If you, like me, only half watched the Super Bowl while doing homework, you may not have paid complete attention to why this year was a lot different than previous years. This year, while we saw an obvious shift in more marketing towards women, we also saw things that were blatantly sexist or exploitative. Here are three reasons why this year’s Super Bowl was more than just a man’s game.
A couple days ago, Taylor blogged about the ads that were pretty sexist to say the least. One I’d like to add is the Calvin Klein underwear ad that was clearly used to draw in more women.
My roommates were pleased with the ad, but I was annoyed. We complain enough about men objectifying women and the use of sex appeal in ads to men. We’re no better to accept Calvin Klein’s ad, especially when it presents such hypermasculinity.
- Beyoncé and sexuality
When I walked into one of my GWSS classes the other day, a few students were debating about Beyoncé’s halftime performance. We all agreed that she was extremely talented and put on a good show—I mean, she is Beyoncé. However, one side argued that she was giving into mainstream music by being so sexual in performance. The other side said that she had the right to present herself in any way she wanted.
Either way, the debate lies somewhere between slut-shaming and objectification. We celebrate a woman’s decision to be more open about her sexuality, yet if she goes too far she’s a slut. Beyoncé, regardless of her fame and wealth, is no different. Is she a product of the media industry, which has hyped up her sex appeal and has put her in sexy clothing? Or are all of her dance moves and outfits her decision to express herself? I leave this as an open-ended question to you, readers. Beyoncé is one of the most powerful women in America, but even the best artists give in to industry standards.
- Human trafficking
Remember the influx of sex workers for the 2012 Republican National Convention? Apparently Super Bowl XLVII follows in its path. Thousands of prostitutes have been brought in for previous Super Bowls, making it the largest human trafficking incident in the U.S. Of course, when we think of Super Bowls, we think of commercials and football, not sex trafficking. It’s funny (and by funny I mean upsetting) that there haven’t been more crackdowns on these operations. When there are arrests made, authority figures need to focus on the people in charge of the prostitution, not those who are exploited by the system.
What are your thoughts? Were there any other sexist/feminist aspects of the Super Bowl that stuck out to you? Because football is such a male-dominated culture, is there anything we can do to start tackling these issues?