Beyoncé’s Bum and the World’s Lamest Outrage

Is there really a mass outcry across Britain about Beyoncé’s divine and gyrating bum at this week’s Grammy Awards? As far as I can tell, it is, once again, an attempt to manufacture an outcry by a couple of media outlets and busybodies.

Predictably, the Daily Mail led the charge with some pearl-clutching editorialising  in the headline: “Is this really what little girls should aspire to, Beyoncé? Parents attack ‘vile’ display at Grammys“.  By outraged “parents”, the Mail means one quote attributed to an unnamed parent who finds it “sad when our children can’t even watch the Grammys.” And “hundreds of others who took to the internet to express their disgust.” Hundreds. Out of how many viewers?

Latter-day Mary Whitehouses, Pippa Smith of SaferMedia, and Vivienne Pattison of Mediawatch-UK, were also quoted with tedious “won’t someone think of the children” moans.

Beyoncé dancing with her husband in a “really skimpy outfit” means boys could have trouble relating to women as anything other than sexual beings, according to Pattison. And, weirdly, Smith is complaining about “a husband and wife … behav[ing] in such an obscenely sexual manner.” Imagine that, boys and girls. A couple who have conceived a child together are sexual beings. Well, I never…

Metro, meanwhile, shared a few snippets of social media reaction and didn’t bother to run the story on their clickbait Facebook page, and the Guardian (despite leading the charge on assorted Lose the Lads’ Mags and No More Page 3 campaigns) and the Telegraph both seem to be refreshingly nonplussed about it all. The Daily Mail article only attracted 172 comments. By Daily Mail standards, that is a mere drop in the ocean of bile, a disappointing response to something which fits their confused agenda of creating outrage while still running plenty of sexy pictures just so you know exactly what you’re meant to be outraged about.

I don’t buy that there is an outrage in Britain about Beyoncé’s bum. Hell, there isn’t even a storm on Mumsnet. People may be raging about Beyoncé in the US but it’s just not happening here.  This is a good thing. This gives me some hope that we’re not descending into a nation of sex-scared prudes who seek to hide all flesh from public view for the good of the children.

It’s great we’re being so chilled out about Beyoncé’s bum – but it means we are sleepwalking through the government’s plans to censor the internet, with very few voices in Parliament speaking out about the absurdity of this. We are also sleepwalking through telecommunications companies already doing the censorship for the government. Companies such as O2 are blocking websites – including my blog – and then making adult consumers jump through stupid hoops to access perfectly legal content. This is despite O2 offering parental control filters so kids can’t access adult content.

I’ve lived in a country with absurdly filtered internet. It doesn’t just mean that adult websites are banned. It means that websites which might cause political dissent are banned too. As long as we merrily let any government do the same thing in Britain, we will be faced with a situation far more damaging than Beyoncé twerking for her own husband.


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About Georgia Lewis

Georgia Lewis is a journalist based in London. Over the years, she has been deputy editor of a weight loss magazine, a motoring journalist in the Middle East, written about sex for FHM, edited TV guides and recipes in Australia, almost got fired over a restaurant review in Dubai and is either secretly relieved or deeply disappointed that she never fulfilled her university student dream to be a war correspondent.

15 thoughts on “Beyoncé’s Bum and the World’s Lamest Outrage

  1. I just went to say you can turn the filters off there not banned just saying and how do you know websites which might cause political dissent are banned the filters are blocking everything also O2 block have been here for years and they also block Conservative and Downing Street websites

    we do not have a absurdly filtered internet most people have to opt in if they went it

    1. Some corrections Chris:

      1) Georgia wasn’t referring to the UK when she talked of “absurdly filtered” Internet – she lived in the Middle East.
      2) You are only guaranteed unfiltered Internet access if you’re the bill payer for a broadband connection. Most people aren’t.
      3) Teenagers are completely denied the right to unfiltered access.
      4) The filters are only 4 weeks old – this is the start, not the end. It’s going to get much worse.

      1. Frankly, any filtering of the internet is absurd and treats adults like children. This will have implications for sex education sites as well as “protecting” the kids from porn.

        If we tolerate any sort of government interference with internet access, we open the doors to precisely the absurdly filtered internet I experienced for five years in the UAE – as well as adult sites and dating sites being blocked, all Israeli sites were blocked as well as assorted sites that the government felt might incite criticism of the UAE and its leaders. This may seem like an extreme example, but why should anyone trust any government with an agenda of censorship?

    1. In that case, Chris, it would appear you have exposed a deeply unethical practice by OS. Why does O2 keep denying adults from access sites that are blocked under the parental control function? Basically, this means well-intentioned parents are paying extra for the parental controls when they are obviously totally unnecessary…

  2. While not altogether disagreeing with your comments – I for one quite admire Beyoncé’s Bum (she is far more OMG than That Other Twerker) – I’m not sure I really want to picture the actual gyrations and the gyraters gyrating that led to my conception. Ugh. Tristram Shandy was a little obsessed with thoughts of his own conception, but I was found on a platform, thanks.

  3. The sanctiomonious woman from Parents Aloud claims Beyoncé is offending every decent person in this country. Well I am a decent person and I love Beyoncé! And many other decent people too.

    Pippa Smith says They are doing enormous harm to children’s perception of what is normal behaviour.’

    Oh yes because sexuality is abnormal isn’t it? We must hide it way and regard it as dirty and abnormal!

    But Vivienne Pattison’s comments stand out the most…

    ” In this footage Beyoncé is wearing a really skimpy outfit but Jay-Z is not.

    ‘If girls and women are seen exclusively as sexual beings rather than as complicated people with many interests, talents and identities, boys and men may have difficulty relating to them on any level other than the sexual.’

    Her views sound just like of RewindandReframe and feminists. It’s clear Pattison is trying to sound like a feminist to appeal radical feminists and the Guardian.

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