Half-Time Show/Full-Time Misogyny
February 14, 2022
The Super Bowl was yesterday and the Los Angeles Rams won the championship for the first time in history (purists don’t count victories in other cities or pre-Super Bowl era games). But, all I see today are reviews about the Half-Time Show.
I was in my memoir group during the live performance, so I had to watch it after the game. With all the buzz, I thought I’d weigh in.
First, what I liked about it.
Mary J. Blige. She has the voice, the moves, the power. But, for some reason, all people want to talk about is her costume. Please allow me to depart from the mainstream. She did a mashup of No More Drama and Family Affair that was empowering and even more brilliant than her bedazzled boots. I could have watched 15 minutes of just her.
The Set. The boxcar-like sets with the map of Los Angeles on the field in lights was dazzling. The storefronts celebrated local businesses in the Compton/Inglewood area and were a crowd-pleaser. I also liked the multi-layered action and dancing.
The Joy. Everyone was having a great time and the energy was over the top. It was a real celebration of the culture and a love letter to the hometown. California Love and The Next Episode in particular rattle off a list of hot spots that make the West Coast the Best Coast.
Now, for the downside.
I’ll admit up front, I’m not a fan of rap music. You can’t refer to women as “Hoes” and “Bitches” and expect to appeal to a lot of feminists. However, I do appreciate the poetry in many rap songs and the social commentary by artists such as Kendrick Lamar. I also enjoy the foray into another culture and the impact songs such as 50 Cent’s In Da Club has had on the world.
But, damn. The misogyny. Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Eminem have all been called out for the “deep misogyny and homophobia in their lyrics.” So, while I can enjoy performances of Lose Yourself, Dre Day, and Still Dre, I’m not running out to buy the albums. (Also, in watching the videos, I was put off by the strippers, pole dancers and women as “something to poke on.”)
However, the thing I ABSOLUTELY LOVED about the halftime show was knowing every Red State conservative was having a meltdown watching it. And, for that I say, Bravo!