We’re All Trixie Vixen, Now!

 

"Dancing"Female “empowerment” has gone the way of any flashy trend: someone takes it too far, it loses any impact it had, and it becomes a parody of itself landing at the butt-end of a Babylon Bee joke or “South Park” episode. Congratulations, Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show, you were the venue to finally break the glass ceiling – liberating countless female “adult entertainers” and sending them to the high holy ranks of empowered women. Move over Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Trixie Vixen is the new (very glittery) face of women’s rights!

I’ve long given up on the entertainment industry exercising any type of self-censorship in the interest of good taste or what is appropriate for public consumption. I was a kid once (at least as evidenced in family photos) and, although I never took much interest in them, the magazines aimed at teens contained all sorts of information that would make any adult blush.

If you think there is any possibility the current environment still contains relatively minor risqué topics, the April 26 issue of Teen Vogue ran an article titled “Why Sex Work Is Real Work.” I feel empowered just by reading that headline. The entertainment industry is not made up of a bunch of dummies; they know a certain level of undress and controversy translates into viewers and dollars. Remember those suggestive “Go Daddy” commercials (they debuted during Super Bowl XXXIX)? The originals created enough buzz that most people didn’t know exactly what Go Daddy was but they sure knew the commercials. And how about the Clairol Herbal Essence advertising campaign – not exactly “Where’s the beef?

In the Entertainment-News Media-Politics echo chamber/hot-air tunnel, the Shakira and J-Lo show from this year’s Super Bowl is the stuff of dreams. The artists get the immediate spotlight and publicity while the NFL receives a lot of advertising dollars. News media pads their shows with puff-piece interviews with the stars and mutual pats on the back. The networks showcase how groundbreaking it is to have two strong females (Latinas, no less!) headlining an enormous event. Surely such great talents are role models for millions of girls around the globe. This is the definition of female empowerment!

Then post-performance disapproval by conservative prudes (natch) only lends fuel to the fire for progressive politicians and pundits. There must be racism or misogyny behind any criticism, and Trump must be to blame somewhere in there. Both women chose to perform something resembling a million-dollar burlesque show rather than showcasing their true singing and dancing talents. It reveals that those in charge think the Neanderthal American audience finds more value in an appeal to the basest appetite instead of trusting that we are smart enough to appreciate the actual singing and dancing (not the pole-type) talents of these women.

It takes an amazing amount of double-think and lack of self-awareness to insist a woman’s value lies only in her being a sexual object, all the while trotting out and celebrating – as role models – a show where the two women stars are highlighted as sexual objects. I thought it was hilarious that Shakira and Jennifer Lopez were a square-inch of fabric away from being blurred by the network while the male lead performer wore a full dress suit, hat, and overcoat. In my experience, it’s usually us women who are overdressed. Does it take male “empowerment” to reveal some abs? Ladies watch the Super Bowl, too, and if we’re talking about equality…

The Super Bowl LIV halftime show solidified gratuitous displays of sexuality and objectification of women as “empowerment.” That mentality is here to stay, especially if it continues to draw money for the entertainment industry and there exists a progressive media and news culture pushing a narrative that modesty is an oppressive construct of the patriarchy. The government is not going to be much help in this realm, either. It doesn’t do censorship well. Other than the already established Federal Communications Commission, do we really want the Feds dictating what speech should absolutely be acceptable? That’s a dangerous tightrope to walk. Last week, the FCC modernized the broadcaster notification rules for cable and satellite TV providers in order to reduce paper waste. I’d rather that be the big news than what speech or messages are deemed allowable any given day. And isn’t the goal of conservatives less government, not more?

So it leaves us as the custodians of our kids’ futures. We can feed them a steady diet of contradicting messages: women are not to be viewed merely as sexual objects on one hand, while pointing to celebrities who present themselves as precisely that as role models for female empowerment on the other. Or we can guide them through an overly sexualized pop-culture in which adult videos and images are available at their fingertips, teaching and modeling for them that an intellectually curious mind is true empowerment. An appreciation for selflessness, compassion, courage, honesty, virtue, and pursuit of the truth – the things one might not necessarily find in the nearest gentleman’s club or the pages of Cosmo, but around the kitchen table or the pages of a classic novel.

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  1. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    LC (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Eh she’s Colombian Lebanese. A lot of her performance are gestures and dances from both cultures. It’s when JLo came out and they performed together that things really really went off the deep end.

    If she was trying an Arab ululation, she failed. That’s not how it’s done, and that’s why it’s kinda weird.

