it's not okay.

We left our super bowl party before half time so we could get the kids home and in bed for a good start to this new week. I got on my computer to check the score and then saw a headline about Justin Timberlake's half time show. So I clicked to youtube to watch it.

I will say this, thirteen of the fourteen minutes were fun. Full of set changes, dancing and props, it was like a little olympic opening ceremonies. 

But there was a scene right at the beginning, after the lasers, when Justin was walking up a set of stairs. It seemed to be sort of a night club scene, with women along the stairwell as he walked up to each one. And he visited each one and everything was sexual. He was dominant. In the name of dancing, he had his way with each one.

I was so stunned. I felt sick to my stomach. I felt so sad for all of the kids in our country who saw that and then took note of how no one reacted.

In the day of #metoo, where men are finally being held to account of their sinful, despicable and forced behavior, I could not believe what I was seeing. 

I think I am most overwhelmed that in this day when these horrendous behaviors are finally being brought into the light that there wasn't someone along the way who said, "let's do it clean." Maybe a choreographer, a dancer, Justin himself, someone on the Superbowl committee... In the name of national sensitivity, wouldn't you think?

And I can hear the rebuttals, "sex sells." "It's what makes money." But if you downplay the whole thing like that, then we'll just continue to have the same immoral storylines. The same heartbreaking stories of innocent, trusting young girls being taken advantage of, and harmed by the wolves.

If I had the ear of young women, this is what I would say: This sort of behavior in the name of entertainment and dancing is not okay. It's demeaning. If it made you feel uncomfortable, or awkward, then you should be glad. That's your ability to sense that something is wrong. Because that sort of public objectification is awkward. It is not beautiful. It is not honoring to their bodies. It is not honoring to the God who made them. It's just gross. 

I'm afraid that by watching a scene like that it will normalize this sort of behavior. That you might think that guys can just behave that way because they can during the half time show while the entire nation is watching and no one bats an eye. But they can't behave that way. It's not honoring of women. And there are so many women out there who are working through so much pain and hurt because they thought a man could behave that way (or more often, because a man thought he could behave that way.)

Let me tell you this, young women. You are worth so much. Do not sell yourself short. You deserve a great guy who loves you well. Don't settle for less. Know the kind of guy you deserve and keep your bar high.

Because there are good guys out there and there are bad guys. You must be aware of this. Last night a the super bowl party I was changing Alden's diaper and Rory came over and started changing Hattie's diaper right in front of me. We were face to face, changing dirty diapers and I thought to myself, "I got a good one."

I want you to have a good one too.

So keep your standards high. Remember you are strong and amazing and worth so, so much. Remember that your clothing has consequences. You might feel like you should be free to wear what you want but guys are visual, and your clothing choices can attract the wrong kind of guy. And recognize that the people you hang out with have a HUGE impact on the situations you will be placed in. You only need one good friend. If you don't have a good friend, pray for one. That's how I found my best friend in high school.

And then hear this. I didn't date at all in high school. And barely in college. I kept looking for the wart on my face. What in the world was wrong with me? Why didn't anyone want to date me? I worried about it so much. But you know, looking back, I am so grateful for those years. I had the best girl friends. I had lots of really great guy friends too. But to this day I believe I was being protected and spared a lot of things by simply hanging out and enjoying my good friends. Life was full and fun.

And now, married to a great man, raising four kids, living on this farm, I just feel so grateful. I kept my standards high. I hung out with good friends who helped me make good decisions. I did make some bad choices and praise God for forgiveness and second chances. But by and large, I valued myself, honored myself and trusted that God had a future for me that was good. And he did. He does for you, too. He knows the desires of your heart. He put them there. Pray to him for strength to go against the current, for patience when you have to wait, for more faith when it's hard to believe he has good for you. Learn to listen for his voice. He will speak to you. And he will always tell you your value and worth. He made you. He loves you most of all. And he wants good things for all who call on his name. 


Nancy Holte said...

To be honest, I wasn't really paying close attention to it but I just rewatched it, and you are correct. It is disgusting. I can't believe they let that fly.

Emily said...

The initial minute made me uncomfortable as well. My kids were watching and I was thinking, how can it be okay that my son and daughters see this and think it is good or fun? Made me aware that we need to talk about it to them instead of ignoring or normalizing it.

Unknown said...

I want to repost this for the entire world to read, Becca! Such important truth in this! I'm definitely reading and discussing this with my 12-year old. Thanks for sharing your heart and reminding us not to become desensitized to the things of this world, but rather to have a higher standard and to encourage others to do the same.