She’s not the first, not the last, but it’s her body gyrating on stage in faux nipple exposing glory that challenges our ideals of feminism. Tamara writes:
“Through a career that has included crotch-grabbing, nudity, BDSM, Marilyn Monroe fetishizing, and a 1992 book devoted to sex, Madonna has been viewed as a feminist provocateur, pushing the boundaries of acceptable femininity. But Beyoncé’s use of her body is criticized as thoughtless and without value beyond male titillation, providing a modern example of the age-old racist juxtaposition of animalistic black sexuality vs. controlled, intentional, and civilized white sexuality.”
Feminism doesn’t look just one way. It’s not just a woman in a power suit, sensible shoes and a briefcase, who worked her way beyond the boy’s club to reach that corner office with the view. Feminism can be sexy too. Obviously Madonna has been regarded as a strong image of femininity and has often stretched the limits of sexuality in the media. Even though many mothers clutched their pearls, Madonna was extremely celebrated for her approach to feminism.
Beyonce’s brand of feminism mirror Madonna’s but isn’t always accepted. As a woman who believes in her own woman power, I will admit that I believe in Beyonce’s too. She’s no doubt one of the most powerful women of our time. Her accolades span her entire decade plus career and she runs the world. Countless endorsements with brands like Pepsi, H&M, L’Oreal, American Express and more prove Beyonce’s international power is limitless. There she goes again, challenging everything we know about the role of a woman. She’s said it herself, she’s “strong enough to bare the children and get back to business.”
It seems impossible to look at Beyonce at face value. Her public image begs to be under a microscope. I play right into just the way you all do. She can’t post a photo, leak a track or have a baby without us demanding she do more for women as a woman. Historically, Black women have been demanded of, often seen as giving without needing anything in return.
I love what feminist media activist Jamia Wilson said about Queen Bey:
“I think that it’s just hard for people to really grasp what it’s like to be extremely powerful but also vulnerable. Black women, in particular, are characterized as singularly strong figures. How can you be the mule of the world for everybody, but also have somebody carry you when you need them to?”
Despite color, all women should be able to be dynamic representations of feminist power. You’ll never hear me say this again, but more power to Beyonce for embracing her sexuality and redefining what is to be a feminist. This is truly something to crown Beyonce a Queen for.
What will it take for society to truly accept a Black woman’s sexuality without challenging her as a woman?
For more on the topic, including arguments over Beyonce’s claim of her hubby’s last name and how it regards to her as a feminist, check out this article on Salon.
The Carter Family