Fox spent much of its VMA coverage questioning Beyonce’s ability to promote feminism while being "extremely sexual."
Megyn Kelly labeled Beyonce’s message and lyrics as “skanky,” while a FoxNews.com article claimed the singer “seemed to ensure her behind was the focus on each song, all the while educating young viewers about feminism.”
On The Five, Fox hosts suggested “she’s auditioning for a future husband,” and Greg Gutfeld announced that ”the greatest thing about pop culture is convincing women that acting like strippers is empowering.”
What Fox failed to recognize is that expressing sexuality does not automatically remove a woman’s right to discuss equality. Instead, the network righteously shamed Beyonce and used her performance as basis to attack feminism as a whole. In reality, such policing of women’s sexuality has harmed progress toward equality. The very same mindset has been used to dismiss women’s need to access contraception, and blame rape survivors for their own assaults.
If anyone is going to be shamed, it should be Fox and its irresponsible coverage of women’s issues.
Toward the end of December, Girl Scout USA’s official Twitter account tweeted out a Huffington Post story about the inspiring individuals who should be considered to be 2013′s “women of the year.” The article included figures like Beyonce, Malala Yousafzai, and Wendy Davis — and the organization asked its followers who else should be added to the list of “incredible ladies.” That was enough for anti-choice activists to call for a national boycott of the organization’s popular cookies, claiming the Girl Scouts have endorsed “pro-abortion politician Wendy Davis.”
“We’re asking you to boycott Girl Scout cookies in 2014,” reads a new site dedicated to the boycott, explaining that Davis should not be lifted up as a “worthy role model for our children.” The same accusation is being leveled against the group in regards to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who was included in a different news article about influential U.S. women that the Girl Scouts shared on its Facebook page.
The Girl Scouts’ supposed endorsement of the Democratic lawmaker is hardly the first time that the organization has landed in hot water with conservative groups. The national organization has been harshly criticized for its ties with Planned Parenthood over the past several years, and some anti-choice activists suggest that Girls Scouts USA actively promotes a “radical feminist agenda.” Last year, one right-wing preacher and radio host suggested that the organization is a “wicked” group that is an agent of lesbianism.
In reality, Girl Scouts USA takes no official position on either abortion or birth control. Organization officials repeatedly emphasize that these are topics best discussed between girls and their parents.
“CookieCott 2014″ is encouraging supporters to share a flier to spread the word about the “pro-life concerns” with the national organization.
I encourage the American people to buy even more Girl Scout cookies this year to make the anti-choice right-wing whiners mad!
Anti-gay activists including Rush Limbaugh, Fox News’ Todd Starnes, and the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer and Tim Wildmon have been having a field day this week attacking the Grammy Awards for hosting a performance involving a mass marriage that included same-sex couples. Today, the Illinois Family Association, the state affiliate of the AFA, joined the fray, sending out an email attacking the awards show for contributing to the “destruction of marriage.”
IFI’s “cultural analyst” Laurie Higgins writes that the Grammys were “a tragic freak show” and “a gawdy[sic] spitball hurled in the all-seeing eye of a holy God.”
The wedding ceremony, Higgins writes, was “a sorry, sick, non-serious ceremony that looked like something from the garish dystopian world of the Hunger Games” and “a non-wedding festooned with all the indulgent gimcrackery [sic] of Satan’s most alluring playground: Hollywood.” She particularly attacks “homosexual faux-pastorette” Queen Latifah and “the Dorian Gray-esque” Madonna for taking part in the proceedings.
But Higgins disapproval goes beyond the same-sex marriage portion of the entertainment. She also criticizes Beyoncé — the object of a few recenttirades from the Right — for providing a “vulgar anti-woman, anti-marriage performance” that Higgins compares to “soft-core porn.”
“Beyoncé has abused her power as a beloved role model for young girls to teach them terrible lessons about sexuality and marriage,” Higgins writes. Her anger extends also to Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z, whom she claims “seems to revel in the lustings of strangers for his wife.”
“Is it money that motivates his eager embrace of his wife’s immodesty, or pride that he has access to her body when all other leering men do not?” Higgins asks. “If it’s money, how is he different from a pimp?”
Another reason why the IFI are a bunch of fake “Christians” and advocate very dangerous values and a threat to the humanity of the State of Illinois.
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and the group’s senior fellow Cathy Ruse dedicated a segment of Washington Watch on Friday to attacking the Girl Scouts over a Twitter “scandal.” In December, the Girl Scouts tweeted a link to a HuffPost Women article called, “These Incredible Ladies Should Be Women Of The Year For 2013.”
The article included a HuffPost Live video in which panelists mentioned Malala Yousafzai, Beyoncé Knowles and Wendy Davis as their picks for Woman of the Year. The mention of Davis, the Texas state senator and gubernatorial candidate who gained international attention for her filibuster of a bill curtailing abortion rights, infuriated anti-choice activists, who then attacked the Girl Scouts for linking to the post.
Ruse alleged to Perkins that the leadership of the Girl Scouts is encouraging promiscuity and abortion and that the group’s decision to let a transgender girl join a Brownie troop amounted to “child abuse.”
To them abortion and sex-ed and promiscuity for very young girls is a good thing. They just have a very different mindset but they do not share the values of most American parents and the values of most people who are in the Girl Scouts. So when the Girl Scout membership begins to learn about this they find it scandalous. There’s a reason why membership is down in the Girl Scouts, there’s a reason why cookie sales are down, because all of these things are scandalous. You know, Girl Scouts now admit cross-dressing boys as little Brownie girls; it’s child abuse, frankly.
Look at what the organization at the head wants to do with your girls and where it’s taking the organization and then people can decide what they should do. You’ve got a cross-dresser in the front office, you’ve got little boys admitted as little girls and those poor little girls in those troops have to pretend this is a girl? That’s child abuse in some people’s estimation.
