ADADThe Super Bowl is one of the manliest cultural displays on earth, a celebration of huge men doing lightly regulated violence unto themselves and each other presented as a tribute to the U.S. military.
So it’s easy to miss that Super Bowl LIV’s halftime show and the response to it offered a concise statement of the challenges and contradictory imperatives that women, even ones without Vegas contracts and multi-continent careers, face today.
The ghost of Janet Jackson, whose 2004 “wardrobe malfunction” at the hands of Justin Timberlake effectively made her a pariah in the music business, haunts every female performer at a Super Bowl show.
The network’s fixation seemed to take inspiration from Bruce Springsteen’s fly-first slide at the camera during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2009.
Women like Shakira and J-Lo have found a way to survive these double standards and turn the competing imperatives to their own advantage.

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