Dear Chicks on the Right: Don’t #BanBeyonce

Oh, Chii-iicks, we have more talking to do. Let me get out the wine early this time. I’m going to need it in order to understand your logic.

First, let me just say that I wish we didn’t have to keep doing this. Actually, I wish you two just didn’t have a platform, but we’re all entitled to our opinions, so I guess I could just ignore you. But if you could stop showing up in all of my news feeds, that would be great, because when I see you spouting your illogical drivel, I have to read it. I just can’t quit you!

Your latest concern is the #BanBossy campaign. You say there’s no cited scientific evidence about how the word “bossy” affects young girls, and thus you refuse to take it seriously. First, there are statistics right on the front page of the #BanBossy website. Namely, the following three facts:

  • Between elementary and high school, girls’ self-esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys’.
  • Girls are twice as likely as boys to worry that leadership roles will make them seem “bossy.”
  • Girls get less airtime in class. They are called on less and interrupted more.

Be it far from me to state that correlation implies causation, but number two at least should make you go, “Hmmm. Maybe ‘bossy’ is a problem.” Not to mention that I can supply you with enough anecdotal evidence for weeks from my own childhood, and I’m going to place a bet that I am not the only one. “Bossy” is absolutely a word that affects girls, and the point of the campaign is merely to be careful of the words we use when we speak to children, whether those children are girls or boys.

But as per usual, Chicks, the problem you say you have isn’t the problem you really have.

As it turns out, your real problem is Beyoncé.

And the fact that she’s being used as a role model when her songs are about S-E-X and her latest music video for “Partition” involves revealing clothing and highly sexual references.

And here I thought you would be happy because the songs are about her husband. They’re in a committed, married relationship! That’s got to make conservatives happy!

All joking aside, though, your complaint is that you don’t know why you should have to talk about objectification and gender roles in media when Beyoncé is RIGHT THERE being a bad influence! Beyoncé’s “Partition” and the corresponding video are probably not appropriate for a little kid to listen to/watch. I can’t disagree there. I’m not a huge Beyoncé fan myself (I know, practically sacrilege for a liberal chick!) but I do respect that she has control of her own image and that she runs her business the way she sees fit. No one does it for her, ergo, “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss.” I would actually argue that the in-your-face sexuality of her music and image is compelling, because it’s clearly by choice, not by artifice or industry pressure.

I probably would also avoid watching the “Partition” video with my kid. The messages being sent are complex and overtly sexual and perhaps not something you are ready to expose your child to. This does not, however, make Beyoncé a bad business role model, maybe just too much for a young kid. Luckily, Beyoncé doesn’t make her music for young kids! (Dora the Explorer isn’t real, so she’s not really available as a spokesperson.)

You should have conversations about objectification and gender roles in media for their OWN sake. And yes, if you want to have them about Beyoncé, have them! The point is to guide your child’s media intake and to see what she’s getting from it. The point is to see how women are represented in the media your own child is taking in, and to discuss with him what he learned from it. You might be surprised at the unconscious assumptions children make from watching television that is

Your problem here is not actually with the #BanBossy campaign. It’s with sex. Like many conservatives, you are OBSESSED WITH SEX. And never showing it to anyone, but remarking on and shaming the prurience of it, when it’s clear you are also watching. The thing is, eventually, your child will start having the feels and wouldn’t you rather her see that sex can be an empowered individual choice, rather than something boys like and girls don’t and you shouldn’t have it because it makes you a “vapid, mindless, hypocritical tramp.” (Your words, not mine.) Something that she can choose to do or not because she is not an object of someone else’s pleasure, but is her own person?

Probably not. I can’t believe I’m still wasting wine on the two of you.

Get out of my house. I’m going to learn the Single Ladies dance. And you’re not invited. Because I said so.


By amandamarieg

Amandamarieg is a lawyer who does not work as a lawyer. She once wrote up a plan to take over the world and turned it in as a paper for a college course. She only received an A-, because she forgot that she would need tech geeks to pull off her scheme.

7 replies on “Dear Chicks on the Right: Don’t #BanBeyonce”

The disconnect between condemning Beyonce because her songs celebrating her relationship with her husband are too sexual and the line Christian religious conservatives tell young people that sex is only good if you’re married is just mind boggling.

It’s like sex is good, but not THAT good. And they wonder why they leave the faith after high school.

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