Don’t Blame Her

When paired singers dance provocatively during award shows or Super Bowl we, for the most part, hastily condemn the female. Think Miley Cyrus and Janet Jackson. The men they share the stage with, on the other hand, get off scot-free.

There would have been no twerking without Robin Thicke, or wardrobe malfunction without Justin Timberlake. Or, most recently, no highly suggestive moves by Beyoncé, without Jay Z.

Beyoncé, minimally dressed, gyrated seductively all around Jay Z in the Grammy’s opening number. And the blogosphere and some folks I encountered the following day blasted her “inappropriate dress” and “suggestive moves” at a time “kids were still watching.” No one commented on her husband’s participation.

Beyoncé took the hit.

Miley Cyrus continues to be derided and mimicked after twerking Robin Thicke during their performance at the VMAs. The talk shows and blogs were all over her for weeks. SNL convulsed with Miley skits, even bringing her on as a host in which she mocked her own performance (good for her). Whether you like Cyrus, hate her, or think she’s a wrecked ball, if Thicke hadn’t been on the stage with her she would have merely looked silly. Thicke, who’s 36 to her 20, by the way, and whose Blurred Lines video features all nude women, participated in the scene.

Cyrus took the hit.

And with Sunday’s big game approaching everyone recalls Janet Jackson’s ill-fated performance during which she sustained a purposeful wardrobe malfunction. Again, the so-called malfunction would not have happened if Justin Timberlake hadn’t ripped her top off, as rehearsed. But no one criticized Timberlake (who, yes, I adore). Without Timberlake there would have been no wardrobe malfunction.

Jackson took the hit.

Regardless of what you think of these and other suggestive performances (and the list is extensive in the music, film, and television industries) why is the woman the only one criticized? If you think a performance is too suggestive, then I respect that. If you think it’s tasteless and humiliating, I just might agree. But place blame where blame belongs. And that’s not just on the woman.

It takes two to tango.


A New Year: Time to Look Ahead

Walking in the mall today I noticed a seasonal kiosk selling calendars, and it got me thinking. Actually my first thought was will that vendor be back a year from now as the paper calendar goes the way of landlines, CDs, and telephone books, but that’s for a different blog. Regardless of what form we use, a calendar affords us the opportunity to look back over the past year.

And the effect can be chilling.

Our 2013 calendar – digital or paper – reminds us that we had a colonoscopy in August. Remember that day?

And that the Tuesday night after Labor Day we had dinner with an old college friend at Amada. So that was the name of the restaurant.

And that two glorious weeks in May were spent traveling throughout Israel with our family. Was it really that long ago?

It’s a strange perspective to replay a life already lived. Sometimes it brings relief. Our colonoscopy was negative and we’re cleared for another 10 years. Or sadness. Our friend became ill later in the year. Or wistfulness. When will we get to travel as a family again?

At best, it can motivate. We took a train into New York last October to see Book of Mormon. We have no plans to visit New York this year. Maybe we should make them.

Otherwise, revisiting the past is a little like reading old news. It’s already history, our history, and nothing we can do will alter it.

As the saying goes: “The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you’ve come” – author unknown.

So don’t look back. It’s a grand new year!

And I hope a very happy one for you.


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