If you watched Beyoncé Knowles’ performance at the VMA’s last night, you knew this was coming. The powerful, talented, and gorgeous Beyoncé used the platform to sell feminism to her fans. The decaying relics of “conservatism” (aka, please let us keep our privilege and power or we hate you all) that comprise the Fox News audience can’t stand it when the beautiful ones disagree with their message of silent, sexualized objects subservient to men.
So this morning they are rolling their eyes at The Bey. Naturally they started off conflating her with Hollywood, because that suits their agenda to smear her and Hollywood with the “liberal” label, even though actual Hollywood, as in the entertainment world, is not liberal. Rather, it is bottom-line driven industry of corporations embodying capitalism and producing one of our top exports. It is business.
So Fox starts off, “What does it really mean to be a feminist in Hollywood these days?”
Then they leaned on social media to make their point that there was so much eye rolling at Bey! So much horror, Beyoncé was sexy last night at the VMAs! Translation: Beyoncé is powerful and sexy, and this is a problem, unlike the decorative candy strewn about Fox News sets with their bare, oiled legs crossing under a conveniently glass table, sleeveless dresses and plunging necklines with barely plausible deniability.
Clad in just a sparkly leotard and flanked by several other minimally dressed females and a few bare-chested males, the performance featured every song from her “Beyonce’s album – along with a smorgasbord of gyrations, leg spreads, stripper poles, body rubbing and pelvic rolls.
The popular entertainer also seemed to ensure her behind was the focus on each song, all the while educating young viewers about feminism through the words of the Chimanda Ngozi speech she borrows in the track “***Flawless.”
“We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings the way that boys are. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls ‘You can have ambition, but not too much’,” says the voice-over. “Feminist. The person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.”
Watch here via Time:
Of course this upset the conservatives who watch Fox News in hopes of getting their Archie Bunker heydays back, because Beyoncé took this huge platform and used it to take back the word feminism. Fox News loves to bash feminism and has been diligently smearing feminists as filthy, loveless and ugly whores for years now. Beyoncé is clearly not ugly or loveless, and she’s even a mother. She also thanked God for “this moment”, giving Fox News a heart attack with her “shout out to her Christian faith” as she embraced her husband and child.
THIS FEMINIST MESSAGE IS NOT APPROVED BY FOX NEWS. FEMINISTS ARE UGLY AND CHILDLESS AND CAN’T GET A MAN.
Beyoncé got to the top and now she’s using it to her advantage, and she’s trying to educate her fans that female empowerment is a good thing. She does this while being sexy, but what Fox News doesn’t say is that Beyoncé is more than sexy. Beyoncé is also sweet and charming, throwing the audience a fresh-faced smile in between gyrations. She mixes a ladylike essence with her dance moves, and I suspect that this is really what gets the Fox News watchers in a lather. She’s got some Marilyn Monroe on her, only she is in a different era. She is not afraid of her power and she is not waiting for a man to fix things. She is alive and aware and she owns herself. She’s in charge.
If some modern feminists look like Beyoncé, what does that say about the arguments the men and women who hate them have been making? If a modern feminist like Beyoncé is living the values of family and faith, then the Fox News version of feminism is obviously a lie.
That’s why she reminded everyone what a feminist really is: “Feminist. The person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” A feminist believes in equality for everyone, and they come from all walks of life. Some of them are fiercely talented and unafraid of owning it.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.