    Yeah given the howl after, I’m pretty sure that’s what she’s going for. I’m okay with Shakira as a performer(indifferent to her actual music, but I think she has stage charisma) so I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

    If you look at all the parts of the entire performance together (even omitting the overt sexuality), there’s just too much going on. It looks like the younger generation’s ADHD on display. Musicians always do medleys at these shows, but I could barely process one artist to the next. The combination of Latin music, African Arabic music, JLo’s club music, JLo’s stripper routine, random rappers, and staging kids to sing for some stupid political message just overloads my brain.

    I’m just gonna go rewatch the Prince’s half time show.

    Is it even possible to go back to a halftime show centered around a rock band? I think not.

    It’s only been like 10 years since the likes of Springsteen & The E Street Band and The Who did the halftime shows. It’s just our culture has shifted so much in that time.

    No it hasn’t.  Not in this regard.  Does nobody remember the furor over when Lopez did the New Year’s Eve Times Square concert wearing, well, something rather borderline?  I think that was a good decade ago.  Lopez always does something like this.  Remember her plunging neckline green dress?  I think that was well over a decade ago now too Janet Jackson’s show was, what, 18 years ago now?  So this sort of spectacle keeps happening, and will keep happening.

    Honestly, they have been doing something like this every couple of years for a long time now.  I’m just surprised that everyone else is so surprised by this.

    • #31
  2. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    Franco (View Comment):
    a desperate appeal for attention. 

    Well said.

    • #32
  3. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    LC (View Comment):

    If she was trying an Arab ululation, she failed. That’s not how it’s done, and that’s why it’s kinda weird.

    Yeah given the howl after, I’m pretty sure that’s what she’s going for.

    Um, I am not aware of Arabs ululating in to a dildo…. It seems pretty clear what she was going for?  

    • #33
  4. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Eh she’s Colombian Lebanese. A lot of her performance are gestures and dances from both cultures. It’s when JLo came out and they performed together that things really really went off the deep end.

    If she was trying an Arab ululation, she failed. That’s not how it’s done, and that’s why it’s kinda weird.

    Yeah given the howl after, I’m pretty sure that’s what she’s going for. I’m okay with Shakira as a performer(indifferent to her actual music, but I think she has stage charisma) so I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

    If you look at all the parts of the entire performance together (even omitting the overt sexuality), there’s just too much going on. It looks like the younger generation’s ADHD on display. Musicians always do medleys at these shows, but I could barely process one artist to the next. The combination of Latin music, African Arabic music, JLo’s club music, JLo’s stripper routine, random rappers, and staging kids to sing for some stupid political message just overloads my brain.

    I’m just gonna go rewatch the Prince’s half time show.

    Is it even possible to go back to a halftime show centered around a rock band? I think not.

    It’s only been like 10 years since the likes of Springsteen & The E Street Band and The Who did the halftime shows. It’s just our culture has shifted so much in that time.

    No it hasn’t. Not in this regard. Does nobody remember the furor over when Lopez did the New Year’s Eve Times Square concert wearing, well, something rather borderline? I think that was a good decade ago. Lopez always does something like this. Remember her plunging neckline green dress? I think that was well over a decade ago now too. Janet Jackson’s show was, what, 18 years ago now? So this sort of spectacle keeps happening, and will keep happening.

    Honestly, they have been doing something like this every couple of years for a long time now. I’m just surprised that everyone else is so surprised by this.

    I’m going to speak anecdotally and only for the millennial age group that I’m in. When JLo wore that plunging dress to the Grammys, Janet Jackson had her wardrobe malfunction, and the other “shocking” things divas did between 15-20 years ago, I remember us kids being surprised. The majority of people I know, around my age, registered no shock or even discomfort at this show. Unfortunately, a lot of them thought it was either cool or just assumed halftime shows were always like this. As if they couldn’t remember relatively normal shows from 10 years ago.  Nothing seems to surprise or gross people out anymore, especially those under 35.

    • #34
  5. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    PHenry (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    If she was trying an Arab ululation, she failed. That’s not how it’s done, and that’s why it’s kinda weird.

    Yeah given the howl after, I’m pretty sure that’s what she’s going for.

    Um, I am not aware of Arabs ululating in to a dildo…. It seems pretty clear what she was going for?

    Haha sure. Not a hill I care to die on. 

    • #35
  6. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    LC (View Comment):
    I’m going to speak anecdotally and only for the millennial age group that I’m in. When JLo wore that plunging dress to the Grammys, Janet Jackson had her wardrobe malfunction, and the other “shocking” things divas did between 15-20 years ago, I remember us kids being surprised. The majority of people I know, around my age, registered no shock or even discomfort at this show. Unfortunately, a lot of them thought it was either cool or just assumed halftime shows were always like this. As if they couldn’t remember relatively normal shows from 10 years ago. Nothing seems to surprise or gross people out anymore, especially those under 35.

