Stop Violence

RECEIVED Wed., Feb. 11, 2004

Dear Editor,
   Observations: I found it very interesting that (according to CBS) Janet Jackson declined to participate in the Grammys, but Justin Timberlake not only participated but was showcased. OK, so Timberlake was an integral part of the show; he was given two awards. I have two major concerns: the first being that this incident is a microcosmic sort of representation of the fact that (worldwide) victims of sexual assault are often the ones that are shamed and disgraced (encouraged to hide) while the aggressor is excused, even glorified. The problem I have with the media's coverage is that the central concern revolves around the exposure itself (seeing a breast), as opposed to the fact that what Timberlake and Jackson did on stage represented an act of violence against women, during a football game at that (an event where the majority of the audience are men)! I have seen statistics that point to a rise in domestic violence after Super Bowl games; I do not doubt their validity!
   The game itself glorifies violence and we all know what aspect of the human psyche cheerleading appeals to. So, we already have a potent mixture of aggression and sexuality stewing together to form a cauldron of charged emotions. Shame on Timberlake and Jackson for acting out what is in real life a degrading and damaging act of aggression, and shame on the media for not having a real discussion about sexualizing women and the glorification of rape. We are currently a nation at war. Violence runs as an undercurrent to all we say and do. Do not forget, my gentle readers, that although our troops are highly trained and fight with honor and integrity, rape has historically been part and parcel of war. Do we want to be a nation that lionizes aggression?
Frances R. Badgett
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