Friday, 20 December 2013

Beyonce vs Feminism: Quick Rant

This time last week at 5:30am, I felt like the Holy Spirit woke me up from my slumber (No, seriously). As I checked my phone, all I could see were Beyoncé quotes, pictures and video links all over my Twitter timeline. I was confused as to why she was trending at this time of the morning. Was there another picture circulating of Blue Ivy’s uncombed hair? Not this time. It all made sense after a few minutes of scrolling and visiting celeb entertainment sites. The singing sensation had just released an album exclusively on iTunes.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve never bought a damn thing off iTunes in my life. So I quickly hopped out of bed and grabbed my debit card, and boy am I glad I did. She provided her fans with 14 songs and 17 music videos. The funny thing? Not one person saw this coming. Not ONE.

NOW my problem… Is that some blogs/sites are trying their best to look for a problem, a fault, a glitch, something that takes away from how amazing this woman is.

Earlier this week I read an article on Huffpost a friend sent me. They focused so hard on the lyrics of Jay-Z’s verse in Drunk In Love, as if everything he spat was literal.

‘Catch a charge I might, beat the box up like 
Mike in 97 I bite, I’m like Turner, turn up                                                                                                 Baby know I don’t play, now eat the cake Anna Mae                                                                           Said, ‘Eat the cake, Anna Mae!’

Because Beyoncé would really let the father of her child talk about how he abuses her on her own track. It was as if they wanted something to criticize and found that. A rap verse that was less than 30 seconds, where all he was really referring to was how he put it down in the bedroom. IT WAS FUNNY.
Then I read a rant by Jameela Jamil last night about Beyoncé labeled ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (side eyes) where she discussed how mortified she was by the level of skin that was shown in the singer’s music videos.

'Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Iggy Azaelea…. The list goes on of FEMALE artists who have “flaunted” what they have in the public eye unashamedly (and tastefully, in some instances). Why is Beyoncé being put under the guillotine for merely doing the same? These are just talented women who have talked themselves into the idea (SET BY MEN) that a woman’s sexuality sells above all else. They have deluded themselves into thinking its “feminism” if you get your fanny out on “your terms.” Feminism is equality. Jay-Z doesn’t get his balls out (Thank Jesus) to sell a record. Naturally, in Beyoncé’s videos, he’s fully clothed, watching her, practically nude, dance for him, be it on a chaise tongue, a pole, a piano, a steering wheel… She’s at HIS service. “She just wants to be the kind of girl he likes… she keeps singing.” What’s the message here? Like me because I am here to dance for you, to service you, to be YOUR fantasy, I cooked for you naked, blah blah blah. Naked, naked, naked, boobs, boobs, boobs, sex sex, sex, fanny, fanny, fanny…. ARRRRGGGGHHHH!'

Why would Jay-Z need to get half naked in Beyoncé’s video? He barely shows any skin in his own, and when did that become such a huge factor? WHEN did feminism become so inextricably linked with this stone-age philosophy of competing with men to secure equality? Shouldn’t women be allowed to exist INDEPENDENTLY of men without having to compete to be deemed relevant? And how does Beyoncé showing the nakedness of the opposite sex prove any sort of equality of feminism?

Feminism is supposed to focus on supporting a woman’s decision, no matter what it may be. So what if Beyoncé chooses to show a submissive side to her husband in her videos by dancing for him? So WHAT??? She’s a married woman and if she feels like singing about being Drunk in Love, Crazy In love, Dangerously in Love. . Hell. .  If she wants to be High In Love and sing about it with her man on a beach, who are we to judge? No, honestly, who are you and I?

Now unless you have been living under a rock for the last 15 years, what Beyoncé has been showing us in her videos and concerts has not changed. As much as I hate using the cliché description, wasn’t she the ‘Bootylicious’ girl from the greatest girl group of all time Destiny’s Child? Was she not the same girl shaking her bottom in the Crazy in Love video and being drenched in water as she kicked down the fountain just before Jay-Z appeared, no? Oooh and what about in the Naughty Girl video when she was in a supersize wine glass filled with champagne. Let me stop there… Before I forget my actual point… Yes. My point is that Beyoncé has not changed, there’s just more to take in, especially as it was given to us in one go. We were given SEVENTEEN videos AT ONCE.

She’s an entertainer and her way of selling music has not changed. If you fail to realise that, that’s on you & no-one else. I see it like this…. As empowering as Beyoncé is, she still wants to show us her sexually liberated side within her music. THIS is what people confuse for feminism. I’m sure she doesn’t need to rely on sex to sell, she didn’t even rely on PROMOTION to sell.

By @Oloni
Edited by @EzekielThePoet


Anonymous said...

Never thought about it this way.

Excellent post.

Alex Voltaire said...

Spot on my dear, wonderfully put.