Writer Naomi Schaefer Riley hurled criticism at Hov for watching as his better half opened the Grammys by mounting a chair in a barely there costume and damp hair. As Riley puts it, Hov "stands there smiling and singing as his scantily clad wife straddles a chair" and "shakes her rear end for other men's titillation."
Mr. and Mrs. Carter weren't simply performing Bey's "Drunk in Love" track, but giving the world a front-row seat to their "foreplay" moves according to a critique from author Charlotte Hays, mentioned in the piece.
Riley writes, "Indeed, the happy couple seems to have completely blurred the line between what goes on in their bedroom and what happens on national TV. So much for the woman that Michelle Obama has called 'a role model who kids everywhere can look up to.'"
More ironic than the juxtaposition of Beyoncé's wholesome and sex symbol images is her recent essay on gender equality, Riley theorizes. "When she complains that 'gender equality is a myth,' one wonders to what extent her consent to sell sexuality has contributed to the problem," she writes.
She adds that the Carters — who were once quiet about their relationship, in part to keep the public scrutiny at bay — have since "invited audiences to admire their adorable family" and being more open with their affection raises the question of how matrimony changes a relationship. "Or in Beyoncé's terms, if he likes it, why should he put a ring on it?" Riley asks.
The answer, she finds, is in the example of former French President François Hollande, who "decided to trade in one girlfriend for another." Hollande and Jay's relationships aren't actually connected, but Riley uses both figures to make a point about male objectification and the less powerful role women play in relationships.
While Riley clearly doesn't agree with the couple's display at the Grammys, Rutgers University is taking a less condemnatory look into all things Beyoncé.
The Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University is offering the class "Politicizing Beyoncé." The course is described as a exploration of "American, race, gender and sexual politics," according to the Associated Press.
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(Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage)
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