Race, Sex, Faith, and the Halftime Show

Race, Sex, Faith, and the Halftime Show

The Superbowl halftime show: salacious or celebratory? Empowering or objectifying? 

After the halftime show last Sunday, and after noticing really different reactions to it from white Christian women and Christian women of color, my good friend Niro Feliciano and I decided to record a conversation about these disparate reactions.

Niro is a psychotherapist, mother of four, Sri Lankan American woman. We’ve been friends for nearly 30 years, and she is a smart, wise, fun, compassionate Christian woman who has been a wonderful friend to me over the years and who has taught me a lot about how to think about race and ethnicity and my own whiteness. Yes, in this conversation, we talk about Shakira and J Lo, about sensuality and our hypersexualized cultural moment and whether or not it was okay for our kids to watch the Superbowl.

But this is also a conversation about how culture shapes our view of the world, how to listen with grace and compassion to one another, and how to grow in love even when we disagree. I hope you will listen or watch and let us know what you think. (You can also let us know if you think we should do something like this again…)

You can listen to this podcast episode via the player above or on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and Spotify, as well as other platforms.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Carlyn

    How does your friend, Niro, know what a black man sees when he looks at himself in the mirror? Just curious…

    1. Amy Julia Becker

      Great question–she’s speaking about studies that show that racial identity is more prevalent for people of color than it is for white people. White people in a country like ours (predominantly white) see whiteness as “normal” and so we tend to not think of it as a marker of identity. But people of color (in general) are very aware of being people of color. So Niro is not speaking for every single black man, but pointing out the different ways we tend to think of our identities depending upon how “normal” we think that identity is.

  2. Carlyn

    Ok, that makes sense. I would hate for a black man to stumble across this and think she’s speaking for him …😆.

    1. Amy Julia Becker

      Yes! I’m glad you asked!

  3. Carlyn

    No problem… thanks for your quick response!
    I’ve been meaning to watch the entire video so that I can comment but with four kiddos (one of them with DS and I has the sniffles right now…I haven’t slept for days…😄)
    I believe you and Niro are on to something with this topic and it needs to be discussed across America.
    I came across the article (below) today and thought about your discussion.


    1. Amy Julia Becker

      I do think there was a strong, visceral reaction to the show, so I’m not surprised by all those complaints but I also hope more people learn that there was way more going on! Thanks so much for your encouraging words. It is also available as a podcast if that’s an easier way for you to hear it all: https://amyjuliabecker.com/podcast/

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