    Indeed.  This has been going on for 20 years now.  I’m at the tail end of GenX myself, which is why I’m also entirely unsurprised, and frankly not particularly bothered by the show*.  I remember Madonna doing much more, well more in her stage shows in the early 90s on an HBO special, for instance, and Lopez has been doing this schtick since the late 90s.  I mean, what else did people expect to see?  You hire her, and you get her and all she typically does.

    Now if either lady had engaged in cultural appropriation, well, that would be a different matter!  

    *Actually, based on the highlight reel I watched, I am bothered by one bit of the show, and that would be the pole dancing.  Not for the gyrations etc., but for the sheer unartistic boringness of it.  It’s just overdone, and I have to wonder if, in terms of stupid trends, we’ve finally hit peak pole dancing, and people can finally find something else to do with their time.  

    • #36
  7. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    PHenry (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    If she was trying an Arab ululation, she failed. That’s not how it’s done, and that’s why it’s kinda weird.

    Yeah given the howl after, I’m pretty sure that’s what she’s going for.

    Um, I am not aware of Arabs ululating in to a dildo…. It seems pretty clear what she was going for?

    You and I have very different search histories. 

    • #37
  8. Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker Moderator
    Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker
    @AmySchley

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    I am bothered by one bit of the show, and that would be the pole dancing. Not for the gyrations etc., but for the sheer unartistic boringness of it.

    I’ve got to say, it’s amazing the difference orientation makes. The stripper pole is vertical, and so spinning and twisting and performing acrobatic feats on it while dressed in a body stocking is decadence and degeneracy personified. Put the pole sideways, maybe add a second one, in equally skin tight clothing, and you have wholesome Olympic sports of balance beam, parallel bars, and uneven bars, in all of which by the time the female showing off her body is old enough to consent to sex, her career is almost over.  

    And while it may not have been the best pole dance ever, I have to give mad props to JLo for being able hold her body sideways perpendicular to the pole … at age 50! That’s an incredible feat of upper body strength that most men can’t manage.

    • #38
  9. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Good post, Jenna.

    I’m going to push back a bit on this part:

    JennaStocker: The government is not going to be much help in this realm, either. It doesn’t do censorship well. Other than the already established Federal Communications Commission, do we really want the Feds dictating what speech should absolutely be acceptable? That’s a dangerous tightrope to walk.

    My observation is that it seemed to work in the 1950s and 1960s. I’m old enough to remember that your argument is precisely the one that caused the prior rules to be eliminated, with the results that you rightfully lament.

    In order to enforce standards, you need to have standards and you need to enforce them. The alternative is chaos. Of course, there will be difficult cases, close to any line that we care to establish. Abandoning the idea of holding a line is not a solution, either.

    I very much appreciate this comment. I read it earlier today and I kept coming back to it. But I think what makes the 1950s & ‘60s different from today is a basic standard of decency accepted and practiced by American society, independent from government regulations. It was still acceptable to be “judgy” when today judging or to some extent shaming, is akin to being intolerant and borderline xenophobic. Society abandoned a cultural sense of decency and shrugged its collective shoulders at ever increasing vulgarity, leaving government standards to be the benchmark. In my opinion government does a terrible job at best, and when given more power, could be oppressive at worst. But that’s just my stream-of-thought. Thanks again for your thoughtful insight.

    • #39
  10. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    I am bothered by one bit of the show, and that would be the pole dancing. Not for the gyrations etc., but for the sheer unartistic boringness of it.

    I’ve got to say, it’s amazing the difference orientation makes. The stripper pole is vertical, and so spinning and twisting and performing acrobatic feats on it while dressed in a body stocking is decadence and degeneracy personified. Put the pole sideways, maybe add a second one, in equally skin tight clothing, and you have wholesome Olympic sports of balance beam, parallel bars, and uneven bars, in all of which by the time the female showing off her body is old enough to consent to sex, her career is almost over.

    And while it may not have been the best pole dance ever, I have to give mad props to JLo for being able hold her body sideways perpendicular to the pole … at age 50! That’s an incredible feat of upper body strength that most men can’t manage.

