Dr. Matt Vos Publishes Article about the Super Bowl
Comment Magazine has published an article by Dr. Matt Vos, professor of sociology, just in time for the Super Bowl. The article is titled “Prizes and Consumables: The Super Bowl as a Theology of Women.”
“The idea for the article came in conjunction with teaching ‘sociology of sport,’ a relatively new course for me that I've been teaching for about two years now,” says Dr. Vos. “I was watching the Super Bowl with my wife and Professor Diana Cochran at our house, and trying to reconcile what I was seeing with how my daughters, just one room away, might see such festivities.”
Dr. Vos took a closer look at how the women were portrayed in the commercials and during the event itself, and found that they were essentially grouped into two categories: those who want the men to grow up, and those seen as sexual prizes.
“I became very interested in the way that we focus most of our thinking about gender roles on what place women should have in the church, even while we seem to have almost no Christian scruples about pagan festivals like the Super Bowl, which strongly suggest that women are prizes and consumables for men's correct consumption choices,” says Dr. Vos.
“My conclusion is that we should watch the Super Bowl, though not for entertainment. We should watch it with our families, and with our youth groups at church, and we should not quickly skip over the commercials as though they are superlative. They are central to what is going on, and they reflect the ethos of the game itself, especially with respect to gender relations. Watch these things carefully, slowly, and analytically with your children. Put crassly, Christians comprise a huge market share in this culture. When we simply buy the stuff that is being sold in ways that degrade our daughters and undermine our theology, we give tacit support to what is going on.”
Dr. Vos plans to watch the Super Bowl this year, but he will watch more for the subtexts than the score. “After this article,” he says, “I doubt any of my friends will invite me over to watch.”