Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Was the half time show super ironic?

Asked by wundayatta (58367 points ) February 4th, 2013

Is Beyonce a feminist? I don’t recall seeing a single male performer in her half time show. Wish I could have seen more of the trumpet player, but they didn’t linger long there.

Is this super ironic? I mean, the football game is all about men, and halftime is for the women? What? Do all the guys disappear to the kitchen (where the women have been slaving during the first half) to eat, while the women go watch the half time show?

What time is it when the second major marketing event of the year (after Christmas) becomes a complete parody of itself?

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25 Answers

ucme's avatar

How a showcase sporting event can give such gravitas to a half time show is beyond me.
It’s supposed to be no more than a sideshow, an interlude to the main event, but it seems things have gotten twisted a little…just a personal observation.

burntbonez's avatar

You’re right, @ucme. The half time show is a whole thing of its own. It has equal importance to the ads and the game, I think. It is how the football people try to get both men and women to watch the same game. Where I was watching the game, all the women came trotting into the room at half time, and then disappeared again after it was over. Should tell you something.

I do find it ironic that all the halftime performers were women and all the game performers were men. Beefcake and cheesecake. Not kosher, I guess. ;-) Unless they were served on separate plates, which, television wise, perhaps you could say was the case.

Something is happening here. I don’t know what it means. But something is definitely happening!

Seek's avatar

I do remember my husband turning to me and saying “So what was the big deal about Nipplegate again?”

Sunny2's avatar

I suspect it pleased the men watching.

Unbroken's avatar

Meh I don’t know much about the intended marketing agenda but I know men who only watch it for the half time show and women who watch the game.

I on the other hand ignore it. I think I watched part of the game one year and I was out with friends.

Is advertising and marketing sexist? Hell yes.

But we still have the ability to decipher for ourselves preferences and determine if group think is acceptable in any given situation.

Media and culture may influence us but how it influences us is quite personal.

livelaughlove21's avatar

How is the part of the show when hot half-naked women are dancing around the “woman’s part”? I’d think the men would be more interested in that.

Seek's avatar

I thought the best part was making up reasons for the blackout, and playing the Mute Game with the coaches. “MOM! You’re always BABYING him! That was HOLDING!”

bkcunningham's avatar

Didn’t she lip-sync for the entertainment portion of Obama’s inauguration and catch hell? I suspect somebody was trying to correct a marketing error. Also, you said: Is this super ironic? I mean, the football game is all about men, and halftime is for the women? What? Do all the guys disappear to the kitchen (where the women have been slaving during the first half) to eat, while the women go watch the half time show?

Maybe at your house.

ucme's avatar

@bkcunningham Yeah that sounds like the fucking dark ages, may as well bash the wives with a club & drag them back to the cave.

Seek's avatar

My halftime food was cooked by a man, who invited us to his house. He smoked three chickens and made homemade scalloped potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and kale/parsley/black eyed pea salad with garlic infused olive oil.

His wife was there, too.

I brought the beer.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I though the show was ridiculous. I couldn’t understand one thing she “sang”. The sound quality was so poor. You’d think for all they spent on that fiasco they could afford a real microphone with background noise cancellation – or at least have a better recording she could lip-synch to. It’s not that hard.
There was one thing I found interesting – the hydraulic stages that popped up and out the other two performers here .

Unbroken's avatar

@LuckyGuy I watched 6 minutes of that production for that?

It occurred to me to ask, and granted this probably ignorant. I am somewhat familair with Beyonce’s songs but not her as a performer… Can she dance?

liminal's avatar

I really like this article about the half-time show the author titles A Defiant Dance of Power, Not Sex: Beyoncé, the Super Bowl and Durga he writes “in the middle of a sports spectacle that construes power in terms of violence, Beyoncé began her performance by upending the narrative.”

Does this make her a feminist like the ones linked in the question? I would say no. Women in the United States are often held to a feminist standard that speaks more of the european-american experience than the experiences lived by women of color. Women of color (WOC) have not suffered under the systemic oppression of their men like european-american women have. (I do NOT mean men of color are not capable of being abusive misogynists.) I DO mean that women of color in this country have experiences that some feminist constructions do not speak to. Traditionally, WOC have always been free, if not forced, to work outside the home. They have grown up in and come from family structures that are built on egalitarian frameworks. Traditionally, her labor was equal to the labor of her husband, brother, or neighbor. Her presence in families was one of equality, if not prominence. Simply put, european-american women have done more to oppress women of color than men of color and the article seems woefully ignorant of this reality.

A young activist named Jessica Yee, when writing about the quagmire of academic feminism, wrote “Fuck the waves, we’re the ocean.” And, that is what I saw during half-time. It didn’t seem ironic, it seemed like the ocean crashing.

ETpro's avatar

I thought that the halftime and the ads were both a supreme masturbatory celebration of our love of technology. Our incredibly hot technology can do ANYTHING—except keep electric lights on. :-)

Buttonstc's avatar

Do you really think it would have been so enjoyable for the men to be watching a bunch of male backup dancers? I hardly think so.

I’m really not following your reasoning(?) here.

