Lots of people are up in arms about Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime show last night, criticizing the artist for objectifying herself and characterizing her performance as “stripping” or “pornography”. Here’s a fantastic response from David Henson:
Beyoncé’s performance Sunday night in New Orleans wasn’t about sex. It was about power, and Beyoncé had it in spades. In fact, her show was one of the most compelling, embodied and prophetic statements of female power I have seen on mainstream television.
That a Black woman claimed and owned her power during the misogynist, consumerist celebration known as the Super Bowl only highlights Beyoncé’s brilliance and boldness.
More than anything, while I was watching the recorded video of Beyoncé’s act, I kept thinking, “She looks like she’s having so much fun.” People want to be able to characterize all similar events as having similar morality; because some women dance on stage in minimal clothing to provoke lust or because they are letting their sexuality be hijacked by men, Beyoncé must be doing the same thing. But maybe Beyoncé has no interest in your sexual response to her, and she certainly doesn’t need to exploit her sexuality for her own survival. She’s a sexual being, as God created her, and last night she owned that sexuality on stage, flanked by a multitude of other talented women and absolutely zero men. I think the message is clear.