audience that transcends sex, race and socioeconomic class, the majority of hardcore fans are men. And seeing beautiful half-naked women dance around is exactly what they want.

The question, then, is why are we giving it to them?

We are still in the throes of the #MeToo era. Women have a right to be free from harassment and harm, so why are we still going out of our way to present ourselves as little more than sexual objects and heralding the women who do as heroes of feminism?

And why are we doing it in a super-public forum (no pun intended) where another generation of children will be passively infused with the idea that women are still mostly sexual beings — but hands off!

Don’t get me wrong. I think these women should totally rock it out during their private concerts and events — they clearly still have it. Just not on national television.

Cynthia M. Allen is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Readers may send her email at cmallen@star-telegram.com.

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(12) comments

Hive

Fear and numbers - the bully's sole armour...

Notice what comes out of Trump's bazoo lately? Common doesn't cut it! The medium of the dim!

Mr.Johnson

Mr. jdinifinity3, don’t worry about the whistleblower. He has a go fund me site and will most certainly write a bestseller book in the near future. Also Mr. Vindman was only removed from his WH position, he still has his position in the military. Mr. Sonland is a Billionaire, so I’m pretty sure you couldn’t care less about him.

Hive

Does not know hypocrisy when it s-its on her nose.

jdinfinity3

You kidding me man? It's the friggin' stupidist thing ever...

It's essentially like putting the victim in jail, while the perpetrator goes free.

What kind of idiotic justice is that man?

None.

Because the laws of the land don't exist for the president thanks to the republicans.

Who obviously they don't care about people, or their careers because they wanted to expose the whistleblower to the same fate, but they luckily got off.

Government is not supposed to work like a business.

It's supposed to help and support people, not take their jobs, laws, lives and welfare away.

But hey, we know how republicans work...

Mr.Johnson

POTUS sets US Foreign policy, not subordinates. Deal with it. Same thing happens in evil corporate world... you don’t like what leadership does...quit, don’t try to out smart the boss.

Hive

Geez! Trump is already firing people...which really means they continue working in another area...unless they retire formally, which I would have done after the third WH boss was fired, and now it looks like another is going...fear factor...

Nice!

Feel safe?

Our Fault, right?

Hive

As half of our world masks themselves off, this errant opinion-writer, who joins others, has daughters who will likely never enjoy swapping-spit with a loved beau, like some of us slutts have. And some of us remember each and every one...it meant that much.

We do get what we deserve, don't we?

Hive

Re read...want my time back This broad is a dinger...and I want the time wasted on the SOTU thing back too. DT is another dinger...wait for the bully to begin swinging at Roimney and our favorite House leader!

Mr.Johnson

Mr. jdinifinity3, +1. We finally agree on something. However, the 1/2 Time Show was lousy. They need to bring back The Rolling Stones.

jdinfinity3

Man, this article really, really friggin' ticked me off...

What a bunch of PC garbage. Some pretentious, overly sensitive mother, trying to dictate how we present sexuality as a form of expression. I almost guarantee, this is the type of parent, like SO many Americans, including conservative ones, that won't let a child see a slightly nude body, BUT, the same kids are watching Breaking Bad while playing Halo on the X-Box.

It infuriates me to no end.

So what have we learned since the nipple slip of 12 years ago?

That liberal, ignorant, personally insecure mothers are incapable of seeing sexually suggestive material, so therefore it must be bad for them, and their children.

And furthermore, them being equally hypocritical onto themselves, and society, for not tolerating simple expressions of sexuality and nudity, while turning a blind eye to far worse and far more violent attitudes.

Amongst a LONG list of other bad cultural behaviours, often glazed over and endorsed, that are not even friggin' close to the Super Bowl Half Time show, and a couple scantily clad outfits...

Hive

Norb +1...are we not relieved? But Trump's bullroar and Poon-grabs and corruption isn't teaching kids something...about us?

Captain Norb

Reminds me of reading about a woke mother who gave up on prohibiting Barbie dolls due to what's all wrong about their depiction of women's bodies. She had overheard the little girl telling a friend "mommy doesn't like her legs"

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