    Yeah, okay maybe they could add a vertical pole competition to the Olympics… but I fail to grasp the adulation for looks and fitness in older women, and especially to try to make strength comparisons with “men”. It’s not a contest, and if it was, you guys ( gals) will lose. Badly. Give it up.
    My wife ( bless her heart) comments almost every time on how good Nancy Pelosi looks for her age. ( She doesn’t agree with her politics). Why is this even a thing? Diane Feinstein looks fine to me. Better actually. Maggie Thatcher and many more elderly women can look dignified. Isn’t that what we are supposed to be going for? An 80 year old woman doesn’t have to look like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies , but trying to look like a 52 year-old real estate agent with significant help from Botox and surgeries doesn’t impress me one bit – especially if you are a multi-hundred millionaire. 

     

     

    • #40
  11. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    LC (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Eh she’s Colombian Lebanese. A lot of her performance are gestures and dances from both cultures. It’s when JLo came out and they performed together that things really really went off the deep end.

    If she was trying an Arab ululation, she failed. That’s not how it’s done, and that’s why it’s kinda weird.

    Yeah given the howl after, I’m pretty sure that’s what she’s going for. I’m okay with Shakira as a performer(indifferent to her actual music, but I think she has stage charisma) so I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

    If you look at all the parts of the entire performance together (even omitting the overt sexuality), there’s just too much going on. It looks like the younger generation’s ADHD on display. Musicians always do medleys at these shows, but I could barely process one artist to the next. The combination of Latin music, African Arabic music, JLo’s club music, JLo’s stripper routine, random rappers, and staging kids to sing for some stupid political message just overloads my brain.

    I’m just gonna go rewatch the Prince’s half time show.

    Is it even possible to go back to a halftime show centered around a rock band? I think not.

    If I had my way, SuperBowl halftime show every year would be College marching bands, and dogs catching frisbees.

    • #41
  12. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Franco (View Comment):
    Yeah, okay maybe they could add a vertical pole competition to the Olympics… but I fail to grasp the adulation for looks and fitness in older women, and especially to try to make strength comparisons with “men”. It’s not a contest, and if it was, you guys ( gals) will lose. Badly. Give it up.

    Who says women only adulate fitness to compare themselves to men?

    Franco (View Comment):
    Better actually. Maggie Thatcher and many more elderly women can look dignified. Isn’t that what we are supposed to be going for?

    Some women are going for not developing osteoporosis or other stuff that leaves them crippled and a burden on others at an earlier age than they otherwise could be. That is a reason for all people, women included, to admire fitness, especially as they age.

    • #42
  13. Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker Moderator
    Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker
    @AmySchley

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    Yeah, okay maybe they could add a vertical pole competition to the Olympics… but I fail to grasp the adulation for looks and fitness in older women, and especially to try to make strength comparisons with “men”. It’s not a contest, and if it was, you guys ( gals) will lose. Badly. Give it up.

    Who says women only adulate fitness to compare themselves to men?

    Franco (View Comment):
    Better actually. Maggie Thatcher and many more elderly women can look dignified. Isn’t that what we are supposed to be going for?

    Some women are going for not developing osteoporosis or other stuff that leaves them crippled and a burden on others at an earlier age than they otherwise could be. That is a reason for all people, women included, to admire fitness, especially as they age.

    Exactly. I think everyone ought to be physically fit, and my point about JLo is more to note men ought to be that strong. I think women, while not needing to be as strong as men, ought to have muscles to do what needs to be done. Cleaning, yard work, minor house repair … few things annoy me as much as women so fragile they can’t lift a 40 lb bag of cat litter or other equally mundane chores. 

    • #43
  14. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Good post, Jenna.

    I’m going to push back a bit on this part:

    JennaStocker: The government is not going to be much help in this realm, either. It doesn’t do censorship well. Other than the already established Federal Communications Commission, do we really want the Feds dictating what speech should absolutely be acceptable? That’s a dangerous tightrope to walk.

    My observation is that it seemed to work in the 1950s and 1960s. I’m old enough to remember that your argument is precisely the one that caused the prior rules to be eliminated, with the results that you rightfully lament.

    In order to enforce standards, you need to have standards and you need to enforce them. The alternative is chaos. Of course, there will be difficult cases, close to any line that we care to establish. Abandoning the idea of holding a line is not a solution, either.

    I very much appreciate this comment. I read it earlier today and I kept coming back to it. But I think what makes the 1950s & ‘60s different from today is a basic standard of decency accepted and practiced by American society, independent from government regulations. It was still acceptable to be “judgy” when today judging or to some extent shaming, is akin to being intolerant and borderline xenophobic. Society abandoned a cultural sense of decency and shrugged its collective shoulders at ever increasing vulgarity, leaving government standards to be the benchmark. In my opinion government does a terrible job at best, and when given more power, could be oppressive at worst. But that’s just my stream-of-thought. Thanks again for your thoughtful insight.

