February 2, 2020
Julie asked me to entertain you with a message while she proofreads my diary of letters. I was initially hesitant to let her publish my private thoughts. But then Julie told me that she believed my words could provide comfort to others who have had similar experiences. I am in favor of doing what I can to elevate humanity and help make people feel they are not alone in the darkness of painful moments.
I’m not sure why Julie asked me to entertain you because that isn’t in my nature—unless you find math, and physics, and critiques of religious leaders, politicians, and society entertaining. Since Julie brought me over to your side of the spacetime continuum tonight, to find inspiration for entertaining material, I decided to watch the Super Bowl Halftime Show. I regret doing that. I wish I would have reached for a good book instead. The “entertainment” I saw surely made the women’s movement take a giant step backward. I am not a prude by any means, and women have every right to dress the way Shakira and Jennifer Lopez did (especially if they’re employed at strip clubs), but I am severely disappointed in the erotic spectacle that Shakira and JLo put on for America tonight.
I’m sure that Shakira and JLo are fine women, but I’m confused by their behavior. Julie told me that 2020 was going to be the Year of the Woman in America. I don’t understand how that can be when powerful women were given a platform tonight that was expected to be seen by over 190 million people, and they used it primarily to flash their flesh at the cameras. I know that Shakira and JLo are entertainers; they’re not required to seize the powerful opportunities they have been given to help move the world in a good direction for women. But, at the very least, I expect them not to move the world in the wrong direction for women. JLo’s daughter and other young girls were on the stage tonight. I couldn’t help but wonder what message those young girls took away from the moment in the spotlight. Perhaps it was that if they expose enough flesh and shake their bare bottoms at an audience well enough they can get attention and money from powerful men.
I can’t help but believe that If Shakira and JLo wore clothes tonight and clearly sang about women embracing self-respect and reaching for positions power, instead of reaching for the stripper pole as JLo did, women would be one step closer tonight to winning America’s 2020 presidential election in November. Instead, I am confident that Shakira and JLo succeeded at reinforcing the beliefs of those men who think that women are nothing more than dumb sex objects that shouldn’t be given positions of power, such as the highest executive office.
I know that Shakira and JLo are not running for president of the United States (thank God) and don’t need to publicly conduct themselves in the way that Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren do. Touting tater tot hotdish and “a plan for that” clearly don’t make for good ratings in the way that nearly naked bodies and stripper poles do. But until women have achieved true equality in America, all women represent one another as one body. Until being female is no longer an issue for any position of power, women should consider what they are doing to the perception of that body. Until women truly have the same opportunities as men, women should thoughtfully act in a way that helps elevate all women in the minds of everyone.
It isn’t fair that the bar for appropriate public behavior is higher for women than it is for men, who are more likely to be judged as individuals. But until reaching a place of equality, American women should, at the very least, refrain from spinning around that high bar with their clothes off.
I should close my letter now—that’s as entertaining as I can be. While Julie has me on this side of spacetime, I think I’ll go read Amy Klobuchar’s book, The Senator Next Door. I need to shift my focus to a woman I can admire. And I’ve heard that she actually is entertaining. Maybe you should read Senator Klobuchar’s book, too, if you want to be entertained—and have a reason to respect womankind.
© 2020 by Julie Ryan. All rights reserved
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