ETpro's avatar

@Buttonstc I would, but then I like men too. I admit I’m the exception.

rojo's avatar

I cannot say. I was stuffing my face with great food at that time and, tragically, missed the entire thing.

jonsblond's avatar

Shaq liked Beyonce.

I wasn’t impressed with her singing, though I know she can sing well. I was impressed with her stamina. She puts all of her energy into her dancing. If I dance like her for 30 minutes every night I’ll lose the weight I need to lose.

Buttonstc's avatar

@ET pro

Ha ha. That’s all well and good for you but my comment was meant directly for the OP as I don’t get his logic at all.

Unbroken's avatar

@liminal thanks for the post. Interesting and thought provoking.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@rosehips Beyonce can dance. This video is shows an example of her moving in a multi-cut, scripted, choreographed video. Put a ring on it. The backup dancers do the risky moves.
While everything else we saw and heard during the half time show was prerecorded and under total technical control, the dancing had to be live. That means it needed to be only low risk, 100% sure moves that could be executed in high heels and lingerie. That limits it to her signature “Strutting your stuff’ moves”.

Anyone want to take bets on how long it will be for the launch of the Beyonce line of lingerie? I’m guessing 3 months.

Earthgirl's avatar

I ‘m bemused by your take on this Wundayatta
Ironic? That doesn’t seem right to me. If any irony is there it’s of the sort that the article @liminal posted speaks of. That during the halftime show of the most testosterone drenched yearly spectacle in American culture,Beyonce blew the competition away with her all out display of female power and vitality. My first reaction was awe as she strutted and owned the stage with total confidence and style. I was thinking of Madonna’s previous halftime show and I said to my husband “Madonna has to have all her boy toy dancers so that she stands out, enhancing her feminine power. She basically uses her male dancers as props. Beyonce on the other hand isn’t afraid to surround herself with a group of talented female dancers because she’s sure that they will only serve to highlight her as the alpha female.

It’s funny because I’ve never liked Beyonce that much. I don’t like her kind of music and I was dying for someone to lampoon her big hit Put a Ring On It, that silly piece of proto-feminist non feminism. My idea is that one by one her backup dancers get lassoed off the stage by men “putting a ring on it” until she turns around to see she’s alone and her refrain changes to “uh-oh, uh-oh, oh oh oh!!”

By contrast to her hip swiveling fertility dance and na-na-na you can’t have me unless you brand me with a ring attitude in that song, here she was strong, confident and showing off. Male gridiron warriors watch out!! Here she comes, the Valkyrie! The ultimate Glamazon! You are all outclassed! Surrender at once!!

Here is an article about her costume.
In another article the NFL assures everyone that Beyonce’s show, despite rumors, was not the cause of the power outage in the stadium….Hmmmu, I’m not so sure, ..Beyonce, aka “Sasha Fierce” is more than capable of blowing a few fuses! Madonna is a better dancer, but I have to give credit where credit is due and I say “Bravo Beyonce!”
I don’t even care if you’re lip-synching, that’s entertainment!

bkcunningham's avatar

@Earthgirl, do you write op-eds or columns professionally? You should. I enjoyed your words this beautiful morning.

Earthgirl's avatar

” bkcunninham”:http://fluther No, I don’t, but thank you!

wundayatta's avatar

Ah @liminal and @Earthgirl. It is indeed ironic that you have described the irony to a T and yet neither of you see it. But first, thank you for your responses, because you have both helped illuminate what I saw instinctively, but didn’t really understand.

The irony is that Beyonce’s show was a display of feminine power in the midst of a supposed paeon to masculine power. The superbowl is about men bashing each other to be champions of the world. Yet, the half time show was about female power, and there wasn’t a man to be seen on stage! Not a single one!

People see sex or skimpy dresses or sexy dancing and they miss the whole point of the show, which was about female power. Women don’t need men to do all the things that men have traditionally done. They can do it all themselves. They are perfectly capable. You may not like what they did, but they did it all without men playing any of the traditional roles. Indeed, I wonder if there were any men running tech. But the key is the women playing the horns—and not just one horn, but ALL the horns. That is the blaring sign right there, although I don’t know how many people would appreciate it unless you are a horn player. (Like my little pun? Blaring?)

Anyway, I’m glad to find out I’m not the only one who saw this. I loved that article @liminal found. I did find Beyonce’s legs to be very attractive because I’m a leg guy and because they look so strong and powerful. I got what the show was about (which is why I asked the question).

As both @liminal and @Earthgirl point out, the costume was either based on the hyper-sexual goddess of warfare from Norse mythology known for randomly selecting men on the battlefield to die, or the Hindu warrior goddess Durga, whose name means a fort which cannot be overrun. Durga, the mother, the warrior, the protector from evil. Durga, the female warrior who battles demons, who defeats them.

I quite enjoyed it all, except for my constant complaint that they always cut away too fast and you never get a chance to really see the performers perform. I love long, slow follow shots, not the hyperactive, epilepsy-inducing production values of today. Alas, I am a dinosaur in that, I guess.

Anyway, thank you two for a serious consideration of my question. And @Earthgirl, I agree with @bkcunningham about writing professionally. I noticed you from the very first question of mine about music that you answered soon after you arrived here. I knew from one answer that you think and write in a really interesting and compelling way.

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