Saturday, September 30, 2023

Beyonce’s Misguided Feminism.

January 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Ent., Music, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

( Ever since I have written about America’s Pursuit of Unattainable Beauty, I have been keenly alert to issues within current feminism. On a fundamental level, feminism is supposed to be about women’s equality. As simple as that definition is, it’s also effortless to see what feminism is not. And what Beyonce did during her “Drunk in Love” Grammy performance was assuredly anti-feminist. Though die-hard Beyonce fans may storm my page and skewer me like the Spartans of 300, I find her portrayal of “feminism” to be insulting to the common sense of women. 

Can someone explain to me how Beyonce’s feminism can beBeyonce simultaneously raunchy, writhing across stage with both cheeks exposed, and still identify with the view of women’s equality?

The double-mindedness behind Beyonce’s latest album, a tour-de-force of artistry and imagery, is wholly confusing. Within her videos and performances, she decidedly chooses to objectify herself sexually–to the point where the lines are blurred from pop star to exotic stripper.

Her album was premised on feminism and empowering young women, and yet there are better ways to achieve such a goal than the likes of essentially selling your body to the tune or near-pornographic videos. Also, this one cannot be blamed on the patriarchy. An iconic pop star such as Beyonce has full control over her image.

It can be disappointing that pop stars like Beyonce, or self-professed feminists Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry, can be pro-woman and yet still adopt the sex-object role.

This is dangerous because it creates the idea that in order to be empowered, a woman must be sexual. Is this the message that we want to send to our young women?

Staff Writer; Lee Williams

Be sure to follow Lee’s blog “The Communication Activist” or visit his blog’s official Facebook page.



11 Responses to “Beyonce’s Misguided Feminism.”
  1. Marcus Vessey says:

    Dcarter this is deep, “If equality means the right to act in a sexually lascivious manner and for it to be publicly acceptable then what you are really asking for is overall public acceptance of grossly overt sexual behavior NOT women’s equality.”

  2. Michele says:

    Beyonce is being a feminism for album sales and to stay relevant. Her song flawless sent a mix message. Originally the song was about how bitches should bow down to her and whatever and then she threw a spin on it because people were very upset with her. She basically attempted to do damage control by adding feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to the song. I’m glad that some people is not blind and can see that Beyonce is full of shit. Beyonce can’t fool everyone, she will do anything to sell her brand and keep money in her pocket.

    Beyonce latest album is mostly about sex, sex and more sex. I don’t recall her connecting empowerment with education, self respect, dignity, inequality and etc. She also stated that all women should accept their imperfections ( that was the message behind her new album as she stated) yet she wears blonde weaves, ton of makeup and lords knows how many plastic surgeries she had done. She doesn’t live by what she preaches. I guess if you are an entertainer then that’s what you have to do, but don’t try to convince people you are something that you’re not. I’ll respect her more if she just say “I’m just an entertainer” but she tries too hard to be seen as this perfect person, in which why a lot of people doesn’t think she is genuine and thinks she comes off very fake.

    A lot of people have an unhealthy understanding of sexuality and empowerment because sexuality is much more than a women assets and how good she can screw a man. A lot of people don’t understand feminist either, it’s very complex especially when you add christianity to it because people argue that christian women are taught to be submissive to their husband and the men is the head of the households. But this is a whole different topic and my point is that feminist and woman empowerment is very complex. Don’t depend on Beyonce to teach these young women anything about this very important topic because she is sending the wrong message to young girls. They need more than a hot body and good looks to understand what it truly means to accept the beauty of womanhood.

    The media portray woman as sex objects and that one should be be thin, have lighter skin and blonde hair. Beyonce is apart of that same system that oppresses women. Just look at how she dances half naked for her husband in from of millions of viewers, why can’t jay-z dance for her half naked? Beyonce acts like his whore and he’s her pimp. That’s not equality in my opinion, it’s shameful how people minds are so distorted. It’s funny how Beyonce had a song called nasty girl, put some cloths on but look at her now. She has totally lost herself, people will do anything for money. And I use to love her but she has change very much over the years. One thing women can learn from Beyonce is that you shouldn’t lose your self respect and morals trying to chase money. Money isn’t everything folks, when you die, it can’t go with you.

