The much-anticipated Grammy’s were last night and I watched every minute of them. I enjoy seeing the “latest” and what our culture considers the “greatest”. The talent was amazing. The historical significance of some of the mash-ups was powerful. Blake Shelton certainly had the chops to stand up to every cowboy in his mash-up but was clearly amazed to be performing among such greats. To see Yoko Ono, Olivia Harrison, Ringo, and Paul all sitting up front (and sometimes performing) watching the next generation take the baton was poignant.
But my heart is so heavy this morning at the shocking double standard that was displayed last night. The entire program started off with Beyoncé dressed in a negligée with her legs spread apart or her butt swinging up in the air like a peacock in heat while Jay Z elegantly stood by in a tux. I considered it artistic drama and certainly it did depict the essence of the song she was singing. But as the night wore on I was struck by how many female performers were dressed provocatively and danced sexually as they sang their songs. Besides the robots, the men were all dressed in suits, tuxes, or cool clothes that gave off an air of dignified class. The robots in their own artistic way even echoed that same air of class.
Why can’t the women display their talent without sexualizing themselves?
Why can’t the women emulate the same dignified class?
Why do we allow such a double standard?
Some will say that Beyoncé is secure in who she is and expressing herself freely, but does that mean Jay Z isn’t secure in himself or expressing himself freely. None of the men who preformed last night felt it necessary to show up in speedos and gyrate on stage. Instead they played instruments and sang and generally demonstrated their talent.
Why do the women feel it necessary to combine their sexy bodies with their singing to be valued?
Can their worth not be found completely in the way they sing, compose, or play instruments?
I’m sure many of the female performers last night would or do stand up against sexual trafficking. I bet some of them have even helped non-profits who work to end sexual slavery.
But where does objectifying of girls begin?
Why do so many men in the world view women primarily as reproducing sexual objects?
Women have a responsibility to ourselves, to other women, and to the little girls of the world to display our worth in ways not associated solely with sex.
Beyoncé, you ARE beautiful and you do have a right to fully be you, but can you display your musical talent without reinforcing the underlying message that women’s primary worth comes from their eroticism?