Guys, guys. Seriously. You won’t believe this. So on Sunday night, Beyoncé had a 15-minute medley performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. It was what you’d expect from Queen Bey these days — a stage full of back-up dancers in “naked stripper” costumes gyrating on strip poles, one of the most amazing collections of derrières I have ever seen, songs about performing oral sex in the back of a limo, a song about having a guy “tear that cherry out” (complete with the word “cherry” in big letters as the backdrop), a song that tells women who don’t respect Beyoncé sufficiently to “Bow Down Bitches,” S&M themes, intimate acquaintance with much of Bey’s crotch — you know, the usual. I mean, it wasn’t totally usual in that Beyoncé’s toddler child was in the audience to witness all this dry-humping and simulated getting-down, but other than that, your typical Beyoncé. I say this as someone who enjoys Beyoncé but might risk a visit from Saturday Night Live’s Beygency, the group that kills people insufficiently devoted to Queen Bey.
But in the midst of this performance, there was a little sermonette about “Feminism,” illustrated with the helpful prop of “FEMINIST” in big letters at the back of the stage. And the media completely ate it up. Many thought it inspiring and praised it to high heaven. I wrote that it was utterly hilarious that a cry for feminism took place between the strip club vignette and the “Bow Down” song. When I was interviewed about that piece, I said that feminism right now is an incoherent mess of double standards. Little did I know how right I was.
At the Emmy Awards, Modern Family star Sofia Vergara introduced Bruce Rosenblum, chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Flatly, she said it had always been her dream to come to America to do such a thing on stage — but like so many American dreams, it soured on the vine. Rosenblum asked Vergara to step onto a pedestal that then rotated 360 degrees, showing off the Latina star’s famous curves while he talked about the state of the television industry.
The last thing he said was, “What truly matters,” Rosenblum said, “is that we never forget that our success is based on always giving the viewer something compelling to watch.”
While not destined to win any comedy writing awards, the bit works because Sofia Vergara is very compelling to watch. I’m a happily married woman and I find her luscious curves a sight for sore eyes. But, then again, I think Beyoncé is hott. My views on women being generally hot and this being a nice thing are well-established, but these women are particularly hot. And they know it and werk it and all that.
Sofia Vergara’s crime — “Crime?” you ask. Yes, I’m getting to that — was that her bit didn’t include the word “feminist” in large font at the back of the stage. Many in the media, sometimes the very same people who loved Beyoncé performance (!), were upset at Vergara’s bit.
I fear you may not believe me so I’m going to cite some examples:
Time: Sofia Vergara Was Literally Put on a Pedestal in a Completely Sexist Bit at the Emmys
Salon (Yes, the real one and not the parody): Sofia Vergara’s bizarre, objectifying Emmy moment: The “Modern Family” actress is put on display–literally–for you viewers at home
Vox: The Emmys put Sofia Vergara on a rotating pedestal, and it was terrible
Huffington Post: The Emmy Awards Objectify Sofia Vergara During A Speech About Diversity On Television
Guys, these are real headlines. From the same outlets that ran headlines such as “Beyonce seizes moment at MTV Video Music Awards.” I don’t know if the problem was that Vergara had yards more clothing on than Beyoncé or if it was that she wasn’t splaying her legs with all the subtlety of a stampeding herd of rhinoceroses. (Side note: A herd of rhinoceroses is apparently called a crash or stubbornness. Isn’t that cool?)
But the real fun was on Twitter. Emily Nussbaum, who is the TV critic for The New Yorker, did her very best Pauline Kael with this one:
<<<<<<<<<WildPowerMom: Sorry, I couldn't get the Twitter Images to paste properly. A good chunk of this article sites examples in a form that doesn't paste. Please click the link at the top if you want to read the rest of it. My apologies for not having the will power to discover a way to let you read it in this forum.>>>>>>>>>
That’s right. When there was nothing but headless bodies featuring butts-butts-butts and a spread-eagle Beyoncé singing a song some have criticized for its lyrics joking about Ike Turner’s domestic violence, Jarrett Wieselman of BuzzFeed could not deal with the perfection. But when a fully clothed Vergara did a little comedy bit about her rockin’ bod, sound the alarm, we got a problem.
