Is Time Really Up? The Mixed Messages of #TimesUp Movement

Phil. 4:8 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I need to open with this crucial imperative: There is never, ever an acceptable reason, situation, scenario, or excuse for a man to harass, abuse, use, or objectify a woman. From Weinstein to Nassar, our culture has been laser-focused on this issue for the last several months, and rightfully so.

Among the actions to spring up from this attention are some worthwhile national trends that have the potential to reshape thinking that has been the norm since before the prime years of the late Hugh Hefner and his band of Bunnies.

The movement’s leaders have proclaimed #TimesUp for abusive and disrespectful attitudes and behavior. They want women everywhere to be respected, valued, admired, honored, and treated with dignity. They’re right.

But someone forgot to tell several of the artists performing at the 2018 Grammy Awards and they definitely neglected to inform the Detroit Piston Dancers.

Both of these esteemed groups recently performed in front of millions (Grammys) or thousands (Piston Dancers) to proudly display lyrics and/or choreography that makes a mockery of #TimesUp and the supposed dignified attitudes we, as men, are supposed to be exhibiting towards women.

I watched very little of the Grammys. My nearly half a century of living has somehow negated my ability to decipher most of what they’re spouting and I don’t have a lot of tolerance for someone lecturing me about political issues when they most likely couldn’t pick their own Governor out of a lineup.

But in between political screeds, these esteemed thought leaders treated America (and the world) to songs filled with lyrics that tell me to do things that would get me arrested.

There was zero awareness that a constant stream of sexually suggestive (obscene) lyrics and the accompanying gyrations might just fly in the face of the very message they were just preaching. They’re wearing ribbons that contradict the very content they peddle to make them millionaires.

Apparently, the music industry missed the #TimesUp message.

Now, fast forward a few days as the scene shifts to the stunning new Little Caesars Arena in the heart of downtown Detroit. My son and his friend accompanied my wife and me to watch the Detroit Pistons play against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

During a first half timeout, the Piston Dancers took to the floor to entertain the crowd with a rousing burlesque routine to “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”

While that scene unfolded, my son looked over at me and said, “so, this is OK?” He’s nearly 20 years old, extremely intelligent, and was simply conveying what any thinking person wants to know – how can this be allowed in a VERY public forum when we’re told that men are evil for consuming and enjoying this sort of vile content?

Is the argument that somehow they are helping the team reach new heights of success? Are there an allotted number of points each home game that we can accurately credit to the efforts of the dancers?

But we were just getting started with the rampant hypocrisy.

Later in the game, the gals (is that term acceptable any more?) ratcheted up the dignity level with a highly suggestive striptease to the song “Take Your Shirt Off,” which they proceeded to do in front of 10,000 people.

Think I’m being a prude? Here’s a sampling of the lyrics to this musical masterpiece:

I know you don’t care when ya titties everywhere
Homegirl take ya motha f*****g shirt off
Take ya motha f*****g shirt off
Take ya motha f*****g shirt off
And if ya don’t care put ya hands in the air
Homegirl take ya motha f*****g shirt off
Take ya motha f*****g shirt off
Twist it in the air like a helicopter

Touching. Dignified. Classy. Perfect for the family atmosphere of a professional sports event.

I’m confused and perhaps a bit slow, but if I were to simply read any woman the lyrics to the “Shirt” song, I don’t think it would be well received. There would likely be some pepper spray or tasering in my very near future.

One really has to tip the cap to this dance team and the entire Pistons organization. It’s not easy being totally and completely tone deaf to the biggest cultural shift in a generation. You almost have to intentionally ignore reality to accomplish such numbingly inane messaging.

Trotting out a squadron of beautiful young dancers in front of a crowd of mostly young males to convey a message that it only takes a few precious stones serving as their reason for living (Diamonds) and that if someone were to suggest they disrobe, they will (Shirt Off) gladly do so.

Of course, if any male in the arena has those thoughts, he is the one with the “problem.”

This would be a good time for me to point you back to the opening disclaimer.

There is never, ever an acceptable reason, situation, scenario, or excuse for a man to harass, abuse, use, or objectify a woman.

What we’re seeing now is the culmination of an ideological clash. Our culture has mandated the removal of all the stop signs and is now shocked at all the disastrous collisions that have resulted.

Women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

They would be well-served to begin by treating themselves in the same way.


Feel free to express your thoughts to the Detroit Pistons by calling 248-377-0100 or reaching out to them via social media.

We addressed this matter on a Feb episode of the Marriage Doctor Podcast. Please listen and share the link!

Is your organization struggling with mixed messages in this #TimesUp culture? Let’s plan a conversation with your staff to help educate and inform. Contact Hobson Media for more information.

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