Superboob 2004 causes moral outrage for all the wrong reasons

By Debra LoGuercio

©Copyright 2004, Debra LoGuercio, all rights reserved

What the heck is everyone so wigged out about? For all the hysteria generated over the Super Boob -- oops - Super Bowl, you'd think Janet Jackson was biting the heads off kittens and screaming her allegiance to Beelzebub himself.

I confess, I didn't see the actual bodice-ripping display as it occurred. I was merely subjected to it endlessly on the morning news the following day as it replaced the Dean Scream as the clip of the week.

I don't watch football, you see, let alone the Super Bowl. I'd rather lick the litter box clean than waste a Sunday afternoon watching one bunch of overpaid, muscle-bound buffaloes trample over another bunch of overpaid, muscle-bound buffaloes, knowing that the annual salary of just one of those porky prima donnas could fund positions for scores of teachers or nurses or police officers.

I ask you, whose job is more important? Who is more worthy of our adoration? Besides that, I personally can't pluck up any enthusiasm for something as ultimately meaningless as football. If you added up all the football games ever played in all of time, their contribution to humanity wouldn't equal that of a single book. Yet it is football that we worship in this country, above all else. I find that entirely more profane than a bare boobie.

It's a boobie. So what. Boobies won't hurt you. They won't burst forth from under a blouse and devour you, like the monster in "Aliens." They have no fangs or claws. They are as helpless and harmless as a bunny rabbit, and in the entire history of the universe, a boobie never hurt anyone.

Compare those statistics to your average alcohol-soaked, testosterone-infused, shrieking Super Bowl fan, and I think you'll agree that a soft, sober boobie is entirely less dangerous. But let one flop out on national television, and all of American society is upended in moral outrage.

Ironically, men walk around bare-chested all the time and nobody even blinks. They have boobies too, even if they are only decorations. So why is it acceptable for male boobies to run free, the way the good Lord intended, while female boobies must remain in captivity, lest the whole of humanity crumble to ruins at the mere sight of them?

Consider the irony. Men see bare-chested females and dissolve into grunting, rutting Neanderthals and can hardly contain their lust, even though for the most part, women keep their chests covered in public. Women, on the other hand, may also burn with lust over the sight of a bare-chested male, but they're able to control themselves, even though bare-chested men can be found all over the place, on TV and off.

Something's wrong with this picture. The breasts we see the least cause the most commotion, and the breasts we see the most cause the least. Maybe if women wandered around shirtless as freely as men (they way women do in less "civilized" societies) we could get past all the silliness generated by an exposed body part and save our outrage for more important issues. Because what happened at the Super Bowl halftime raised a far more important issue than a bare breast.

In all this rush to condemn Jackson for an exposed breast, I've yet to hear the same level of outrage aimed at Justin Timberlake. Jackson didn't just flash the audience. Timberlake, in a mock-display of lust, ripped off part of her clothing. It's not THAT a breast was bared, it was HOW the breast was bared that was truly offensive.

Consider the ramifications of this obvious publicity stunt. We saw one of our pop icons tear the clothing from a female. Unlike the Britney-Madonna liplock, in which both parties were willing, Timberlake's "role" in this display was that of the attacker. Jackson played the victim.

The message here is clear: an aroused male doesn't have to control his urges. If he's turned on by a female, he can do whatever he wants to her. She isn't a human being, but an object whose sole purpose is to satisfy his sexual needs -- she's nothing more than a receptacle for his penis. What Timberlake and Jackson enacted was a not-so-subtle endorsement of the "she asked for it" rape defense.

Children harmed by seeing a boob? You call that harm? I wonder how many girls and women across the country have had or will have their clothes ripped from them while the image of Timberlake doing the same to Jackson lingers in their attackers' minds? I can only hope the copycats are met with a more appropriate reaction than Jackson's helpless befuddlement, and have their family jewels kicked up to where their Adam's apples belong. Followed by a ride downtown with a police officer.

Let's get some perspective here, folks. A bare boobie won't hurt you. A man who can't control his sexual urges will. Isn't the process by which Jackson's breast was exposed far more deserving of all this outrage than the breast itself?

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