Beyonce, Sexuality & Feminism
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From a very young age, I taught my daughter that she is the boss of her body. A moment that illustrates her understanding of this came when she was about 4 yrs old. We were at 6 Flags and she was on a slide in the kiddy area. At the top she stood sort of taking her time getting comfortable with the height. The young boy behind her grew impatient and decided to push her to hurry things along. She was furious about this. She stood at the bottom of the slide waiting for him. When he slid down she looked at him and said, “You are NOT the boss of my body. I AM!” The boy looked bewildered then ran off to play.
Who owns sexuality?
Beyonce’s visual album is getting people to discuss the idea of sexuality and feminism. Something startling seems to happen when women say I not only own my body but I own my sexuality. Beyonce is not only the boss of her body, but her sexuality and her image. In this form of feminism she is using her sex symbol as a tool much in the way marketing moguls use women to promote their own products. The visual album ruffles feathers because she is saying I own my sexuality. I will do with it what I want. For some this is offensive. Some see this as the promotion of the objectification and degradation of women.
Others are just more comfortable with women being seen as pawns or trophies in the background of a misogynistic plot or as a video vixen. It disrupts our thinking when the Vixen refuses to be Victim, but decides she is not just a willing participant she is Victor. When the video vixen starts to run things and take ownership of her own sexuality… well then the tables turn and girls do, as Queen Bey says ‘Run the World!” Some of us are okay with sex symbols as long as they remain as symbols and don’t become icons of free expression. Who owns sexuality?… We ALL do!
Testing the boundaries of feminism
The visual album test the boundaries of feminism for those who fight for women not to be seen as sex objections in a man’s world. Some believe Beyoncé’s visual album is promoting the sexism that she should be dismantling. This begs the question of ‘Where is the pleasure politic?’ ‘Is there no place for erotica in feminism? If so that idea in itself would seem anti-feminist? The idea that a women needs to suppress any part of who she is to make the world feel more comfortable is in a way anti-feminist.
She expresses strength and power in the fact that she is not simply the girl on the cover that sells the magazine, or the girl that sits on the car to get men to buy the car, she’s not the girl in the video used to get people to buy someone else’s product. No, she owns her company. She is the product. She knows that sex sells and she is selling it like hotcakes. The question some are having is whether she should be selling it at all.
The true meaning of feminism is this: to use your strong womanly image to gain strong results in society
Social Responsibility and Creative Expression
I get excited when I see artist using their gifts to raise awareness and to rock the boat. I am at the same time curious to know if her feminism start and stop with her artistic expression. What is the corporate, social responsibility or initiative that she is taking on if any?
I am curious to know. Is this for the Money or for the Mission? Is it because sex sells or is it for the cause of women sexual liberation or both? If both, I’d love to see more information on causes and Nonprofits that artist like Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus support.
We all know that sex is a powerful profitable machine. Beyoncé is using that machine. I promote its use responsibly and intentionally. I believe artist can blend activism and artistry and have a lasting impression and impact. I mean look at all the discussion this one album has created.
If you ask me, I’d say that Beyonce is a feminist. There is a totality of feminism and all voices including Beyonce’s are welcome to the table.Through art expression as well as corporate and social responsibility. I look forward to seeing the Nonprofits and initiatives she supports in the future. She is stepping into her own. This is not the first song she has that has a feminist appeal to it. She has expressed strength and power in other songs as well, songs like.
- I’m a survivor
- Let me Upgrade You
- Who Run the World?
In this album she got even bolder in the song Flawless Beyonce quotes Chimaamanda Ngozi Adichie, “We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are | feminist: A person who believes in the economic, social and political equality of the sexes.”
I think some are too use to women advocating for feminism from the view point of a victim. Beyonce message comes from that of a strong and powerful victor.
Yes, I believe this married mother of a little girl knows very much what she is doing. In her own way she is teaching her daughter and the world, “You are NOT the boss of my body. IAM!” From the boardroom to the bedroom Beyonce shows us that women can be BOSS. Women are complex. More than mothers and daughters we are artist, CEO’s and yes, we are sexual. That in and of itself is a beautiful thing.
Questions feminist are debating over
Will this take hold?Will this new brand of feminism through fearless sexual expression become a wave of sultry dressed young women? Will the teenagers who watch and look up to Beyonce get the message? Should we also call Miley Cyrus a feminist?
Talk to us?
(What’s your take on the following questions?)
- What are the boundaries of feminism?
- Do you consider Beyoncé a feminist?
- What does it mean to be a feminist?