At What Point in a Female Musician's Career Can She Stop Flashing Her Crotch And Literally Dancing on Stripper Poles?
I'm not outraged. I'm not offended. I'm just sad.
I don't have a whole lot more to say about it.
It's just sad.
Two female music legends, at age 43 and 50 -- who, combined, have sold over 150 million records worldwide -- still need to constantly flash their crotches and grind on stripper poles.
And we wonder why basically all the female child stars go crazy by the time they're 25.
Like, sure, their bodies looked good. It's very amazing and impressive -- even for someone who has a full-time household staff, personal trainers, nutritionists, makeup artists, stylists, and plastic surgeons -- to look like that at 50.
Sure, pole dancing requires physical strength.
But when I saw the show, I just kept thinking...
At what point in a woman's music career can she stop acting like a stripper and just be respected and admired for her music?
It made me sad for them.
It made me sad for all the other female musicians who feel pressured to act out sexual fetishes on stage and pretend it's "empowering." (Though, honestly, I feel less bad for the ones who have to pretend it's empowering than I do for the ones who actually find it empowering, because it's just kind of like... your poor childhood.)
It made me sad for the so-called feminists who preach about intersectionality and body acceptance, and who rail against ageism and the beauty bias, then praise the 50-year-old and the 43-year-old for "looking half their age."
Mostly, it made me sad for the current generation of teens, preteens, and children, for whom images like these are normalizing certain attitudes about women -- again, the very ideas so-called feminists claim to be fighting.
There's this writer I like, Peggy Orenstein, whose 2017 bestseller, Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape, explains some of the damaging effects the normalization and ubiquity of porn and porn culture have had on young girls.
It affects how girls feel they need to look and behave. It affects their self-esteem. It affects how they expect boys to treat them, both romantically and sexually.
A few weeks ago, she released another book, Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity.
Combined, the books paint a bleak image of dating, sex, and romance among the younger generations. Porn culture isn't just bad for girls -- it's bad for boys. Beyond reducing something really magical and special to mere fucking and sucking... it also causes mental and physical problems for boys.
Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Coulombe report in Man Interrupted: Why Today's Young Men are Struggling and What We Can Do About It that boys and young men who watch more porn are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction -- at the time in their lives when they're supposed to be the most virile.
The normalization of porn and porn culture has also caused major consent issues, even in the aftermath of #MeToo. The BBC reports that "more than a third of UK women under the age of 40 have experienced unwanted slapping, choking, gagging or spitting during consensual sex... Of the women who had experienced any of these acts, wanted or otherwise, 20% said they had been left upset or frightened."
The article continues:
That article... made me sadder than the half time show. I just can't even imagine consenting to something that's supposed to be pleasurable with someone, then getting all naked and vulnerable with him, and then suddenly, without warning, he hits me or chokes me.
It's disgusting that people think that is okay.
I'd like to think I'm assertive enough to instantly stop the violent abuse -- I've written about how and why women need to be clearer about their boundaries several times. (See also: Last Night, I Screamed NO In A Guy's Face Because He Wouldn't Stop Trying to Kiss Me -- Would YOU Do That?; Baby, It's Cold Outside: An Instructional Guide for the Modern Woman; and The Comical Hypocrisy of Guys Who Say Women "Shouldn't Have Put Themselves in That Situation.")
But... I don't think anyone knows how they're going to react to someone unexpectedly grabbing their throat and squeezing it. (Not to mention: today's generation of young women feel less control over their bodies than their grandmas did.)
There's a twitter account, @WeCantConsentTo, that highlights UK women who are killed or injured by men who claim "rough sex" or BDSM "gone wrong" in their defense. It's shocking that, in 2020, we live in a world where men can crush women's throats, and keep squeezing until the girl loses consciousness and dies... and the man can claim "rough sex" or "she wanted me to do it" as a literal excuse for murder.
What's also shocking... is the number of people tweeting at this account, telling them they must be "very boring in bed" or "prudes" if they don't think violence against women is sexy.
To me, though... If the only thing you can think to do to spice things up sexually is hitting and choking... you are probably the one who is bad in bed.
But going back to the point.
I have no problem with showing skin.
I think hijabs and any other body- and face-covering sacks men use to erase women's public identities uphold rape culture. I think modesty is for schmucks. As I wrote in Jesus Says It's Men's Responsibility Not to Lust, Not Women's Responsibility to "Cover Up":
I seize basically every opportunity to exercise in a sports bra instead of a shirt.
My latest obsession: Shift Light Color Clash Women's Light Support Sports Bra from Yvette.
I've even worn my share of short shorts.
See, told you. Obsessed.
Is there a difference? I think so. I think it's one thing to wear what I want to a hot yoga class... and another to wear something super crotch-y on a raised platform for the purpose of making my dance performance look as porn-y as possible, sending the message that, as a woman, a sex object is all you will ever be, no matter how hard you work, no matter how savvy or talented you are. (Unless you're Taylor Swift.)
The other thing is... it's just cheap and easy. It's kind of like how I hate books, movies, and TV shows that try to add "drama" by having a female character get raped. It's like, you could invest the time and energy into writing a compelling character and a compelling plot... or you can just have someone get raped.
It's boring. It's overdone. It's cheap. It's easy.
I know you can get a reaction out of people just by flashing crotch constantly... But why not take the time and effort to make something compelling, instead of something I could see any night at the local titty bar?
Maybe I'm just out of touch. I'd see Fiddler on the Roof over Shakira any day...
But that half time show made me kind of sad.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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