I am wary, but I tap the link and read the post. The author’s intro is catchy, calling out the way we see what we expect to see, not what really is. And it’s true, stereotypes are rooted deep within each of us, grown and watered and fed before we know how to fight them. I appreciate his panoramic perspective of the stage, and I remember those long shots from the halftime show. There certainly were a lot of people—a lot of women—on that stage.
But I physically react, when I read his use of the word prophetic. Her performance was prophetic. Beyonce’s performance was a prophetic statement about female power.
"Because 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."
Did Beyonce command the attention of the stadium and viewers at home? Absolutely.
Was it refreshing to see a woman who doesn’t fit the waify supermodel image we are so used to seeing? Absolutely, yes.
Was it prophetic? No. No it was not prophetic.
Beyonce’s performance is not some predictive performance about the future of women in faith. It was not some predictive performance about the future of women, regardless of their faith, in America or anywhere else in the world.
It was sex and it was power.
Yes, sex and power taken captive and used by a woman, by many women, but for what purpose?
Sex and power are the tools of our culture, they are the tools that have been used to build up the platform upon which unreachable standards of beauty are held.
They are the tools used to build the multibillion dollar porn industry.
They are the tools that allow the Super Bowl to have the largest audience with the most sexually aggressive marketing platform.
Sex and power are no different when wielded by women.
As Audre Lorde [an African-American writer and feminist] said, as she railed against the racism she saw within the feminist movement, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master's house as their only source of support."
Please, please hear me when I say this: You cannot use the tools of those in power to dismantle that same power structure. It does not work.
If it did, Jesus would have come as a Roman centurion, wielding a Roman sword. He would have come as a Pharisee among Pharisees, rising quickly with his innovative interpretation of the Torah.
But that is not how he came here.
He did not pick up a Roman sword.
He did not stand in the synagogues or on the streets to be honored by men.
He came as the last and the least.
He was born in hole on the side of a hill, only to die on a cross atop a different hill some thirty-odd years later.
He fought, but he did not fight with sword or Mishnah.
He used the tools of the Master to dismantle the power structures of this world. He used love and justice rooted in Truth, not culturally relevant truth.
He used the lowly things of this world to shame the wise.