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Beyonce’s VMA Perfomance: ‘What More Could We Have Asked For?’

Answer: taste, and perhaps some clothes? How in the world does anyone view this as a boost for feminism?

by
Leslie Loftis

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August 25, 2014 - 12:11 pm
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Beyonce Cherry

My first notice of last night’s VMA performances came from my “Camille Paglia” Google alert. Someone wanted a Paglia analysis STAT. Curious, I checked my feminist feeds for some reaction context. They were either glowing about Beyonce’s Divine Feminism, asking as MTV did, “What more could we have asked for?” or silent.

Then I watched and I understood.

I’m all for sexy women. Being a feminist shouldn’t mean that old trope about not ever being sexy. But I’m more than sure that feminist thought fights against the notion of women as primarily a sexual being.

So I admit, I am stunned to find proud feminists this morning, like Jessica Valenti who is waiting to pounce upon the expected irrelevant feminism article, heaping praise on a performance by a scantily-clad Beyonce, with glitter-lubed backup dancers in thongs presenting their asses to all in face down submission, singing songs with refrains such as, “I can’t wait to get home and you can take my cherry out” and “Bow down bitches”.

All this from the performer who will feature prominently on the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack. (Beyonce sings the song in the trailer.) In case anyone is unfamiliar with the feminist implications of 50 Shades of Grey, here is a lengthy but worth the read book review notable both for the declaration that  even people who see a distinction between bondage sex play and misogynistic aggression consider 50 Shades solidly in the misogyny category and that Twilight–that nadir of women’s empowerment– is a much more nuanced and tolerant story. (I put both Beyonce’ s VMA performance and the 50 Shades trailer after the jump as neither are safe for work.)

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Top Rated Comments   
This used to be called burlesque, but it was done with more taste. Nothing new here, she is selling what she's got.
It was however, easier to keep it away from children in the past.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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Beyoncé's outfit looks like something a gymnast would wear at the Olympics. The back up dancers togs with the string up the behind seems to be a popular look. But it just looks uncomfortable to me. At the end of the day though, all the scantily clad backsides in the world can't deflect from how truly awful that song was.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
From now on strip clubs can call themselves "Feminism On a Pole" and Monster Truck Rallies can say they promote the wonders of Transcendental Meditation.

There's nothing that fights the Patriarchy like space prostitutes putting high-tech water-balloons in their chests using sophisticated surgeries and lord knows what in their hind end to have the independent bunda of your dreams while dressing the whole thing up like it's a space station where tired miners from Mars can relax while androids who look like women perform the neat trick of driving rivets into the floor using their hips.

The whole thing looked more like a 14 yr. old's '80s Van Halen video of their dreams than feminism. If that's all feminism then sure, sign me up.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't get the design-work of these affairs. Why do the sets and costumes always look like they're from the Star Trek TV show or some awful science fiction movie? What's the connection there? What's it called when you're lampooning yourself and don't know it? People used to use dress clothes on stage, like a formal party. Then David Bowie started dressing like a spaceman. Alice Cooper started dressing like a serial killer in leotards. Why not just have Circque de Soleil? They have awful bland music too and know how to make people forget that.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
"scantily-clad Beyonce"

Give me a break, that's not scantily-clad. Sophia Loren showed a whole lot more skin back in the 50s. Google images of her, and almost every photo is centered around her boobs.....which are legendary!!! She was even topless in a number of movies when she was younger. What Beyonce was wearing would be conservative even back then. Sophia's image was highly sexualized as well, but there are two differences:

1. Sophia Loren was beautiful.

2. Sophia Loren was good at it.

What sucks about Beyonce's schtick is that it's so forced and sterilized. It's about as sexy as a box of paper clips.

"..feminist thought fights against the notion of women as primarily a sexual being."

Why would this be good? It's not a coincidence that for all of recorded history, and in all regions of the earth, young naked women have always been portrayed as the most beautiful and greatest thing in the world. Women are also biologically geared towards giving birth which involves......sex. The main reason men want to be with women is for.....sex. Do you sense a theme here?
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Using Italy is hardly an appropriate benchmark. In those days they might have a woman in a bikini on the cover of Archaeology Today or The Trains of Europe.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
She was even topless in a number of movies when she was younger.

All actresses back in the Days of censorship in the US filmed love scenes twice,
once with blouse on for the US audience, once with blouse off for the grownup
countries.

When she was (much) younger, she and the rest of the people in her village
lived in a cave to escape bombing during WWII; Life went on, and she saw
and heard all of it; Beats the hell out of Sex Ed classes.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
This used to be called burlesque, but it was done with more taste. Nothing new here, she is selling what she's got.
It was however, easier to keep it away from children in the past.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yup; Gypsy Rose Lee she is not.
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
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