I just watched the Pittsburgh Steelers win the Superbowl and I must reflect.
The Superbowl and I are peers. Over the years, when people ask my age, I have occasionally given the smart-ass retort: "I'm as old as the SuperBowl." Therefore, I always watch the game with interest, as it is a cultural time capsule of progress/digress that fits precisely within my lifetime. (Indeed, the Janet Jackson half-time incident marked a dark, ridiculous and, indeed, pierced time in my own life.)
This year, with the recent feminst blog debate going 'round, I couldn't help but notice a few less obvious victories that don't end with large jewelry and quickly switched logo-encrusted baseball caps.
First off, they opened the game with a moment of silence for "two fallen heroes of this country,": Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King. Um, can we stop and celebrate that for a moment? Two women! Of color, even! Honored, at the Superbowl! The biggest American celebration of testosterone - other than war - that this country is capable of having and they are honoring these ladies.
Again, when they sang the national anthem, it was Aaron Neville (who seems like he'd had a stroke, bless his heart) and . . . Aretha Franklin, who belted it out in her Detroit hometown. The cameras flashed on various intense players and those who looked heartfelt. At one point, they showed Condi Rice in the crowd, beaming like I never knew she was capable of. I mean, if W. himself had performed a private strip tease on her birthday, she could not have visibly been any happier.
Furthermore, I have to point out that the ABC network had only two reporters down on the field to cover the action - chicks! Both of em! Smart ones too! They knew their shit! Neither one blonde or busty! Real vocabularies and everything!
So, yes, I am drinking champagne (which explains all the !!!) and on this Sunday afternoon, I am celebrating the fact that on the weekend of Betty Fridan's passing, some very subtle strides have been made and goddammit, that makes me proud.
And I'm saving my final toast for the cheerleaders who have been there all along.