Inappropriate Behavior in Prime Time

Published:  August 30, 2003

This writer looks askance at Madonna, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera for completely inappropriate and ill-conceived behavior at the 2003 MTV Music Video Awards: they French-kissed each other on national television, in prime time. This imprudent action no doubt caused awkwardness and embarrassment for families who may have been watching with their children. And it's a sure bet that such families will not allow their kids to watch the show next year. Girls--thanks for this timely contribution to the continuing vulgarization of America.

Nor was there any warning displayed onscreen, to provide parents the decision regarding whether to allow their children to view the performance, or not.

Madonna and Britner Spears French Kissing on stage.

What of the argument, however, that homosexuality is natural and normal, and thus, artistic representations of homosexual behavior, such as described above, are acceptable?

First of all, it appears that the lesbian kiss between these three women did not occur because they are all genuinely lesbian or bi-sexual. It appears that Madonna is; whether Ms. Spears and Ms. Aguilera are remains an open question. Thus, their kiss probably did not reflect a genuine expression of affection between two female lovers or partners; instead, it probably occurred in the name of sensationalism.

Ultimately, however, the key question is whether homosexuality is, in fact, natural and normal. This writer has not yet arrived at a conclusion on this question.

Relatedly, confounding is the release by Madonna just a week later of her first children's book. Madonna is the artist who, among other things, released a 1989 remix of her song "Justify My Love" at the end of which the music stops and Madonna commands: "F*ck me." She was also seen to French kiss a woman in the video for the song. Additionally, the two girls she French-kissed in prime-time, on national television, are arguably little more than kids themselves, in youthful teenaged appearance if not in actual age, made the more apparent relative to the obvious physical maturity of Madonna. Perhaps she'd like the opportunity, after each reading from her book she performs for a group of children, to French-kiss those young girls in the group whom she finds attractive.

Is Madonna a woman of character, sufficient to receive the privilege and high-honor of our permission to access the ears, hearts, and minds of our children? This question does not deny that Madonna, or any adult, can be multi-faceted:  sexual or even lewd in one arena; serious, intelligent, or insightful in another. Sexuality and vulgarity have their place. In the arts, for example, when in context; in public performance when the viewing audience is made aware of the content they will be viewing or listening to; or in the private lives of people, when kept appropriately discreet. Madonna, however, has made a career of putting her sexuality and vulgarity on unregulated public display for everyone to see, including our children. Now she expects us to willingly hand them over simply because she's decided to keep her clothing on for a few minutes.


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