I hate to do this, because I said this blog would be mainly about my writing, and my path to becoming a writer, but honestly I feel the need to speak up, and it will connect back to my writing at some point, so bear with me.
You all should know that I am a huge Janet Jackson fan. I grew up listening to Rhythm Nation, pretending to be her. When other girls were playing house I was doing concert tours in my basement for the neighbors. As I got older I did stop emulating her, but I never stopped being a fan. When I went to her Velvet Rope Concert I was floored at the connection I felt with her up on stage. Being that close to someone that I had idolized for so long, it is a breathtaking, life-altering moment that I hope everyone gets to experience at some point in their life.
I was a member of her fan club after that, (so please consider me extremely biased when it comes to everything that I am about to say) and I had the opportunity to talk with her online more than once. If it is one thing I have learned over the years is that Janet has some of the best fans yet. I believe that Janet realizes this as well because she goes through great lengths to do things for her fans. She treats them very well.
Fast forward to the infamous super bowl. I was excited to see her perform, I almost taped it but I decided not to at the last minute. In an effort to be fair, I will say that I was a little disappointed when I saw her outfits. I was like why does she always have to show off her chest. I was also like "those are extremely ugly"! But I do have to say as a fan I believe her when she says it was an accident, for several reasons. First, although Janet has done several photos in the nude(nothing showing of course) she has never revealed anything more than her bra in any concert or performance that she has done, and believe me I have seen a lot. Second if you have actually seen the footage you can see the sheer look of panic on both her and Justin's face. Third, while I am not a huge fan of Justin I have to believe that he is a good, honest and decent person. He and Janet have been friends for a long time. They even dated once!(scary) but I have to believe that if it had been planned Justin wouldn't have backed off the way he did with the media and the press. I believe that he would have fussed up to it being planned. Instead he is running around like a chicken with his head cut off and letting Janet take all the fall out of fear. What number am I on? Four. Janet, despite what everyone may believe, is actually extremely shy. And there is a difference between posing topless with your husbands hands covering your breasts in a room where only a handful of people are watching and the millions or billions of people they claim watch the super bowl.
But let's move on.
Shocked by what happened, I have become more disgusted by the manner in which the media has handled the situation. Immediately it was assumed that it was not an accident but an attempt to break the rules and perform a nude exhibition. The lawyer in me wants to ask what happened to being innocent until proven guilty. It seems more and more the media is living by the guilty at all times. The coverage of this situation will be a hundred times greater than the coverage of the FCC investigation that dismisses charges.
But I want to look at this Janet fiasco on an even deeper level. The charge is that it was explicit and indecent material on the public television where parents had no way of knowing this type of material would be on. I understand that to some extent. I have my issues with it however, because so many parents are worried about what their children see on TV, and not worried about what they see online, which is far worse than a bare female body part. The argument is that this was slated as a "family" show.
I disagree. It's football. And let's take a minute to think about what football is. because what it all comes down to is a sport where a bunch of testosterone elated men charge at each other at full speed, with the only goal to knock someone to the ground and prevent them from carrying a ball to the other end of the field. That's it.
So are we saying that extreme violence is acceptable but female nudity is not? Because none of us were breastfed? No child has ever been exposed to a female breast?
Then look at the commercials that aired during the superbowl. A majority of them were either rude, obscene, or violent, with a majority of them promoting alcohol. USA Today even reported that several commercials had almost a Frat Party Feel (there's something I want my children to see.) The reporter compared watching the whole event to hanging out in an R-Rated Comedy Club. R-rated huh? Isn't that 17 and up? DO I detect a pattern here?
And what time did the football game air? It starts at 7:30 on a Sunday night. It ends after 11PM. I don't know many kids who stay up past 11 on a school night.
So I think you get my point. The argument that Janet's boob has led to some corruption of our children, and that this FCC investigation derives from concern over parent's inability to control what their children see is weak at best.
Try this on for size. Why don't parents turn off the TV and give their children a book? When did it become the government's job to determine what is or is not appropriate for my child. Or for me for that matter. When we start creating vague lines and trying to define what is and is not obscene, we set a bad precedent for future generations. Saying it is ok to allow someone to tell you what to think. Sure there are banned books in this county. it doesn't mean I can't freely find any one of those banned books right now.
But I have a problem with someone else determining what is and is not appropriate for me. It's parents responsibility to talk with their children about what they see and hear in the media. And it is the parents responsibility not the governments. I shouldn't be denied something I find funny or entertaining because you think your six year old shouldn't be watching it. Change the channel. Turn off the radio. Put in a movie better yet, read a book. play again, do something that encourages stimulation of the mind so that your child might grow up to become an active member of society with the same ability to determine what they want to watch and read and listen to, as I have.
That should have been a PSA for the ACLU, of which I am not a member, but that is another discussion at another time.