Perkins also revived themyth that the Girl Scouts circulated a Planned Parenthood pamphlet at an event in 2010. He argued that Planned Parenthood seeks to “encourage promiscuity and behavior that would lead [Girl Scouts] into Planned Parenthood clinics.”
Perkins: We’re talking about the agenda that’s really behind the Girl Scouts. I guess Cathy I can understand, it makes sense for Planned Parenthood to want to be teamed up with the Girl Scouts because that’s a client base for them if they can get this information into their hands to encourage promiscuity and behavior that would lead them into Planned Parenthood clinics.
Ruse: Absolutely, it’s logical isn’t it.
From the 01.10.2014 edition of FRC’s Washington Watch:
Two Florida Republicans are prompting the Obama administration to open an investigation into Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s recent trip to Cuba, arguing that the couple may have violated sanctions against the communist country.
Former House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and her colleague Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart sent a letter to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Friday, calling for an investigation into whether any laws were broken during the celebrities’ trip:
We write to express concern and to request information regarding the highly publicized trip by U.S. musicians Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (Beyoncé) and Shawn Carter (Jay-Z) to Cuba. We would like to respectfully request, within all applicable rules and guidelines, information regarding the type of license that Beyoncé and Jay-Z received, for what purpose, and who approved such travel.[…]
Cuba’s tourism industry is wholly state-controlled; therefore, U.S. dollars spent on Cuban tourism directly fund the machinery of oppression that brutally represses the Cuban people.
Despite the clear prohibition against tourism in Cuba, numerous press reports described the couple’s trip as tourism, and the Castro regime touted it as such in its propaganda.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z did recently travel to Cuba for their fifth anniversary, a move that has upset many in the Cuban-American community. Ros-Lehtinen in particular represents a large Cuban population, and has been a major factor in preventing lawmakers from lifting the fifty-year old embargo on Cuba, despite both international and domestic support for such a measure.
Both Beyoncé and Jay-Z have been outspoken in their support for Obama, making them easy targets for Republicans. The couple hosted a star-studded fundraiser for the Obama campaign in 2012, and both have performed for the President on numerous occasions.
The puritans are up in arms against Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance, which included a reunion with her 1990s R&B group, Destiny’s Child. It wasn’t “family friendly”. They say their kids can’t watch the Super Bowl anymore if women are going to dress like that and lick their fingers.
I hope these same people don’t take their kids to that bastion of family values, Hooters.
Here’s Beyoncé’s smoking hot performance, in which we are told she sang live (talent is sexy, no?):
It astounds me that anyone living in this culture could be offended by Beyoncé’s performance. Is it offensive that women can’t play football and that they are served up as objects of lust who cheer on the men? Yes, that’s offensive. But that is hardly Beyoncé’s fault. Is football a sport that attracts the sort of male energy that objectifies women? Often, yes. Again, NOT Beyoncé’s fault.
Is it offensive that these same puritans are okay with Smiling Barbie cheerleaders’ costumes but offended by the same coverage when done in leather? It’s okay to show off your breasts and bottom in order to cheer the men on, but if you are fierce and awesome in black leather while showing your tummy and bottom as your own act, you are no longer family friendly.
After the performance, the focus of America’s criticism for being too sexy/sexist left an inspiring letter for her fellow female performers, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson. Beyoncé wrote that it was “an honor” to perform with the “phenomenal ladies… You are all beautiful, talented and showed so much class!”
This is a nation that calls Hooters a family restaurant, so spare me the puritanical outrage over Beyoncé.
That this is a sexist, misogynistic culture is not up for debate among sane people. I don’t blame mothers who don’t like it, but it’s a bit short-sighted to blame Beyoncé for this fact. Is she making money off of her sexuality? Yes. So are the women anchors at Fox News. So are the girls at Hooters. Models. Sarah Palin when she had it. And so many more. Because of our culture, almost all women in media have to sell their sexuality, even if by withholding it (so rare) and creating a more valuable commodity. Some of those people also have talent to back up their sex appeal. Some of them don’t, which should be offensive but somehow we don’t seem to mind a girl selling herself short or bemoan the women with talent who are ignored by our culture because they aren’t “hot”.
This culture is offensive to women and bad for young girls and it’s not fixed by cheering women in the front lines of combat, because even that, while progress, is still an attempt to catch the approval of the American male centric value system in which power is equated with being like a man.When a woman is seen as an equal because of her more feminine traits (not sexual traits; feminine traits, like cooperation – and I note that Beyoncé demonstrated one such feminine trait by praising her female co-performers) we will have advanced into post-knuckle-dragging days.
Beyoncé is actually a strong, talented woman making the most of her short shelf life as an object of desire and using that sexuality to empower herself. In 2010, Knowles was ranked first on Forbes list of the “100 Most Powerful and Influential Musicians in the World”. She designs clothes and markets perfumes because she’s smart enough to know where this is going to land.
Hey, the First Lady enjoyed Beyonce’s performance, as did most of the country. Michelle Obama tweeted, “Watching the #SuperBowl with family & friends. @Beyonce was phenomenal! I am so proud of her!”
Here’s the family friendly argument: Cheerleaders, who make a lot less money, have no power and often wear less, are a great model for their daughters but Beyoncé isn’t. Here’s a hint, puritans of America — if the men aren’t watching the NFL expecting sex, then why do the cheerleaders dress like strippers, albeit American sparkly strippers? Maybe if Beyoncé had put some Sarah Palin sparkly stars on her leather, she wouldn’t have been so darn scary, eh?
Some people seem to have a real problem with a woman being center stage in her own life. Who would you rather your daughter emulate in her career: Beyoncé or a cheerleader?