With it’s choice of Katy Perry to play during the Super Bowl halftime performance the NFL has shown it’s so called new attitude toward women is largely just window dressing. Perry of course is a popular pop star who makes a living largely by showing off her rather ample assets and being confused about such things as feminism.
There isn’t anything noticeably wrong with choosing Perry except it’s yet another example of the NFL’s long history of promoting and hiring women based entirely on their looks and sex appeal. Perry’s music isn’t very good she gets by largely on her looks and willingness to show off her boobs and that’s fine. It’s just a gut punch to women who want to see the NFL really start to value women instead of just giving lip service to the notion.
Worse yet Perry’s music carries dangerous messages to young women and how they should respond to rape. “Last Friday Night” features a young woman who wakes up in bed after a drunken night with no idea what she did or whether she engaged in any sexual activities. Until pictures of her begin to surface online and well you get the picture.
This song and I use the term loosely is the glorification of crime, date rape and antics that aren’t cool and certainly aren’t to be celebrated. Was the young woman in the song date raped? We never really know because it could be a bruise OR a hickey that raises the question. It doesn’t matter anyway because she might not remember but she proclaims it ruled.
What a fabulous message to send to young women. In case you missed it, date rape is a real issue on college campuses which are currently under fire for their incompetence in handling rape complaints. The problem is so bad and so widespread the federal government has gotten involved and there are currently no less than 55 colleges that are currently under investigation.
Furthermore, Perry has also been accused of sensationalizing racism by her use of costumes and props in her shows. Perry’s shows have used Native American costumes and Jewish costumes among others. Her lyrics also carry borderline insensitive cultural messages such as “This is How We Do” which in which she describes getting her nails done as “Japanesy.”
In light of the NFL’s professed interest in being better and doing better about issues that are important to women the hire of Perry undermines its efforts. Putting Perry on its biggest stage not only undermines but calls into real question their commitment to creating a better environment for women in their league.
The NFL has long taken one step forward and two steps back when it comes to dealing with its female members and audience and it didn’t do itself any favors here. You have to wonder if there is any real vetting process when it comes to these hires.
Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me. At this point the shame is all yours NFL because I never really bought your professed commitment to women.