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Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Performance Inspires Conservative Freakout

9:38 am - 02/05/2013
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Performance Inspires Conservative Freakout

Beyoncé Knowles rocked the Super Bowl halftime show last night, and, pearls clenched firmly in fist, Kathryn Jean Lopez is on it, and the national cultural decline Ms. Knowles apparently represents:

I don’t want to linger on this, but last night’s Super Bowl half-time show was ridiculous — and gratuitously so. Watching Twitter, it was really no surprise that men made comments about stripper poles and putting dollar bills through their TV sets, was it? Why can’t we have a national entertainment moment that does not include a mother gyrating in a black teddy? The priceless moment was Destiny’s Child reuniting to ask that someone “put a ring on it.” As I mentioned on Twitter last night, perhaps that case might be best made in another outfit, perhaps without the crotch grabbing. It seems quite disappointing that Michelle Obama would feel the need to tweet about how “proud” she is of Beyoncé. The woman is talented, has a beautiful voice, and could be a role model. And she is on some levels — on others she is an example of cultural surrender, rather than leadership.

I’d venture that there’s more dignity in Beyoncé’s marvelously controlled, rigorously choreographed performance than in Bruce Springsteen’s sloppy slide and camera crotch-bump of a few years back. And as much as her very much post-baby body was on display, Beyoncé’s performance was less allusively sexual than Prince’s silhouetted guitar. In fact, almost everything about Beyoncé’s off-stage life pretty much seems to meet Lopez’s criteria, from her long courtship with Jay-Z, to the child the two of them had once they were firmly ensconced in wedlock. If I were Lopez, I might actually think about striking the Knowles-Carters a medal for defying the Hollywood trend of shotgun or infinitely-delayed post-baby weddings.

But all of this is beside the point. What Lopez appears to object to, and what overrides for her any other consideration of ways in which Beyoncé might be a role model—including her financial success and careful control of her image— is the sight of a woman living in and very much enjoying her body, without needing to secure anyone else’s approval or ensure anyone else’s enjoyment. One of the hallmarks of Beyoncé’s lyrics, both with Destiny’s Child, and as a solo artist, is that no one is entitled to access to her. “Move, groove, prove you can hang with me / By the looks I got you shook up and scared of me,” she sang in “Bootylicious,” with its famous chorus. She warned a loutish boyfriend “Don’t you ever for a second get to thinking you’re irreplaceable.” In “Countdown,” she describes a relationship of equals, where she’ll “Do whatever that it takes, he got a winner’s mind / Give it all to him, meet him at the finish line,” and where “Yup, I buy my own, if he deserve it, buy his shit too.” And in “Independent Women,” Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child warned women “If you’re gonna brag make sure it’s your money you flaunt / Depend on no one else to give you what you want.”

And I think that’s really what makes Lopez twitchy. In the 1994 script for Little Women, Robin Swicord wrote that “nothing provokes speculation more than the sight of a woman enjoying herself.” And in 2013, few things get conservatives twitchier than a woman who will take a ring from the right man—and in fact already has—but will do it because she wants it, not because she needs it.


OP: How was her performance? I don't watch Super Bowls but this has me curious.
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shipperx 5th-Feb-2013 05:17 pm (UTC)
The priceless moment was Destiny’s Child reuniting to ask that someone “put a ring on it.”

*head-tilt* You'd think the 'family values' folks wouldn't have a problem with that bit. What exactly does she think 'put a ring on it' means?

As far as the show, great pyrotechnics, but the sound production could have been handled better. The voices were a bit drowned out.
mercystars 5th-Feb-2013 05:21 pm (UTC)
perhaps she's thinking cock rings?

romp 5th-Feb-2013 05:45 pm (UTC)
love all this
bluebombardier 5th-Feb-2013 05:41 pm (UTC)
Her performance was so fucking flawless it blew out half the stadium lights for half an hour and gave the 49ers enough steam to come back from a 22 point deficit.

Choice Facebook comments from that night:

"Beyoncé just won the Super Bowl."
"Too much football during the Beyoncé Bowl."

Also, check out this breakdown of the performance.

And OP, maybe put the quote in <blockquote> tags. I was really confused for like five seconds between the second and third paragraphs.
furrygreen 5th-Feb-2013 06:39 pm (UTC)
It doesn't seem to work for me. XD I've tried put the tag in but I can't see a difference.
redstar826 5th-Feb-2013 05:50 pm (UTC)
kitanabychoice 5th-Feb-2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
alexvdl 5th-Feb-2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah. Beyonce definitely took away from the fact that grown men were trying their best to injure other grown men in ritualized violence. But oh lord, that lady was showing her LEGS. *flutters my handkerchief fearfully*
poetic_pixie_13 5th-Feb-2013 06:48 pm (UTC)

Flawless, sexy, smart, beautiful, brilliant, badass, fantastic, wonderful, perfect, friend-of-Michelle-O Queen.

And yes her performance was sexual, but that wasn't all there was to it and she owned that stage. She was doing everything on her own terms with no men in sight. It was amazing. She is not subservient to Shawn Knowles-Carter or anyone else. How dare she be so plainly, bombastically, unapologetically female and black and powerful and secure and sure and in control.

Basically, multiple orgasms during her performance. I think I saw the face of God when Kelly and Michelle rose up from the earth.

Edited at 2013-02-05 06:58 pm (UTC)
volatiletimes 5th-Feb-2013 07:00 pm (UTC)
cuterabbit33 5th-Feb-2013 07:00 pm (UTC)
Sounds like someone wasn't ready for that jelly.

goddamn i've been wanting to do that joke forever
simplefaith08 5th-Feb-2013 07:27 pm (UTC)
(I'm laughing so hard right now)

Their vibe was too vibealacious, obviously.
volatiletimes 5th-Feb-2013 07:01 pm (UTC)
Can we talk about the look she gave Michelle when it seems she gave up a few seconds too soon? Glorious.
umi_mikazuki 5th-Feb-2013 07:25 pm (UTC)
Beyoncé's entire performance was fucking glorious.
randomtasks 5th-Feb-2013 07:28 pm (UTC)
Now I wish she performed Girls Run The World just to see their heads explode.
bmh4d0k3n 5th-Feb-2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
That was really my only disappointment with the performance, tbqh.
wikilobbying 5th-Feb-2013 07:39 pm (UTC)
i'm over the desperation of certain people to shit on beyonce's half-time performance. she utterly owned that stage, and she owns herself. she may not be perfect or have a perfect track record throughout her career, but i'm happy to have her as such a huge musical and pop cultural icon.
world_dancer 5th-Feb-2013 07:41 pm (UTC)
The Hell?

I didn't watch her performance (because I don't watch the Super Bowl). But I've seen pictures and limited videos of it. She looked just like every other act I've seen/heard of for the past 10 years. Black Eyed Peas and Janet Jackson come to mind for similar attire. And as there wasn't nudity, I think Beyonce wins.
satellite__eyes 5th-Feb-2013 07:53 pm (UTC)
To the left with this one. Beyonce will empower more woman this than broad could dream of.
eyetosky 5th-Feb-2013 08:11 pm (UTC)
"but last night’s Super Bowl half-time show was ridiculous — and gratuitously so."

And that Mardis Gras! Don't get me started!
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