The Super Bowl is more than a football game, it is a cultural event. One of the most watched events in the World (and consistently in the top events ever watched in the history of US Television), it is often a showcase for jingoistic displays of military might, horrific physical injuries, and consumerism at it’s sexist worst. It also can shine a light of the bigotry of certain individuals, as was the case this past week when Artie Lange tricked San Francisco 49ers DB Chris Culliver making anti-gay remarks, stating that “We ain’t got no gay people on the team…They gotta get up out here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff… Nah, can’t be … in the locker room, man.” (Chris Culliver realizes he plays in San Francisco, no? As least the 49ers were quick to issue a condemnation of his remarks.) But, that’s neither here nor there. I am here to talk about the Half Time Show.
Ever since 1993, when Michael Jackson performed at half time of Super Bowl XXVII, the Half Time Show has been a showcase for pop stars. This year was no different, with Beyoncé bringing a powerful performance that included the reuniting of Destiny’s Child and an all-female backing band that really tore the house down. Here is the performance for you to see for yourself:
Shortly thereafter, the conservative onslaught of slut-shaming began. Rich Lowry of the National Review had this to say:
Beyoncé dressed like she was headed for a shift at the local gentlemen’s club, and put on a show that was an all-out assault on the senses. She was stunning and athletic, as well as tasteless and unedifying.
This being said while promoting the white-washed Chrysler commercial that showed hard-working, white farmers as the backbone of our country. Coming from a farming family, I can tell you, this is not the case. This is just another instance of a conservative yearning for the not-so-distant past that they view as the nation’s greatest years (i.e., those years when only white people had rights.) In short, an America where we don’t have a black woman who is a role model for each and every one of us.
Kathryn Jean Lopez, also of the national review, chastised both Beyoncé and Michelle Obama’s praise of her, saying this:
I don’t want to linger on this, but last night’s Super Bowl half-time show was ridiculous — and gratuitously so…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.
In short, conservatives saw this strong, black woman perform one of the best half time shows in the last decade, and instead of focusing on her amazing abilities, they focused on her outfit and the “tawdry” nature of the dancing. Maybe my memory is short, but I don’t remember this outcry when Madonna last performed at half time of the Super Bowl (Then again, maybe the conservatives were upset by the blasphemous nature of her show, or something…but that outcry seems to have come mainly from the nutjobs). Here we are, watching a violent sport that tends to breed drunken, pro-patriarchy humans, and they are worried about Beyoncé showing just a little bit too much leg?
Shame on you, conservatives. Take you slut shaming elsewhere.