Exodus spokesman Randy Thomas says:
Madonna’s special performance was to passionately kiss Britney and Christina on stage. This caused only a brief and not very vigorous uproar as a culture has come to expect such behavior it pays good money to see.
Hmmm… “a” culture? Which one? Not American culture as a whole. It may come as a surprise to Mr. Thomas that he is a part of American culture, as are the two-thirds of Americans, gays included, who couldn’t stand Madonna even when she was fashionable.
(Disclaimer: I like Madonna’s music insofar as I enjoy well-crafted, catchy, and moody pop music compositions by Stephen Bray, Patrick Leonard and William Orbit. I loved her Vogue-era dance performances. And I appreciated her gay-rights activism. I simply believe her occasional publicity stunts and bad movies make her look coarse. I believe there ways to be youthful without seeming immature.)
Mr. Thomas continues:
Most would agree that what this trio did has very little to do with homosexuality.
What does this event deal with? Three beautiful ladies who have been bought by our “consumer culture” to perform as demanded or get out of the way for someone who will.
In my day job as a journalist, I find that “consumer culture” is a loaded concept and an overgeneralization. I also find few if any cultural segments demanding that heterosexual women kiss one another on TV.
There are, however, subcultures, especially among youth, that thirst for acts of rebellion against social convention. There also are many people who are entertained by that which offends them. The Cameron Diaz-Ben Stiller movie “There’s Something about Mary” and MTV’s original “Tom Green Show” capitalized on that particular audience.
Watching three unique and wonderful women turned into three shades of the same sexualized message of “anything goes” is disturbing.
I am not turned-on by the sight of female celebrities kissing. I’m not sure many people are. So, if the kiss was not erotic but merely offensive, then what disturbs me is the demeaning and desexualization of the human kiss.
It is the right of MTV and the celebs to do as they wish on a commercial network carried by a commercial cable carrier to households that pay to watch. But I don’t have to like it, and it is my choice not to waste my time watching much of what passes for entertainment or “news” on commercial TV.
The master minds behind the marketing know that the liberal side of life, rebellious youth and the sexist chauvinist men all get a thrill watching women exploit the fantasies of their individual tastes for sexual liberation, rebellion against morality and sexual stimulation.
Mr. Thomas does not seem to know what a liberal is.
However, I offer a feminist thumbs-up to his comment on men who get off on all-female pornography. I wonder if Mr. Thomas has seen “The Man Show” on Comedy Central. That show, purportedly an affirmation of masculine heterosexual male behavior, is a bit more worthy of comment by Exodus than the Madonna kiss.
Exodus has done little to detail what it considers healthy gender roles, except to encourage men to be traditionally masculine and women to be traditionally feminine. Unfortunately, one of its models for masculine behavior is gender-role expert Dr. Joseph Nicolosi of NARTH. At ex-gay conferences Mr. Nicolosi has, on occasion, personified the masculine boorishness of “The Man Show,” with hostile wisecracks about women and jokes about child abuse.
I assume Exodus disapproves of such boorishness. So I wonder, Why doesn’t it support the effort of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” to help heterosexual men overcome boorishness toward their wives and girlfriends? If Steve B. is right, then QESG should be great therapy for conservative Christian men seeking to understand women’s needs.
All the while money goes pouring into the coffers of MTV, the artist’s label and sponsors.
In the name of progress true respect for women is thrown out the window, complex gay issues are minimized to shock and many are exposed to sexual images that are not reflective of reality. This exhibition is indicative of relational brokenness across the spectrum of sexuality.
The whole spectrum of sexuality? That is overreaching. The kiss is indicative, perhaps, of a cheapening and commercialization of interpersonal intimacy made possible by federal deregulation of the television media; by pro-business lawmakers who are elected, in effect, by lobbyists for the advertisers and media conglomerates; by unabashed all-American freedom of the airwaves; by a specific, lucrative, youthful audience segment that finds offensive behavior entertaining.
If anger arises let’s hope that it arises over our culture willing to abuse people and issues for entertainment. Many will try to focus on the alleged homosexuality angle which is minimal compared to the bigger travesty: that many who will count themselves among the righteous, of whatever flavor, enjoyed the show.
I think Mr. Thomas is overreaching again, but I agree with the sentiment.