    I appreciate your viewpoint as well.

    My response is that we’re not necessarily in an either-or situation.  Things may work best when we take a both-and approach.  We had a decent, respectable culture in the 1950s and early 1960s, when there were both strong community standards of decency and laws allowing the enforcement of those standards.  Enforcement was relatively rare, I think, as it didn’t take much to encourage compliance with the community standards.

    We stopped enforcing, and the standards broke down.

    • #44
  15. Ed G. Inactive
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    Yeah, okay maybe they could add a vertical pole competition to the Olympics… but I fail to grasp the adulation for looks and fitness in older women, and especially to try to make strength comparisons with “men”. It’s not a contest, and if it was, you guys ( gals) will lose. Badly. Give it up.

    Who says women only adulate fitness to compare themselves to men?

     

    Not Franco.

    • #45
  16. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Some women are going for not developing osteoporosis or other stuff that leaves them crippled and a burden on others at an earlier age than they otherwise could be. That is a reason for all people, women included, to admire fitness, especially as they age.

    Exactly. I think everyone ought to be physically fit, and my point about JLo is more to note men ought to be that strong. I think women, while not needing to be as strong as men, ought to have muscles to do what needs to be done. Cleaning, yard work, minor house repair … few things annoy me as much as women so fragile they can’t lift a 40 lb bag of cat litter or other equally mundane chores.

    Yes, and for some of us, for reasons somewhat beyond our control, that is a real risk.

    Until my first pregnancy, I was the woman with the muscles to do what needed to be done. I didn’t try to compete with men (though sometimes I would accidentally outdo the weaker ones), I just tried to do stuff. And, if I couldn’t, I became supremely annoyed at myself.

    Childbearing with an underlying condition has radically altered that for me, though, one result being I notice muscular women more, because they’re excelling at something I’ve (hopefully only temporarily) lost. My first thought, when I saw J-Lo’s thighs on Candle/Footballmass, wasn’t, “Eww, how disgusting she’s wearing nude hose on them that’s meant to fool us into thinking it’s naked skin,” but “I bet she has to worry less about knee problems now!”

    The theologian Lauren Winner, in her book Real Sex, noted,

    Remember that study I pointed to earlier that showed that the single highest predictor of teenage girls’ remaining chaste was the girls’ participation in team sports? At first blush, team sports and sexual abstinence seem to have nothing to do with each other. But in fact, the relationship makes sense: through soccer and tennis and field hockey, those girls are learning to inhabit their bodies in good, robustly physical ways. They are seeing their bodies change and excel and face challenges and, sometimes, fail them. Their sports teams are communities that are teaching them how to live — not as sex object, but as bodies that are graceful and disciplined and strong. They are learning, through those tennis matches and lacrosse games, that their bodies should be celebrated, because their bodies do great things.

    This doesn’t mean, of course, that if only the church sponsored more softball leagues, everyone would stay on the chaste straight and narrow. But it does mean that the church ought to cultivate ways of teaching Christians to live in their bodies well – so that unmarried folks can still be bodily people, even though they’re not having sex, and so that married people can give themselves to sex freely.

    American Christian culture can get a bit schizophrenic about women’s physicality.

    On the one hand, to push back against “the left’s androgyny” there is some encouragement for Christian women to never forget they’re sex objects – and should be sex objects, if they wish to be good stewards of Christendom’s men — as exemplified by, for example, this editorial in The Imaginative Conservative lauding pornographic butter-churning as restoring eros and therefore higher Christian forms of love to Christendom (the editorial seems to have a wider agenda of shilling for Putin, so perhaps it’s best not taken seriously: the point is it exists, as supposedly conservative Christian advocacy).

    On the other hand, it also seems necessary to push back against “the left’s agenda of ’empowerment'”. Ergo:

    Pushback is inherently reactionary, and reactions may be healthy (like a working immune system) or not (allergies, autoimmunity…)

    For my own part, what impressed me most about J-Lo’s outfit and routine wasn’t the nudity and suggestiveness, but the carefully-crafted illusion of nudity (she was completely covered, chest-down, in industrial-grade nude suiting!) and the sanitized allusion to suggestiveness — the ones producing her Footballmass pole routine congratulated themselves on having left out the stripperly moves and highlighting the acrobatics of it instead. I have a CS Lewis quote in mind about these illusions, but perhaps that should be its own post.

    • #46
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