What Would Donald Trump Say about Beyonce?

What Would Donald Trump Say about Beyonce? October 11, 2016

One could well imagine. And if the comments came in a locker room setting, the pious among us may not want to imagine

But remember what President Obama said of a woman who has made part of her reputation trafficking in the kind of vulgarity that gets Mr. Trump in trouble. Heather MacDonald (via Rod Dreher) observes the hypocrisy of President Obama praising Beyonce and the press condemning Trump:

If any of these newfound exponents of female modesty felt any comparable nausea at the blatant display of female sexuality and, dare I say it, “pussy,” in Beyoncé’s acclaimed rock video “Formation,” say, they kept it to themselves. Beyoncé and her female chorus line rhythmically thrust their butts, crotches, and breasts to the camera, while Beyoncé brags of her sexual prowess:

Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh
I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin’)
Oh yeah, baby, oh yeah I, ohhhhh, oh, yes, I like that
I did not come to play with you hoes, haha
I came to slay, bitch
When he fuck bleep me good I take his ass to Red Lobster, cause I slay
If he hit it right, I might take him on a flight on my chopper, cause I slay
Drop him off at the mall, let him buy some J’s, let him shop up, cause I slay
I might get your song played on the radio station, cause I slay

Sounds like a sexual quid pro quo, ripe for a harassment lawsuit. The “Formation” video, which inspired Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime performance in January (to another universal swoon from the entertainment industry), also shows a very young girl engaging in some precocious twerking, a grotesque travesty of childhood. No objections to that destruction of the innocence of childhood from the DNC.

President Obama has singled out Beyoncé for praise, and the singer is a big Hillary Clinton supporter, to not a word of protest from Clinton regarding her status as a role model for young girls. Bill Clinton met with Beyoncé and her husband, rapper Jay Z, in September. . . .

The Washington Post primly headlined its scoop on Trump’s bus conversation with Bush: “Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005.” The New York Times’ follow-up story also labelled Trump’s remarks “lewd.” If either of those paper’s critics have ever objected to such lewdness in popular culture, it has escaped attention. Have they objected to college campus sex weeks, which routinely invite porn stars to offer how-to demonstrations on S & M sex? Do they squirm with discomfort when campus administrators pass out tips on the use of sex toys to achieve better orgasms? Not on the record, at least. . . .

The sudden onset of Victorian vapors among the liberal intelligentsia and political class at the revelation of Trump’s locker-room talk is part and parcel of the Left’s hypocrisy when it comes to feminism and sexual liberation. A routine objection to Trump is that he makes, in the words of the New York Times, “gutter attacks on women.” But why should women be exempt from Trump’s gutter attacks on anyone he wants to humiliate? Trump’s gratuitous nastiness to men and women alike, kicking people when they are down, unfits him to serve as the premier civic role model for the nation’s children. But the feminists can’t have it both ways: declaring that women should be equal to men in all things and then still demand a chivalric deference to female’s delicate sensibilities. Either women are the same as men or they’re not. It is particularly galling to see the selective resurrection of Victorian values from the same crowd that has been pushing transgender locker rooms on the world, in an effort to destroy the last shred of girls’ innate sexual modesty.

Again, this is not a defense of Trump. It is calling attention to what Trump has revealed — a double standard that runs through mainstream media, politics, and academic life (for starters).

The evangelical historian John Fea has followed carefully Trump’s problems and he is right to do that. But my problem with the way that many evangelical academics have latched on to Trump is that they fail to note the moral failings on the other side — the double standard extends to the evangelical world. For instance, just yesterday Fea argued that historians supply context to the study of the present.

John Fea thinks historians should supply context. But what about the context of the president’s and ex-president’s and ex-first lady’s remarks? He tries to supply the context for Trump’s apology:

Last night, in a prepared video, Trump “apologized” for his remarks. Trump’s statement included the line: “Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am.”

In interpreting this sentence, any historical thinker would immediately place it in CONTEXT. In this case, the context is dozens and dozens of similar derogatory remarks Trump has made about women in the past.

Of course there are other ways to think historically about Trump’s “apology.” For example:

How should Trump’s apology be understood in the CONTEXT of the entire 2016 campaign?

How should Trump’s apology be understood in relationship to the Bill Clinton political career and Hillary’s involvement in it? (CONTEXT)

But there is more context than meets the eye. And sometimes non-historians like MacDonald supply the context that historians don’t want to see.


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