  3. Anne says:

    Beyoncé has achieved one goal of feminism which is financial independence and therefore a certain amount of power that celebrity often brings. However, her public image does not promote feminism, as it is based on selling sexuality. She is a beautiful woman, and she’s on top of the world right now. She is also undeniably talented. However, she is now 32, and I wonder where she will be once she is in her 40’s. Sooner or later, there will be a time when she won’t be a “babe” any longer. It happens to all of us sooner or later, and we have to readjust our self-images.

  4. Val says:


    Great post, I think you raise several very valid points! But I hope you don’t think all feminists think this way. As with any societal concept, you have your reasonable and fair people, then the extremes. Many feminists do respect themselves and value education. That being said, I think Beyonce is super talented, but I also think she definitely falls into the category of those who sell sex for a living.

  5. Lee Williams says:

    I am the writer of this article and I appreciate all of your thoughtful comments. Thank you for the read. My problem with Beyonce is that she’s equating only sexiness with empowerment. Younger generations need to be cultivated to think that education, knowledge, self-respect, and morals are more important than looking sexy. Young women and men need guidance – they’re constantly inundated with unattainable beauty within the media and these images, so how are they supposed to equate empowerment and success with anything else? Younger generations hear “empowerment” and “power” and “equality” and then see this, and automatically equate it with sexuality.

    There is no doubt Beyonce is a powerful woman with a great mind. She has had huge success in everything she does. She is a lot more than more good looks, she seems to have an astute business and creative mind. However, when she performs, it is so disappointing all we get is skimpy outfits and women as sexual objects. At this point in her career, I would argue that this is not something she has to do. She is and should be better than this.

    @Dcarter910… well said brother.

  6. toomanygrandkids says:

    Dcarter910 said…(deep sigh)…I’m going in.

    WOW! You went real deep. Beautifully said.

  7. Janet says:

    I am totally disappointed in her so call way of empowereing women. But this is coming from a sex goddess in her/their world. One we could would never be able to relate to, unless youre in the industry. I do not support her at all. Although, she was one that I once really admired.

  8. Dcarter910 says:

    (deep breath)…Im going in.

    Sooo when are we going to stop comparing what men do as to what women should do when we are talking about feminism? A woman is not a man and yes men can run around without a shirt on, so for women to be equal they should be able to play basketball in the part without shirts on right? When did feminism turn into women acting like men to be considered equals? Beyonce dancing on stage like a stripper is NOT feminism, no more than a naked D’Angelo is masculinity.

    So while real masculinity and manhood is on the attack, what feminist are doing is seeking equality through mimicry of a twisted image of masculinity and manhood. If equality means the right to act in a sexually lascivious manner and for it to be publicly acceptable then what you are really asking for is overall public acceptance of grossly overt sexual behavior NOT women’s equality. Your fighting for Sodom and Gomorrah.

    20% of the world is Muslim and would kill women instantly for acting in such a mannor, 25% of the world is buddist and under that tenant of belief they have more self respect for life than to reduce it to sexuality, and 25% of the world is christain and used to believe that a man should love a woman as he loves himself and thus women should be treated as equals.

    But tell me something if someone would dare. How come Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Party in German rose to the ranks of Prime Minister, the arguably 2nd most powerful nation in the world. German controls practically all of Europe and has the largest share of power and influence in the EU. How come Christine Lagarde is the chief of the International Monetary Fund, arguably the 3rd most powerful position in the world as she controls over 26 trillion dollars in assets and entire economies rise and fall with her signature on a page. Do you think any of these women would have rose to power in Germany and France if within their nation women’s equality meant freedom of overt sexual promiscuity and lascivious acts? No in their country equality mean education, carrying yourself with respect and dignity. Not being judged on the merits of how beautiful you are but how intelligent and capable you are.

    Explain to me this feminist.
    -How come you don’t encourage women into the sciences and mathematics, fields highly respected fields of study and where there is pitifully few women?
    -How come you don’t encourage women to be intelligent and not just sexy singers or models?
    -How come you don’t encourage women to lead on the topic of public decency instead of following men into sexual immorality?
    -How come you don’t take the lead in your own sexual behaviors by not allowing men to lay down with you with protection and not taking necessary birth control, instead unwanted pregnancies are on the rise and so are abortions? Being equal doesnt just mean demanding men treat you equality it means stepping up and taking the lead. Or do you want men to lead while you get to be treated as a equal follower?