Perhaps feminists would do better to apply some principled consistency to their arguments. Putting curvalicious booties on display for checking out may be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s not magically made OK when one woman co-opts the meaningless term “feminist” and slaps it next to it. And justifying your enjoyment of said booty-objectification by that measure mere hours before condemning jokes about such objectification is not helping the feminist cause.
Still with me? Okay, this is actually me and not the author of the article listed above. Sorry for the missing part of the article, I just couldn't get the Twitter feed images to translate.
I was wondering if any of you ladies sometimes find being a Female Supporter and being a male version of a sex object end up going too much hand-in-hand.
Yesterday an older gentleman and I were discussing movements in America and he casually said he supported women burning their bras. It struck me that my husband likes when I walk around without a bra on too. In fact, that's one of those staple, hot and sexy things a woman can do to arouse a man. Especially if it is in a white, wet shirt. I mean, seriously, what man in his right mind wouldn't want women to just burn her bra and flop around? Well, unless we have a really sexy bra on that makes our boobs look like mini mountains.
Don't get me wrong, I love my bras and I love my boobs. There are plenty of health reasons and long term benefits to keeping my girls supported though. So I sorta laughed when a European indy youtube video was posted on a friends site (can't find the damn thing to link it). They switched gender roles and had women jogging shirtless and cat calling men. The push was mostly to get women to loosen up and stand up for the right to have their boobs be 'free' and go after sex if they want it. It did touch on other gender issues, but I kept thinking to myself, 'This is mostly a boy fantasy of womens boobs being everywhere and them asking for sex as men walk by. And some of these women are going to hurt their backs if they keep exercising without support!"
I'm suppose to feel empowered and daringly comfortable in my body if I were to pose seductively in a sexy calendar or be apart of a wet t-shirt contest, or wear a skimpy bikini boldly. Yet, if I were to breastfeed in public and possibly, accidentally expose myself in that regard I should be made to feel ashamed and be shunned by those around me. Not viewed as beautiful and daring, but as ... I don't know, something else. If I want my daughter to wear a tankini or a one piece as she ages I am told that I am making her hate her body by not allowing her to feel comfortable in less. Though if a bikini where made out of cotton and called underwear she should be trained to cover up and be embarrassed if someone accidently saw her that way. It's sorta confusing.
When it comes to physical appearance in the media it seems like a woman can't be a great artist unless she is willing to hint at or slightly play out a male driven sexual fantasy. Beyonce has a rocking voice, but it has to be drowned out by bare asses and the lyrics of having a cherry blown out. This comedic actress literally serves herself on a platter to be gawked at in a way most women hate when, steretypically, walking past a construction site. How can we demand respect and to be seen as an equal gender when we have such dueling sexual messages, mostly to the benefit of only men?
I mean really, do most of the sexy women stuff (clothing, humping walls, licking lips, sucking on fingers....) you see performers do really enhance your experience of their art?!
Maybe I'm not making sense. I'm pretty sure several of you will charge me with not making sense. Sorry, I'm 8 months pregnant, and I admit my writing and English talent has fallen into a new low with this pregnancy (my third). While I was reading this article on my 32nd trip to the bathroom today I felt it summed up this irrational double standard women seem to have created for themselves.
Let me see if I can sum it up my thoughts in a different way. Beyonce, I consider a strong feminist, as she usually sings empowering songs about women standing up for themselves and sometimes calling out women who need to get their act together. At least she did in the 90's and early 00's when I was more into her genre of music. Remember that song "Nasty Girl" with the lines:
You's a nasty (nasty) Trashy (nasty)
Nasty put some clothes on, I told ya
Don't walk out your house without no clothes on, I told ya
Girl what ya thinkin' bout lookin' that to' down, I told ya
These men don't want no hot female that's been around the block female, you nasty girl