The Superbowl, Beyonce and Sexism

During the Super Bowl every year, feminist bloggers and tweeps take to the intertubes for the opportunity to analyze – not the game itself, mind you, but – the commercials that fill the gaps between squashed third down conversion attempts. These women and men, for the most part, are not looking to enjoy the commercials for the art of ad making. No way. The real point is to ferret out and expose the sexism embedded in every single ad.

Tide-loving Baltimore Ravens fan = sexist assumption of women’s role in the home.

Audi kiss the prom queen kid = he didn’t get consent sexual assault guy.

Two Broke Girls pole dancing = ARE YOU FRIGGIN’ KIDDING ME???!!!

Go Daddy beautiful (dumb) model and nerdy (smart) man = WHOA! That one was PRETTY SEXIST. And pretty freaking GROSS, by the way.

Super Bowl commercials – commercials in general – tend to scrape the bottom of the barrel in the feminist thought department. (Except for this pretty awesome Best Buy commercial featuring the always rib-tickling Amy Poehler.) What I didn’t expect was for one of these femi-tweeps to disrespect one of the richest, most successful women in the entertainment industry today.

Really, dude?

Wow. Not only does this woman’s tweet completely belittle and disregard the image that Beyonce has nurtured through her hard work and dedication to excellence, the follow up purports that somehow football is different from other sports because the MALE players try to dominate each other. THAT right there – that’s sexism.

This woman conveniently ignores two factors. The first is that ALL contact sport is based on violence (at some level) and physical domination. I played soccer for 13 years. (And softball for 7 years before that.) Personally, there was not a game I played in where I did not attempt to intimidate, out-muscle, out-foul, out-jostle, and generally demoralize my opponents. The desire to physically dominate ones opponents in sport is not a gendered trait – it is a human trait! The desire to win is innate to sport in general. And life without sport is a prison camp.

The second inconvenient truth? Describing Beyonce’s performance as nothing more than “spreading their legs” is insulting and just plain sexist. Even if this tweep were implying that the Super Bowl big-whigs would only allow a female act on stage that included scantily clad women doing suggestive dance moves, she would be highly mistaken. While I didn’t see The Boss take off his clothes (though I would not have complained). Nor did the Rolling Stones or Tom Petty. And even Madonna – though fully clad – had half-naked humans of male and female gender on her stage – fun for everyone!

The real fact is, Beyonce is a feminist role model who has used her body to create a BRAND that has made her MILLIONS of dollars, landed her a Super Bowl halftime show, and allowed her to sing for the President of the United States on several occasions!!! The fact that she looks absolutely spectacular in a lace-trained leotard is secondary to the fact that – at this point – she answers to herself, she makes her own rules, and she didn’t need a man to make her fortune for her.

Except her papa.

Because we all need a man for something.