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February 06, 2005

If Kaus Is Going to Re-Post About NippleGate, So Will I

Mickey Kaus trots out again his theory that the problem with the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" wasn't that she had exposed a nipple during some kinky fetish-gear sex-pantomime to millions of unwarned children -- heaven forfend that we should get all upset about something so trivial! -- but that instead that it had showed Justin Timberlake acting in an sexually aggressive manner towards a woman:

Super Sunday reminder to Frank Rich and other righteous anti-FCCers: The big problem with last year's Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake halftime show was not that people saw Jackson's breast. It wasn't what Jackson did that was offensive. It was what Timberlake did. Here was a massively popular, relatively hip singer whose message was that it was a hip, transgressive thing for men to rip clothes off women when they feel like it (which is quite often). I watched the game with a group of non-evangelical, non-moralistic dads who were uniformly horrified. The problem for them wasn't sex--their kids see flesh all the time in videos--but a form of sexism, not prudery but piggishness.

Mild Content Warning.

Also, Mild Maya Angelou Parody Warning.

"Flashing a nipple to children is okay, so long as it's empowering"

Liberals are cogenitally unable to call bad behavior by its proper name. They are in such a perpetual tizzy to demonstrate how broad-minded and tolerant they are that they simply cannot admit the obvious truth, to wit, that an aging and haggard lip-sync artiste shouldn't show her saline-bladders to unsuspecting, and unwarned, children during the dinner hour.

Or to adults, either, for that matter. It's not that nudity is per se bad. In the privacy of one's home, it can be just splendid. On a cable channel you've decided to purchase, with full warnings about the content which will be piped into your home, it's fine.

From movies to the back room of your video store -- I don't mind nudity or sexuality, so long as it is not unbidden. If an adult voluntarily seeks such material out, I could care less.

But I must insist that full nipple nudity, on a broadcast channel, without warnings, during the dinner hour, and during a television event that families watch with their children, is outrageous and blameworthy.

It's a question of time, place, and manner. Oh yes -- and of little things called taste and decorum, which are apparently impertinet considerations when dealing with any sexual issues.

Mickey Kaus isn't quite your stereotypical liberal -- he can be quite critical of the Democrats on a range of issues, including his pet one, welfare reform.

But, as it turns out, he is a jerk-the-knee, pass-the-chablis hot-tub lefty when it comes to sexual mores.

For, in commenting upon Le Affaire Janet, he remarks:

"P.P.S.: The issue isn't nudity but the implicit endorsement of--searching for the right words here--acting out male fantasies of violent and invasive non-consensual sexual behavior. ... "

Oh, of course! Of course the issue wasn't the actual nudity; why, that little milk-nub staring us right in the face was at best a trivial side-issue.

Of course the only problem with the display was the fact that it was demeaning to a liberal woman's sense of sexual autonomy and empowerment!

It's not a question of nudity broadcast without warning to children (and adults, too, who didn't seek this out, or volunteer to be exposed to it). No, the whole problem was that the boob was shown outside of the context of a pro-woman, feminism-affirming liberal social message.

So, Mickey: It's just a question of context, not the nudity itself. Okay.


Let's suppose the unbidden udder in question been displayed in a more thoughtful, respectful manner -- with Janet proudly cupping it, perhaps playfully kneading it, titilatingly teasing out the nipple with her fingers.

No problem so far, right? After all, she's merely empowering herself by engaging in a bit of light onanism. It's a healthy message for young girls. A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle and all that.

So far, so good.

And now let us further suppose that she voluntarily offers her breast to Young Justin. She does so with full personal consent.

Once again, just a lady making her own sexual decisions. Nothing at all to criticize about that!

And suppose further that Justin had responded in a similar fashion, treating the breast with with the respect and dignity it deserves. Perhaps he could nibble on the nipple -- after first asking, of course, "May I suckle upon yonder proffered knocker, Mz. Jackson?"

Again, so long as the breast is being treated with consensual affection, and Ms. Jackson's personal sexual dignity and autonomy is being respected, we don't have a violation of your rule against implicitly "endorsing invasive non-consensual sexual behavior." Which is, you said, the sum and entirety of the issue.

And, just to top it off, let's say that Maya Angelou rises dramatically up through a trapdoor to declaim a poem she's written specifically in honor of the event:

Oh, furious funbag

Proud Sweater-Fruit of the Noble Amazon Warrior Queen!

Low-Hanging coconut of my ancestors' lifemilk,

Mocha Mommysac of Mammalian Munificence!

Sweet tit of Destiny, I sing to thee!

Hail this hallowed hooter of humanity,

drink deeply from its dark meat

and then dream, belly warmly filled, of proud Mother Africa!

So, given all that -- care, kindness, and compassion displayed towards the bozo-bag in question; full respect for a woman's sexual choices; Maya Freaking Angelou (you can't get much more "empowering" than that) -- there would have been nothing objectionable in the display, according to Mr. Kaus.

Except, of course, you'd have a guy sucking a tit on a nationally-televised broadcast while millions of children are watching. If that sort of thing bothers you.

Or perhaps we're being overly complicated. Let's just suppose that Janet had pulled off Justin's clothing -- say, his codpiece, revealing his tumescent penis -- that would have been just fine, because it would have shown a strong woman actively making choices about her own sexuality.


But Justin pulling off her bra? Why that's demeaning to women and it encourages "invasive non-consensual sexual behavior" by men.

As a wise man once observed, "There's a fine line between clever and stupid."

But not in this case. Kaus is stupid all the way home.

One last point: Liberals always fret about obviously choreographed and consensual acts like this -- Justin "violating" Mz. Jackson by ripping off her top. Of course he isn't really violating her; she told him to do so. Which is obvious.

In Hollywood, you only violate people lower on the food-chain than you are.

But liberals like Kaus like to fret that less-evolved specimens -- you and us, for example -- will see this and decide, "Gee, I guess what all my buddies say must be true -- women do like being raped and violated after all. I think I'm going out on the town, wearin' my lucky rapin' shoes."

They can see that resulting from the display. That's no big leap for them-- men, after all, are pretty much born rapists. Adult men could easily get the idea that rape is a good thing from this silly little sexual skit.

But liberals can't, for the lives of them, imagine that any psychic damage, or even discomfort, could possibly result to a child watching public nudity and sexuality on television.

Adult men will wind up thinking that Thursdays are Rape-Days; children, on the other hand, will be entirely unaffected, and, even if they are affected, their parents really should lighten up and just deal with it.

This is the only manner in which a liberal can bring himself to even tepidly criticize publicly-broadcast pornography or exhibitionist behavior-- by wading only waist-deep in the safest shoals of the warm, nuturing ocean that is the progressive womyn's movement.

Originally posted here.

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posted by Ace at 11:05 PM

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