    See feminist have all these poetic things to say about social injustic toward them and how everything is of a patriarchal advantage but few to none want to take the lead in the various social issues facing women, just sit back and blame men for having “done it first” or “men do it all the time”!

    Lead, seek to do the right thing, work hard and stop fighting for amoral sexual behavior and loose morality and using men’s amoral sexual behavior and amorality to justify your own in the name of equality. I promise you, that women’s right’s in Germany and France that lead to their powerful position in the world was not achieved the way American feminist are trying to achieve it.

    But hey…im just another “man” trying to tell women what to do right?

  9. Helen Gynell says:

    AMEN!! Thank you for saying it so succinctly.
    (typo on to the tune of)

  10. cutitout says:

    “Can someone explain to me how Beyonce’s feminism can be simultaneously raunchy, writhing across stage with both cheeks exposed, and still identify with the view of women’s equality?”

    Easy, What she did is no different than what male artist do, it just looks different because female sexuality looks different than male sexuality. Why is it that we never have this conversation when male artists get on stage or on the screen and dance or dress provocatively? Have you ever seen Chris Brown perform “Take You Down”???? Check it out on YouTube… How about Miguel on stage shirtless and miming the act of putting on a condom and having sex with a woman??? D’Angelos “How does it Feel” Video? Rico Suave’s “Rico Suave” Did Prince not wear ass-less pants on the VMA’s years ago when he performed “Get Off”

    The problem is the idea that a woman’s body equals sex in the minds of Americans because of the convenient, patriarch-ally designed set of beliefs that we have all been brainwashed into embracing in order for women to be controlled. So when a woman shows skin or wears something that accentuates her feminine form, automatically she’s “selling sex” and “objectifying” herself. Yet a man can show his muscles and run around shirtless(turning women on, thus “objectifying” himself) and everyone marvels at his physical fitness. Why is it okay for a male artist like a Mick Jagger or Elvis Pressley to completely embrace their sexuality on stage and off and no one questions their artistic merit but when a woman does it, she is as you say, “objectifying” herself???

    The definition of Feminism is : “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” How did her performance not embody that when so many male artists do and have presented themselves in a titillating way to appeal to women and female fans????

    Somewhere along the lines the definition of feminism has been lost and replaced by the idea that feminism is about women becoming man-like or the idea that a woman’s accomplishments are not valid unless they are achieved while the woman is dressed like a good, modest lady,(according to standards established by whom? The Patriarchy)with no chance of her earning anything because of her looks, sexuality of femininity. Do you not see the problem in this? Embracing the model of feminism that you seem to sight is the opposite of the actual definition of feminism. Your idea of feminism , I believe according to what you wrote seems to be that in order to achieve a gold star in feminism, women must to some degree shun certain aspects of being feminine…. If women like Beyoncé were to adhere to it, they would be allowing themselves to essentially be controlled by men if how they truly wish to express/present themselves deviates from that idea.

  11. toomanygrandkids says:

    Wow, I can’t wait to read the comments about this one.

    Your article should’ve been longer. You could’ve, should’ve traveled back to when Beyonce began her solo career. Back then, she was more subtle and really didn’t overdo the “sex sells” bit. I thought Mariah Carey wore less/tighter/more revealing clothes than Beyonce. I didn’t see the opening of the Grammy’s but I heard about it and saw clips of it on tv, which wasn’t much. Nobody has to post how she danced because I can just about guess. What I do know is that young and old black females are imitating Beyonce. They see her as a role model. She’s Queen B and married to Jay-Z.

    As a couple, they have the world in the palm of their hands. However, by herself, Beyonce has the world wrapped around her finger. I’m sure there are many critics of her performance. But Beyonce’s able to brush off “the haters” because she doesn’t have many of them. It’s like that with the females who admire her. These black females will dress, walk, and dance just like her. But since there’s soooo many like her, when someone does correct them, it falls on deaf ears. Nothing’s done about it. Even the mothers of these young females aren’t the least bit concerned that their daughters dress and walk like Beyonce.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!