• Stephanie Gillett

Woman to Woman: Thoughts on the Halftime Super Bowl Show

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

Like almost 100 million other people in the United States, I watched the Super Bowl last night. I sat down for a night of great ball, clever commercials, and glamorous entertainment. I looked forward to the halftime show. And when Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performed their songs - literally the way they would at any concert they gave on tour - my Facebook feed blew up with derogatory comments from a half dozen white men I know over the age of 50. They threw every "get off my lawn" comment in the book at those two ladies. I was not surprised.

I was saddened, though, by the response of women. In fact, I was upset with myself, because the response is so expected, such a given, that, as usual, I almost didn't notice it was happening. That expected female disapproval was being doled out aplenty: Shakira and JLo danced too sexy, they spoke a different language, they used a stripper pole, they put on too much make-up and not enough clothing.

In other words, this is all wrong, not appropriate for our children to see on prime time television:

And this, for which there was no critique offered beyond the quality of showmanship offered, was apparently just fine when it occurred the year before:

Last night we witnessed two non-white females at the very top of their games play half a dozen instruments, dance at an aerobic level most humans can't achieve in their teens let alone in their forties and fifties, sing and show us a level of bodily fitness and downright sexiness that's beyond enviable. I'm not surprised the men don't get it - boys can be dumb. But, fellow women, shape the hell up, will you? Women make 67% of what a man does, they shoulder the disproportionate burden of raising a family and, when single, paying for child care. They face dozens more obstacles every day than a man ever will, and you know it. These two women made it in spite that. They're at the top of their games, providing the hope and dreams for those that will come after us. And you're tearing them down with your tsk tsks and your outdated double standards.

Be better.

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