I didn’t watch the super bowl. I haven’t in some time; Even if I wanted to, I lack the means, but as time goes on I’m ever more thankful for this.
The halftime show, as usual, was a debacle of sorts. Two (middle-aged) women went on stage in skimpy attire and danced erotically for the biggest TV audience of the year. I saw some clips after the fact; I won’t link them here for reasons that will be clear. As usual, most people are missing what such a display is really about.
It’s about dunking on you.
It’s also about stimulating and grooming your children. This might seem extreme, but that’s part of the meta – people who object or see this sort of subtext as what it is are “crazy” or “bigots.” Consider this:
- In 2020 any adult has unlimited access to free pornography of any variety imaginable
- If people want sexual titillation, they seek it out; most viewers consent to sexual content by knowing that is what they are consuming
- The Super Bowl is a football game.
From these basic premises, we can infer:
The sexual titillation of the halftime show was directed at those who weren’t necessarily seeking it out. The Super Bowl is a football game, so it stands to reason people were watching it primarily for the athletic competition, not to watch erotic dancing. It is reasonable that they are upset about seeing it because they didn’t seek that out; in essence, they received a bill of goods they didn’t want. They weren’t turning on Game of Thrones, and they weren’t directing their browser to PornHub.
Being a football game and the widest audience on TV, it is reasonable to assume a large number of children were watching. This means that sexually stimulating content was displayed to children and this was done with full awareness, if not done deliberately.
Although the crotch shots and booty-shaking are far from the kind of content you would get with actual pornography, you must consider the relative provocativeness of the dancing relative to what a child is usually exposed to, rather than what an adult who watches pornography is used to.
So, I think it is reasonable to say that this sort of display, in its context, is about dunking on social conservatives – today mostly Christians – and grooming children.
Also, I know cheerleaders exist, but again, it’s about levels, dosage, and context – cheerleaders are a mild pill compared to more explicitly erotic displays.
There are a few other things of note:
- Latina performers were chosen.
- The women were middle-aged
Why does this matter?
First, having performers that aren’t white creates a natural defense: critics are racist.
Second, the women are at least shown to be better looking and in better shape than your average 40-something American woman. It creates a specifically unrealistic expectation to make women feel that they are inadequate. Again, it’s about dunking on you.
It’s a humiliation ritual.