Dear Beyonce, don’t mess with my feminism!!!

Aug 08, 2011 @ 11:13 am | By TheFeministGriote | 5 Comments

Once again Beyonce has ruffled my feminist feathers. Back in May, I wrote a blog post called  “Easy bake Feminism” in response to the many people who were trying to herald Beyonce as the new face of feminism. Due in large part because her first single off of the album “4” (love the album btw) “girls run the world” and of course I took umbrage with that. When 51% of the world just so happens to be women and yet women are still considered a minority in relation to men its clear that women don’t run a damn thing!

I love Bey’s artistry and work ethic, but let’s be honest I don’t care to hear her stance on serious issues. I feel that Bey lacks depth and doesn’t articulate herself well therefore, when I do hear her opinions on issues that are near and dear to me my love for her dims. Beyonce who is currently featured in the August issue of UK Harper’s Bazaar was asked about what she thought of feminism and does she consider herself one and this what ‘King Bey’ had to say:

Although many women today steer away from the word ‘feminist’, the Texan insists she’s always been one, although she believes the movement needs a new name.

She explained: ‘I don’t really feel that it’s necessary to define it. It’s just something that’s kind of natural for me, and I feel like…you know…it’s, like, what I live for. ‘I need to find a catchy new word for feminism, right? Like Bootylicious.’

Like…um no Beyonce we don’t need you to find a catchy new word for feminism. Feminism works just fine. I don’t understand the hesitation of many women to not identify with the feminist movement. Before I go into my diatribe  let us first start with a working definition of feminism. I am very partial to the definition of feminism that bell hooks provides: Feminism is the struggle to end sexist oppression. Its aim is not to solely benefit one group of women, any particular  race or class of women. It does not privilege women over men. That is what feminism is in a nutshell. Why would a person not want to overtly identify with that?

Feminism is a social political movement that needs to be respected on its own merits. As a future career feminist it burns me when women who apply feminist tenets in their everyday lives refuse to align themselves with the movement. If you don’t want to hand out feminist leaflets I am cool with that, but why try to devalue the movement by wanting to change its name? We live in a culture where everything needs to be sexed up and vamped up. People like to say that feminism is dead and that is a farce of epic proportions. The mere fact that Tea Party backed politicians want to declare war on women’s issues proves to me that feminism is alive and well because you can’t try to kill something that is already dead! I know the oxford dictionary added bootylicious to the lexicon, but the following things are not and will never be bootylicious:

  • The feminization of poverty
  • The fact that women still only make 75% of what men make (since women tend to be the head of household and sometimes the only bread winner this 75% is often the difference between homelessness or abject poverty.)
  • Women and girls globally can’t walk down their street, township, or village without being harassed by men
  • The fact that women live by a “rape schedule” (meaning we live our lives in a very specific way as to not be sexually assaulted by men)
  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women

All of these things and a myriad of other equally detrimental issues that women have to deal with just because we have mammary glands is not cool or chic. What needs to be upgraded is not the title of feminism, but the consciousness of women who think they’re somehow ‘too cool’ or have arrived and therefore don’t need to identify with feminism. Beyonce’s classism is definitely front and center here. Beyonce feels as if she can breathe some new life into the feminist movement and make it more palatable to the masses. Feminism doesn’t need a Beyonce makeover, Beyonce needs a crash course in feminism!

What do you think? Does feminism need to be Beyonced?


5 Responses to “ Dear Beyonce, don’t mess with my feminism!!! ”

  1. I find this idea that Beyonce came up with to be hilarious, one reason is because her promotion of indecent behavior. It is quite evident that she is completely clueless in this area and like you stated before needs to take a crash course in feminist idea. I do find it admirable that someone in her class profession is even considering converting feminism, but not Debra Lee, who holds more power than Beyonce.

  2. Beyonce..hmph..I think she confuses feminism with being feminine. Seriously though, I will give her credit for being a good entertainer (not really a fan) but she disappoints in other areas. If she wants to chime in on certain topics/issues I would suggest that she do some reading and rethink her all around presentation. She comes off as a dumb blonde who I refuse to take seriously and unfortunately for US, the media loves to push people like her out there to feed the masses. She is like junk food that is trying to pass as health food. Not buyin it!

  3. What do you think about POC who self-identify as something comparable (such as womanist) because of the history of racism within the feminist movement? I understand why someone would choose that route but I still prefer feminist for myself as well. (I also love Beyonce and hate hearing her talk about anything other than her art, and I REALLY wish she would leave this topic alone since she’s clearly clueless).

  4. @ Jerome Feminism in the early beginnings did not identify down it identified up. Therefore women of color were not the only ones ignored so were lesbians and any woman who was not middle class and white. I think feminism has come a long way is & far more inclusive then it ever was. I respect women of color who embrace womanism, but me I embrace the political ideology and movement that is feminism. It always warms my heart when men identify as feminist 🙂

  5. […] fact that Beyonce wanted to bedazzle feminism with a name change. I even wrote a blog post about it Dear Beyonce, don’t mess with my feminism. (Full disclosure I am a proud member of the Beyhive and have no problem critiquing Bey). As a […]

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